I’ve been promising a few of you to write this article for some time and so finally here it is.
An Anchor is a trigger or stimulus that retrieves a desired emotional state. A great example of an anchor is when you hear a piece of music that brings back a particular emotion or feeling associated with something that you were doing. E.g. you could have been with a loved one, listening to a particular song. A month, two months, a year or even ten years down the line, you may hear that song but experience those feelings and emotions as if you were there right now.
Anchoring is such a powerful tool because with it, you can recall any particular emotional state that you desire. You could create an anchor for creativity, and anchor for motivation, an anchor for feeling powerful, an anchor for love, an anchor for happiness. Etc.
We are constantly creating anchors. Every day all the time anchors are being formed through the repetitive actions we are doing and associated feelings we are having. E.g. you might have anchored yourself to feeling motivated for training by hearing a particular song. When I want to get ready to play a badminton match or go to the gym I might put “Eye of the Tiger” on my iPod because I have automatically associated success to that song through watching the Rocky movies.
Marketing companies are creating Anchors for us all the time. When they create T.V. commercial they may use a song with a brand. Recently they did an advert for a new car with a song called “Don’t rain on my parade” by Bobby Darrin which happens to be one of my favourite songs. Now, whenever I listen to that song I think of that car and whenever I see that car I end up automatically humming or singing that song.
The great thing about this is now that you know about anchors you can begin to form your own to serve you. Creating an anchor is easy. There are three core things that are important when creating an Anchor and they are:
It is important for your anchor trigger to be unique. The reason for this is because you don’t want your anchor to become diluted or accidentally fired off at the wrong time.
Initially when you create the trigger you must ‘stack the anchor’ and so the more times you set the trigger during the peak of your emotional state the more that trigger will become associated with that emotion and the more it will be effective for you.
When creating your anchor you must do it at the peak of emotional intensity. So if the emotion you want to experience is absolute and total empowerment and motivation. Get yourself to that state by either remembering a time when you were in that state or imagine what it would be like to be in that state. At this point, for this kind of emotion it’s a good idea to get your whole body involved as this will add to the intensity.
So lets put all these together.
1. Firstly, think of an emotion you would like to anchor. Absolute self confidence perhaps? Or the feeling of being unstoppable maybe?
2. Think of an anchor that you would like to use. I first learned about anchoring when I was listening to one of Chris Howard’s tapes on NLP and one of the anchors he uses is to tuck his thumb into his fist and that was unique enough to create a powerful trigger.
3. Recall the emotion you wish to anchor and get yourself at the peak of emotional intensity
4. Engage your trigger. Once you’ve done that, release your trigger and get yourself back to your normal state.
5. Repeat as much as you like, the more you do it, the stronger the anchor becomes. (Lather, rinse, repeat!)
That’ s pretty much it. Now you have the tools to create a powerful anchor that you can use at any time. Lets say you’re feeling depressed and you want to get yourself out of it. If you’ve created your anchor well as soon as your trigger it you will be able to break that emotional state and be in the empowered place that you wish you be.
Without even realizing it, I’ve just anchored you. From now on, whenever you see or hear the word anchor or you see a picture of one, you will remember the anchoring process.