you ever had a job to do, but just couldnít get motivated?
Or perhaps you were feeling bad and suddenly your spirits lifted
and you couldnít figure out why? It may have been a certain
smell, a sound or some music or an expression on someoneís face
that reminded you of something pleasant from the past.
In NLP this is called anchoring, or classical stimulus response
conditioning as taught by Pavlov.
are so pervasive in our lives that we usually arenít even
aware of them. A red light is a visual anchor and people
respond to it automatically. Certain types of music
make people feel happy, sad, moody, joyous, reflective or
energized. Photographs or a special expression on a
loved oneís face bring feelings up quickly and certain smells
bring on certain moods.
these states can be so powerful, wouldnít it be useful to
turn them off and on at will, to be totally energized and
inspired when you need it? Actors need this right when
the curtain goes up, not half way through the scene, athletes
need it when the gun goes off, business people need it when
they are selling or negotiating, teachers when they face a
class and most people in any number of situations.
how can we access these powerful states at will and utilize
them when we most need them? We can look to our personal
history which is rich with powerful emotional experiences.
Perhaps we may want to pick a time when we felt energized,
positive, resourceful and motivated. Think of a time
like that, even if it was just for a few minutes. What
were you seeing, what sounds are there, how does your body
feel, what tastes and/or smells are there, what are you thinking
or saying to yourself?
youíre in these very positive resourceful feelings, anchor
these feelings by perhaps touching your hand or arm or head
in an unusual spot (behind the ear, the side of your palm,
next to your elbow or anywhere else you donít often touch).
Continue to touch that spot until you reach the peak of the
feeling, and then let go. Repeat this process for any
other similar positive experiences in your life.
think of that negative state you were in, that job you didnít
want to do, that person you didnít want to see, and as you
do so, touch that positive anchor spot and notice what happens.
This is utilizing the unconscious process of linking past
positive experiences to the present and can neutralize the
negative feelings we didnít want to have. It is a skill
that is very immediately available and can be honed with practice
athletes go through rituals they have created before they
start to play that energize them. Others have lucky
symbols like mascots, a group symbol, a slogan, or a song
that creates a positive state. Special techniques to
clear fear of public speaking and test anxiety are especially
universe may hand us a mixed bag of cards, but we can choose
how and in what way we play them. In the words of Aldous
Huxley, ďexperience is not what happens to you, it is what
you do with what happens to you.Ē Anchoring is a powerful
tool to assist us in making the associations we want to make
and being able to get what we want more easily.
Nygaard is a Certified Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) Trainer,
Time Line Therapy® Master Trainer and Hypnotherapy Trainer.
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org