Select Page

NLP Anchoring: How to apply the Pavlov effect to people

NLP Anchoring: How to apply the Pavlov effect to people

What does anchoring (known from the Pavlovian effect) mean? Everyone has a song or a smell that reminds him of something. Your mouth watering thinking about some food items, you stop at a red traffic light and when you came home seeing that look in your parents’ eyes you knew you were in trouble… Learn all the steps to anchor yourself here and thus take control!

First, let’s look at the Pavlov effect in a short experiment (1 minute, tip)

What exactly is an anchor? And can the terminology finally be clarified?

Let’s start clearing up the terminology while explaining an anchor. There are a lot of synonyms, so let’s make that clear.

Anchors are external stimuli that trigger a specific internal experience or response. Many people feel stress when they hear an alarm. Many people become very relaxed when they smell a bunch of lavender leaves. There is then talk of …

  • A stimulus . This is also called a trigger  or (external) stimulus  .
  • And a response or reaction .
  •  Sometimes the word anchor only refers to the stimulus and sometimes it refers to the entire process of anchoring: the stimulus and the response.

For example, the stimulus is the alarm you hear (in this case an auditory stimulus). That stimulus causes a response, namely your startle response and increased stress. As soon as you consciously use such a stimulus, it becomes an anchor technique.

Let us outline what an anchor is by means of examples. We observe the following triggers (other word for stimulus) through our representation systems.

  • Visual trigger: you see your boss roll his eyes, so the response is that you feel like you are not appreciated.
  • Auditory trigger: you hear your colleague sigh loudly behind you, so that the response is that irritations are aroused in you.
  • Kinesthetic trigger: you get a pat on the back from a colleague, which gives you a boost and a warm feeling.

Anchors are often used as an aid, for example to recall a desired feeling such as trust more quickly. In that case, an anchor is, as it were, something solid that you can hold on to, so that you do not drift away and so that you remain safe.

You create such an anchor by understanding a trigger and strengthening it in order to ultimately use it to your advantage, so that you can evoke the corresponding response, again and again. Wouldn’t it be handy to have such an anchor at hand everywhere and at all times? NLP teaches us that.

What can you do with anchors and the Pavlov effect?


Anchoring is classical conditioning . You can actively use this to achieve the things you want. Dolphins are conditioned through stimuli and responses to learn tricks and dogs to become toilet trained. In this article we will learn how to consciously create anchors so that you can put yourself or others in a certain mood when you need it.

Imagine what you could have done differently when you could relax quickly and easily in tense situations. This is useful for difficult conversations, before going on vacation or in any other situation where feeling tension and stress would not be helpful. If you’ve done the exercises in this article, you can make an anchor of anything.

Are you a door-to-door salesman? For example, you can anchor a doorbell or telephone receiver so that you can always put yourself in a ‘charismatic convincing salesman state’ when you pick up the telephone receiver or press the doorbell (kinesthetic anchor).

Anchors arise faster than you think. At first, the dogs only drooled when they actually got meat powder on their tongues. Then when Pavlov’s assistants rang the bell. A few days later they were already drooling every time the closet door was opened. A few days later they were already drooling when the assistants walked in through the door. That’s how fast anchors work.

Another example of such a kinesthetic anchor is Piet’s example. He has an important exam ahead of him. In preparation, he thinks about moments when he was calm (this is one of the ways to generate a feeling ), and then he simultaneously takes the pen in his hands with which he will soon be taking the exam. When the exam starts, he takes his pen and he can take the exam very quietly!

Anchoring is very useful if you are coaching someone. For example, a touch on the shoulder to keep the other focused, alert and awake.

Anchors (Pavlovian reactions) occur naturally in our daily life

pavlov effect anchoring

People also condition each other in different ways. If someone does something nice for you, respond positively and kindly. If someone says something mocking, turn your back on them and pretend you didn’t hear it.

Actor Russel Brand always does this subtly during interviews by calling it a superficial remark, looking in a different direction and, for example, starting a new conversation with another presenter or with the audience. When the presenter asks him a normal question again, Brand responds positively and friendly. Moments later, when the presenter makes another insulting joke about Brand’s accent, he keeps eye contact, ignores the frame, and responds with a defensive joke.

