NLP Anchors

NLP Anchors are amongst the quickest and easiest ways to achieve a resourceful state.  It’s like pressing a button (or fingers together) to turn on desired emotions.

They are one of the first techniques we learn in our NLP Practitioner training and often easy to forget once we have a myriad techniques at our fingertips. As Practitioners, we know that an anchor is the link between stimulus and emotion. So let’s recap…

To break and reset anchors an intense state is experienced (negative) and at the zenith of that emotion, the link or stimulus is applied and then negative and positive states are experienced simultaneously.  We end up dropping the negative and retaining the positive. What we have is a neurological bit of magic.

However, let’s think of anchors in a different way. How many anchors do you have in your life (in the same way our clients will have anchors)? Whilst a stop sign is a good anchor for safety, what are your negative anchors? What is your anchor for being happy? What is your anchor for overcoming frustration? What is your anchor for dealing with grief? What is your anchor for dealing with anger?

As Practitioners, we often carry as many negative anchors as our clients.  We owe it to ourselves and our clients to tidy up non-resourceful aspects of our own personalities.  How can we successfully teach our clients to move forward if we are still stuck? We arm our clients with techniques. Self-help is surely the goal.

For this, you simply have to employ your creativity. Take ten minutes (no more). Okay, so you can chain anchors really quickly with your clients – but this is about you and your own negative markers. Give yourself time to focus on strengthening the memories of both negative and positive anchors. Now do your stuff! You can break anchors so go get them!

NOTE: Anchors often need to be repeated from time to time in order to remain as strong.  How about, as a Practitioner, you take time out once a month (e.g. on the first day of the month) to renew positive anchors and tidy up the negative anchors you may have inadvertently acquired.

I came across a great acronym for establishing anchors (sorry, I can’t remember where) that you might find helpful to write in your diary for your tidy up day. I-TURN stands for Intensity, Timing, Uniqueness, Repeatability and Number of times.

I don’t know about you, but I’m putting this in my diary for the last day of each month. I’m going to check the notes of frustration I have experienced and if needs be, going to break those negative anchors and change them to positive ones.

NLP Anchors – Good luck with yours!

Author: Jane Nash


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