During our NLP Practitioner Training we usually ask the group who has heard about Pavlov and Pavlov’s dog and most people raise their hand.

NLP Practitioner – NLP Anchoring

Pavlov discovered the idea of stimulus response – he rang a bell and fed the dog a steak and repeated this a number of times. He got the point where is rang the bell and then the dog started to salivate because it was expecting the steak. The dog was conditioned to associate the ringing of the bell with food. In NLP we call this Anchoring.

Anytime a person is in an intense, associated state – at the peak of that experience if a specific stimulus is applied then the two become neurologically linked thus forming an anchor.

We are subject to anchors all the time – the alarm clock goes off in the morning and we jump out of bed. The phone rings and we go to pick it up to answer it. Traffic lights – we see a red traffic light and we stop the car, when it changes to green we automatically put our foot on the accelerator to move away. Other examples of anchors are things like music, maybe we have a favourite song that reminds you of a great holiday or a great night out. The smell of baking bread is a powerful anchor for people and evokes a positive state. During our NLP Practitioner Training we’ll teach you specifically how to create your very own resource anchor so you can put yourself into a positive, resourceful state at anytime.

So what do we need to know to create an anchor?

Someone has an intense emotional experience and at some point during that experience a specific stimulus is applied creating a neurological link between that stimulus and state or emotion. The best states to anchor are the ones that are happening in the moment, the next best states to anchor are recalled states.
Next we have to apply a stimulus while we are in that state. An example that I like to use is a knuckle or an ear lobe to anchor states because they are always there, they don’t move around and they rarely get touched, so they can use that to create an anchor that you can utilise when you choose. You could also use a specific sound to act as an anchor for a state/emotion.
Then once we’ve anchored the state, we are going to change our state – so think about something else like what am I doing at the weekend?
Finally, evoke the anchor, so fire it in the same way as you set it, to test that the state is accessable.

The more times that you stack the anchor, the more intense it becomes, so you might want to stack some additional examples of the same state, in the same place to create a really powerful anchor. We talk in more detail about this at our exciting NLP Practitioner Training

Here’s an exercise for you to assist you to develop a resource anchor for instant self confidence or motivation or any positive states of your choice:


A resource anchor can be anything that is and anchor and helps you to recall the state. The Ring of Power is a resource anchor that is useful in many circumstances.

1. Anchor a number of positive powerful states to an imagined circle on the floor: “Imagine a Ring of Power in front of you as a circle about 2 feet in diameter.”

2. Now remember a time when you were totally motivated and when you are totally motivated, then step into the Ring.

3. When the state begins to subside then step out of the ring.

4. Add additional desired states in the same way. (See the examples below of some powerful positive states that you could anchor using this technique.)

5. When done adding all states, step into the Ring of Power and test – notice how you feel.

Examples of States:
A time when you felt totally powerful.
A time when you felt totally loved.
A time when you really felt you could have whatever you wanted, a time when you could have it all.
A time when you felt really energetic, when you had a ton of energy.
A time when you fell down laughing.
A time when you felt totally confident.
A time when you felt really motivated.

This article covers the very basics of anchoring and at our expert NLP Practitioner training you will discover all of the many powerful anchoring techniques that you can uitilise for yourself and with other people.

If you could anchor yourself to states of extreme confidence, feeling powerful and motivated that you could then fire off at any time you wanted, what would be different about your life? Imagine being able to do the same to the people around you. Would this increase you ability to influence as a business leader or manager? Are assisting your kids to be in a resourceful state to help them learn easily and effortlessly. The possibilities are immense.

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