Monday, August 21, 2006

Anchors away

Anchors are used as a method of anchoring an experience, and giving it permanence. Adverts try to use this method, so that every time their logo is viewed it is anchored with an experience. The anchor they use is the product of repeating a media experience message with visual images and sound. If adverts could reach out and touch consumers every time they were exposed to the product, they would do so.
Ideally an anchor is similar to pressing a button to create a physiological state that's acquired without having to think about it. Similar to the famous Pavlovian dogs, salivating each time they heard the sound of a bell. Unfortunately, most of us have developed anchors haphazardly; however, we have the ability to create our own personal positive anchors.

Exercise to create your anchor
For an anchor you need two things:
1) You need to remember a special time when you felt good, positive, strong and successful and remember the way your body physiology felt during this time. The more intense the physiological state the easier it is to anchor. The mind and physiology need to be congruent, as the body and mind must be working together in harmony.
2) You need to choose a unique stimulus, so that each time this stimulus is activated, it will produce the physiological response of that special moment without you having to think about it. A frequently chosen stimulus is to squeeze the thumb and the middle finger together on the left hand.

Now you have the tools the next step is to anchor the two together. You will need to practice this repeatedly for the brain associations to develop the anchor. So, in a quiet room with no distractions think of your special experience when you were feeling ‘on top of the world’, remember it in minute detail. Get your mind to replay that memory and make that memory bright. If there is light and colour, turn up the brightness, if there is sound, turn up the volume. As you remember the memory in detail, your physiology and emotions should be repeating the way you felt during that good experience. At the peak of the ‘feel good factor’ you should press your thumb and middle finger together, or the action you have chosen to be your stimulus.

This will take practice and repetition to get your mind to associate the unique action stimulus with the fantastic memory you chose. But once you have put in the hard work to anchor, then you can use it for your advantage. Many people use their anchors before interviews, giving presentations or giving speeches and find that using their confident physiology induced by activating their anchor point dramatically improves their performance.
For more practical tips then await the book 'Why Lawyers Should Surf' - to be published at the start of 2007.

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