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Anchoring Techniques

Anchoring techniques are easy to learn and can be adapted to all kinds of circumstances.

Basic NLP Anchoring

  1. Select a feeling that you would like to have in a particular situation.
    (For example, you might want to feel motivated and energized when you sit down at your desk to work on your business.)

  2. Take a few moments to remember a time when you had that feeling.
    Be sure to choose a strong example.
    If you don't have one in your past, imagine what it would be like to feel this way.

  3. Close your eyes and remember that feeling in vivid detail.
    Put yourself back there now and relive it in all its intensity.
    To enhance the experience you can experiment with the following:

    • make the image sharper
    • make the colors brighter
    • bring the image closer
    • shift the image position on your mental screen
    • make the sounds clearer
    • choose a word that enhances the feeling
      (for example, "Yes!", " Brilliant!", etc.)

    When your feeling is at its most intense, create a physical association by making a unique gesture (for example, squeeze your thumb, make a fist, press your middle finger and thumb together or pull your earlobe).

  4. As the feeling fades, release your 'anchor' and relax.

  5. Choose another example of having that feeling and repeat the procedure (steps 3-5).
    Use the same gesture.

  6. Choose a third example and anchor the feeling to the same gesture.

  7. Check the clock and see how long that took.

  8. Fire off your anchor and check if the feeling comes back.

  9. If the feeling is not intense enough, repeat the procedure.

The Usefulness of NLP Anchoring:

  1. In a situation when you need to feel that way, set off your physical anchor by making the gesture.

  2. If a situation is coming up that requires this kind of feeling, mentally rehearse dealing with that situation while firing off your anchor. Repeat it until you feel confident.

  3. You can STACK or link several anchors to one gesture if you'd like a combination of feelings at once. Just repeat the above instructions for each separate feeling but be sure to use the same gesture each time.

Collapsing Anchors

Often there are particular situations or people in your life that automatically have a negative effect on your frame of mind.

Here's how to neutralize (or collapse) these negative anchors:

  1. Identify the situation that elicits the unwanted feeling.

  2. Select a feeling you'd prefer to experience in this particular situation and create a positive anchor for it (per the instructions above).

  3. Check the time.

  4. Think of the negative situation, then set off the positive anchor. Keep doing this until you feel neutral about the formerly negative situation.

  5. Do this in the real world as soon as possible.

People As Anchors

Do you think of people as 'making' you feel good or bad? Here's how that works.

You have a friend whose company you always enjoy. She listens to you when you need to discuss a problem, compliments you on your handling of difficult situations and basically sees you as worthwhile, talented and a wonderful person. You light up when you see her. Why? Because those good feelings she elicits in you are anchored to the sight of her face and the sound of her voice.

Conversely, you have a relative who is always negative. He belittles your efforts, sees you as a loser and you find yourself feeling that way whenever he's around. Your self-esteem takes a nosedive the minute you see his car pull into your driveway. His presence, or even just the mental image of him, has become an anchor for feelings of inadequacy.

An Anchoring Example

A wife works to send her young husband through medical school. They struggle financially for years until he gets finally his degree. But soon after he's established in his first high-paying position, he leaves her for his nurse.


The wife reminds him of the struggle.

She knew him when he was a nobody (in his terms). Looking at her face reminds him of the hard times. The new woman in his life knows him only as the up-and-coming doctor. He is the person he wants to be in her eyes, the new successful version of himself.

Is there a solution other than divorce? Yes. The couple must deliberately create new anchors to the sight of each other's faces. They need to choose shared activities that reflect their new success.

They need to make a symbolic break with the past. They might take a trip together to celebrate their new life. Or move to a new house, and buy new clothes. While these often happen automatically when people become more affluent, this couple needs to make them deliberate.

And if they want an ongoing fulfilling relationship, they must continue adding anchors for love, excitement, self-esteem and fun to the sight of each other's faces. Which means sharing the events that create those states as often as possible.

Your Next Step:

  1. For additional anchoring techniques, click on More NLP Anchors.

Disclaimer: This site is purely educational and we make no claims or guarantees with regard to the information presented. Please consult a certified NLP practitioner for individual coaching in the use of NLP techniques. We strongly advise consulting a financial industry professional before embarking on a wealth creation journey.