Basic NLP anchoring can be done by pairing a physical touch with a behavior or feeling you want to have at your disposal. Everyone’s life is affected by anchors, even though one does not set it up intentionally.
Public speakers use it, athletes use it, sports people use it and millions of other ordinary people make use of it on every day basis.
The Brain That Changes Itself
Noman Doidge coins a term from neuroscience that is not very wildly used outside the realms of academic research in his genius book THE BRAIN THAT CHANGES ITSELF.
“Neurons that Fire Together, wire Together.”
The above brilliant phrase suggests that if you do two separate things repeatedly at the same time, then the neurons required for each task will fire over and over again at the same time. As a result of which, they will fuse together so that one of the neurons firing will arouse and stimulate the other one too.
NLP describes this term as an ANCHOR and in Psychotherapy it’s often called a TRIGGER.
You may have plenty of anchors, some bad, some good and some exceptional. You may have a certain smell that instantly takes you back in your childhood days and leaves you exceptionally happy. Similarly, you many have a negative anchor such as a melody that when you listen to makes you sad before you had a chance to indulge in the song completely. It could be because this song was playing in your car when you heard a bad news?
A guide on how you can set an anchor for yourself.
1. Figure out how you want to feel. Say, more confident.
2. Remember a time when you felt very confident in your life. You surely must have one such memory. Relax and let that memory come to you.
3. Choose an anchor device that involves touch, such as touching your forefinger and thumb together or making a fist.
4. Remember what you felt, heard or saw in your confident memory. Put yourself entirely in your memory for this. You cannot view this memory from a distance otherwise the feelings won’t come back. You have got to “be there” again.
For example, touch your thumb and forefinger together as the confident feeling increases. Release your thumb and forefinger when the feeling begins to subside. And if you do this well, there no reason why you shouldn’t feel more confident by the end of this. This sets your anchor.
5. Test the anchor by repeating the activity in exactly the same way again and find out if you are able to naturally access that confident state.
A couple of warnings.
Firstly, while setting an anchor, you are using your senses to create a state that you want to access at some future date.
Also, this is designed in a way to give a short, sharp shock to the system and move from one state to another quickly. Which translates to, if you set an anchor for confidence, firing it can give you the sense of confidence that you desire, but IT MAY NOT BE PERMANENT.