Jimmy Petruzzi NLP



Complete the following exercise


What does the word relationship mean to you?

Now ask five different people what the word relationship means to

them, and take note of the answers

Is every body answer different?

Have you ever watched a programmed on TV then gone into work the

next day and had a completely different perception of the programmed

to that of your work colleagues?

If you had two different sets of fans watching a football match and the

referee gave a close decision for a penalty to one team, would both

sets of fans reactions be the same?

Why do people respond differently to different situations?

Have you ever heard the expression “that person lives in their own


Well we all live in our own world which is unique to us and what forms

that unique experience and influences our behaviors thoughts feelings.

The key factors are our filters how we process information and

interpret the information.

(We will discuss each category later in the chapter first we will look at


how these components influence our behavior)

Our Language



Values and beliefs


Meta programs

Time/space, matter


How do the above components influence our behavior?


The explanation is as follows


We have established we all make sense of the world in our own way.

Our interpretations to events that are going on outside us are

perceived different from person to person, as a result the behaviours

that people manifest as a result.

First think about what is going through your mind at this present

moment in time, this very second. Think about all the thoughts and

feelings that are going through your mind this second. What are we

aware of, the objects around us, our past, our future, our life, and the

many thoughts which pass through our mind?

The things we stop and think about passing through our mind, what is

for tea, have I put the bins out, I should make that phone call later,

what’s on TV tonight, I might go for a drive, and the list goes on. What

are some of the things we notice and don’t notice; different thoughts

come into our mind at different times depending on what we focus on.

And at a conscious level we are limited to have many things we can

focus on, let me explain.


Our Conscious Awareness


It is estimated that your brain receives about four billion nerve

impulses every second. Are you consciously aware of all of this


information? No! For example, are you aware of how your feet feel on

the floor? Unless you have sore feet I suspect that you were not aware

of how your feet felt until I mentioned it. Why? Because it was not

important at the time and it was filtered out. Of the 4 billion bits of

information, you are only consciously aware of about 2,000 bits, or

about 0.00005 percent of all the potential information. To take in and

process more of this information would either drive you crazy or be

such a distraction that you could not function.

Do you consciously remember every step you perform driving in to

work in the morning, the traffic lights you stop at the gear changes.

The people, shops you drive past.

So of all the billions of nerve impulses our mind receives every second

how do we interpret the information the way we do?

How and why do we all see things different and what is the impact it

can have on our life? How do we decide to interpret the information?

What are the key components in breaking down this information to a

manageable level in order for us to make sense out of it?

Of the 4 billions nerve impulses that hit our mind every second, all of

our past memories, and future plans, every event that is happening,

all our interests, we Filter, delete, distort, and generalize this

information to the point we can make sense of it.


Filters – Deletions, Distortions and Generalizations


What happens to all of this other information? It is filtered from your

conscious awareness by deleting (i.e. how your feet feel against the

floor), distorting (i.e. simplifying) or generalizing. What you actually

delete, distort and generalize depends on your Beliefs, Language,

Decisions, Values, Memories, and Meta Programs.

For example your perception of a certain event can be completely

different based on the part of the world you live, your gender, your

religion, your experiences, let us look at a few examples to gain an

understanding of how they work.





Suppose you have a belief that ‘you are unattractive or you’re not a

clever person’. How would you react when someone approaches you

and says “You look very nice in that shirt or dress” “that was an

intelligent point”? Depending on the circumstances, you may dismiss,

discount or deflect their positive feedback. Internally you may think

they have not looked at it in detail and when they do they will find

something wrong and change their opinion. Suppose all day, people

tell you that you you’re attractive or you’re clever – do you really hear

them? Not likely! And then one person points out that your nose

looked a bit big on those holiday pictures, or the point you made at

work last week was bit odd. Does this resonate for you? You bet it

does! It verifies your belief about yourself. From a ‘filter’ perspective,

you have deleted and distorted the positive feedback and focused on

the negative. What beliefs do you have about yourself, about others,

about the world, that limit who you can be or what you can



Language (Words)


Words are a form of code to represent your interpretation of

something. Try this exercise, get a group of people together and have

each independently write down five words that for them means

‘exercise’. I will bet that nobody comes up with the same five words as

you do; and as a group you may not have any words in common. The

word ‘exercise’ is code for what exercise means for you and I suspect

that your friends have a completely different meaning for this word.

A perfect example are relationships , we enter into long and

sometimes heated discussions with our loved ones about ‘our

relationship’, without ever really discussing what ‘relationship’ means

to each other.





