Anchoring Script Resource

You can access and download the online version of this script above (which has colour to help orient you, or use the version provided below.

*As your confidence grows you may just use the numbered cues (1-12) to guide someone through the process

Script: Leading Someone Through Setting a Resource Anchor

Before you begin, you as the ‘NLP Practitioner’, need to put yourself in a resourceful state.

You can achieve this by 

  • Remembering that the person you are guiding has all the resources they need to do this and you as the guide do too.
  • Breathing and ensuring your physiology is suitably relaxed. 
  • Getting in rapport with the other person – this is likely to include open or matched posture, eye contact, a smile and matching body language.
  • Using the script will help you have confidence and ensure you cover off the steps & sub-modalities that will help the person build a strong, clear and positive anchor.

    Once you have a resourceful state and a sense of rapport, you’re ready to begin using the script*

    1. Explain the nature of anchors – e.g. “As you can imagine, a boat anchor helps us stay in a safe, useful place even when things get rough. The anchor we’re going to set today, will mentally and emotionally allow you to access a stable, useful state too.

    Your brain already does this automatically. It creates anchors (states or feelings associated with a specific trigger) all the time; to help you more quickly respond and navigate through life. So, for example, certain songs you heard in your youth instantly make you feel excited & free, when you hear them now, because they take you back to that time when you first heard that song, so your brain accesses that feeling you had back then. 

    Or if I asked you to think of a loved one now – someone who makes you feel happy, lucky, joyful – even just imagining them being here, picturing their face, hearing their voice, feeling the way they hug you… as you imagine them you can notice how you feel different now. 

    These are examples of anchors that you already have, and today we’re just adding one more. One for confidence, and we’ll be using a very simple process of association to do that, which I’ll guide you through, step by step. Sound good?”

    1. Pre-test. I.e. Access a particular challenging situation in which they wanted to be more resourceful.   Check that they can access the old state, so they’ll know when it’s changed. “OK then, so, I’d like you to think of a specific situation in which you would like to feel confident and resourceful, but you haven’t been able to before. 

    When you can see they have something – i.e. you can calibrate the change in them or they give you a nod), Pause… “Got it?” say “And as you experience that unwanted feeling that you’ve had before, you’d know if that had changed now, wouldn’t you?  If they agree, go on to the next step. 

    If they’re not sure, say “Well, as you think of a challenging time like that where you felt doubtful or anxious or worried or in some way unresourceful; if you could instead feel confident and able, that would feel really different to how it was for you in the past, right? (get agreement). 

    And so you’d know if that uncomfortable feeling had changed now… right? Great.”

    1. Break state. Get them to think of something else – change the topic, even get them to change position or move around if it seems they’re still accessing that unpleasant experience.
    1. Check what kind of resourceful state the person wants to have instead..  OK, so if you could feel [confident] in that challenging situation instead, that would be helpful, right? Go to step 3.

    Optional pre-frame: “We’re going to do that simply by recalling a time you felt a state of [confidence] strongly and then linking that emotional state to a particular trigger that you can control, so you’ll be able to feel [confidence] whenever you need it.

    1. Explain the use of the anchor as a trigger for confidence “Before we start, we need something unique that you can use when you need it, to be the trigger for your state of [confidence]. Pause This can be something visual, or a gesture.  Today, we’re going to use the ‘OK sign’ with your non-dominant hand, if that’s suitable for you?” Bring your own thumb and forefinger together, and get them to mimic the action. (Check that they have nothing contradictory already anchored there, and that this trigger is usable in the context they want the anchor for).
    1. *(Get them to) Associate into a time they felt positive & confident.  Pause throughout the script to give them time to access that state and memory so they don’t feel rushed.  

    Say: “Now, I’d like to invite you to think of a specific time when you felt really confident. The context doesn’t have to have anything at all to do with the old problem situation you had before…  We’re just looking for a specific time that you feel really confident & able. 

    You can recall a time of self-confidence, a time you knew you could easily do the task at hand.  It may be a time you were doing something that you are really good at or which you do with ease… Perhaps even something you enjoy and can do without even needing to think consciously.  Maybe a time you achieved something and were enjoying that feeling of KNOWING you can do such things; knowing you’re good at this.” (Pause if needed and give them time to access, ask them to nod when they’ve found a time they felt really confident, in the way they want to program their mind for, now).  

    “Step into your body so you can see that specific time you are feeling confident, noticing what you see around you in that time and space.” Pause. “Notice too, the sounds at that time, hearing what was here… Bring your attention to how your body is oriented and adjust your position now so you’re holding yourself the way you do when you ARE confident. Notice how your voice sounds when you are in this state.”     

    1. Amplify the feeling by adjusting the ‘sub-modalities’.  Say: “As you see, hear and feel the WAY YOU experience confidence, bring your attention now to where in your body you feel that… you can notice that energy, that is, your confidence. (Pause)  For some people it’s in a particular part of your body, perhaps your heart/chest, perhaps your head or tummy. It may even be a whole body feeling. Just pay attention to how it is for you.  (Pause)  Notice if that feeling has movement, stillness or spin; weight or lightness. (Pause) And as you locate that feeling, imagine now if that confidence had a shape, what shape would it be? (Pause and let them answer or nod)

    Say: “That’s it, that’s right! And as you imagine that shape, you might notice it in the palm of your hands now and so you can see what colour it is. As you focus on it, you see it begins to grow. And as it grows, the colour gets brighter too, and the feeling of confidence becomes stronger, and stronger and stronger, with each breath you take! 

    1. Anchor it when the state is strongly accessed.  Say: “As you feel that confidence powerfully, make that OK gesture with your hand, so that your unconscious mind links your feeling of confidence with that specific gesture. (Check they do anchor it).

    Use only if you calibrate the timing was off say: “If the feeling has faded a bit, you can wait or release the OK gesture, and go back to visualizing the feeling of confidence you had at that time, noticing the shape of your confidence growing, seeing what you saw around you and hearing the sounds and voices at that time too, noticing where you feel it in your body, and anchoring that with your gesture when you have feeling back again.”  

    Precise Timing cue: “Keep your thumb and finger together anchoring that confidence, breaking them apart just as or before the feeling begins to fade.”   (Speed up your voice & volume to normal now to bring them back from this trance).  Excellent, and it’s as quick as that! So that means you can take a breath, open your eyes and, when you’re ready, come back to this room.  Nicely done!” 

    1. Break that state (take a breath, change tone/pitch/energy). e.g. Get them to think of something else – change topic and/or get them to change position or move around so they’re back in a neutral state.
    1. Test it!  Say “OK, now, you can make that gesture with your hand (demonstrate the OK sign) and notice when you do, that you can feel that state, again; the feeling of confidence you had before is accessible now because you’ve linked this trigger with that state of [confidence], so now you can feel it whenever you need it, just like that!” (It’s pretty quick. If they’re not feeling it within a few seconds, go through SPUR and repeat steps 6-9.)  
    1. Future Pace. Say, “Now, we call making this gesture ‘firing your anchor’. As you continue to fire your anchor and so feel that state of [confidence], really try to see if you can think of a time in the future that before would have left you not feeling confident (before it was x/10)…. and notice how different that is now! (Pause, check).  How awesome is it going to feel in future, knowing that you have all that confidence at your finger-tips? Useful stuff, right?”
    1. Final convincer and to let them enjoy the change and see it has affected how you think NOW too. Say “And you can notice too, if you try to think of that time in the past where you didn’t feel confident, that feels different somehow now also! Pause. How about that?!”