Anchoring brings stability in the storm

The world's biggest anchor

Imagine you suddenly find yourself in a crisis. The first response of someone with strong Inner Leadership skills is to Centre themselves and regain focus.

The next step is to reconnect strongly with who you are at your best so you can bring your best skills and abilities to address the situation. This is called Grounding.

The technique that Inner Leadership recommends for grounding is called Anchoring: the stronger your anchor the more you are able to hold firm, no matter what storms are raging around you.

Remember a Time…

To build an anchor, start by remembering a time when you felt especially alive, in flow, operating to the maximum of your ability: a way of being that would be useful for you to recall at will.

Write down what you remember about that time. Where were you? Who were you with? What were you doing? What were you working to achieve? Why? 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?

Recreate the way your body was positioned then. Does that change how grounded you feel now?

Compare that with Solid Pose

Now let’s compare this with a standard position that many people find grounding. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent, and your back straight. Feel your weight passing down through your feet into the ground or floor. Imagine an invisible thread coming out of the top of your head, pulling your head and neck upwards. This is a very stable stance, solid, with a low centre of gravity.

Sway slightly from side to side or ask a friend to nudge you. Notice how you feel. Does this position feel more or less grounded than before? Shift between the stances and notice the differences.

The Most Grounded Person You Know

Now let’s compare these positions with someone you think of as being very grounded. Who is the most grounded person you can think of? Imagine that person in your role. How would they hold themselves? What would their posture be? How would they move? How would they speak? Copy them. Notice how you now feel.

Pick the Best

Compare this with the other positions and review the best of what you have learned and experienced. What position most strongly brings you the feeling of being grounded that works for you? Are there any images, smells, sounds, or tastes that are important to you? Shift into the position you have chosen, remember those images, smells, or sounds, and hold this for a few moments. Notice how you feel.

Recalling the State at Will — Creating an Anchor

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

It won’t be possible to take on your preferred position in every situation you find yourself in, so we need to associate it with something else. This is called anchoring or creating an anchor.

One way to do this is to recall a key word, name, or image to associate with the feeling of being grounded. Perhaps the words ‘ground yourself’, or ‘Lincoln’, or the image of an ‘oak tree’. If this works for you, take some time now to choose such a word or image.

Another way is to create a physical anchor that can be activated by touching a particular part of your body. To create a physical anchor, first choose a part of your body (for example, your chin, your ear lobe, the first fingernail of your left hand, …). Then touch that part of your body with another finger, thumb, or perhaps hold it between your thumb and forefinger. Bringing the two parts together is what forms the anchor.

Choose something that will look natural in the situations where you intend to use it.

Now return to your feeling of being grounded and make that feeling as strong as you can.

At the same time set up your chosen anchor. Hold the position, image, or thought while you focus on the feelings of groundedness. Then move out of position and relax. After a few moments return to your highly grounded state and initiate the anchor. Repeat until the anchor becomes associated with the feelings of groundedness. This might take a few days.

You now have techniques that enable you to centre and ground quickly and at will, returning to a state where you have felt especially alive and connected, in full flow, sure of who you are, and operating to the maximum of your ability and potential. You can then bring this state to bear on whatever situation you are facing.

Can you remember a time when you were in full flow, operating at the maximum of your potential, in ‘superhero mode’? Would it be useful for you to be able to recall that state at will?

Adapted from Inner LeadershipBuy the Book

Photo By Blondinrikard Fröberg via

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