Implement Anchoring Patterns


It is important for us to learn how to establish anchoring patterns in our daily lives.

The first step in establishing an anchor is the linking of the cue with the experience or internal state desired (Dilts & DeLozier, 2000). After this step, the experience or state is detailed out further while the stimulus is repeated or continuously exposed. This creates a cycle that combines the two manners of establishing anchors.

Anchoring is a powerful tool in the Prophetic Language System because it enables a person to access various inherent resources through simple exposure to certain elements. The driving concept of this technique is the association of a desired state or experience or the like with an external cue. The external cues are typically simple and easily repeatable.

There are, however, certain principles and conditions that must be met in order for an effective anchor to be established. For one, it must be remembered that there are certain cues that might already have associations to the receiver of the anchoring process. These cues are known as natural anchors.

The Anchoring Patterns

Step #1. Select a state and decide which trigger to use.

Identify a state that you want to have access to in the future. Select the anchor trigger you would like to use. As you’ll recall, this can be a hand position, a point on your body better you maintain them, the longer they last. If you only use an anchor when you feel bad, it can lose its power to help you feel good.

Step #2. Elicit the state.

For instructions on how to elicit the state, see the State Elicitation pattern.) Make the state fairly strong.

Step #3. Calibrate.

If you are doing this for someone else, have them tell you when they are in the state, and observe their physical cues such as body language, so that you can better calibrate them.

Step #4. Anchor the state.

Once the state is fully active and at its PEAK, anchor the state. Anchor it by doing the behavior that you selected in step one as your trigger. At this point, you are associating the trigger with the state, that is, anchoring the state to the trigger. In the future, activating this trigger will help you activate the state. Never use this trigger for anything other than this state from now on, and when you activate this state in the future, continue the practice of associating the trigger with the state in order to make this association even stronger.

Step #5. Test.

Think of situations in which you will want to trigger this state, and make a reminder to yourself in your calendar so that you’ll remember to practice using it and reaping its benefits. (Excerpt from Vaknin, 2008).

Do This Exercise on Anchoring Patterns

Go ahead and practice implementing the Anchoring Patterns. Select a state and decide which trigger to use. Elicit the state. Calibrate. Anchor the state. Lastly, test.

Natural Anchors and Covert Anchors

natural anchors

Natural anchors basically suggest that not all anchors have the same strength or effectiveness (Dilts & DeLozier, 2000). Most people can attest to the fact that different anchors elicit varying strengths of responses. For example, rats readily differentiate water that is safe or not based on the color of the water. However, they seem to have more difficulty in distinguishing two types of water in two differently-shaped containers. In this sense, the color of the water becomes a more effective anchor for rats than shape.

The same thing happens with humans. The concept revolves around the idea that natural anchors are strongly linked to the neurological and/or perceptual capacities of the recipients (Dilts & DeLozier, 2000). For example in humans, there are body parts which are more accommodating to becoming anchors or in receiving them.

A person’s hand is a much more sensitive part of the body than his forearm due to the number of nerve endings present. Thus, the hands are more readily usable to receive external cues or to become anchors themselves. It is, therefore, necessary for users of the teaching -with-anchors process to have sufficient knowledge, understanding, and even intuition in selecting elements to become anchors (Dilts & DeLozier). The user should understand natural tendencies to various external elements or media so that he or she can more efficiently use anchors in his or her teaching process.

Covert Anchors

Dilts and DeLozier (2000) suggest that there are instances when the strongest anchors are beyond the receiver’s conscious awareness. These are the covert anchors. They are extremely strong because of the fact that they operate in a manner that bypasses the filtering system of the mind.

It enables these anchors to directly embed themselves in the mind of recipients. Covert anchors are best for situations wherein the receiver cannot link a response to the given stimulus. This is because his mind’s conscious filter keeps him from making the connection.

Some Thoughts to Ponder Over

What kind of anchors do you have in your life? What natural and covert anchors do you keep?