So never reward bad behavior. Give people a chance to stop being bastards, and state their behavior if they keep going. These are all powerful non-verbal acts. The presenter feels Brand’s disapproval. He will not play as long as the presenter is acting rude. The result: the presenter gives Brand a sincere compliment. Brand reacts extremely positively. The tone has been set. Treat him bad and feel the sting, show genuine kindness and get the sweetheart.

This is especially important when dating and flirting. If your date does something vulnerable and loving, such as expressing his / her feelings for you, encourage your date to continue doing sweet things. “Say that one more time. You can say that again. It makes me warm.”

Some more examples of anchoring:

  • Rituals can also be anchors. A bedtime story for children or ice cream after hospital gives a certain feeling. Top athletes sometimes appear to be engaged in rituals, while they are actually engaged in anchoring a win mood: a mood in which they are optimally alert and focused.
  • Other people have created their own trigger word to put themselves in their desired state: “Magical!” “Sparkling!”
  • An entrepreneur can use anchors when giving his business card or at the end of a telephone conversation: “We had a nice conversation, do you want to repeat that? Then you pick up the phone and call me! ”
  • A photo album gives you moments of pleasure, emotion, sadness, etc.
  • A song on the radio takes you right back to your first love, a funeral or a moment of euphoria.
  • The smell of an apple pie immediately reminds you of your mother when you were little.
  • Seeing a specific person immediately makes you feel restless and embarrassed.
  • Post- hypnotic suggestions are also anchors.

The 4 steps to anchor (the Pavlovian theory applied in practice)

  1. Enter a state of mind and strengthen it.
  2. Enter a specific stimulus as the mood rises to its peak. Once it has peaked, stop inserting the stimulus before it decreases in intensity again.
  3. Break state (pattern break).
  4. Fire the anchor (the stimulus from step 2) to test (through calibration ) if you get the same response as that from step 1.

So always keep calibrating. Always calibrate to the physiology while anchoring the client, so also constantly observe when he / she changes states and when he / she should change. Observe how his body shifts as he keeps changing states. Consider the congruence theory of matching your thoughts, actions and emotions.

The 5 criteria for anchoring successfully

Apply anchoring pavlov effect

  1. Purity: Enter a pure state of mind. The states must be pure or congruent and intense during anchor application.
  2. Uniqueness: the stimulus does not naturally have to be fired several times in a day or week. If you use a kinesthetic anchor, don’t do it with a snap of your finger or with your thumb up, for example.
  3. Reproducibility: the ability to reproduce the stimulus in exactly the same way as the stimulus as it was first introduced. Reproduction of the anchor must be exactly the same as the original. In the case of a hand on the shoulder, put your hand and fingers exactly in the same place as before.
  4. Intensity: Capture the mood in its most intense form. Only set the anchor while the client is in a high-quality state of mind. Place the anchor just before that state is most intense, because …
  5. Timing: … then it is an accelerating process that you anchor. So don’t put it on the peak, which is a stagnant process. And also not after that peak, when leaving the state: a decreasing process.

The power of unpredictability in a Pavlovian reaction

Do you want to give someone a frame of mind with an anchor that you once built? Don’t make anchor firing too predictable. Do it at unexpected times.

It is interesting to note that pleasant surprises are one of the nicest experiences you can have. After a while the trainers will not always reward the dolphins when they have done a trick, otherwise it will become normal for the dolphins. The dolphins will not always give 100% if they are always rewarded. The irregular surprise and the uncertainty make the dolphin go for it 100%.

In a casino, people also continue after they have not been rewarded, because after each additional time without a prize, the chance is greater that it will happen the next time. It keeps them in a state of anticipation.

So play with the predictability of your anchor if you apply it to another person.

