Language is power of our representation

Our language gives us many examples of the power of our representations. What do we mean when we say that a person has a bright future? How do you feel when a person says the future looks dim? What are you stating when you talk about shedding light on a subject? What do we mean when we say someone blew something out of proportion or has a distorted image of something? What do people mean when they say something weighs heavily on their mind or they feel they have a mental block? What do you mean when you say that something sounds about right or rings a bell; or that everything clicked?

We tend to assume those phrases are just metaphors. They are not. They are usually quite precise descriptions of what’s going on inside the mind. Think back to a few minutes ago when you took an unpleasant memory and enlarged it. Remember how it accentuated the negative aspects of the experience and put you in a negative state? Can you find a better way to describe that experience than to say you blew it out of proportion? So we instinctively know how powerful our mental images are. Remember that we can control our brain; it does not have to control us.

Here is a simple exercise that helps many people. Have you ever been plagued by an insistent internal dialogue? Have you ever been in a position where your brain wouldn’t shut up? Lots of times our brain runs dialogues over and over again. We debate points with ourselves or try to win old arguments or settle old scores. If that happens to you just turn down the volume. Make the voice in your head softer, farther away, and weaker. That takes care of the problem for many people. Or do you have one of those internal dialogues that is always limiting you? Now hear it say the same things, only in a sexy voice, in an almost flirtatious tone and temp: You can’t do that. How does it feel now? You may feel that you are even more motivated to do what the voice is telling you not to. Try it now and experience the difference.

Predicate Words:

Visual >

See
Look
View
appear
show
dawn
reveal
envision
illuminate
twinkle
clear
foggy
focused
hazy
sparkling
crystal clear
flash
imagine

Auditory>

Hear
Listen
Sound (s)
Make music
Harmonize
Tune in / out
Be all ears
Rings a bell
Silence
Be heard
Resonate
Deaf
Mellifluous
Dissonance
Attune
Overtones
Unhearing
Question

Kinesthetic>
Feel
Touch
Grasp
Get hold of
Slip through
Catch on
tap into
make contact
throw out
turn around
hard
unfeeling
concrete
scrape
unbudging
get a handle
solid
suffer

Unspecified>

Sense
Experience
Understand
Think
Learn
Process
Decide
Motivate
Consider
Change
Perceive
Insensitive
Distinct
Conceive
Be conscious
Know

Predicate Phrases:

Predicates are the process words (verbs, adverbs, adjectives) people use in their communication to represent their experiences internally through the visual, auditory, or kinesthetic modality. Listed below are some of the more commonly used predicate phrases.

Visual (see)>

An eyeful
An eyeful
Appears to me
Beyond a shadow of a doubt
Bird’s eye view
Catch a glimpse of
Clear cut
Dim view
Eye to eye
Flashed on
Get a perspective on
Get a scope on
Hazy idea
Horse of a different color
In light of
In person
In view of
Looks like
Make a scene
Mental image
Mental picture
Mind’s eye
Naked eye
Paint a picture
Photographic memory
Plainly see
Pretty as a picture
See to it
Short sighted
Showing off
Sight for sore eyes
Staring off into space
Take a peek
Tunnel vision
Under your nose
Up front
Well defined

Auditory (hear)>
Afterthought
Blabbermouth
Clear as a bell
Clearly expressed
Call on
Describe in detail
Earful
Express yourself
Give an account of
Give me your ear
Grant an audience
Heard voices
Hidden message
Hold your tongue
Idle talk
Inquire into
Keynote speaker
Loud and clear
Manner of speaking
Pay attention to
Power of speech
Purrs like a kitten
Outspoken
Rap session
Rings a bell
State your purpose
Tattletale
To tell the truth
Tongue tied
Tuned in / tuned out
Unheard of
Utterly
Voiced an opinion
Well informed
Within hearing range
Word for word

Kinesthetic (feel)>

All washed up
Boils down to
Chip off the old block
Come to grips with
Control yourself
Cool / Calm / collected
Firm foundations
Floating on thin air
Get a handle
Get a load of this
Get in touch with
Get the drift of
Get your goat
Hand in hand
Hang in there
Healed argument
Hold it!
Hold on!
Hot head
Keep your shirt on!
Know how
Lay cards on table
Light headed
Moment of panic
Not following you
Pain in the neck
Pull some strings
Sharp as a tack
Slipped my mind
Smooth operator
So-so
Start from scratch
Stiff upper lip
Stuffed shirt
Too much of a hassle
Topsy-turvy
Underhanded