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How Anchoring Can Help Boost Your Confidence

Boost your confidence through anchoring. Anchoring is the process of associating an internal response to some environmental or mental stimulus. This allows the response to be re-accessed consciously or covertly.

When someone is in an intense state (emotionally), and a specific stimulus is applied at the peak of that experience. The two are linked neurologically – Experience (state) +Stimulus (anchor) = neurological link.

Anchoring is similar to the “conditioning” technique used by Ivan Pavlov to create a link between the ringing of a bell and the act of giving food to dogs.

The dogs quickly associated the ringing of the bell with the receiving of food and would salivate at the sound of the bell even though no food was given.

Pavlov noticed that salivation was a reflexive process and occurred automatically in response to a specific stimulus and did not fall under conscious control.

He suggested that the salivation process was a learned response. The dogs were responding to the sound of the bell, which they had come to associate with the presentation of food.

Of course, anchors are not just created by hearing; they could be a particular smell, a vivid image, or something you feel can trigger a specific state.

The anchoring process’s repetition is necessary when the emotional state is not very strong or at its peak.

However, if the emotion is strong enough and the timing is right, the anchor can be set in a single instance. Repetitive application of the anchor will create a habit that will be activated unconsciously when needed.

You Are Creating Anchors in Your Daily Life

You may not be aware that you are creating anchors every day; you may associate a certain tone of voice from a colleague with rejection.

You may link a pat on the back from your boss with the feeling of confidence and victory while speaking with a pretty girl; you may associate the smell of her perfume with acceptance and excitement.

You may link a certain song on the radio with a passionate kiss you shared with your girlfriend/boyfriend, allowing you to relive the excitement and passion when hearing the song later on.

Anchoring can assist you in re-accessing resourceful states within yourself or others. Imagine the impact on your life, at work, home or play, if you could get into a resourceful state simply by flicking a switch?

Politicians, athletes, actors and business people need to be resourceful in the moment of performance, not an hour before or after, but “in the moment” they are expected to deliver when the moment requires it.

This is where anchoring can play an important part in helping you get into those states when you need them most.

The question is, how can you use anchoring in your everyday life, and most importantly, how do you create them for things like feeling more confident, becoming more focused, or simply being more joyful at work?

Here’s how to install an Anchor

NB: You can do this exercise with your eyes open or closed; closing my eyes helps me better visualize the experience and thus become more engaged with the state.

Below are the steps to install a resourceful state to boost your confidence, but they can be used to install any resourceful state you wish.

  1. First, decide on the state you want to anchor. e.g. boost your confidence.
  2. Choose an anchor/s that you will use to trigger the resourceful state. e.g., make the OK sign with your index finger and thumb or rub your index finger and thumb together.
  3. Recall a time when you were at the top of your game when you felt strong and full of self-confidence. It may have been a time in High School, at work or while you were out with family or friends. (If you can’t recall a time, imagine a situation where you can experience that state).
  4. Now fully experience and immerse yourself into that state; what do you see? What are you hearing? How are you feeling? Engage as many of the emotions as possible.
  5. Now, as your emotions begin to rise and reach a peak, activate the anchor/s (as describe in point two above).
  6. Release the anchor/s as the experience begins to fade, don’t keep the anchor applied during the fading process.
  7. Now, open your eyes if you had them closed, and do something different, like count backwards from 10 or recall a telephone number anything to break the state.
  8. Repeat the steps several times, and each time you do this, increase the vividness of the memory or experience. You might want to think of other times that you were confident and at the top of your game and apply the anchor in the same way you did the first time. Break the state after each anchor by doing something different, as in step 7. By doing this several times, you are strengthening the confidence anchor.
  9. Once completed, apply the anchor to check and see that the required state (confidence) occurs.
  10. Now think of a time in the future where you want to experience confidence. Activate the anchor to see that the resource state is created.
  11. The next day, activate the anchor to ensure that the resource state is created.
  12. You can strengthen the anchor by repeating the above process over several days.

Remember anchoring can be used for different states, not just confidence, so go ahead and experiment with other resourceful states you would like to recreate.

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