Additional tips for effective anchors in the Pavlovian effect

  • Use mood reminders as the standard method of building a mood. But there are more methods.
  • Work with an abundance mindset when anchoring: anything is possible. For example, you can use several different positive memories and methods to build one state of mind.
  • You can also stack multiple moods in one anchor. In this way it becomes a ‘ resource anchor, or a stacked anchor ‘. For example, if you want to put 4 different states in a stacked anchor, use 5 different experiences for each state to build the anchor. In total you will be anchoring 20 times to build the stacked anchor.
  • If you are building anchors, connect the anchor to the feeling several times. In the case of the exercise described later in this article, we place our hand on Person A’s shoulder a few more times while naming and reinforcing the properties of the state. Then we test if it works: we fire the anchor by placing our hand on A’s shoulder and we observe if she again shows the characteristics of how she felt in the state. If the test shows that she does not go back to the state, we repeat the steps: strengthen the anchor and test again.
  • Do you have a resource anchor for yourself? Make it a habit to always replenish your resource anchor when you are naturally back in a state that can come in handy later.
  • You can give certain feelings a color, shape and a place in the body so that you can reinforce those submodalities .
  • You may also want to use the other person’s personal trance words as an anchor. These are the words that the other person often uses.
  • Also work with so-called sliding anchors. For example, gradually press harder on a person’s shoulder as a state increases in intensity, so that you pace that increasing intensity . Another example: in a conversation where you sit at a table, you can make small circles on the table with your finger. You bring your finger close to the other person when a positive topic is discussed and the state is enacted. If you are fractionating to a neutral or negative subject , bring your finger close to yourself again.
  • For the greatest effect, states of mind must be experienced in the first person, as if it were happening again, thus associated.
  • If someone just happens to show a desired state live: anchor! Add it to the resource anchor. For example, if someone passionately tells you a story about how powerful she felt when she experienced something really special while riding, and explicitly called herself a cowgirl, use that as an auditory anchor: “Wow, a cowgirl!”
  • Are you kinesthetic anchoring someone? Then lead with your body while firing the positive anchor: change your posture and breathing yourself.

With the body always reproducable anchors


You can prepare yourself and bring the right stuff for a client. If a client wants to anchor a bad taste to chocolate, you can take that with you. Of course you can produce anchors with your body anytime and anywhere.

Kinesthetic Reproducible Anchors:

  • Fingertip movement of the client’s eyes towards you.
  • Or as we will do in the exercises touching someone’s shoulder or knee with your hand.

Auditory reproducible anchors:

  • A tight “hey”
  • an admiring “wow”
  • A one-liner such as “cat in the cup”.
  • Musical anchors: Rate the worry scale 1-10. Then do this while listening to 3 different genres. Which genre works best?

Visual reproducible anchors:

  • Bring your thumb and index finger together.
  • Put your hand on your heart.
  • Make a triangle with your thumbs and index fingers (as if you were capturing the moment).
  • Tap your chin while your head is slightly tilted.
  • Tap on something with your index finger.
  • Like the fictional Frank Underwood from House of Cards tapping the table twice with your knuckles (he uses it to end a conversation and it’s time for action)
  • Swinging your hand open as a distraction while firing a kinesthetic anchor.

Tip: combine two different types of anchors (e.g. kinesthetic and visual)

For example, anchor something with a kinesthetic and visual anchor at the same time, for more effect. For example, you can make the OK sign, while also making a sound. Another example: when you have built a strong rapport with someone, you can anchor it with a handshake and a sentence: “That’s great, I like to give you a hand for that.” Use that anchor for when rapport drifts.

Using your body as an anchor to influence someone


Anchoring does not stop at statements, memories, objects and body parts. You can also use an entire person as an anchor. A frequently used application of a body as an anchor is that you connect yourself with emotions such as trust and authority. This is especially useful as a coach.

  1. Use spontaneous positive states, or make sure that you have created positive emotions in the other person by slowly leading questions to a positive topic. You do this, among other things, by naming the properties of that positive experience, and the sensory properties ( from the list VAKOG ).
  2. Then you make sure that you are increasingly close to the other person, touch him or her (this brings someone to the here and now) or point to yourself.

Do you have the giggles with someone? Anchor that! This way you can recall it at any time!

For example, if you want people to think you are fair, talk about others and how wonderful and honest they are. Anchor that to yourself by pointing to your own chest. When you are talking about positive qualities of relationships between people, you can associate this quality with you by pointing your hand back and forth between the two of you. “True, trusting each other is important. I find that when THAT HAPPENS (associate this with you by moving your hand back and forth between you and the other) between people (people = vague) … you can achieve a lot of beautiful things. embedded command, subliminal influence )

When someone gets some fantastic news and feels very happy, make sure you are close to that person or in plain sight. The opposite is also true, so step back, break rapport, or get out of sight if the client suddenly experiences something unpleasant or experiences negative states, such as anger, so that he or she doesn’t associate it with you.

If you want someone to be on your side, literally be on their side.

When you are standing where he is looking or pointing at that moment, step to the side, point to that space, stand on his side and together, side by side, view the problem. Or hold the problem in front of you with an outstretched arm. An additional option is to give him an object, such as a piece of paper, to direct the other’s anger to it. You ‘redirect’ the tension to something that you are looking at together.

