Introduction To NLP Anchoring 1: Identifying States You Want To Change

Anchoring IntroductionLet’s look at how the NLP method known as “anchoring” can help you manage your emotional state so that you can respond more appropriately and successfully in situations where you face challenges, and then go on to consider how you can use it to inspire, evoke, and manage emotions in others.

Emotions change from moment to moment, although some can stick around for a long time, particularly if you don’t acknowledge them and learn what you need to learn from them. The emotions may come from your underlying mood, they could be valid signals giving you information, should you choose to be aware of it, or they could be responses triggered by something in your present situation but really about something in your distant past that you haven’t fully come to terms with yet and still have something to learn from.

The emotional state we go into in a given situation is not necessarily the one that we would choose, or that would give us the optimum results. In fact, most people think, because they’ve never experienced anything different, that emotions are things that just happen to us, or that other people somehow ‘make’ us feel.

So, when stepping up to give an important presentation, people would probably choose to be confident or excited, but often they actually feel nervous – sometimes so nervous that it affects their performance. Or, when getting some uncomfortable feedback about their performance, they might prefer to feel curious about this information and determined to improve, but what they actually feel – especially if the other person is not very skilled at delivering feedback – is often either defensive or crushed, neither of which helps their ability to learn.

If only there was a way for you to choose how you want to feel in a given situation, and to actually be able to go into that resourceful emotional state, right there and then when you need it.

What kind of difference would that make in your life?

Well, we have a method for doing this in NLP, and it’s called “anchoring“. For you to get the most from this technique, and to make it relevant for you, I’d like you to think about some typical situations in your life or your work where you would like to feel differently from how you normally do.

Make a list of typical situations that you find challenging – it may be presentations, it may be a difficult interview, it may be cold calling, it may be when you get a business setback or have to listen to some uncomfortable feedback.

List out each situation, and for each one, write down how you actually feel in that situation, and how you would ideally choose to feel to be able to perform better in that situation. Here’s a worksheet you can download to write them on.

NB “anchoring” in NLP is not the same thing as “anchoring” in academic psychology, where the term is used to describe a cognitive bias for relying too heavily on the first piece of information offered when making decisions.

In the next post, we’ll look at how anchoring works and identify some powerful ‘anchors’ you might encounter in your everyday life.

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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