Introduction To NLP Anchoring 5: The Circle Of Excellence

Vitruvian manIn the previous article in this series we covered the basics of how to set a resource anchor for yourself.

That technique used just one resource state, but we can ‘stack’ resource states and bring in physical movement to feel even more powerful in situations you find challenging. Here’s how.

This technique is called the ‘Circle of Excellence’, and it’s great for preparing for important upcoming events like presentations, sales meetings or interviews that you don’t feel as confident about as you would like to.

These are the steps – notice the similarities to the last exercise, and also the added extras that make it even more powerful. To do this one, you will ideally be able to stand up and move around.

As ever, you can do this exercise by yourself – and it will be even easier if you have someone guiding you through the instructions, a strong argument for having a ‘study buddy’ who is learning NLP with you.

  1. Identify an upcoming situation that you really want to go well, but you don’t feel as confident about as you would like to. Also identify how you would like to feel in that situation – your state of excellence that will enable you to perform better..
  2. Let go of that upcoming situation. Set up a ‘circle of excellence’ on the floor. What colour is it? How big? You’ll need it big enough to step into, so round about hula-hoop size is good.
  3. Access the excellent state and associate it with the circle:
    1. What does it feel like when you are in that state?
    2. Relive a time when you were in that state.
    3. As soon as you start to feel that state, step into the circle.
    4. Turn the state up even more.
  4. Step back out of the circle and break state.
  5. Test by stepping back into the circle. The excellent state should return.
  6. Think of your future situation (dissociated) where you want to have that excellent state. Is that state going to be strong enough to do the job? If it is, go on to the final step.
  7. This step is called future pacing – it’s where you make sure that the change you’ve made in the consulting room or the training room actually transfers to real life:
    1. As you look at your dissociated image of the challenging situation, notice what is the first sign that will let you know it’s time to have these resources available. It could be the something like a particular look on someone’s face, the action of stepping up to a podium, a particular sound, or whatever.
    2. Step into the circle as soon as you start to access the “problem” state again.
    3. Notice what happens – the problem state should only appear briefly and lead directly to the excellent state.

How did that go? If you got the excellent state when you stepped into the circle, well done. Otherwise, you may have to go back and strengthen the association between the excellent state and the circle. This is assuming, of course, that you associated fully into your resource memory and actually got a strong state to take into the circle with you.

Assuming you did that, it may be that one resource state wasn’t strong enough on its own to overcome whatever you were feeling about the upcoming event. But that’s OK, because you can stack more than one resource in the circle.

There are two ways of doing this, and they both follow the same structure. One is to stack more instances of the same resource state on the same anchor.

So you would go back to Step 3 and access another memory where you had the same resource state, and as you feel that state start to rise, take it into the circle with you.

Repeat that with as many different memories as you need, until you feel you have a strong enough state to give you what you need for the upcoming event.

The other way of stacking anchors is to stack more than one resource state on the same anchor.

So you would choose some states that go with each other and for each one, associate into a memory for it and take the state into the circle with you. Each time you step into the circle, you will feel a blend of the previous states that you’ve stacked. Again, continue until what you have is strong enough to do the job. Then do Step 7 to future pace as before.

This is a great method to guide someone else through to give them a resource anchor they can use for the rest of their lives. You can calibrate when the set of resources in the circle is strong enough, but I generally ask them “Is that strong enough?” as well. And I keep stacking more resources until they say “yes it’s strong enough” and their body language agrees.

You’ll notice that the first part of Step 7 is to replay the internal representation of the upcoming event and to find the first signal that tells you “uh oh, this is a challenging situation”. In other words, the signal that tells you that you need to use your circle of excellence.

So as soon as you see that, you step into the circle, and into the resource states. When you do that a few times, it makes an association between what was the ‘bad trigger’ that used to tell you when to start getting anxious, and the resource state.

Just as with the Swish pattern, the ‘bad’ trigger becomes an anchor for the resource state, and stepping into the circle, or just getting the resource state, becomes automatic.

One of the questions I’m often asked when I’m teaching anchoring is “Will the resource anchor last for ever?”

It can do. Equally, if you’re using it a lot to cope with a lot of challenging situations, it can eventually run down.

Think of your resource anchor like a rechargeable battery – you can put a powerful charge in it to start with, but if you’re using it a lot, it will need to be recharged.

How to recharge a resource anchor: the best time to anchor a state is when it’s occurring naturally. So any time you have a win, or a success, or you find yourself feeling justifiably confident, recharge your resource anchor.

Alternatively, you can access more memories for that resource state, associate into them, and top the anchor up that way.

Read the previous articles in the ‘Introduction To NLP Anchoring’ series:

1: Identifying States You Want To Change

2: What Is Anchoring?

3: How To Set An Anchor, Plus Key Success Tips

4: How To Set A Resource Anchor For Yourself

Next in the series: 6: Collapsing Anchors

Anchoring book coverDon’t want to wait to find out more? Get everything you need to know about how to set and use anchors (and lots of other useful stuff besides) in my Kindle e-book Practical NLP 4: Submodalities and Anchoring

(this link should take you to your preferred Kindle store – if it doesn’t, just go to your preferred store and search on the title)

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