We have all heard about Pavlov – the guy who found that he could condition dogs to drool by merely ringing a bell. The dogs were conditioned to associate the ringing of the bell with food. In NLP we call what Pavlov did anchoring.

If you think about it anchoring plays a large part in our lives. We all have a song that makes us feel good…or bad. NLP gives you the chance to create your own anchors and to create them in other people as well.

Imagine having the people around you associate feeling good with you! How would that change your relationships with them? How about that person you are attracted to? If you could make them associate feeling of attraction with you how would that change things?

So how does anchoring work?

Someone has an intense emotional experience and at some point during that experience a specific stimulus is applied creating a neurological link between that stimulus and emotion. A negative example of this would be a woman whose husband has died. As those who attend his funeral pass they touch her on her arm while giving her their condolences. Weeks after the funeral the woman will only have to be touched on the arm for those feelings of grief to come back to her.

The stimulus could be anything from a touch to a tone of voice (how dos it feel when that certain person tells you that they love you with that certain tone of voice?) to the tapping of a pencil on a table top. The important thing is that it is used at a certain point of the experience and that it is suitably unique when there is strong emotional stimulation so the two get associated with each other.

Let’s try an exercise in developing instant self confidence:

Think of a time when you were totally confident, you felt powerful and there was no doubt in your mind. As those feelings come back to you they will peak and subside. Start clenching your fist. Repeat this and then test it by clenching your fist. If you’ve done it right you should feel a welling up of those same emotions. This is how simple it is. See what a difference anchoring can make to your life? Imagine firing off this confidence anchor whenever you are feeling a little unsure of yourself.

You can also do this to other people. The same principles apply.

The effectiveness of the anchor depends on the strength of the emotional experience, the uniqueness of the anchor and the number of times it is repeated.

This article covers the very basics of anchoring a good practitioner course will give you many powerful anchoring techniques and applications from training to playing poker.

As mentioned near the beginning of the article imagine anchoring everyone around you to positive feelings. How about being able to anchor your boss to good feelings? Would this make a difference to your career? You bet it would.

If you could anchor yourself to states of extreme confidence power and motivation that you could then fire off at any time you wanted what would be different about your life? Imagine being able to do the same to the people around you. Would this increase you power as a business leader or manager? How about doing it to your children as a parent? The possibilities are immense.

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