Are you in a meeting and someone is angry with you? Put it on a whiteboard and step away from it. Now you look at the issue together and the anger is no longer directed at you.

You can achieve the same effect when someone accuses you of something. Focus on the message and literally take yourself out of position with your body. After an accusation, step away from your place and point the other person to where you just stood . You point to the message together as you resolve it. The accusation is now anchored to the location where you first stood, and no longer to your body.

You come home and tell your partner how bad it was at work. You also tell an ankedote. “And then my boss said: you can’t do anything about it!” You face your partner and you address yourself to your partner as you tell this anecdote.

Why is this not so pleasant for your partner?

You just anchored the negativity on your partner. You should have been standing next to your partner and directing your frustration to an object or empty space. “And my boss then said: you can’t do anything about it!” Then you and your partner are both on the same ‘team’ and then you anchor the negativity and that statement on something outside of you. If you tell a positive anecdote (“And then my colleague said: you are a great person.”), It is actually nice to stand in front of your partner and anchor it on him / her.

And why do you think there is a kind of ‘us versus them’ tension in certain situations? Could you have put different groups directly opposite each other? When team A and team B are in a meeting, don’t sit the teams across the table, but let everyone sit together.

You could also anchor the negativity that comes up with an object:

  1. “Wow, it sounds like that guy really hurt you. You know what, pretend this (get a piece of paper) is him. Now make a wad of it.”
  2. “Now put all your anger into this piece of paper – or whatever you have in your hands …”
  3. “And throw it away. Just tear it apart, and throw it away, and start over without this guy putting you down.”

This is powerful stuff!

Test out different stimuli:

  • Stand behind someone and say, I want you to do the dishes
  • Stand to the left of someone and say, I want you to do the dishes
  • Stand to the right of someone and say, I want you to do the dishes
  • Sit down and say, I want you to do the dishes
  • Stand in front of someone and say, I want you to do the dishes
  • Test different ways of using your voice and say, I want you to do the dishes

Try it out for a while. Overall, which stimulus gave the best response in that particular person?

Finally, you can connect yourself to positive states and issues by simply pointing to yourself when positive topics and emotions are discussed.

Also borrow the authority of an authoritarian person: stand in or near (more respectfully) the place where they first stood after they left, and copy their movements and voice and then use them with a whole group of other people.

Exercise – Generating states in the other person (essential part of anchoring)


  1. Person B tells what his goal is with this exercise. That goal is that he must be able to generate a positive emotional state in his audience at some point in his life. B tells which state that is. For example curiosity, excitement or fascination. B will soon try to generate that state in A.
  2. A has C calibrate what that state looks like in A’s body, while B looks away.
  3. B must do everything in its power to generate the desired state in A, while C is the barometer. For example, C can indicate how well B is doing with her right hand on her left arm. The higher she goes with her hand, the more the state of A resembles the calibrated state.
  4. If successful, B will fractionate: lead to the opposite state.
  5. Now A is brought back to the positive state by B. Remember that you first have to bring A to a neutral state , for example by letting it shake off.

Be creative in finding ways to get A to the desired state. A standard way is to direct A to a memory in which that state occurred naturally. You can use the following words: “See the images, hear the sounds and feel all the feelings in your body.” Other ways: for example, tell a story, use properties of the state, utilize what you see happening and use sensory descriptions (VAKOG). “I saw a beaver by the beautiful river … and it was very quiet … and I leaned forward, and the beaver leaned forward … it was as if time stood still for a moment.” However, sometimes it can also be simpler than you think and give you a simple call to action: “Get fascinated now.” Also pay attention to tonality and physiology. You can also do it through hypnostic suggestions generate a state.

Exercise – Create an anchor

  1. A chooses a state.
  2. B also asks A what her preferred system is for an anchor: visual, auditory or kinesthetic.
  3. B leads A to that state (see previous exercise).
  4. Create an anchor together: “What kind of sound or image could belong to this? What comes to mind? ” In the case of kinesthetic, you use your touch as an anchor.
  5. Strengthen the anchor: “I see trees and the sun.” “Okay, more trees, more sun. What is happening?”
  6. Bring A back, let her shake off. And get her back to the state by firing the anchor. How well does your anchor work after this one installation? You often have to repeat the previous steps several times before the anchor has become somewhat strong.

