How We View The World

How We View The World


We experience the world through our 5 senses; sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. Due to the amount of information we receive our mind will delete, distort and generalise information both on a conscious and unconscious level.

With the information that is left we filter this with our past experiences, our values and beliefs.  We all end up with our own version of the world, we do not see the world as it really is, this in turn affects our behaviour. One person after eating some fast food will see this as a nice one of treat, which will end in a positive state. While a second person after eating the same fast food, will feel awful as they think about the extra weight they have just put on (remember the Pain and Pleasure exercise?).



The External World

We constantly, see, feel, hear, smell and taste our external world and are only consciously aware of a few of these, which is good or we would easily be overwhelmed.


We delete large amounts of our experiences, deletion is essential as we need to be selective about using our attention. Imagine crossing a busy road on the high street, you need to be aware of your current situation (crossing the road safely) not concentrating on the thousands images, smells, feelings, taste and sounds around you.


We use distortions to bring meaning to our world; distortion adds weight to our beliefs and values, and is the basis for our creativity as well as our paranoia. An example of distortion is when you think you recognise someone on the street, as you take a second look it is not the person you thought it was.  A second example is when your boss didn’t say hello to you in the morning, you take this as your boss not being happy with you, where as the reason maybe a recent break-up your boss has gone through which has made him upset and quite on that particular day. We try to make sense of what we see and hear and can end up with the wrong meaning; a gesture can have several meanings.


We generalise from our past experiences, creating our own rules and beliefs – you may say “I will never gain a promotion” just because you was not offered a promotion from your past two past job interviews. You may use generalisations to keep you safe by creating a phobia of dogs after a dog recently attacked you – does that mean all dogs will attack you?

Your Filters

Deletions, distortions and generalisations (DDG) can be both negative and positive; by being aware of how our filters work we gain a better insight to our own map of the world. The DDG filters feed our decision making process, when your thinking about starting a new task you will visualise yourself doing the task with either PAIN or PLEASURE, because of your personal filters and I would add the you already know how to motivate yourself and change your filter to empower you by returning to the first exercise; Making Decisions – Pain and Pleasure

Record 2 examples of positive and negative filters that has shaped your life:

Deletion – Negative Deletion – Positive
Example; forgetting to pay bill’s









Examples; deleting the sound of traffic when going to sleep



Distortion – Negative Distortion – Positive
Example; believing that someone is out to get you (with no real evidence)









Example; taking someone’s criticism as them offering you advice
Generalisation – Negative  Generalisation – Positive
Example; telling yourself limiting beliefs such as “I will never fall in love”









Example; telling yourself “I can do anything I put my mind too”


Internal Map

As we think about the world around us we use feelings, pictures, sounds, smells and taste. This happens when I say “don’t think of a pink elephant” in order to make sense of what I have told you to do, you first have to represent what you heard with a picture.

If I ask you to think about a past holiday, your experiences which have been distorted and parts deleted and generalised will be represented by an image or movie in your mind, you may also recall sounds, smells, taste and feelings.

Your State

What you represent in your mind can alter your current state, if the holiday brought back negative images and feelings you may feel bad, angry or sad and this will change your behaviour. Other people who were asked the same question may remember positive holiday times which in turn may give them a positive state changing their behaviour.

Our states change hundreds of times throughout the day, have you ever snapped at someone when you know you shouldn’t have? Or for some reason you just felt on top of the world, wanting to help others and you don’t know why? This is because your state has affected your behaviour.

THIS IS AN EXTRACT FROM The On-line Coaching Course 
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