The five senses: seeing, hearing, touching (feeling), smelling and tasting.

The representational systems in NLP are simply the five senses. We represent the world using the visual (images), auditory (sounds), kinesthetic (touch and internal feelings), gustatory (tastes) and olfactory (smells) senses. Our thinking consists of images, sounds, feelings and usually to a lesser extent, tastes and smells. The entirety of our experiences have been recreated through these senses in our memories and govern our capabilities and beliefs.

Our predominant representational system often shows up in our language, for example:

  • Visual: It looks good to me.
  • Auditory: I been hearing good things about it.
  • Kinesthetic: I feel good about it.

The qualities or attributes of the representations you make using your five senses are submodalities. Submodalities are the fine tuning to your representations and can be used to create powerful changes.