My World is Different From Yours

The world is perceived by us, the world itself, is neutral

How many times have you found yourself in a situation where one and the same event is perceived completely differently by different people?

Sports events. A goal for Team A is celebrated by fans of Team A and mourned by fans of Team B. One event. Two opposite reactions. For fans of Team B, this is a terrible event. For fans of Team A, this is a wonderful event.

Is it the same, but different?

We experience the world as we are. We see and feel the world as we perceive events, which can differ from the way someone else perceives events.

There is no meaning attached to a player scoring a goal. It is the individual watching the match who gives it meaning. Some people attach it positively, some people attach it negatively. How can this be so vastly different? Let’s take a quick look at the Meaning Making process.


NLP refers to this process as ‘Meaning Making’, which occurs when your subconscious attaches a feeling to something neutral.

As children, we are usually taught what is good and what is bad. It is obvious that team A conceding a goal is a bad thing. Your meaning has already been assigned to you at a young age, and the mourning fans of team A are reinforcing your meaning today by saying ‘you’re right’. Holy cow!

It tells us that our subconscious brain is preoccupied with experiencing events, and is scrolling through all (yes, all) of your memories and past references to find the right meaning and emotion to attach to this particular event. We find it difficult to change because of this.

Becoming aware that your subconscious mind attaches meaning and emotions from the past to current experiences allows you to notice that your reactions might be different from others’.

My airplane experience

When someone in the airplane seat in front of me reclined their seat, I explode.

As someone reclined its seat again one day, I was, to put it mildly, visibly annoyed. How can this person do this? Doesn’t he see I’m a tall person? Why is this person too occupied with himself to realise it’s bothering me?

I realized that I was one of the few people who was visibly irritated by people reclining their seats. When I examined my memory, I found the ‘root cause’ of this meaning. By now, my conscious brain was even supporting my emotion with somewhat rational thoughts. My family was the one who responded that way. I simply copied their behavior. The same event, different meaning.

At 30, I realized that meaning was assigned to me at a young age.

This is something we must fully grasp before we can make any changes. NLP provides us with a map to help us change the meaning we attribute to events.

Your NLP Certified Life Coach can help you

With the help of your NLP coach or NLP certified life coach, you will be able to evoke emotions and triggers and re-associate them with events through an exercise called Anchoring. A more easy thing that you, yourself can do already is to ‘break your emotional state’.

Whenever you feel like certain emotions are getting the best of you. Take a break, a walk or anything that gets you away from your current place and current emotion.