How To Use Anchors In Hypnosis And NLP For Building Confidence
Anchoring is a very useful tool. As the word implies, anchoring has to do with setting something up that will take firm hold in place. Examples are on a ship or on a boat. I have a wave runner and even that has an anchor. When I go to the islands off the coast of Georgia, which I love to do, I can use my anchor to make sure that my wave runner does not drift off into the Atlantic Ocean. That is what anchors do – They are placeholders and keep something in place. What we are going to do is keep your confidence in place and to anchor others to you also. We are going to anchor people to you so they are tied to you and not drifting away.
They will also be tied to the concepts around you. We will put these elements together and, for example, we can make someone think that you are funny even if you are not funny. You can make someone think that you are smart. I know that you are smart and that you have a great sense of humor, but you do not always have to show that. You can just use the anchor which gives you a free pass. You can also anchor someone to thinking that you are confident. Now, keep in mind that, just like an anchor, with the boat or a ship or a jet ski, you have got to put the anchor out. In my wave runner, I have a spot where I can drop the anchor down, attach it to the dry land with the long rope to ensure that the wave runner does not go anywhere. That requires work to set up the anchor. I cannot just expect the anchor to activate itself – Instead, I have to make sure that the anchor is in place.
Sometimes, that anchor may start to slip a little which can be scary. You take your brand new wave runner for which you paid quiet an amount of money, take it to an island and without an anchor, it starts drifting away. That has happened to me. You need to reinforce that anchor, do it again and perhaps a little deeper this time. That is the way that anchors work in NLP also.
You have to do them and sometimes you have to do them again or a little deeper. Keep in mind that we are humans and dealing with humans. If we were computers, this would be much easier as we could program computers and type into their keyboard, “You will like me forever,” “You will think I am smart and funny”. Although I could do all that, it is not quite that easy. When you boil it down to this level it is simple. It requires a little more work than that. In my computer comparison, since we are not computers and we are not dealing with the computers, it does not always go perfectly. It is not always cut and dry and it is not always perfect.
The idea is that, by the time you finish this course, you will have a big enough bag of tricks that you can hit them with every thing that you have. Remember Bruce Lee from the 70s? He and I share a birthday, by the way. I like to watch his movies. When he fights someone, he does not just walk in, beat them up and that is over. There is sparring going on with punches and kicks being thrown around, then, of course he wins.
That is the same way that it works for conversational hypnosis. You have to think of it as of sparing or a dance if you prefer something more pleasant to think of. There is interaction but eventually you will win because you have more moves than the other person. You are also more highly skilled which ensures that you will get your way. Enough philosophy, let’s move on with anchoring.
How can you anchor yourself with confidence? This is one of the most important concepts that you will learn. With confidence, you can move mountains. Without confidence, you cannot do anything. Without confidence, you cannot even get out of bed because you will not think that the floor is a safe standing ground. You have to be at least a little confident to trust the floor and to trust it to be okay to get out of bed. The more confidence you have, the more things you can accomplish and the more risks you can take in life. Let’s see how we can anchor ourselves for confidence.
This is something that you will do by yourself. You will not do this with another person. Anchoring yourself with confidence happens alone. When you anchor someone to yourself, that happens with someone else. Do not do this while driving, but what I would like you to do is to close your eyes and remember the time when you were confident. So many patients have come to me in my Beverly Hills office in the Roxbury building 90210, working with celebrities. I would ask them to remember the time when they were confident. I would tell them that that could happen every moment of every day of their lives, since they became celebrities.
If I walk outside and someone asks for my autograph, I would feel pretty confident. Quickly, I learned that that does not always work and it does not give them the deep confidence that they want, hat good feeling inside. I want you to know that a lot of people struggle with picking a time when they were really confident, but go ahead and pick one now. Just go ahead, reach out and grab one. For me it is graduating from kindergarten. My mom was there, I had accomplished something. I did not know what, but people were applauding me. I have done something and had a little diploma, everyone was happy and I felt great!
For me, that is the earliest memory I have of confidence. My point here is that it can be anything. Examples are a birthday party, walking across the road and doing a good dead or anything else even if basic that you can pick out that made you feel confident. With your eyes closed, I’d like you to remember yourself in that situation. Whatever was going on is going on now in your mind. Paint the scene; see the colors and the people, if there are any. Smell the scent in the air. Does it smell good or bad? Does it smell like you are indoors or outdoors, like something new or old? Perhaps you just smell the clean air? What do you hear? Are people applauding, talking? Are their other sounds like those of birds?
