What are Internal Representations?

Why are they so important, what do they mean to you, and why do you need to know about them?
Your Internal Representation will to a great extent determine your Focus. Sooner or later you will realize that you get in life what you focus on. You will learn about Focus and everything that has to do with your Focus throughout your coaching sessions. Your Focus determines your thinking, and your thinking determines your behavior and your behavior determines your results in life. So Focus is really, really important along with everything that is causing/influencing it. Internal Representation is directly responsible for a large chunk of your Focus, which makes it rather important to understand and utilize.

Your 5 Senses supply the information from the outside world directly to your Conditioned Mind for processing/filtering. This information, combined with your Self Talk (Ad) creates your Internal Representation.

Visual + Auditory + Kinesthetic + Olfactory + Gustatory + Self Talk = VAKOGAd = Internal Representation

Your Conditioned Mind is symbolic and it thinks and communicates using Pictures (V), Sounds (A), Feelings (K), Smells (O), Tastes (G) and Self Talk (Ad). It is very common to say “Be a positive person”, just be a positive thinker, but when people say be a positive thinker, they usually mean just words, just Self Talk (Ad).

Not many people are aware that there is more than just our Self Talk and they can’t teach you about the pictures that we make in our mind, the sounds that we hear, the feelings that we feel, the smells or tastes which are all part of our 5 Senses. Being a positive thinker in a way that will truly count would mean using not only words, but also the other 5 Senses that your mind is using to create your Internal Representation.

Because this is so important, we ought to use our Internal Representations with clear intention, aligning them with what we want. Let me give you an example of an internal dialog, let’s say you want to work out and you wanted to lift more weight than you ever lifted before. So you say to yourself, I can do it, I can do it, I can do it. All the while, holding a picture in your mind of not being able to do it! Or maybe you saw somebody not being able to do it, and then you have that picture in your mind. Or you were fussing too much about what your friends will say or do if you fail and you were busy with that kind of images, related negative emotions of embarrassment, etc… Now that’s counterproductive, is it not?

Another example is the warning signs on roads or in buildings. I wish someone would educate people who approve these signs and give them an update of our mind and its workings. What do you think, what kind of an internal representation do you create, when looking at a sign with a picture of a man falling on his back due to slippery floor. In our society it became normal to tell people what NOT to do, instead of telling them what to do.

What they don’t understand is that your Conditioned Mind doesn’t process negatives directly and that in order to process negation, it has to think of it first. Don’t slip! You would have to process slipping first in order to even think of not slipping. And in order to understand that information, your mind will have to process it through your VAKOG, which means that it will have to assign information to each of the modalities. Our mind thinks and process information through VAKOG all the time. There is always a sound assigned to the pictures that we create in our mind and there is always a feeling with it, and so on…

We got a saying in NLP and in Coaching: “always say it the way you want it”

What kind of feelings do you think you’d have with a picture of you slipping due to wet floor? What kind of Internal Representation would that create? And since that leads to focusing on it… we tend to produce the necessary behavior to manifest it in our lives. This is the basis for creating effective change.

Notice that it’s impossible to hold a negative directly in consciousness. If I was to say: “Don’t think of a bright pink elephant.” What are you thinking about? You would have to think of a pink elephant first, in order to not think about it. Think about that for a moment and realize that you can’t think about what you don’t want to think about without thinking about it.

So, each one of these 5 Senses and our Self Talk together, comprises our Internal Representation. Now when you understand this, you can consciously ask yourself: “What am I focusing on? Is my focus positive?” and from now that includes ALL of these six things that we can do in our mind. Including all of these things, is my focus toward what I want, or is my focus toward what I don’t want? Are all systems supportive toward the successful achievement of my goal? This is a difference that will make a huge difference in your life when creating your Internal Representation.



In the image above, we have certain Events happening in our life. These events, that information from the outside world will come in through our 5 Senses (VAKOG) plus our Self Talk (Ad).

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi wrote a book named “Flow” in 1986 and he stated that we get through our 5 Senses about 2 million bits per second and that our Conditioned Mind gets only 134 bits per second. The information gets Deleted, Distorted and generalized, based on our Filters as you know already.

This study has been updated by Quantum Physicists and we can now measure up to 400 Billion bits per second being received via our 5 Senses and only about 2000 bits per second being processed by our Conditioned Mind. Massive amount of information gets dropped and never reaches our Conscious Mind.

400 Billion Bps gets filtered to only 2000 bps and presented to our Conditioned Mind as reality that we live in. This means that we perceive the world based on our own wiring, our own Filters, our own Model of The World, etc…. We experience the world in our own unique way, not as it actually is. You see your 2000 bits of information will not be the same as mine. Everyone filters the information differently, we all Delete, Distort and Generalize the information in our own way, based on our own filters.

One Response to Internal Representations

  1. Celia says:

    So now I know how I see what I see. Thanks for the cool explanation.