Confidence, ahoy! How anchoring can bring a clear, effective and positive state of mind
Six steps that will boost your confidence, wherever and whenever you want
Anchoring is a natural process. Every one of us will be familiar with the process of objects, scents, images, etc. reminding us of previous experiences. A song, photo, or even a certain meal, can spark a vivid recollection of a specific time, conjuring up related memories and emotions.
Certain signals can change our attitudes, emotions, and our states of mind. Anchoring involves purposefully taking control of these signals to influence our thoughts, just as a relaxation exercise enables us to take control of physical tension.
Setting up the anchor
To set a strong, positive anchor, you tap into the memory for the resourceful state you require. Our memories are stored as associations with our senses. Perhaps you’d like to enhance your confidence ahead of and during a big presentation – so, how do you set an anchor?
Step 1 – Be clear about the positive state you want to attain
Your confident state may be eloquent, energetic, or calm. Describe it clearly and accurately in your own words.
Step 2 – Recall a specific occasion in the past when you have been in that state of mind. If not at work, think about times associated with family, hobbies or sports – the context is unimportant. For clients who find it hard to reconnect with a previous time when they experienced this resource state, coaching helps, otherwise they might anchor a poor shadow of the resource they need.
Step 3 – Relive it as vividly as you can. Engage fully with the memory; ask yourself the following questions as you immerse yourself in the scenario:
- What can you see?
- What can you hear?
- Notice any (perhaps forgotten?) smells or tastes in your mouth….
- Notice how you felt…
Step 4 – Set your anchor. As you recreate the positive state, you’re able to set an anchor. Hand movements work well as a physical (kinaesthetic) anchor: simply press the thumb and first finger of one hand together to form a circle – this is now your anchor. Make sure you do this before the positive state passes its peak and starts to dissipate, so you anchor the resource at its most potent.
Some people (auditory) prefer to hear a sound or word. Those with a visual preference can see a picture in their mind’s eye that symbolises their positive state.
Step 5 – Strengthen your anchor. Practice this several times for the anchor to really cement. Try it three times in succession – build the intensity of the memory and your associated state. As you ask yourself the same questions and now add a little more:
- What can you see? Make this more vivid, clearer, more colourful, panoramic; wrap it around you
- What can you hear? Amplify, make it clearer, put it in stereo
- Notice any (perhaps forgotten?) smells or tastes in your mouth…make them stronger, more fragrant
- Notice how you felt…strengthen that feeling and build its intensity. If these were previously 3 on 10 in intensity, make them an 8, 9, 10.
After practising three times, fire your anchor: touch your finger and thumb together without recalling and recreating your memory. Notice what happens – you will feel the emotional state immediately. As you continue to practise, when you need to get back into the positive state, fire your anchor whenever you want to recreate that feeling.
Why stop at one state? You can use a range of different anchors to access a multitude of useful resource states – calm, assertive, persuasive……Let me know how you get on with this technique.
I use many different tools and psychometric testing approaches as part of my work; if you’d like to hear more about leadership coaching or executive coaching, contact me on 01302 220021.