Most importantly, how do you feel? How does it feel emotionally? Pretty good? Of course you do because you accomplished something and that feels good. It does not have to be an accomplishment; it can simply be that today I feel good. I have some sunglasses on, my hair is fixed up just so and I am wearing certain clothes as I sit in a nice car. I feel good. It can be anything but you are there now, in your memory. At that time when you felt really good, you felt confident. Notice the calmness that comes with that. Once we accomplish something and feel good, we can relax and think that we are worthy and we are a good person. Just kind of soak that in now and feel how good that is.
I now want you to turn everything upside down a bit – The sounds, the smells and everything. Feel it more intensely and feel the clothes on your body. You notice how we are using the three major representational systems, auditory, visual and kinesthetic. Something to see, hear and feel inside and out. Also, the odors and any other senses that you want. Make everything intense now and especially that sense of feeling good. It feels good to be you right in this moment in your memory. Feel the moment more intensely.
Good. What I want you to do is make the OK sign with your right hand. That means touching the tip of your right index finger to the tip of your right thumb, as if you were saying ‘okay’ to someone. I want you to also say the word ‘power’ and to do that now. Good. I want you to slowly open your eyes. What we’ve done is installed an anchor for confidence. The next time you feel the lack of power or confidence in any situation, all you have to do is make the okay sound with your right hand and say the word power. That feeling of confidence will come back to you.
Now, as I mentioned in my anchor comparison, you may have to re-do it. If you do re-do the anchor, as recommended, then chose something that means something to you. In other words, you may want to choose a different sound. Instead of the word power, you may pick any word which is meaningful to you. You also may want to select a different action. For example, some people like to make a fist with their right hand and hit their left upper chest before saying the word which they wish to anchor in. It does not really matter what you do or what you say, as long as you are consistent. If you want to continue saying the word power and making the okay sound with your hands, that is fine as well.
You may need to re-install the anchor if a certain period of time had gone by and you have not used that specific anchor. All you have to do is sit quietly in a place where you are alone and able to think about the time when you felt very confident. You can use this recording to assist you if you want. When you feel that at its peak moment, go ahead and anchor it using whichever word or action you want. You may also want to stack anchors. Sometimes, having two anchors may be better than one. If on my wave runner I had five anchors holding it in, if one gave away, it would not really matter.
Here is how you stack anchors. In the example that I just gave you, we installed one anchor. You installed an anchor for confidence. When you stack anchors, make sure that you are installing them the exact same way. The only difference is what you remember. For example, I had you remember the one time when you were confident and you made the OK sign with your right hand and said ‘power’. When you stack anchors, you simply pick another time when you were confident, remember it and ensure that you are feeling it at the peak state or as intensely as you can, then you anchor it again, using the same sign and the same word ‘power’.
If you stack anchors, people typically do between three and five of them. Another great way to stack an anchor is in the moment. The exercise I had you remember something that happened to you. When you remembered it and felt it at the peak state, I had you go ahead and fire off the anchor to make sure that you had it anchored in. That is where you wanted the boat to stay.
If you are out in your everyday life experiencing something that makes you feel really good about yourself, go ahead and anchor that in. For example, yesterday I was in a coffee shop and someone needed a hand – A lady needed some jumper cables, so I loaned her my jumper cables. She already had someone waiting there to help her with the process. I don’t know how she knew that, out of all the people in a coffee shop, I would have the jumper cables – Perhaps I just had that look about me. I do not know. She thanked me in the end and I felt really good. That was an opportunity for me to stack this anchor.
That was an opportunity for me to make the okay sign with my right hand and say the word power. That is my process and you can use the same process but a different version of it where you pick something meaningful to you. A meaningful action and a sound. One of the celebrities with whom I worked would touch the middle of his forehead with his index finger and say, “Oh, yeah, oh yeah.” That was his process which worked for him. Any time he went on film, he could go into the corner, touch the middle of his forehead with his finger and say, “oh yeah, oh yeah.” That would put him in the confident state of mind which he needed to do his job.
One of the celebrities with whom I worked would touch the middle of his forehead with his index finger and say, “Oh, yeah, oh yeah.” That was his process which worked for him. Any time he went on film, he could go into the corner, touch the middle of his forehead with his finger and say, “oh yeah, oh yeah.” That would put him in the confident state of mind which he needed to do his job.
It does not matter what you do, but pick something that means to you or feel free to use mine. There is nothing wrong with that. There are a couple of things to keep in mind for the maintenance of this. First, if you have not used this in a while, go ahead and re-install it. The anchor may be getting a little old. In the boat analogy, the chain could get a little rusty and when you do need it, it may fall off to the bottom of the ocean. You want to make sure that the anchor is reinstalled properly and fresh. Also, you can stack anchors. Even if you have used them recently, you can stack anchors every time you have an opportunity to do so or feel good about yourself. You can make it more powerful.