Jun 222011

AnchoringYou might have heard about Pavlov, who found that he could condition dogs to salivate by just ringing a bell, with no food in sight.  The dogs were conditioned to associate the bell ringing with food.  In NLP, what Pavlov did is called Anchoring.

Anchoring plays a large role in our lives.  We have anchors that work for us and anchors that unproductive.  For example, we all have a song that makes us feel good… or bad.

Think of the associations you have with:

  • a special perfume
  • a taste of a memorable meal
  • someone who is close to you
  • the memory of a particular time in your life

Through NLP, you have a chance to create your own anchors and access them whenever you want.

Imagine having the people around you associate feeling good with you!  How would that change your relationships with them?  How would that change your life?

So, how does anchoring work?

A stimulus could be anything from a touch, a tone of voice to looking at a picture.  Imagine, how does it feel when that certain person tells you that they love you with that certain tone of voice?  For example, someone has an intense emotional experience and at a point during that experience, a specific stimulus is applied to create a neurological link between that stimulus and emotion.  It is important that the stimulus is used at a certain point of the experience and it is suitably unique so that the stimulus and the experience get associated with each other.

Let’s try an exercise to develop a self-confidence anchor.

Think of a time when you were totally confident and you felt powerful.  There wasn’t a doubt in your mind. Bring to mind that time, see what you saw, hear what you heard and feel those feelings. Make them vivid and intense – the colours, the sound, the feeling – they will peak and subside.  Start clenching your fist as they peak and release as they subside. Repeat this and then test by clenching your fist.  If you have done it right, you should feel a welling up of those same emotions – confidence.

The effectiveness of the anchor depends on the strength of the emotional experience, the uniqueness of the anchor and number of times it is repeated.

Yes, it’s this simple!  Can you imagine the difference it can make to your life?  Imagine firing off this Confident anchor whenever you feel unsure of yourself….