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Introducing me and Anchoring


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Me and NLP:    I have done a couple of basic NLP courses (just online ones, but not free, technical terms I have done a practitioner and mastery course, though I'm not a trainer) and read about it, but I don't consider myself an expert and need to practice much more and maybe do more intensive training in the future.   However, I'd really love to share what I DO know here as this knowledge can help me solidify my training and knowledge and also I think these techniques can be very helpful.  It's also another way I can say thank you to George Hutton and give a little something back, I guess.  I have used some of these techniques with people and they worked well.  


NLP, by the way, stands for Neuro Linguistic Programming.  I know it sounds very technical!  and I may write about the history of NLP and so forth later but for now I want to jump straight in with some basic techniques that you can use (and remind MYSELF about them!)  (I'm writing most of this out of memory, mostly because I want to keep quotes to a minimum  - but I do cite my sources though a lot of this will be generic NLP knowledge - if you have any questions or want me to elaborate, please just ask me here and I will be happy to.)  I am also posting these things to get a bit of a dialogue going here in the NLP section, as there are some great tools that we can add to our existing toolbox of awesome! 


One of these NLP techniques is anchoring. 


Basically with anchoring you link a stimulus to emotions, memories and visualizations.

Let me give you some very specific examples and it will make a LOT more sense!


The Circle of Confidence:  (This is part one of my post here on Anchoring, Part two: Focus on Fun is in my reply)


This is probably the best known anchoring exercise and one of the best-known NLP exercises.  It is a technique to increase your confidence and I find it (when I remember to do it, like I said, I need to practice!) helpful to use it before a situation that might be a bit intimidating such as potentially stressful work or social situations.  


Squeeze your thumb of your dominant hand and your pointer finger together, like you are making an "OK" sign.


That's what it will look sort of like if you are right-handed (and White).  As you are squeezing, cast your mind back to a situation in which you felt really confident.  Take your time to think of one if you need to.  

For me, I sometimes get "butterflies" in my tummy before I sing karaoke, even though I love to do it.  I really want my song to sound great.  One night, I went up on stage and I even had this gorgeous guy in the crowd that had been flirting with me and  that normally would have ADDED to my nervousness!  However, somehow, and I don't know HOW! I had this boost of confidence and this feeling that I could DO it.  I sang the song and it kicked some serious BUTT.  And yes, he was impressed too.  So, that's a memory I can use, I can remember that and how it FELT as I squeeze my finger and thumb.  (I told you that not to brag about the great singing of the song or the cute guy but just to give you an example of what I mean, by the way!) 


Release your finger and thumb.  Then you can do the technique about two more times with two OTHER memories.  Look, it doesn't matter if you were THREE when that memory in which you felt confident happened.  However far back you need to go, GO there in your mind as you squeeze your pointer finger (forefinger?) and thumb together and "feel" those feelings of confidence.


Now.  Release them and this time you are going to squeeze them together again but you think of the situation/event in which you want to feel confident in.  (It may, of course, be a COMPLETELY different situation.  For example, if someone was visiting my workplace, someone in authority and their visit might have some kind of consequences, good or bad, I could still use the memory of me singing confidently on stage and then I would imagine feeling confident with the visitor evaluating my work.)

So squeeze and visualize the situation you want to feel confident in and how it will feel to have those confident feelings.


When you  are in that situation, or just before it, squeeze your finger and thumb together again and "feel" those feelings as much as you can.


It's like the brain starts to link the feelings of confidence with the physical/kinesthetic action of squeezing your thumb and pointer finger of your dominant hand together.   Feel free to use and share this technique if you wish as it's quite widely well-known in NLP circles and as far as I know not attributed as the intellectual property of any one NLP practitioner/master/trainer.  The focus on fun and the sad memories technique, please keep them to yourselves at this stage but use them for yourself as much as you like!  


Anyway, something to experiment with, if you wish.   See my reply to this, it's called "Focus on Fun" and it's a technique focused on attracting more fun into your life, something we could try and see, if you wish!  And another example of anchoring, one I came up with myself. 

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I thought I'd reply to my own topic to add some more information, rather than make it a REALLY long post!

Anchoring CAN involve a physical/kinesthetic (body) action stimulus such as squeezing the thumb and pointer finger together but you can also have visual (sight) and auditory (sound) anchors and I guess you could have taste (gustatory?) and smell (olfactory?) stimuli.  


For example, I went on a one day confidence course and at the end we thought about our day and danced to - of all things - Gangnam Style!

To anchor in those feelings.  


Workout music might be another example of an aural anchor, you come to associate the song to the exercise and vice versa.  


I came up with an anchoring technique based around attracting more fun into our lives.  It's worth a try, right?

I used to run a free group and one weekend we actually had our own retreat.  Sure, it was a small group and mostly just regulars but it was a great experience!   Anyway, I came up with this anchoring technique with a little bit of input from two others in the group with NLP training.  Use this as much as you like but please don't share it at this point, thanks as I may wish to use it in some future programs when I'm ready for all that.  And also with that in mind, not sure how long I will keep this reply up here on the forum, but it's going to be here for a while so use it and enjoy it! 


It's about focusing on fun and there's some questions too (some of my life coaching coming through there so I've woven that in a little bit)  You may wish to get a pen and paper - or type - some of your answers to the questions, maybe try it with and without and see what you prefer.  Play with this, it's ALL about fun and play.   Enjoy!



I'm start the ball rolling, feel free to chime in:


What things in your life are the most fun for you right now?


Write them down, if you wish, to refer back to and really appreciate them, milk that so to speak!


Why are they fun for you? What do you like most about them?


What things in your life were fun in the past for you?


What about them was fun? 


In what ways can you make room for these things in your life now?


As you think of some ways you can get a taste of that I want you to write that down to refer back to later.  When will you start to re-allow that fun? 


OK I want you to remember one of your fun memories.


Now as you imagine this, I want you to see in your mind the pictures getting bigger and brighter and imagine you are seeing it through your own eyes.  


How does it feel?


I want you to tap your knee playfully with the fingers of your dominant hand as you do this and to SMILE!


Now I want you to think about and imagine something that is fun for you in your life right now.


When you get that picture in your head, I want you to see in your mind the pictures getting bigger and brighter and imaging you are seeing in through your own eyes.


What do you hear?  


How does it feel?


I want you to tap your knee again (not hard!) as you imagine this and feel it and SMILE! 

I wonder, can you feel a sense of the excitement and delight that fun can bring?  Some people feel a kind of quivering in their body, others feel relaxation and relief, perhaps letting out a sigh of relief, shoulders dropping down, others might be dancing - at least on the inside!

I wonder how fun feels for you?


Doesn't it feel amazing to have and to have had such wonderful fun in your life so far?


What kind of fun things do you look forward to in the future?  Again, I want you to visualize some of this if you can, see what you'd see, making the pictures big and bright, hear what you'd hear and feel what you'd feel & again, playfully tap your knee.

Perhaps you could plan something fun and schedule it? 


A kind of "play date" for yourself.


And, remember, focusing on fun, brings MORE! 

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