When an external experience comes into our minds through the senses, the mind and body interpret, or give meaning to these experiences by running it through what we call the ‘Internal Filtration System’. This in turn, creates a unique subjective reality for each individual interpreting the external experience. Because of this, we can each be looking at the same external reality but interpreting it in different ways, therefore, taking charge of these internal filters is the key to mental, emotional and behavioural mastery.
There is so much information coming in through the five senses that our nervous system is forced to simplify this for us by doing one or a combination of things. Three of these things, I’d like to point out to you today. The ability to become aware of these three subconscious process is what I would consider the first step to mastering your Mind, your Emotions and your Behaviours.
These three actions are Deletion, Distortion and Generalisation. The Internal Filters (which I will go into in more detail in the blog posts to come) tell the mind what information to sort for – for example what to delete, what and how to distort and what to generalise with a result of creating a representation in our minds that usually confirms an individual’s long-held beliefs and expectations. So here is a brief description of how each of these works :
Deleting incoming information is simply the process of leaving out large amounts of data to avoid overload. We pay attention to certain aspects of our reality based on what our minds have been trained to sort for, and the rest, we will simply delete.
A key point here is that if we have (simply through a process of habit) been deleting important information that has the potential to empower us to our greatest potential, we are robbing ourselves of the most positive and powerful options, without even realising it. An example of this is when the eyes pick up information but simply don’t process it as the mind has been trained otherwise ie. Some people have trained themselves out of seeing, recognising and interpreting all sorts of opportunities as their internal filters are not designed to recognise them.
This is in fact a very important function of the human nervous system. It consists of creating and imagining as well as interpreting of giving meaning to a set of data. One example of distortion is when someone “sees their ‘ex’ around every corner because he or she is on her mind”.
The third way to filter information is by generalisation. By doing this, we organise the information to see the overall theme or picture. This is a valuable process as it allows us to remember and categorise what we’ve learned, however it can also lead to sweeping assumptions. Unfortunately, many people generalise in ways that eliminate choices for them “I could NEVER be successful” or “You CAN’T make money without cheating people”. This is how people use the generalisation function in a disempowering way.
If not trained to its optimum, our mind can end up taking away some of our own power by either deleting, distorting or generalising information in a way that does not serve us. However, what we CAN train our minds to do, is to consciously utilize this function to empower ourselves by choosing the way that we want to see things that are happening in the world.
By taking more control of a filtering process that would otherwise remain unconscious, people empower themselves to produce the results they most desire. This is what I have been doing now for many many years but actively and intensively for at least about the last 5 years of my life.
Recognising WHEN we are deleting, distorting or generalising is in my opinion, the first step to empowering yourself. In next weeks blog post, I will go more into the Filters of Values, Beliefs, Attitudes, memories, Decisions, Language and Meta Programmes.
As always, you can get even more value by posting your questions or comments below.
- Are you aware of ways in which you Delete, Distort or Generalise?
- How does this affect you?
- Do you have ideas about how you can change this?
Any and All Questions welcome!!!