Weigh anchor (15 June 2012)

Some days you just don't feel like you're at your best. Even when you've got something vital to do - a report to write, a call to make, whatever it is, you know you're not going to do your best. Maybe the trigger for your low spirits is obvious: another home defeat for Liverpool FC, perhaps, or reading (as I did recently) that the number of guide dogs for blind people that are being attacked by other dogs - with complete impunity for those dogs' owners - is escalating.

You can instantly lighten and re-motivate yourself, however, with the use of "anchors". This is NLP theory (neuro-linguistic programming), part of the much cherished jargon of we coaches. But it is easy to do: you just have to know your anchors!

In this case, an "anchor" is something - could be a thing, a smell, a memory, a piece of music - that instantly raises you up so you feel you can tackle anything and be at your best. I've already mentioned "Piss Factory" by Patti Smith, which despite its, er, aggressive title (!), has some truly (to me: and your anchor may only work for you) uplifting lyrics.

Another anchor for me is the acronym PMA (Positive Mental Attitude). I picked it up somewhere in my training, and if I bring it to mind - PMA - I smile to myself, slightly self-mockingly, adjust my posture, and head off to face whaever it is. Curiously, I know I am artificially geeing myself up; but it still works! Strange thing, human psychology.....

So make sure you know what are your anchors, and use them consciously when you feel your performance is slipping. And finally, another one of my anchors: a scene from the 1946 version of the Big Sleep, cinematic perfection that always lifts me up. Enjoy! The Big Sleep

all the best


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