28 Aug 2023
Have you ever experienced not seeing something that was right in front of you? Or have looked for something, when it was in your hand. Similarly, in life, we delete, miss and process things due to how we filter information.
As a coach trained in neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) one of the core concepts is the idea of deletion, which refers to the process by which an external event enters our sensory input channels and is filtered through a series of mental processes that eliminate certain elements of our perception.
During my coaching sessions, identifying and exploring deletions leads to a deeper understanding of personal bias and unconscious beliefs.
Good for: Challenging our own biases and limitations.
Best used by: You or a trained practitioner.
The first thing to acknowledge is that deletion is a natural and necessary process that allows us to navigate the overwhelming amount of information that bombards us every day. Our brains cannot process all of the information that we encounter, so we unconsciously filter out certain elements based on a variety of factors. These factors include our beliefs, values, interests, and past experiences.
For example, imagine that you are walking down a busy street in a city. There are countless sights, sounds, and smells vying for your attention, but you only pay attention to a fraction of them.
Your brain filters out the things that it deems unimportant or irrelevant to your current goals or interests. If you are in a hurry to get to a meeting, you may not even notice the street performers playing music on the corner. However, if you are a musician yourself, you may be more likely to pay attention to their performance.
Being aware of our own deletion patterns and how they may influence our perceptions and beliefs can be incredibly helpful for personal growth. By identifying the things that we are unconsciously deleting or filtering out, we can expand our awareness and challenge our own biases and limitations.
This can allow us to see things from different perspectives and make more informed decisions.
For example, if we have a strong belief or bias about a certain group of people or a particular issue, we may delete information that contradicts that belief or bias. By becoming aware of this deletion pattern, we can intentionally seek out information that challenges our beliefs and expands our understanding of the issue.
Deletion can be both helpful and harmful. On the one hand, it allows us to focus on what is important and relevant to our goals and interests. On the other hand, it can limit our perception and prevent us from seeing things from different perspectives.
However, if we continue to filter out information that contradicts our beliefs or biases, we may become closed-minded and resistant to change. This can prevent us from learning from our experiences, expanding our horizons, and developing new skills and perspectives.
For example, imagine someone who is a talented artist who has been struggling to find success in their field. Despite having several exhibitions and selling their artwork, they still feel like they are not good enough and that they'll never achieve the level of success they desire. When they look at their artwork, they only focus on the flaws and imperfections and delete the positive aspects.
In NLP, understanding the process of deletion can be incredibly useful for personal development and communication. By being aware of the factors that influence our perception and the things that we are unconsciously deleting, we can work to expand our awareness and improve our communication skills.
One way to do this is to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness involves being fully present and aware of our thoughts, feelings, and surroundings. By practicing mindfulness, we can become more aware of the things that we are deleting and expand our perception.
Another way to improve our communication skills is to be aware of the deletion patterns of others. By understanding the factors that influence someone else's perception, we can tailor our communication to better resonate with them.
Here are three useful questions to assist with questioning deletions.
What information am I unconsciously filtering out or ignoring when I encounter a certain situation or person?
What beliefs or values am I holding that may be influencing my deletion patterns?
How can I intentionally expand my awareness and seek out information that challenges my existing beliefs and values?
Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) experts have written extensively about the concept of deletion and its impact on our perceptions and beliefs. Here are some quotes from leading NLP practitioners on the topic:
"Deletion is the process of leaving out information, and it occurs unconsciously, without our awareness. We all filter information based on our beliefs and values, and these filters can limit our perceptions and understanding of the world around us." - Richard Bandler, co-creator of NLP
"Our perceptions are limited by the deletions we make. To expand our awareness, we need to intentionally look for what we are leaving out." - John Grinder, co-creator of NLP
"When we are aware of our deletion patterns, we can intentionally expand our perceptions and beliefs by seeking out information that contradicts our existing beliefs and values." - Judith DeLozier, NLP trainer and author
"Deletion is not necessarily a bad thing, as it helps us manage the overwhelming amount of information that we receive. However, when we are unaware of our deletion patterns, they can limit our growth and prevent us from fully experiencing the world around us." - Robert Dilts, NLP trainer and author.
In conclusion, deletion is a natural and necessary process that allows us to navigate the overwhelming amount of information that we encounter every day. However, it can also limit our perception and prevent us from seeing things from different perspectives. By understanding the process of deletion and practicing mindfulness, we can expand our awareness and improve our communication skills.
Thank you for reading
PS. Check out Reevew, the Personal Growth toolkit, dedicated to helping you master yourself, by answering thought-provoking questions to know and grow yourself. https://reevew.co
You get a 14-day free trial and you can cancel anytime.