Filtering! In this part, you will learn about:

  • Why are we like this?
  • Paradigms and self-image
  • Beliefs
  • Mental direction
  • Values

“The ‘self-image’ is the key to human personality and human behavior. Change the self-image and you change the personality and the behavior.”

– Maxwell Maltz

We have finished the previous chapter, by beginning to describe how we actually think. You now know we can only think at that which is left after we automatically delete, distort and generalize what we receive.

This is what I call, filtering.

Through the filtering process, we form our paradigms, or as called in NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), our own map of reality. Meaning our version of the conception received from the higher mind through the brain. It’s like a version of an operational system, let’s say.

In this chapter we will discuss further how we form our map of reality, why we are doing it and how do we, literally, do it, using filtering processes. Which happen almost instantaneously.

Yes! That fast!

Filtering, together with our internal representations, our thoughts, remaining after the filtering is done, determine how life appears to us. Meaning how we perceive it. All the finite results we get in life, our body, our health, our relationships, our prosperity, our success, and our thinking, and perception of reality are affected by our filtering process.

Filtering means, deleting, distorting, and generalizing the original information that is received by your brain.

We all do this!

The power lies in how we are doing it! The part that is left after the filtering processes are done, represents our own paradigm. A mental map of reality. However, it isn’t the reality.

It’s our internal representations we use to create thoughts. Which help us create what we want in life, or not, in many cases. We can help ourselves succeed in anything we do, or we can fail, miserably.

Our internal representations are our paradigm. Or, a map of reality. In there we have something called self-image. If our self-image is built in an un-resourceful manner:

We hurt.

We will continue to recreate that self-image automatically, though, deleting, distorting and generalizing the reception we get from our higher mind.

As you remember, higher mind conceives, the brain receives, the physical mind perceives. When the perception of the vision is filtered to match the unconscious self-image we may have, it seems as nothing works for us. Regardless of what we want to change.

We always conform to our current paradigm. The good news is we can change the paradigm, our self-image, too, as we study how to do that, and as we become aware of the filtering-opening-understanding-perceiving, ultimately thinking processes.

So, what is really a filtering process, and:

What are these filters we use?

I’m very grateful to Bill Harris, the founder of the Centerpointe Research Institute, and Bob Proctor for helping me understand these things. I’ve learned, we are thinking while using the six thinking modalities described a while ago.

  • Internal pictures
  • Sounds
  • Internal smells
  • Tastes
  • Internal feelings or touch and sensations
  • Or internal dialog.

Everything is first in the oven, sort of speaking before we get the results of these interpretations.

These six modalities are, essentially:

Our ways of thinking.

Most of us grew up, being taught that the world is what the world is. We have to learn this. Do that. Get a job. Start a family. Make some money. Be happy. Respect the elders. Grow old and that kind of story. All these are internal representations, absorbed by us, but, created, generally, by the people from around us.

One day, as we start to wonder, we realize that everything we call life and the world is just stuff that other people made up. Other people who are not necessarily smarter, or better, than us.

They are just other people.

As we continue to wonder we may realize all the people we admire are not smarter than us: all the artists. All the leaders, all the business captains, all the inventors and all the rich and famous. We notice they just express themselves differently than we do.

They work with the same stuff we work. They have the same stuff we have:

  • the earth,
  • the soil,
  • the water,
  • the seeds,
  • the plants,
  • the minerals and animals,
  • the sun and the light,
  • the rain and the wind,
  • the sounds,
  • the tastes, the smells, the feelings, and our minds,
  • and, that is all.

All the information we can also perceive, put together in endless new ways.

As we begin to observe these things, and we feel ready to learn and be like the high achievers, we also discover a fascinating process we go through whenever we learn something, anything. Have a look:

Step 1

For starters, we are not very good at whatever we are learning; like how to think deliberately? We don’t even know we are not good at it. We are like little babies bumping into walls, and falling without stopping, until they can walk, regardless of how long it takes. This is called unconscious incompetence.

Step 2

The moment we start to learn something and pay attention to what we are doing, we become conscious of what we don’t know. This is called conscious incompetence.

Step 3

While we continue to learn, things begin to fall into their right place, and, start to make sense, giving us a sense of familiarity and safety. This is called conscious competence. We know we are good at whatever we are good at.

Step 4

Now we feel better and better because we get better and better. We continue to be good at whatever we are doing and we became unconsciously competent.

Step 5

Lastly, we get great at doing whatever it is, without even paying attention to it anymore. That’s when we achieved excellence in whatever it is that we are doing. It could be this study of deliberate thinking, it could literally be anything.

Pace yourself, be persistent, you can only get excellent.

The steps I have outlined here are the very steps you, too, are going through, right now, as you are reading this book. I promise, you will be excellent at anything you do, as you think about and master the ideas in here. Master the mechanics of the life continuum process, master each phase: wondering, conceiving, receiving, perceiving, filtering, opening and understanding.

At first, I didn’t understand much of what Bill Harris was teaching me. Now, after about over a decade of continued study of many fascinating subjects, I’ve changed my paradigm, my self-image.

I can allow myself to be more than ever before.

If I could transform:

So can you.

We’ll discuss more our paradigm and self-image, together with how we are creating these things, in the coming episode.

Until then, be well.

You can find all the episodes of the “Think Zing!” series hosted at The Zingnificent Show.

Sandi Dragoi

Informal Educator, Author of "Think Zing! How to be YOU!", "Transformation Inside-Out" online course, and other self-awareness courses and books. The Host of The Zingnificent Show, Speaker & Personal Instructor. Above everything, Dad, in Love! ❤️

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