NLP Submodalities - Change your Reality


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Well, the easiest way to explain what to do next is by way of an example. Let's imagine for a moment that you have a particular feeling that makes you feel very uncomfortable.

Now you could use the techniques within the lesson NLP Memory Manipulation - Change the Content of your Memories and change the content.

Or you could change the intensity of the feeling based on the submodalities.

Perhaps you noticed that changing the brightness of an image affected the feeling such that by turning the brightness up the feeling intensified.

So one thing to try would be to lower the brightness of the uncomfortable memory and see if this has an effect.

Chances are that it will, but there is also a very good possibility that once you stop thinking about it, the image will quietly revert back.

So how do you make the change stick? There are a number of ways. One way is simply to keep making the shift until it sticks.

With all submodality shifts, the quicker they are done the better. Also, ensure that when repeating a shift, there is a break between each attempt so you don't just create a loop where the shift occurs again and again.

There is a better way.

This technique is based on three common submodality shifts. If these shifts do not work in the same way for you then you should pick your own three, ensuring that you use two analogue submodalities and one digital submodality. For this exercise, we're going to assume that, for you a feeling is diminished when an image is disassociated, diminished when an image is further away, and diminished when the brightness is reduced.

Exercise 3:

Remember something from your past that makes you feel uncomfortable. Notice where the image is in space.

Notice how bright the image is, and notice whether you are in the image or viewing it through your own eyes.

Now take the image and as quickly as possible, move it far away, turn down the brightness, and quickly switch to a dissociated image. Hold the image in that position for a moment and notice how it feels, then simply distract yourself by thinking of something else.

Now image the original image in its original form and quickly do the three shifts again, hold it, then distract yourself.

Repeat the shift five or six times, and then after a few moments, try to remember the event and see what happens. Does the image appear in its original form, or does it shift on its own?

One of the reasons that this is effective is that it is very difficult for your brain to reverse all three shifts, so it's tough to get back to the original condition.


This lesson covers the basics of submodalities, and the best way to improve is to experiment with as many of the submodalities as possible and work out what works for you. There are many NLP exercises based around submodality shifts of various sorts, and you should be able to work out the underlying process of them. As well as adjusting the bad memories, there is nothing to stop you adjusting the good ones too (in the opposite direction obviously).

Further Reading

The following exercises extend on the ideas covered above:

NLP Compulsion Blowout

Whether you are a compulsive eater, smoker, or just someone who wants to control a habit, then the NLP Compulsion Blowout is the exercise for you.

NLP Swish Pattern

Replace the unresourceful representations that gets in they way of you achieving what you want, with more resourceful ones.

As usual, enjoy your practice, and good luck!



Previous comments


When I try to visualize something I find that it's really blurry. So blurry that whenever I try and work out how a the particular submodalities 'look' I really can't tell.

Also, if I try and move an image around, I can't get it to stay where I want, and it just moves around.

It's really frustrating. How can I make my images clearer?

Nick, Glasgow

Posted May 8, 2010 at 12:43

No Need to Struggle

Firstly, this issue comes up a lot. Surprisingly, many people think that they visualize worse than other people, but the truth is that no one really knows how well anyone else visualizes. The best thing to do is to keep practicing. When it comes to stabilizing images, practice should help you. If one of the exercises asks you a question about an images submodalities and you're not sure of the answer, then guess - you'll find that this will do fine.

Chris Harrison, UK

Posted May 14, 2010 at 20:17

Like light at the end of the tunnel

I have an unusual, but by no means unique, phobia that I'm only just getting to grips with. I tried this exercise on an unrelated memory from my childhood that definitely made me squirm when I thought of it. But now it's gone off into the distance and does all by itself whenever I think of it. I don't get that horrible feeling anymore. And it was SUCH a physical feeling. I'm starting to believe my fears can be conquered.

Jenny, Florida

Posted January 22, 2012 at 23:26

Great Stuff!

Good Stuff, Jenny. There is something really rewarding when you come to test a submodality change and the picture zooms off automatically.

Chris Harrison, UK

Posted January 25, 2012 at 13:30

to keep good relationship with others

as a it was really helpful for me personally and make progress in my clients. expecting more in this area. thank you for your writings.

nithin, India

Posted January 22, 2012 at 23:26