Understanding Me - and You!
Effective Thinking
Emotional Intelligence
Decision Making

NLP Anchoring

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In Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), anchors are used to change ‘state’. A state is our way of being in any moment and consists of our physiology, emotions and patterns of thought. To perform at your highest level, you need to be in the state that is most ‘in tune’ with the demands of the situation. But how do you achieve this ‘resourceful state’ when you are under pressure? When faced with the challenge of delivering a critical presentation how do you banish nerves and deliver with skill, enthusiasm and passion?

Television advertisements rarely provide you with rational, logical case about why you should buy a product. Instead, they use puppies, happy families and attractive celebrities because they know such things will activate neurons associated with positive thoughts and emotions. And because these are activated at the same time as the product is on-screen, a connection is formed between the two. So, when you are in the supermarket and see the product on the shelf it acts as a trigger for the activation of the pleasurable feelings you experienced while watching the advertisement. This is, of course, happening unconsciously.

In NLP you connect your resourceful state with a trigger, such as placing the tip of your middle finger against the tip of your thumb on your right hand.

The process, in outline, is as follows:

  • you visualise delivering a perfect presentation, thinking about the environment that you will be in, the people that you will be delivering to, but most of all focusing on what you will do – how you will speak, gesture, smile. You visualise yourself acting with confidence and passion, delivering flawlessly. You feel positive. This activity is intense.
  • when you are in this resourceful state, you hold your middle finger and thumb tips together
  • at the end of your visualisation, you disconnect your thumb and finger and clear your mind
  • repeat these stage, ensuring that you feel strong and confident each time
  • just before you begin your presentation, you connect the tips of your thumb and middle finger, triggering the feelings of confidence and passion that you generated during your visualisation

It is the intensity of the visualisation that ensures that the trigger elicits the desired response.