Chaining Anchors

Go from Negative to Positive -
in a Few Easy Steps

Chaining Anchors is a powerful NLP technique you can use to get yourself in a positive state, when your present state is very far removed from your desired state. For example, if you currently procrastinate a lot, and your desired state is to be motivated, you can use the chaining anchors technique to become more motivated in just a few minutes.

The beauty of this technique is that you actually anchor the 3 or 4 steps between the two states, creating a logical chain between them. This chain fires off in quick succession, taking you to your desired state instantly. Because of the logical chain, your brain is much more likely to accept the changes too.

This article presumes that you have a good working knowledge of setting anchors. If you want to recap how to do this, please read and practice NLP Anchors first.

Chaining Anchors – Design the Chain

First of all, you have to identify the undesired state you have at the moment. This could be procrastination, laziness, anger or something more specific to your circumstances. When you have decided on this, jot it down.

Next, decide on the positive end state you desire. Good ones include motivation, energy or confidence – but again, it’s up to you. When you know your desired state, jot it down too.

Next is a slightly trickier stage – what you have to do is decide on the intermediate steps that will take you to your desired state. Normally, 3 or 4 intermediate steps will suffice for this chaining anchors technique.

Let’s use procrastination ----> motivation as an example.

Run through your mind all the steps that have taken you from procrastination to motivation in the past. For me, the steps are:

1) Procrastination
2) Strong annoyance at myself for procrastinating
3) This fuels a sense of energy in me and a desire to get motivated
4) I become motivated

To clarify, this means that when I procrastinate, the first thing I do is get pissed off at myself for procrastinating. It’s worth noting that this is an “away” step – i.e I want to move away from the state of procrastination. I’d recommend using an “away” state for the first link in the chain, and then use “towards” motivation afterwards as you get closer to your desired state – i.e. a more positive anchor such as “energy”.

Anyway, as I mentioned, the first thing I do when I procrastinate is get pissed off with myself. Then, the next step for me is to feel energised and install a desire to get motivated again. Next, I feel that motivation. As such, these are the steps which I will use when chaining anchors.

Now, make a note of your intermediate steps. They may be similar to mine, or you may find that they are very different. All that matters is that they make sense to you, and that you are able to recall a time when you have been in each state. Make sure that each chain has MOVEMENT – and by that I mean that each step is a more positive or resourceful state than the last.

When you have identified your chain, move on. It’s time to practice chaining anchors!

Chaining Anchors – Method

You may find this easier if you do it with a friend. If all your buddies think NLP is the work of the devil, however, you’ll be fine doing it on your own – it might just take a little longer to elicit the states without someone talking you through it.

First, you have to elicit and anchor each state separately, beginning with the present state and ending with the desired state.

Make sure you break state between each, by doing something random for 30 seconds or so to take your mind off the anchors. My recommendation would be to anchor each state to a different finger or knuckle, working along in a row. This will allow you to fire them off easier later.

A couple of tips: play with the submodalities of the later steps in the chain to make the anchors more powerful, but not with the present state. Keep that one as it is – there’s no need to make things like procrastination or laziness more vivid. As you move through the chain, however, make the anchors more intense with stronger feelings, and make the pictures bigger, brighter and more compelling. If you want to recap how to anchor in more detail before proceeding, please review NLP Anchors.

When you’ve set your anchors, test each state (and break state between each test). If you go into state easily, you’re ready to move on. If not, simply go through the above steps again, to make your anchors more powerful.

Now it’s time for chaining anchors... read through these instructions properly before attempting... and good luck!

1) Fire the anchor for your present state. When the emotions hit their peak, quickly release the anchor and...

2) Immediately fire the anchor for the second state. When the feelings hit their peak, quickly release the anchor and...

3) Immediately fire off the third anchor. Let the emotions peak, releasing the anchor at the peak, and...

4) Fire off the final anchor! Make the feelings as intense as possible, and hold the anchor until you reach the peak of the amazing positive feelings.

By now you should be feeling amazing. Break state for a minute or two, and then test the anchor you initially used for your present state – i.e. the first finger you used to anchor.

If the chaining anchors technique has worked, you will immediately go into the final, desired state! If not, just repeat the above steps 2-3 times to embed the changes further.

Test the effectiveness of your anchor by “future pacing” – this means imagine a time in the future when you would likely have been in the undesired state. If this has worked, you’ll feel very different about the situation than you did just a few minutes ago! Enjoy the feelings of acting in a much more resourceful way, and spend as much time imagining your new reaction as you desire.

That’s it... you now know the NLP chaining anchors technique. Not bad for ten minutes ay?! Good luck – and here’s to being in a resourceful state as often as possible!

Related Articles

Go from Chaining Anchors to An Introduction to NLP

NLP Anchors

Collapsing Anchors

NLP Submodalities

NLP Rapport & Body Language

What is the NLP Swish Pattern?

How to do an NLP Swish Pattern

Get Your Swagger Back

How to be Productive

Go from Chaining Anchors to Personal Development Planet Home

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