You make decisions (i.e. generalize) so that you do not have to relearn

things every day. If you want make a cup of tea, you learned a long

time ago (made the generalization) that you turn on the kettle, place a

tea bag in the cup – you do not have to go through the whole process

of relearning how to make a cup each and every time. Generalizations

are useful and they can also get us into trouble.

How many of us know how to open a door, in an experiment,

researchers put the doorknob on the same side of the door as the

hinge. What do you think happened when they left adults in the room?

They would go up to the door, grasp the doorknob, twist and then try

to push or pull the door open. Of course, it would not open. As a

result, the adults decided that the door was locked and they were

locked in the room! Young children, on the other hand, who had not

yet made the generalization about the doorknob, simply walked up to

the door and pushed on it and exited the room. The adults, because of

their decisions, created a reality of being locked in the room when in

fact they were not. So how many of your decision (generalizations)

about yourself, your partner, your boss the way it is at work, leave

you ‘locked in’, when others are not stopped by it?

One of our challenges is to discover those filters I have put in place

and how they affect what I see, hear, feel; how I react to others and

what I create in my life. Once you become aware of filters that do not

serve you, you can choose consciously to modify or remove them.


Internal Representations


Do you remember when you first fell in love, do you remember driving

in to work the other morning, and do you remember when you first

passed your driving licence? How do you remember it? Do you see a

picture in your mind, or are there smells or tastes? Were there sounds

– perhaps in your mind you can hear a radio? To remember an event,

your mind uses pictures, sounds, feelings, tastes, smells and words.


These perceptions of your ‘outside world’ are called internal

representations and are a function of your filters (i.e. beliefs and

values). Your perceptions are what you consider to be ‘real’ or in other

words your reality.

If you and I went out for dinner, our internal representations or

perception of dinner will most likely be similar and different in some

way – depending on what is important to each of us (our filters).

Dinner is not very controversial. But what about our views on a conflict

i.e. war or political situation. Given our different backgrounds, we may

perceive this very differently with significantly different reactions





Have you ever gone to see a movie with a friend, sat next to each

other, saw exactly the same movie and one of you thought it was the

best movie ever and the other thought it was terrible? How could that

happen? It is quite simple. You and your friend filtered the information

differently (different beliefs, values, decisions, etc.). In other words,

you perceived the movie differently and hence behaved differently in

your reaction to it.

By the way, who put your filters in place? You did! — based on what

happened in your family as you grew up, the teachings of your church

(or absence of church), the beliefs and values in the part of the

country where you lived, decisions you made about the world (i.e. a

safe place or a dangerous place), etc. If your filters are not creating

the results that you desire, you are the only person who can change

them. The first step is to become consciously aware of the filters you

have and what kind of reality (results) they are creating for you.


Internal Representations and Behaviours


Would you like to see the effect internal representations have on your

behaviours? Can you think of a really happy event in your life? Close

your eyes and get a picture of it in your mind, bring in any sounds,


feelings, tastes and smells. Fully experience the event in your mind.

Once you have done that, notice if there were any changes in your

physiology. Maybe as a result of these memories (internal

representations), you had a smile on the face, or sat up straighter, or

maybe breathed deeper. I am sure that your physiology changed in

some way. I did not ask you to change your physiology, did I? What

this demonstrates is that the pictures, sounds, etc. (internal

representations) that you make in your mind, influence your

physiology and as a result, your choice of words, the tone of voice you

use and the behaviours you manifest.

Now sit up straight, put a big smile on your face, and breathe deeply.

While you do that, feel sad. I will bet that you could not feel sad

without changing your physiology (i.e. shallow breathing, rounded

shoulders, etc.). This illustrates that your physiology influences your

internal representations (feeling sad or happy). Next time you are

feeling sad or down, what can you do? – Participate in some physical

activity (i.e. brisk walk, exercise).

Based on your previous experiences, you filter information about the

world around you. The resulting internal representations are how you

perceive the world (your reality) and this drives your behaviours, often

reinforcing that your perception of the world is ‘correct’.

For me, one of the benefits of discovering the filters I have put in place

and how they affect what I see, hear, feel; how I react to others and

what I create in my life. Once you become aware of those filters that

do not serve you, you can choose consciously to modify or remove

them to help you take control of your life and creating a life you want,

helping you break negative behaviours, un- productive thought,

limiting beliefs.

The next chapter focuses on how we can over come any negative


habits in a matter of moments, we can change the habits of a life time,

negative thoughts and behaviours within moments, just as I have

done with many thousands of clients over a number of years, you can

overcome your biggest fears, negative, thoughts and behaviours.

Taking control of your life.