A strong anchor will keep you stable in the storm

The world's largest anchor

What do you do in a crisis?

Do you freeze, fight, take flight — or remain centred, calm, and focused on the present moment?

For antifragile people with strong Inner Leadership skills, the first step is to Centre themselves and the second is to Ground themselves: to reconnect strongly with who they are at their best so that they can bring their best skills and abilities to address the situation.

The simple technique that Inner Leadership recommends for rapid grounding is called Anchoring. The stronger you build your anchor, the better you will hold firm, no matter what kinds of storm is raging around you.

Here are two steps to creating a strong anchor:

1. Remember a Time…

To build a strong anchor, start by remembering a time when you felt fully alive, in flow, operating to the maximum of your ability: a state that you would like to be able to recall at will.

What do you remember best about that flow state? Where were you? Who were you with? What were you doing? What were you working to achieve? How did you feel? How was your body positioned? What was your posture? How were you holding your arms, back, and head? What did it feel like to be so grounded? Could you see, hear, taste, smell, or feel anything special?

Now stand or sit in the way you were then and recreate the experience as fully as you can.

2. Recall that State at Will — Create the Anchor

Now you want to be able to recall this state at will.

It won’t always be possible to take on this position when you need it (you might not want to stand up in a meeting) so instead we learn to associate that state with something else. This is is done by creating an ‘anchor’.

One way to create this anchor is to associate your feeling of being grounded with a key word, name, or image: perhaps the word ‘Ground’ or ‘Lincoln’ or the image of an ‘Oak Tree’.

If this works for you, take the time now to choose such a word or image.

An alternative is to create a physical anchor that can be activated by touching a part of your body. To create a physical anchor, first choose a part of your body (your chin, ear lobe, a fingernail, …). Then touch that with another part of your body: a finger or thumb or perhaps hold it between your thumb and forefinger.

Bringing together the two parts is what forms the anchor. 

(Remember to choose something that will look natural in the situations where you intend to use it.)

Now return to your best feeling of being grounded, the one you want to be able to recall at will, and make that feeling as strong as you can. At the same time set up your chosen anchor: touch the part of your body in the way you have chosen (or focus on the key word or image).

Then release the anchor, move out of position, and let the feeling go.

After a few moments return to your highly grounded state and re-initiate the anchor. Repeat until the anchor becomes associated with the feelings of groundedness.

You now have an anchor that enables you to ground yourself at will, in any situation, and enable yourself to draw upon your best skills and qualities in whatever situation you face. 

That is part of the first step towards becoming antifragile.

(The book contains more steps that you can use to strengthen your anchor, if you want them.)

Can you remember a time when you were operating at the maximum of your potential, fully alive, unstoppable? Would you like to be able to recreate that state at will?


Adapted from Inner Leadership: a framework and tools for building inspiration in times of change.

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Photo By Blondinrikard Fröberg via StockPholio.net

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