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How does anchoring work?
Anchoring is related to something called behaviorism. Behaviorism tells us how to do behavior modification. This is the collection of methods used to train animals to do tricks; animals like dolphins in a water park that do back flips, and dogs in movies that put their paws up over their eyes. The amazing thing about behavior modification is that it does not require a conscious mind in order to work.
After all, it works on all sorts of animals. This means that it uses very powerful and primitive aspects of your nervous system in order to work. Yes, it works very well on human beings as well, because we have the same brain components as animals do, though we have more. That's why were training them instead of the other way around. When an anchor is fired each time you are in a certain state, your body associates that state with the anchor. At first, the anchor is a neutral stimulus. It doesn't do anything much. But once that anchor is associated with the state, you can trigger that state by firing the anchor. The trick, as you will see, is to get that anchor associated with the right state.
In behavior modification, this is called associative conditioning. Conditioning means that you create a response that happens every time there is a certain stimulus.
Associative conditioning means that the response comes to be associated with another stimulus, in this case, an anchor that you can use to your own benefit.
Behavior modification is at the heart of problems like procrastination. That's why we combine communication with understanding the nervous system. With that, we can create solutions that run themselves. If you had to use your conscious mind in order to do every strategy that you use for excellence, you'd run out of brain power before you got very far. That's why people don't usually get very amazing changes out of a self-help book or TV show.
What people don't realize is that anchors are constantly influencing our behavior. Being in your workplace becomes an anchor for workplace behavior. Being downtown may trigger your desire to visit a favorite watering hole or ice cream parlor.
Parents help their children get to bed and fall asleep by having an "evening ritual" during which certain things like music happen during the evening. Rituals, by the way, are anchors that help to trigger states. The soldier who pulls out the locket from his girlfriend back home and looks at her picture is firing an anchor. It gives him some feelings of security and warmth. The non-technical word here is solace. It gives solace. So an object can be an anchor. There is the action or ritual of manipulating it, there is the visual impression, the kinesthetic aspect of how it feels, and perhaps the sound.