I was hazed this week.
Seriously, I haven’t had people so combative towards me in a professional setting. It was done out of love.
I’m in training, and an exercise involves a small group of people hammering on you the things that are your biggest fears if you were on stage training. It’s a simulation in a way because you know your group is in full support of you. Yet, the challenge can light you up!
I’ll admit, I got rattled for about 20 seconds. Then, I had an amazing experience. My partner in the exercise, placed their hand on my back and said in my ear, “you got this!”
Both the hand on my back and the phrase are anchors for me to enter into an emotional state that will help me create success.
You see anchors all the time in sports. They are usually called “routines” or “celebrations” in the sports context.
Tiger Woods has one of the most famous celebrations or anchors in the past generation. Tiger Woods’ fist pump is iconic. He displays it when he does something big in a golf tournament. There’s an interview where he shares the first time he remembers doing the fist pump was when he first beat his father in golf at age 11.
The fist pump is an anchor for him when he does something monumental.
An anchor is a cue that evokes a certain emotional state. In Tiger’s case, the fist pump is a natural expression of his feeling of following a significant event playing golf.
Other times, athletes will do a routine prior to a game or as part of the game. Each hitter in baseball taps the plate in the same way before each pitch. Golfers have a pre-shot routine before each swing. A basketball player does the same routine before a free throw. Why? Because their routines get their bodies and minds into a state to perform the action at their best. The anchor dials them in. Gets them ready.
Anchors can be sounds. Certain sounds can evoke an emotion from you in an instant.
Want to see it in action right now? Go ahead and think of a song you loved in high school. Hear it play in your head. That song dropped you back in high school feeling whatever you felt when you were listening to that song on repeat, didn’t it? That song is anchored to your high school experience and probably will be forever.
You can create anchors for yourself. Think about the emotional states that are best suited for you to take successful actions. Make a list of some of those. Choose a unique place on your body that you can touch or a movement that you can do as your anchor. Then, as you naturally feel those emotions, do the anchor action.
For example, you can use a knuckle. Each time you feel confident, you can press down on the same knuckle. As you do this anchor over time, you’ll be able to use it to drop you into a successful emotional state.
That’s exactly what happened to me this week. My teammates created an adverse environment for me to speak and lead. The moment that my partner put their hand on my back and told me “you got this this” they were actually firing off an anchor for an emotional state that allowed me to stand in my power, with joy.
The negative emotions vanished and I was back in mental control. I stood up tall, addressed the rowdiest people with a kind firmness, brought them back in line and gave my presentation.
Our minds are powerful machines. Once you learn the hacks for taking control and coming back to control, you become an unstoppable force for good.