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Exploring Your Internal Map Of Reality Part 6: Modalities and Submodalities (Part 3 of 3)

(Continued from Part 2)

Modalities and Submodalities help you keep track of your beliefs, values and decisions.

The importance of modalities and submodalities is that they are instrumental in accounting for your filters such as beliefs and values.

Shop Window ClothesFor instance, when you go shopping – say for some clothing – you will use your modalities to assist you in selecting the garments based on a number of factors: how does it look, how does it feel, etc.

Then you will compare these with your internal representations of what is good, what is comfortable or what is appropriate for you.

For ‘visual’ people the look is important. For ‘kinaesthetic’ people the feel or touch is important. For ‘auditory digital’ people, the price or ‘value for money’ is important. Some people may object to the smell of the garment, but others may love it.

Menu FrancaiseWhen selecting a meal at a restaurant, the same parameters may apply but obviously the olfactory and gustatory rep. systems will play a greater role.

However, for some people the look and presentation of a meal is important, and of course, others will look at the prices!

Characteristics of modalities.

For each modality there are a number of different characteristics that are important. For instance for visual modalities there are:

  • large / small
  • bright / dim
  • location, e.g. top left, bottom right etc.
  • focused / unfocused
  • near / far
  • a movie / a still
  • if moving, fast / slow
  • panoramic / framed
  • monochrome / colour
  • 3D / flat
  • associated (you are inside the image) /disassociated  (you are outside the image)

The same applies for the other modalities.

SoundFor instance, with sounds there could be

  • coming from: a certain direction
  • coming from: near /or far
  • loud / soft
  • inside your head / outside of your head
  • fast or slow
  • high or low in pitch
  • clear or distorted
  • cadence or rhythm
  • continuous or intermittent
  • of a certain timbre

Modalities can help you change values and beliefs

When we consider the characteristics of modalities around our beliefs, for instance, we can also change or remove a belief by altering its modalities.

For instance, to make us disbelieve something we could make its sounds softer and less distinct, or we could change its image to be far away and dissociated.

The same applies to something you want to believe but don’t. You could make the sounds louder and very distinct and change its image to be right in front of you and with yourself in the image.

Modalities can correct self defeating behaviour.

mini-meMany of us have experienced the annoying little voice in our head that tends to annoy us – I call this my mini-me!

You know, it is always telling you what to do and what not to do and making judgements that don’t serve you.

The way you can correct this problem is to play around with the modalities. For instance, you can change the vocal timbre, the loudness and it’s relative position to you. Make the voice really soft, move it far away from you, and make it sound like a clown or Donald Duck! Make fun of it if necessary!

Once you do this, you’ll find that it will no longer bother you and perhaps even disappear out of your consciousness.

The same applies with bad feelings – make them less intense, move them away from you and they will become less significant to non-existent.


Modalities and Submodalities are the way that we store and use information that comes into our mind from the outside world. We can change these to serve us better by altering their characteristics.

If you would like to do an online test of your preferred rep. system, please visit this web site.