When you find yourself facing a crisis do you tend to freeze, fight, or take flight?
People with strong Inner Leadership skills remain centred, calm, and focused on what is happening in the present moment
This enables them to make clear sense of what is happening. And it keeps them strongly connected with who they are at their best, enabling them to bring their best skills and abilities to bear to address the situation.
The way they achieve this is by first Centring and then by Grounding themselves.
And the simple technique that Inner Leadership recommends for grounding is called Anchoring.
Here is a brief description of the three steps you can use to create a strong anchor. (There is a fuller description in the book.)
1. Remember a Time…
To build a strong anchor, start by remembering a state that you would like to be able to recall at will: a time when you felt fully alive, in flow, operating to the maximum of your ability.
What do you remember best about that state? Where were you? What were you doing? Who were you with? What were you working to achieve? How did you feel? How was your body positioned? 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. Choose an Anchor
To ground yourself quickly you want to be able to recall that state at will.
It won’t always be possible to recreate the position you are sitting or standing in so, instead, you need to learn to associate or Anchor it with something else.
One way to do that is to associate your feeling of being grounded with a key word, name, or image: perhaps something like the word ‘Ground’ or ‘Lincoln’ or the image of an ‘Oak Tree’.
Alternatively you can create a physical anchor that you activate by touching a certain part of your body — for example bringing your fingers together or touching your chin.
To create a physical anchor, first choose a part of your body (your chin, ear lobe, a fingertip, …) and 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. Choose something that other people won’t notice.
Choose the mental or physical anchor you think will work best for you.
3. Recall that State at Will — Practise
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 your 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. .
With practice, the stronger you build this anchor, the more strongly and quickly you will be able to return to this state at will and the more easily you will be able to draw upon your best skills and qualities in any situation.
This is another step to becoming antifragile.
Can you remember a time when you were operating at the maximum of your potential, fully alive, in flow, 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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(And remember: you don’t learn to swim by reading about swimming, you also have to practice.)