An anchor keeps you stable in the storm

When you’re facing a crisis, do you freeze, fight, or take flight? Or do you remain centred, calm, and focused on the present moment?

People who are antifragile, people with strong Inner Leadership skills, respond first by Centring and then Grounding themselves to reconnect strongly with who they are at their best.

Then they can bring their best skills and abilities to bear to address the situation.

The simple technique that Inner Leadership recommends for grounding ourselves is called Anchoring.

Here is a three step summary of how to create a strong anchor.

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 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. Choose an Anchor

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

It won’t always be possible to take on this position when you need it so, instead, we need to learn to associate or Anchor that state with something else.

One way to do this 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 — for example touching your fingers together or touching your chin.

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.

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 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 to then draw upon your best skills and qualities in whatever situation you face.

This is part of the first step towards becoming antifragile.

The stronger you build your anchor, the more you will be able to hold firm, no matter what kind of storm is raging around you.

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?

(There are more details on how to create and strengthen your anchor in the book.)

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.)

Photo By Blondinrikard Fröberg via

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