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.

You Must Set Anchors

Effective teaching with anchors then is an ability that requires users to be able to associate the knowledge they want to impart with strong, positive internal states of their students (Dilts & DeLozier, 2000). In the two ways of creating anchors — one through repetition of linking responses with stimuli and the other linking responses to strong internal states, the latter produces more immediate results. Nevertheless, both methods can be used as this will enrich one’s teaching abilities even more.

The strong internal state anchoring, though the more lasting approach, has its limitations as well. In some cases, the repetitive method becomes more appropriate.

An Example of Using Anchors

As an example, let’s say a couple is preparing for childbirth. The husband is usually in the role of the coach to the expectant mother. One of the challenges of being a coach during birth is that the experience is so intense that it’s hard to transfer everything you know because the real situation is so different than the one in which you practice. You practice breathing and various other techniques at home in a comfortable state, but when the reality occurs, it’s a completely different situation that makes it difficult to remember all the techniques that you have practiced.

One helpful strategy is to make an anchor. When the expectant mother is in the state that she wants to be able to maintain throughout the birth process, she can make an internal anchor, such as a symbol. You could ask her, “What would symbolize this state?” Let’s say she imagines a nautilus shell — a snail shell that has a big opening on the bottom. The couple could then actually buy one of these shells. Then during all their practice sessions, the expectant mother could focus her eyes on the shell. The shell may then be brought into the hospital during the actual childbirth process, and be an ongoing trigger to help generalize the desired state to the actual birthing process. (Dilts & DeLozier, 2000, pp. 31-32)

Some Thoughts to Ponder Over

What are examples by which you can apply the repetitive method for anchoring? What strong internal states can you link to things you need to learn and remember, as well as use as anchors? Are there times wherein you have placed an anchor and failed? Which strategy did you use?

Get Acquainted with the Nature of Anchoring


According to Vaknin (2008), anchoring is the way by which you get into the right state for what we want to do. This process involves connecting a symbol with the desired state or a resource state. It is called a resource state because you are more resourceful when you place or find yourself in this state (Vaknin, 2008). Once you have a symbol, you fire the anchor in order to trigger the associated resource state. Anchoring is related to behaviorism (Vaknin, 2008). Behaviorism reveals to us how to modify our behaviors. This involves a collection of methods used to train animals to do tricks.

Baldwin and Linnea (2010) stressed on anchoring our energy to the center in order to create a container that is capable of holding great sweetness and absorbing great tension. Anchoring also has a profound impact on people’s experiences for subtle and subjective elements, such as a sense of safety, inclusion, spaciousness for story, and the ability to respond appropriately to conflict.

The Behavior Is The Problem

According to Vaknin (2008), behavior modification is at the heart of most problems that we want to change about ourselves. Problems such as procrastination, addiction, and the like can be addressed if we modify our behavior. Through anchoring, we would combine communication with the understanding of our nervous system.

We need to create solutions that run themselves. We want the solution to be permanent. If you had to think about every strategy you use to be excellent, then you’d run out of brain power. People do not usually achieve amazing things just by reading self-help books or TV shows. You need to actually implement the change and sustain it.

People need to realize that anchors influence our behavior and relationships. Being in your workplace will automatically influence your workplace behavior. Moreover, being downtown can trigger your desire to visit your favorite diner or ice cream parlor. Parents help their children sleep by reading stories or playing music, which develops into an evening ritual.

Rituals are anchors that trigger states in a person. For example, a soldier who pulls out a locket from his girl friend back home can be an anchor for him. It will give him either feelings of homesickness or security and warmth.

Thoughts to Ponder Over

These are basic steps for integrating behavior and intention. Ask them to select a behavior for transformation. Identify the intentions behind those behaviors. Next, identify the related outcomes. Plan towards those outcomes. Try implementing the plan. Lastly, evaluate if the intentions and the behaviors are integrated properly.