Most people set goals, quite a few even create a plan of actions but very few actually achieve their goals. We will explore the different reasons for this and also understand how you can use the NLP Anchoring process to you move from goal setting to goal accomplishment.
As humans, whatever we do, we do with an objective to achieve an outcome (accomplish a goal). This outcome / goal could be something material, emotional or it could just be a state of mind that we may or may not be aware of.
Yet most of us continue to struggle due to our inability to achieve these outcomes.
What stops us from accomplishing our goals?
The reason why we are not able to achieve the desired goal, even when we know the goal, is because achieving this goal generally depends on a series of actions (including inaction) which needs to be contextualised as per specific situations or circumstances.
Our actions in turn are dependent on our knowledge, our skills and the emotions we experience in a given situation. Acquiring new knowledge & developing new skills would require us to be in a mental state which is conducive for the same.
This mental state is itself dependent on our emotions which generally is a result of what has happened to us in the past or what is happening to us in the present.
So it wouldn’t be incorrect to say that our ability to achieve our outcome is dependent on how we feel about what has happened to us in the past and what is happening to us in the present.
Notice the key words here are our feelings about what has happened to us or what is happening to us i.e. our feelings about external stimuli or trigger. How we act is dependent on these feelings.
This is the primary reason for the struggle we have in our day to day life.
Secret to Goal Accomplishment
The secret to accomplishing your goals more naturally would be to learn to experience appropriate emotions at will.
By appropriate emotions I mean the emotions that are most likely to drive our actions in a way that we move closer to our outcome. But this is easier said than done.
Our emotions are automatic reactions to stimuli/triggers and are seldom a result of our conscious choice.
Researches have shown that the part of the brain that controls reactions and emotions known as “amygdala” works faster than our conscious, rational brain. In other words, experiencing emotions at will would require us to create stimuli / triggers (for different emotions) that can be controlled at will.
This is exactly what the Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) process of anchoring also known as installing a trigger in hypnosis can help us achieve.
What is NLP Anchoring?
Anchoring is a process which, on the face of it, is similar to the concept of classical conditioning in psychology and deals with associating an internal response with an external or internal trigger.
This trigger could usually be a gesture, an image or a sound.
Once a strong association is created in a person, the person experiences the internal response whenever the trigger is initiated or activated.
An example of an anchor could be associating a particular sound to a particular emotion. Whenever the person hears that sound, he / she would experience the particular emotion.
One can create different anchors for different emotions. This is almost like installing a switch board where each switch is a button for an emotion. The beauty of the NLP anchoring process is that it could be used with self or with others. It can be used in one to one sessions or in groups.
Who can benefit from the NLP Anchoring Process?
The NLP process of anchoring can help:
- Individuals access appropriate emotions which can help them achieve their outcomes and
- Coaches, therapists & trainers in helping their clients and participants achieve their outcomes. Because of its simplicity, it can be combined with almost any form of therapy and training easily & effectively.
The Five Keys to NLP Anchoring – ITURN:
- Intensity of the Experience (I):
Before installing an anchor make the experience as intense & powerful as possible.
- Timing of the Anchor (T):
Install the anchor at a time when the desired mental state is experienced by the person at its peak.
- Uniqueness of the Anchor (U):
In most cases the anchor should be unique i.e. the gesture or the sound or the visual is not connected to another mental state already.
- Replication of the Stimulus (R):
The anchor should be such that the person can
- Number of times (N):
Repeat this process number of times to make the anchor stronger & more effective.
5 Step NLP Process for Simple Anchoring:
- The first step in anchoring is to help the person access the mental state that is to be anchored. This mental state is accessed with the help of a past experience or an imagination.
- Once the person recalls the past experience or creates the desired imagination in his / her mind, the person is asked to step into the past experience or the imagination so that the person can experience the same as if it is happening now. This helps them in accessing the mental state and making it more intense.
- Once the mental state is at its peak, the person is asked to repeat a gesture (which will be the anchor) like touching their ear or pressing the index finger with the thumb or repeating a word…. In other words, through repetition we are associating the mental state with gesture so that in future when the person wants to access the mental state, all he / she needs to do is to repeat the gesture.
- We then break the state and bring the person back to the present.
- After a gap of some time, the person is asked to repeat the gesture to check that the automatic internal response to this gesture is the desired mental state or not. If it is, the process has worked.
The process can further be extended to create an association between specific event / situation (example: seeing a stage) in our life to specific emotional response (example: confidence), thereby making the event or the situation (stage) itself an anchor for desired mental state (confidence).
Goal Accomplishment and Anchoring
By now we already know that anchoring can be a very a useful process in helping us trigger desired states at will, which is one of the most important factors for achieving the desired outcome, you can learn anchoring:
- For self-help by joining us in the mind your life course or by booking a one-to-one coaching session.
- If you are a coach or a trainer who would like to help your clients / participants access desirable mental states quickly and effectively you must join us for our comprehensive Certification course, Cognitive Hypnotic Coaching™. But if you are a psychologist you must check out the Cognitive Hypnotic Psychotherapy™ Program. It is a unique program that seamlessly integrates different approaches to psychotherapy (cognitive, behavioural, psycho-dynamics and humanistic) into a single comprehensive curriculum.