Exercise – Variations on ‘Raising States in the Other’

Variation 1: Meanwhile, A can also try to anchor something in B without B knowing.
Variation 2: Meanwhile, A can pacing while listening and then lead to the opposite state (who wins?).

Exercise – Freely play with anchors

  1. You can create and strengthen an anchor on the spot. You can try this regularly. Ask person A what a nice memory is.
  2. “What is the feeling of that?”
  3. Echo the feelings contained in the response. “Take that {feeling} and allow it to spread, like a color in your body to your heart and your chest, from head to toe. Notice how the feeling gets even stronger as you do that. ”
  4. Place your hand on person A’s shoulder as soon as you observe that he or she feels the feeling strongly. Continue to reinforce the feeling with your language and take your hand off after 10 seconds.
  5. Bring person A back into a neutral state by, for example, suddenly introducing a new neutral topic of conversation.
  6. After a minute, fire the anchor by placing your hand in exactly the same spot on his or her shoulder, describing the state again briefly and reinforcing it with some words of encouragement.

If you don’t see the other person suddenly go back into the feeling, it’s because we’ve only built the anchor once. In the following exercises we will reinforce the feeling, condition and test the anchor before we are sure that we have a working anchor.

Utilization and anchoring

We created an anchor all by ourselves and from scratch in the previous exercise. An anchor can also already be present in people in a certain situation. The  trick is to notice these patterns and use them effectively to solve problems or to take advantage of a situation. So anchor especially when something happens live and naturally, for example when you thank someone or when someone is happy. You can use that anchor later on negative states and situations. For example when a child is stuck with creativity. So you utilize the anchor possibilities that arise live.

For example, if you bring the client into relaxation, or if he or she talks about relaxation, you can create an anchor by, for example, touching his or her knee, repeating what he or she says, and adding a sentence about relaxation. , like “It feels great to relax like that, right?” Moments later, when the moment is long forgotten, you can touch his or her knee again in exactly the right place and say something like, “Notice how it feels when I do this” or, “You know those people who touch you and suddenly you feel that relaxation? ”

Whenever your child is naturally enthusiastic and energetic, you can respond with a certain tone . On the other hand, there are bound to be days when the child doesn’t feel like doing anything and is whining. If you then say in exactly the same tone , “What could you do?” Then the child will enthusiastically start doing something again within a few minutes, such as reading a book or playing outside.

Exercise – Implicit anchoring

Convince someone to do something by using anchors. This is an example of an employee who wants to ask for a raise around Christmas:

  1. Can you remember when you were very liberating?
  2. Anchor as you explore that memory. For example, by pulling your ear, coughing and looking weird at the same time;)
  3. Change the subject. This breaks the state to go to a neutral state. For example, “Do you remember celebrating Christmas when you were 5?”
  4. After a while, you fire the anchor again while asking for a raise.

Test it out! Test whether it works at work, at a party, while waiting in line at the checkout …

Intervention – Deploying an empowering anchor for a situation

pavlov effect anchoring

We start by anchoring one or more of the positive states of A.

  1. “Debbie, I want you to think of a time when you really enjoyed what you were doing, and it makes you feel really good. What did you do, with whom, who helped, which solutions you came up with were effective, what was important to you at the time? ”

For example, Debbie talks about when she danced in front of a large audience.

  1. “Hear the music and feel it in your body. Visualize that moment. TOUCH HER SHOULDER. Be there. Breathe as you breathed then. Get back into the rhythm and the feeling. Feel how you felt. Relive it. ”
  2. LET LOOSE OF THE SHOULDER and bring to neutral state. “Come back to this room”.
  3. Now you test + strengthen the anchor: fire the anchor again. “How does it feel now? To feel that state , Debbie ? ”
  4. Repeat steps 3 and 4.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 one more time (i.e. amplify and test for the third time). “Think of a time when you danced and it felt really, really good! Go there again. Feel it, feel the rhythm, let the feeling take off completely. Very well. Put that feeling here (TOUCH SHOULDER). Boom. ”
  6. Bring her to a neutral state.
  7. Fire / test the anchor again: This time just put your hand on her shoulder, so fire the anchor (while observing / calibrating again how that positive state is expressed in her body language): ” boom and the feeling comes back ”. Then bring her back to a neutral state.

When the state + the anchor is stabilized you can go to step 9. We are now going to use it for a problem.

