What is the relationship of strategies to submodalities? Here is 3 techniques you need to know

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a psychological approach that involves analyzing strategies used by successful individuals and applying them to reach a personal goal. It relates thoughts, language, and patterns of behavior learned through experience to specific outcomes. Among its many concepts, strategies and submodalities hold prominent positions.

In order to answer the question of “what is the relationship of strategies to submodalities” this article will delve into these integral components, explore their interconnection, and reveal how understanding their relationship can enhance your personal and professional life.

Understanding Submodalities in NLP

Submodalities in NLP refer to the finer details or subdivisions of the sensory modalities (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory, and gustatory) that we experience. They are the subjective qualities of our experiences, the “building blocks” of our mental and sensory constructions. For example, in the visual modality, submodalities could include aspects like color, brightness, distance, and size. In auditory, it could be volume, pitch, tempo, etc.

Submodalities play a significant role in shaping our perception of the world. They contribute to how we structure our experiences and affect our reactions to different situations. Recognizing and understanding your personal submodalities can help you gain better control over your responses to stimuli.

Exploring Strategies in NLP

In the context of NLP, a strategy refers to a sequence of internal and external experiences that consistently leads to a specific outcome. They are the step-by-step processes or patterns we use to make decisions, motivate ourselves, learn, communicate, and generally get results in every area of life.

Strategies are essential in NLP because they offer a blueprint for success. They are the mental pathways that successful people tread to achieve their desired outcomes. Knowing how to decode these processes can provide powerful tools for personal and professional development.

The Intersection of Strategies and Submodalities

The relationship between strategies and submodalities is intriguing and symbiotic. Strategies determine the pathway, while submodalities influence the quality of the experience. By changing our submodalities, we can change our internal state and consequently, the effectiveness of our strategies.

For instance, if a person wants to overcome fear of public speaking, they could use NLP to identify the visual or auditory submodalities (like picturing a large, intimidating crowd or hearing negative feedback) causing the fear. By altering these submodalities (imagining a friendly, welcoming audience or hearing applause), they can change their emotional state and the outcome of their public speaking strategy.

Techniques and Methods

Identifying submodalities and developing strategies using them involves a few well-established NLP techniques:

1. Elicitation: This technique involves asking specific questions to determine the sensory representations and submodalities a person uses. For example, asking “What does the audience look like in your mind when you think about public speaking?” can identify visual submodalities.

2. Mapping Across: After identifying a negative submodality, this technique involves substituting it with a positive one from a similar successful experience.

3. Future Pacing: This method involves mentally rehearsing the new strategy with altered submodalities, reinforcing the new behavior until it becomes automatic.

What is the relationship of strategies to submodalities?

Impact of Combining Strategies and Submodalities

Understanding and using the relationship between strategies and submodalities can significantly improve various aspects of life. Here are some key areas where they play a crucial role:

1. Personal Development: By recognizing and adjusting your submodalities, you can alter your perception, overcome fears, boost self-confidence, and improve overall well-being.

2. Professional Success: Whether it’s improving communication skills, enhancing leadership qualities, or fostering team building, the strategic manipulation of submodalities can lead to notable improvements.

3. Mental Health: By altering submodalities, individuals can change their emotional responses to past traumatic experiences, helping in stress management and overcoming mental health issues like anxiety and phobias.

Challenges and Limitations

While the use of submodalities and strategies in NLP can be incredibly beneficial, it also comes with challenges and limitations. It’s not a “one-size-fits-all” solution. Each person’s internal representations are unique, so the effectiveness of changing submodalities can vary.

Moreover, it requires a deep level of self-awareness and practice to identify and alter one’s submodalities effectively. Without proper guidance, it can be difficult to execute these techniques correctly, and misapplication can lead to confusion or limited results.


The intertwining relationship between strategies and submodalities forms the core of NLP’s effectiveness. Understanding and leveraging this relationship offers powerful tools for change and development, impacting various facets of personal and professional life.

However, like any psychological approach, it requires self-awareness, practice, and possibly professional guidance. With a growing body of research and success stories supporting the use of NLP techniques, further exploration and understanding of these concepts can pave the way for breakthroughs in many fields, including psychology, business, education, and self-help.