Change the Meaning of Your Experience with NLP Sub Modality Shifts

We are all familiar with the NLP modalities which are the macro approach to NLP and they consist of the Visual, Olfactory, Auditory, Kinaesthetic and Gustatory.

These are the basic references which we use to give meaning to our experiences.

The next layer down being the sub modalities which in effect are the micro or more detailed approach that enables us to deal with our experiences in a much more precise way.

The concept of the modality shift enables us to change the basic meaning of an experience or feeling and it also enables us to refine it.

About 30 years ago, it was Richard Bandler who provided us with an understanding of how to describe and model experiences through sub-modality shifts rather than what until then had been the traditional approach of using NLP purely as a means of enhancing experiences.

In effect, the technique is no more than delving a further layer down from the main heading of NLP modalities.

How do Sub Modalities Work.

Sub modalities provide us with the ability to more accurately define the qualities of our experiences and memories. In other words, we can add colour in the picture and thus generate far more detail and subtlety.

It was discovered that when an experience generated an emotional response, that emotional response could be modified by certain sub-modalities. The converse was also true in that a shift in sub modalities could modify the emotional response.

Manipulate Your Emotions to Benefit You.

In other words, sub-modality manipulation can create change within an individual. It can achieve this in a very direct way, especially when dealing with ‘critical’ sub modalities.

Sub-modalities shifts have become almost indispensable in altering the ‘meaning’ of an experience by means of refining the meaning of the experience through concentrating on the sub-modalities.

An example of a sub modality shift.

The sub-modality shift is best explained by example and it consists of calling up the sub modalities of for instance, a pleasurable experience, followed by calling up the sub modalities of a not so pleasant experience, and then superimposing the pleasurable sub-modalities onto the second experience.

  • Let us consider two different types of activity – one, which is pretty routine, such as brushing your hair.
  • Secondly, imagine an activity which perhaps is not so routine but you would like it to be routine. For instance, some form of study which you have always meant to do, but never quite got round to it.

You now have two separate pictures to work on. We’ll start with the first.

Think of yourself brushing your hair.

  • What do you see?
  • How good is the pictures that you are imagining?
  • How big is the picture that you are imagining?
  • Is it in close-up? Is it in colour?
  • Are the colours bright and shiny?
  • Can you imagine the movement in your picture?
  • Are you able to hear the noise made by the brush?

Remember, you are working on the qualities of the picture.

The next stage involves you taking the ‘study’ picture and applying exactly the same sub modalities to it.

  • Once again, how big is the picture that you are imagining of yourself studying?
  • Is it in close-up?
  • Etc, etc.

Simply apply exactly the same sub modalities that you did to brushing your hair.

The next part of the process is familiar to all NLP practitioners. ‘Breakaway’ – Count backwards from 10 and distract yourself from the process you have just undertaken.

Now think about the studying again.

  • Have your feelings towards it changed?
  • Depending on how intensely you visualised, you could now be in a position to feel as good about studying as you did about brushing your hair.
  • If not, then do it again until you have achieved the change. It can happen surprisingly quickly and it has been achieved by a simple swap, or in other words, a sub-modality shift.

The word ‘feel’ is key because it is your feelings which will determine what you do and even what you think. That in turn inevitably leads to a behaviour-shift.

You can also change the way you feel using hypnosis - test it out for free - here.