Anchors – Your Superpower?
This blog focuses upon one of the more commonly known NLP techniques of anchors and anchoring. Learning NLP is a powerful form of self-development enabling practitioners to work with others and benefit by using to themselves.
Would it be useful to feel in control, be in the right state at the right time and in the right place mentally, appropriate for the event or occasion?
Perhaps it’s when you are due to present or speak to a group of people and you want to feel super confident?
Or if you are in sales and you want to feel energised, excited and passionate when making calls?
Or in sport in a race and you want to feel strong and powerful?
Students on our NLP training learn how to do this through anchoring, the process of stimulus response (remember Pavlov’s Dogs?) Anchoring enables us to gain access to resourceful states from past experience and linking that past state to use both now and in the future.
We use anchors across any of the modalities (visual, kinesthetic, auditory, olfactory, gustatory) let’s examine this in more detail.
A visual anchor is when we see something we experience feeling a certain way (a state). Such as when you look at a photo from a great holiday, it makes you relieve and experience that state you were in at the time, perhaps relaxed or blissful.
Advertising makes use of anchoring our behaviour from TV, social media to shopping. (There are reasons why fresh produce are placed near the entrance of supermarkets.)
For Coaches or Pracitioners, if you use the same room to work with clients you can create a visual anchor. Every time you enter and see the room you feel a state (eg resourceful) or combination of states (eg resourceful, confident, self-belief, energetic and / or motivated). Just imagine being able to feel that way every time you run a session. Or if you don’t use the same room, you can bring an object with you like a photo, award or certificate and use that as an anchor. This is the same for an office, perhaps a chair, bag or award on a desk can be used as an anchor.
Are all about touch. A kinesthetic anchor is set off when you touch or feel something in a specific place, the most common places for touch anchors on a person are on a knuckle or pulling an earlobe. Examples in business can be a pair of shoes which when put on will make the wearer feel super confident or passionate (or whatever state or states are desired) so that they are in the desired state for the situation such as at meetings, networking events or giving presentations. Examples in sport may be using a favourite pair of running shoes, specific boxing gloves or a particular racket to be in a particular state such as focused, determined, strong or powerful.
Auditory anchors can be created using sound like a certain noise or particular song. We are already surrounded by many natural ones such as your mobile phone ringtone (gotta answer it!), music on social media or music used by supermarkets or your favourite motivational song which gets you up and singing.
How about anchors using smell? There are many powerful olfactory anchors already used in retail for example such as perfume, baking, coffee, disinfectant, chip shop, freshly cut grass or ‘new car’ smell.
What about anchors using taste? There are both positive and negative examples around tasting a particular type of food linking to how we feel (state). This is an interesting area when working with changing habits and behaviours relating to food consumption.
Are You Anchored?
So now are you are getting to grips with anchors and anchoring, you will be realising you are already familiar with them. What about being anchored by your pet to feed them? I know our cat had certain looks and meows when he expected to be fed or wanted attention! These are visual or auditory anchors.
What about when you see temporary traffic lights or cones for roadworks, What do you do? How do you feel? These are visual anchors even though we may feel irritated or frustrated for example.
On NLP training, practitioners learn to use anchors with purpose and volition to get results.
There are different ways to create anchors. They can be created separately, a stack of anchors (different versions of the same state) or combined anchors which can create the ultimate concoction of states – how useful would that be for your ‘superpower’?
Whilst this blog has focused upon positive, there is also the negative. Feeling irritated when we hear a noise (eg like a phone wake up alarm), or frustrated when an email arrives from a ‘certain’ person! We can collapse those negative anchors to give compelling positive responses – useful huh?
More Uses of Anchors
So far we have discussed using anchors for a desired way we want to be or feel, let’s take this further. We can replicate the same desired state or combine a mixture of desired states to increase the intensity of the anchor itself. Powerful huh?
We have all experienced procrastination at some point in our lives. You know when it’s a real struggle to get moving on a task or project when we really want to feel motivated about it. Chaining a number of anchors together allows us to move from a state of procrastination via a number of linked states like stepping stones to end up in motivation – just what we want!
Anchors can be considered as a superpower and a fantastic way to create your own superpower – whatever you wish it to be at work or at home.
Anchors and anchoring are just a small part of our comprehensive NLP Coach Practitioner Training on offer. Just imagine what other value you can realise in life and career through transformational change.