Anchoring in Five Simple Steps
Even if you are not aware of them every day you are responding to anchors. An anchor is simply an
external stimulus which creates an internal state. NLP teaches you how to create your own anchors
so that you are able to trigger a resourceful state whenever you need one. In this guide you will
learn how to create your own anchors so that you can easily place yourself in a resourceful state
anytime you want.
Step One: Identify the State
The first step is to identify what kind of state you want to be in. Certain states will be appropriate for
some situations but not for others. A state of energy and self confidence maybe appropriate if you
are giving a speech. However if you are counselling a patient one on one you may need a state which
is more passive and observational.
Step Two: Recall the State
The next step is to recall a time that you were in this state in the past. The context of the situation
does not need to be the same as the one you are facing but the emotions and feelings should be the
same. For example if you are facing a driving licence test and you want to ensure that you will be in a
resourceful state for it you should recall at time in your past where you were feeling capable and
relaxed. For example maybe you play tennis and you can recall a time that you were playing
particularly well and without seeming to apply a lot of effort.
Step Three: Experience the past State
Once you have established what past state you will be using it is time to recall it as vividly as possible.
In your mind picture yourself there now. Using the tennis example once again recall what it is what
like on that day. See yourself effortlessly hitting the ball. Recall how confident you felt in your
abilities. Hear the sound of the ball hitting the racquet. The idea is to use as many of your senses as
possible when you are recalling your state.
Step Four: Set the Anchor
Now while you are in this peak state and still fully engaged with the experience it is time to drop the
anchor. The standard anchor most people use is a hand movement. When you are creating your
anchor try and use a hand movement that you don’t normally use. You might want to try a fist pump
or firmly gripping your fist. Create something that is distinctive for that state. You do not have to do
a physical motion however you could also picture something visual in your mind’s eye so that it is
linked to this state. Use whichever of the senses you feel is your strongest.
Step Five: Use the Anchor
Now when you need to get yourself back into that state simply fire the anchor. For example when
you are taking the drivers licence test simply perform your action which might be a fist pump and
you will bring yourself back to the resourceful state.
In order to firmly implant the anchor you may need to repeat this exercise multiple times until you
can easily create the resourceful state that you require simply by dropping the anchor. However
once you have fixed this anchor you will find it easy to recall the state whenever you require.