  1. “Think of a moment in your life when you could really use that nice, rhythmic feeling: when you felt unpleasant or less good, so not really connected to yourself / incongruent.”
  2. “Just go back to that moment. Notice who is there, what they say, etc. and how it makes you feel. ”
  3. “Know that this (FIRE THE ANCHOR: TOUCHING HER SHOULDER) is inside you, and know that you can have this feeling regardless of what is happening. And now notice what is happening in that situation, what is changing. What do you do, how do they react? Etc.”

Intervention – Changing negative anchors

An example of a problem situation that your client wants to solve: every time she is offered something unhealthy, she automatically says yes and she eats it. For example, a biscuit with tea. Her trigger is seeing the shell on offer, smelling the cookies and the increase in her dopamine. Her response is that she says yes and starts eating the unhealthy things.

  1. First, put her in a neutral state.
  2. Offer her a cookie and let her say no.
  3. Repeat this quite a few times and keep reinforcing the offers. The way in which you convince her to have one and also make the cakes and cookies tastier. Use her momentum (the opposite of the yes set, which is a no set) to get her to say no to the offers that are harder to resist.
  4. From now on, being offered something unhealthy (the trigger) will automatically cause her to say no (the response). All by herself.

The same problem can also be  treated with mapping across (like to dislike).

Intervention – Collapsing Anchors: collapse the desired state with the state of the undesirable situation

This exercise starts with an empowering state, and then a limiting state.

  1. “Choose a context in your life in which you want more options. Associate in this. “Which emotional states did you use, how did you feel?”
  2. Feel the states and anchor this kinesthetically, for example on the knee.
  3. Get into a neutral state.
  4. Test / reinforce (let the client go back to that state with the anchor) until the anchor works (close with a break state).
  5. Determine a desired, source-rich state that can override the unwanted state and generate it. Associate in the source full state by associating in a specific moment in which you experienced it. “Allow these states to bubble up. Allow yourself to be there completely, experience it in the 1st position: associated. Feel them sit and spread out in your body, enjoy them fully. Nod your head when you are completely there. ”
  6. We will also anchor this desired state separately. Place the kinesthetic anchor in a different place (for example below knee height. Do that with your other hand, because this will come in handy when integrating. Also calibrate well for that unwanted state.).
  7. “Come back to the room” and ask a neutral question.
  8. Test / reinforce (let the client go back to that state with the anchor) until the anchor works (close with a break state).
  9. Integrate the anchors: fire both anchors at the same time. Hold them both at the same time until there is full integration and calibrate how this looks in the client. If necessary, release the problem anchor earlier and keep the resource anchor a little longer.
    Optional : you can also choose to start with the unwanted anchor and then add the desired anchor. “Do you remember these resources? (Resource anchor firing) There they are. And take these resources into this  (problem anchor firing) situation. Experience the situation with these resources fully available to you.”
  10. Test the success by:
    – Firing the unwanted anchor again. Does the source full state come up automatically?
    – And: future pace.

Intervention – Chaining Anchors

Chaining Acnhors can be used if intermediate steps are needed, because the desired and the unwanted states are very far from each other.

  1. Design the chain: what are the desired, unwanted and intermediate states?
  2. Anchor all states separately in a different place on the body. Keep them clean by getting into a neutral state in between and keep them working by testing them.
  3. Connect states 2 to 4 together so that they form a chain. You do this by firing state 2, adding state 3, letting go of state 2, adding state 4 and finally letting go of state 3. Also release state 4.
  4. Test your chain: fire state 2 and the chain should run.
  5. Connect 1 and 2.
  6. Test by firing state 1. The chain should now continue to the end without you doing anything further.
  7. Future pace.
Read this next:  Circle Of Excellence: All steps to this NLP technique [Script]

Exercise – Getting into state in preparation

Do this exercise with two people (A and B).

  1. A Walks in a straight line (drawn in chalk, for example) to B, with for example the states’ confidence ‘, elegance’ and ‘power’ while maintaining eye contact throughout the route. It must be congruent, so when eye contact breaks: start over.
  2. Then anchors the success, eg by saying ‘Wow’ (auditory anchor) and a gesture (visual anchor).
  3. B puts A in a pattern break so that he / she returns to a neutral state of mind.
  4. B fires the anchor, noting whether A regains confidence, elegance and power.

