Ways to Calibrate State Change

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Anchoring can be remarkably successful in overcoming fears and changing behaviors. When asked someone, man or woman, who has difficulty dealing with the opposite sex to come to the front of the room. Recently it was a young man who somewhat timidly volunteered. When asked him how he felt about talking to a strange woman or asking a strange woman out, one could see an immediate physical reaction. His posture slumped, his eyes went down, and his voice got shaky. He said he is not really comfortable doing that. But he didn’t really need to say anything. His physiology had already told what is needed from him. His state was broken by asking him if he could remember a time when he felt very confident and proud and secure a time when he knew he would succeed. He nodded, and was guided into that state. He was made to stand that way, breathe that way, to feel as confident in every way as he did then. He was told to think about what someone had said to him at that time when he felt confident and proud, and to remember the things he said to himself while he was in that state. At the peak of his experience, the professor (P) guiding him touched him on the shoulder.

Then P took him through the exact same experience again several times. Each time P made sure he felt and heard the exact same things. At the peak of each experience, P did the same anchoring touch. Remember, successful anchoring depends on precise repetition, so P was careful to touch him in the same way and put him in exactly the same state every time.

By this point P had the reaction pretty well anchored and needed to test it. P broke his state and asked him again how he felt about women. Immediately he started to fall back into that depressed physiology. His shoulders went down, his breathing stopped. When P touched his shoulder in the same spot as an anchor, his body automatically began to shift back into that resourceful physiology. Through anchoring, it’s amazing to watch how quickly someone’s state can change form despair or fright to confidence.

At this point in the process, a person can touch his shoulder (or whatever spot he’s as an anchor) and trigger his desired state whenever he wants to. Yet we can take things a step further. We can transfer this positive state to the very stimuli that used to create feelings of un-resourcefulness, so that those same stimuli will now create feeling of resourcefulness. Here’s how. P asked the young man to pick an attractive woman from the audience, someone he would normally never dream of approaching. He hesitated for a moment until P touched his shoulder. The minute P did, his body posture changed and he picked an attractive woman. P asked her to come to the front of the room. Then P told her that this guy was going to try to get a date with her, and that she was to reject him completely.

P touched his shoulder, and he went into his resourceful physiology, his eyes up, his breathing deep, his shoulders back. He walked toward her and said “Hi, how’s it going?”

She snapped, leave me alone. It didn’t faze him. Before, even looking at a woman caused his whole physiology to go haywire. Now he just smiled. He continued to hold his shoulder and he continued to pursue her. The more verbal abuse she dished out, the more he stayed in his power state. He continued to feel resourceful and confident even after P took his hand from his shoulder. P had created a new neurological link that now caused him to become more resourceful when he saw a beautiful woman or when he encountered rejection. In this case, the woman finally said, can’t you leave me alone? And he said to her in a deep voice. Don’t you know power when you see it? The whole audience exploded in laughter.

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