Say the word “anchoring” to the average person and they may think, “Yeah, how you keep a boat from sailing off”. To be fair, that is accurate but also incomplete. Ask about anchoring emotions and you are bound to get some strange looks. I first learned about a technique known as anchoring back when I was learning pickup techniques. So, I’ve never really been a ladies man so thought I had to up my game to become desirable to women. This led me down the path of becoming what is known as a PUS or Pickup Artist. The entire story is one for another time but there is a nugget of wisdom in this.
They teach you to get the person you are interested in to start laughing or at least in a happy mood. When this happens, you gently touch them on the arm. You continue the courting or talking and when they are happy or laughing again, you gently touch them on the arm again. What this accomplishes is associating the touch of their arm from you with their happy feelings. Later on, when you touch their arm, it triggers the happiness again.
This is a small example of anchoring. You gently touch the arm and say, “I have really enjoyed spending time with you and would love to see you again”. Trigger the happiness the chances go way up the response will be a yes.
My Journey with Anchoring Emotions Continues
I filed that piece of info about anchoring away and it came up in a different form later on when I was learning persuasion and selling on stage. It’s been published the fear most people have is public speaking. In fact, more people fear public speaking more than death. I haven’t been afraid to speak in public in a VERY long time. Being a Senior in American High School, taking a college Sophomore English class which was primarily public speaking. I desperately needed anchoring emotions to get through it but I was still a few years away from my discovery.
One of my mentors, Dave Van Hoose, taught me how to draw on inner strength and determination. He taught to use that and to imagine it as a light beam from the sky. Then, step into that beam and say a trigger word out loud. Once done, step out of the light and move onto the stage.
This strategy anchors that feeling of strength to the word I picked as a trigger. Now, I was still in the discovery phase of learning about the “woo woo” stuff but I will tell you the results spoke for them self.
Participating in a speaking competition among 40 highly qualified speakers, I was voted the best by the others. Talk about proof.
Anchoring Emotions – Taking it to the Next Level
Somehow, subconsciously, the anchoring continued for me with different things. Continuing my weight loss efforts, I go back to when I dropped 40 pounds and how it felt. That keeps the motivation high to workout and eat well.
Professionally, I used anchoring with my assistant as she was preparing to test for certification. She was completely paranoid about it but have been using this technique subtly to anchor positive expectations for her. Her exam is coming up so we’ll see how she does but there is a lot more confidence now than before.
My best friend was using anchoring without realizing it as he was plowing through a divorce several years back. I used what I knew because he was broken at the time and he is my best friend.
I have taken this technique and started to use it with clients. It is so powerful and the subconscious is highly receptive to the feelings of positivity. I have seen people go from grappling with their financial situation to taking control and turning it around. I have seen anchoring be HIGHLY effective in sales situations, both 1 to 1 and 1 to many. Also, I know another who has used it in high level negotiations to create a win-win scenario for the parties.
How can we make this practical and usable?
Let’s focus on a specific example. Say you want to lose a few pounds. There are at least 2 options to focus on for positive:
- If you have been at a better weight previously, use that
- Should you not have been there previously, we will focus on what I call a desired state
What you want to do is close your eyes and “feel” what it was or will be like when you reach your goal. How do people look at you? Do you feel sexy or handsome? Does your partner fawn over your new you? What does it feel like going to the store and buying clothes in a smaller size.
Is it pride? How about joy? Possibly contentment. Is it deeper?
Could it be gratitude for a healthy body which allows you to keep up with your children? Is it comfort knowing you are healthier and will be around to see more life?
Now, take these emotions you are feeling, ball up your hand in a fist, and say out loud a power word. It can be anything. I used Power for stage speaking. Pick something that is meaningful to you. Do it again to let it really get into your subconscious.
There you go, that’s all it takes to create the anchor.
Now, it’s best to reinforce this every so often to re-engage the subconscious in the goal.
There you have it, an incredibly powerful tool to achieve success in virtually any aspect of life.