Exercise – Implicit anchoring in the wild

  1. Go outside in groups of 2.
  2. A addresses someone, awakens a state in that person and anchors it. Then break the state and excuse yourself for a moment so that you can consult with your practice partner.
  3. A tells B what the (desired) state and anchor was, and what he discovered by calibrating the person. What was that person’s reaction you will see after firing the anchor?
  4. B judges A whether that works the second time when the anchor is fired again.
    Or: B tries now, and sees if he can also achieve that with the passer-by by firing the same anchor.

You leave the person on the street in a better frame of mind than you found him / her in.

Too exciting? If necessary, use the previous exercise to get each other in state for approaching passers-by. In the meantime, when you are in the field, you can also fire this anchor to each other for elegance and power, to help each other.

Exercise – Magic finger


Use this exercise to create an anchor and give it to the client so that she can give herself positive states when she needs them. As with all NLP exercises, you take your time, tell slowly and take small breaks.

  1. “I’m going to rub your arm quickly and I want you to pay close attention and remember how that feels.”
  2. Rub the top of her forearm for 3 seconds. “Remember what that felt like.”
  3. “Now I want you to close your eyes. Think of a time in your life when time stood still. In which you had the most satisfied feelings you have ever experienced. Where everything in your life was perfect. See what you saw, hear what you heard, feel what you felt. ”
  4. “When you feel that you are completely in that moment, you can move your index finger a little.”
  5. Now I want you to see these feelings moving through your body as a source of energy.
  6. Give these feelings an energy color. It doesn’t matter what the color is.
  7. Now I want you to double the intensity and double the brightness.
  8. Now visualize this {color} energy moving all the way to your right shoulder. Imagine moving all the way down your right arm to your hand as it intensifies as it becomes more concentrated and compact in a smaller area.
  9. Now imagine that all that fine energy, full of pleasure, goes into your right index finger. Visualize it all collecting in the tip of your finger.
  10. Now when I touch your finger I want you to imagine all that energy and all those feelings going from the tip of your finger to me.
  11. Now you will see that when I touch your arm, face and neck with my index finger, it serves like a paintbrush to convey all that energy and feelings to you.
  12. Put all the energy back into her fingertip so she can use it as an anchor when she wants to.

Repeat these types of exercises regularly to test + strengthen the anchor until you see the anchor working. Then you can start using it in your future situations.

Exercise – Selling and convincing in the wild

  1. First, generate the desired state in the other: ask how they chose their current car / best employee / first love.
  2. Memorize and repeat his or her natural anchors and language in the course of the conversation.

Anchoring takes practice

You will learn extensively during the NLP Practitioner Training. When you have done all these exercises, you will start using anchors at countless times in your life. Hopefully, with this article you have been able to make discoveries about the Pavlovian reaction (the Pavlovian effect).

The essence of anchoring: what should you bring with you from this article?

What is the gist of this article? The difference that makes the difference? I don’t want you to remember the four characteristics of a good anchor. I also don’t want you to know all the steps in detail.

I want you to just drop anchor daily, after which you automatically get the hang of it. Do you have the giggles with your friends? Anchor that directly. Does anyone talk about fascinating things? Inquire on the feeling and anchor that sense of fascination.

It often happens in your daily life that you sometimes want to make a request to someone, or that you want to ask for an exception. Have you forgotten your towel in the gym when you know that it is always checked, then go to the trainer who keeps an eye on everything, have a chat, through that conversation arouse the mood of flexibility and anchor that with a clear movement or stop word. Fire the anchor while asking if you can still exercise as an exception and flexibility.

And I want you to just put an anchor every time you see an emotion aroused in someone. It can always come in handy.

Let us know your experiences with anchors in the comments!

About The Author


Hello! Thanks for reading these articles. My intention is to make happiness as simple and clear as posssible. By the way, excuse my English. I am not a native English speaker since I live in Amsterdam. Much appreciated if you use the comments to make suggestions on my grammar. See ya in another blogpost!



  1. Anand

    Rubin thanks for the articles. Very welcome for me as a refresher. Now busy with a lot of work as a trainer aggression and training to finish Journey therapist very busy with I will visit you one these weeks miss you.
    Very good of you that you share such articles. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK

    • Rubin Alaie

      Nice to hear from you Anand. Thank you for your endorsement and good luck with all your beautiful work.

  2. Susanne

    Wow! Thanks for the clear descriptions and explanations! As a Conscious – His (s) coach I can certainly do something with this. In the first instance for my own development but also to help my coachees further!
    The Do-Book will be a welcome addition!