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Recalling a 'Useful State' to help you deal with leadership challenges by Brian Chernett

Extracted from The Entrepreneur Within by Brian Chernett published 7th June 2010 by Ecademy Press.

Brian Chernett

Brian Chernett

We all face challenges and it’s natural that we may sometimes feel a little daunted, or overwhelmed by them. When we feel tired or unable to face an issue that is critical but a real challenge, wouldn’t it be great if there was something we could do to feel better equipped to cope?

There is – and all it requires is you and your own experiences and resources. You can do it in the privacy of your office or you can do it in public – no one will be the wiser.

So what is this ‘magic’ technique? It is remarkably simple and very powerful for most people. I’d recommend giving it a try. It may seem a little strange at the outset but will soon become second nature.

The first stage is to decide how you want to feel. What resources might you need to deal with the issues that are facing you and maybe holding you back? Maybe you need patience or optimism or energy or clarity of thought or maybe you want to feel invincible? Whatever it is you need, choose one.


Let us choose energy.

Now stand, feet apart and in a relaxed posture and recall a time when you felt very energetic, when nothing could hold you back. Feel that feeling, see what you saw and hear what you heard at that time. As the feeling intensifies, touch your finger and thumb together or make some distinctive physical movement that you can repeat unobtrusively. You can now use that physical movement to recall that state and experience it again. This is called an ‘anchor ’. You can create more anchors for other resources in the same way.

Try it and see what happens. If the state you achieve isn’t powerful enough, try intensifying the recollection by making any images bigger and brighter, any sounds louder and any feelings more intense. The more you do this, the better the effect when you ‘fire off ’ the anchor.

Anchoring is just one element of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), a set of tools and techniques for achieving peak performance. As I mentioned, I learned these techniques from my good friend and teacher Sue Knight. There are many business-based NLP trainers who can help you to learn more. For leaders, or anyone with a highly demanding job, I strongly recommend finding out more about its uses and effects. It may be the difference between being overtaken by events or turning them to your advantage.

If you truly want to achieve something, however small or large, try to change your belief around it and you will find that you will get remarkable results.

Brian Chernett is founder of The Academy for Chief Executives (ACE) – He has 43 years’ experience as managing director of private and public companies, including subsidiaries of Booker Bros McConnell, the Landmark Group, and several other major companies. Find out more at This article is adapted from Brian’s new book, The Entrepreneur Within)

The ACE community provides a great place to build your leadership skills and learn more about motivating and developing your people, and how to focus the top team for the good of your company. As the leading providers of experiential learning, the purpose of the Academy is to inspire leaders to achieve their dreams by sharing and learning from real life experiences. Find out more about membership here >>

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