Imagine you find yourself in a crisis. The first response of someone with strong Inner Leadership skills is to Centre themselves to regain stability.
The second step is to reconnect strongly with who you are at your best so that 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 might be raging around you.
Start by Remembering…
To build an anchor, start by remembering a time when you felt especially alive, in flow, operating to the maximum of your ability: strongly connected with your best self in a way that would be useful for you to be able to recall at will.
Write down what you remember about that flow state. 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?
Now recreate the way your body was positioned then. Does this change how grounded you feel now?
Compare that with Solid Pose
Now let’s compare this with another position that many people find grounding: solid pose.
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 as an invisible thread pulls the top of your head directly 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 solid, grounded person you can think of? Imagine that person in your situation. How would they hold themselves? What would their posture be? How would they move? How would they speak?
Copy them and notice how you now feel.
Pick the Best
Now compare this with the other positions and review the best of what you have learned. Which position most strongly brings you the feeling of being grounded that you would want to be able to recall at will? 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. Hold this for a few moments and 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 (you might need to be sitting down or standing up) so we need to associate it with something else. This is called creating an anchor.
One way to do this is to recall a key word, name, or image that you can associate with the feeling of being grounded. Perhaps the words ‘Steady’, 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 best feeling of being grounded and make that feeling as strong as you can. And at the same time set up your chosen anchor. Touch the part of your body in the way you have chosen or key word or image while you focus on the feelings of groundedness.
Then release the anchor, 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 practice over a few days.)
You now have a technique that enables you to ground quickly, at will, in any situation, 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 operating at the maximum of your potential, in ‘superhero mode’, unstoppable? Can you think of any times recently when it would have been useful to have been able to recall that state at will?
Adapted from Inner Leadership: tools for building inspiration in times of change.
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