Find Your Anchor, Stay Grounded and Confident in Uncertainty

Picture of an Anchor

TUNE IN TO THE EPISODE:

In the latest episode of Experible, we discuss the importance of finding an anchor in life and how to ground oneself amidst chaos and turmoil. We discuss the importance of building a strong sense of self that goes beyond our accolades, accomplishments, money, and social validation. It is this sense of self that helps us navigating periods of life when everything one has accomplished or identified with is taken away. Through deep introspection, listeners can discover what truly grounds them and keeps them moving forward. A must-listen for people with anxiety.

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Something to consider

Who are you, If I take away your accomplishments, education, accolades, your reputation, maybe even some of your abilities.

All those externally relevant tangible, intangible things that make you who you’re, that are so much a part of your identity, if I take it all away, what do you have?

Then, if I throw your life into chaos which is bound to happen if you lose all that you have created and achieved so far, if that comes to pass, how do you ground yourself? What do you hold onto that helps you put one foot in front of other and keep moving forward?

What is your anchor in a storm of uncertainty when all those things that usually protect you get taken away from you?

If you’ve never asked yourself that question, it’s time you do.

The importance of having an anchor

Uncertainty, the sheer unpredictability of life is the one thing that we can all safely rely on. Life will never go exactly as we plan it- it’s curve balls have curve balls. 

It’s why we desperately search for a purpose. Why we look for answers to questions like –

How do I care less about the opinions of others? How do I stay confident when odds are against me? How do I maintain clarity when my emotions are working against me? How do I protect myself from external negativity? How do I learn to love my solitude and quiet my mind? All of these seem like such superpowers when life stops being predictable

Faced with such a situation in my life, what helped me get out of depression and build a healthier life and a very strong self was finding my anchor.

Pick an anchor that grounds you in the moment

Having an anchor during a difficult time, quite literally, saved my life. When I was trying to recover from my depression, I anchored myself in self-love that was ruthlessly selfish and completely grounded in ‘what’s best for me and my mental health’.

I lived two years of the recovery period and the time after that with this one mantra playing in my head –

how can I take care of myself more effectively? How can I be stronger, better? 

…and if it meant saying no to everyone and everything else then, that’s what I did.

After I had rebuilt my life and myself and I was out of that phase of hyper vigilance around my mental health, I had to shift my focus onto something else because while my mental health was thriving, the rest of my life was in shambles.

Now, I was confronted with a different kind of struggle, so I chose a different anchor.

Control is an illusion but inner security can be cultivated

As I was trying to improve things in my career and my relationships, I was hit with the realisation that you can’t control everything, you can do everything right and still not get the results that you want.

You will not always get the opportunities you want. Your career will have slow periods of growth or periods of no growth at all.

The people you love and care for may love you, but they can only do that to the best of their ability which may not be good enough for you.

For as long as external elements and other people dictate the amount of satisfaction, joy, confidence you have in life, you will continue to experience uncertainty, anxiety. You will never have any kind of enduring stability, the kind of stability that someone with anxiety needs. 

Accordingly, you have to pick an anchor that becomes both your motivation and source of satisfaction.

For me, it was my value system. Always doing the right thing and letting go of expectations helped me a great deal. 

My faith is another anchor for me. I just have this very solid belief that there is someone looking out for me as long as I keep my karma clean which ties back to always doing the right thing to the best of my ability. 

It doesn’t mean that I don’t have anxiety or periods of uncertainty or just sheer unhappiness at time, but those moments are rare and when they happen, my anchors help.

When my business suffers, I am able to maintain a growth mindset and be very solution focused and not wallow in the ramifications of the struggle that I am facing.

When a friendship ends badly, I find comfort in the good that it gave me and the knowledge that I did the best I could and if I didn’t, I apologise and I try to give it as graceful a closure as possible so I can move on with peace.

Anchors serve us in ways unique and helpful to our specific situation

I have shared my experience but yours can be completely different, the point that I am trying to establish is that when you have something, anything detached from all your EXTERNALS, something that no one can take away from you, you stay grounded and even joyful, no matter what external circumstances you’re facing in life.

During the episode, I share more examples of how people have benefitted out of having anchors.

So, have an anchor that brings comfort, that safeguards your sanity, gives you moments of clarity in the midst of chaos, helps you be more decisive and put one foot  in front of the other even when life is trying to suck your energy dry and nothing is going you way.

Now, how do you find your anchor.

How to find your anchor?

1. A certain degree of self-awareness is required for you to find your anchor but a good criteria is thinking about – What makes you happy in a way that has nothing to do with other people, with what you can buy, or your social image.

2. You can also try doing this exercise for a few days. Imagine yourself on a deserted island and you’re going to be there forever. Now, what does your life look like? What do you have to do on that island to maintain a sense of purpose so that your life has some direction?

This exercise helps you take the social applause, external validation, ego games, comparisonitis out of the equation and work your way to finding your anchor that can apply to the life you do have in your world, not a deserted island. It also invites you to redefine your ideas of success to something not affected by the rest of humanity.

3. Also, observe yourself for a few days and try to notice what it is that you’re doing, how you’re behaving when you like yourself best. When you’re most at peace with yourself. Since, having anchors is all about inner stability, you need to know what keeps you at peace with yourself.

4. Another thing can be noticing when you’re at your energetic best spiritually and physically as well. Notice, when you feel calm and light and when does the air around you, your own energy feels heavy, the mood darker. Those can give you some good ideas of what can be a reliable anchor in your life.

If, as you ask yourself these questions and you do these exercises, you find that status and achievements, love from other people really are the things that give you joy, you don’t have anything else that matters to you, don’t worry, I think that’s an invitation to go exploring. Adventure by yourself in ways you’ve never done before.

Try new things, new experiences, go off by yourself and see where life takes you. Put yourself in unfamiliar situations and before you do anything, take a moment to have a conversation with yourself and figure out what action, reaction will make you happy.

Forget how other people will perceive you and only think about what will make you happy and create the least amount of friction within you.

Once again, the point is to find something that has nothing to do with what other people can give you, your social performance or anything material in your life.

Making it compatible with your material desires

There is nothing wrong with being achievement oriented but at the same time, you need something to sustain you through periods when you are not meeting your standards of achievement, productivity, or getting any validation from those that matter to you.

There is so much misery in the world and not all of it can be fixed with money. You need to have a little slice of heaven all to yourself – a source of secret happiness and security that’s all yours. 

If achievements are all that matter to you, you’ll always want more and at times, when life begins to unravel, you’ll have nothing that holds you down and keeps you sane.

Anchors will also make you very selective in where you direct your energy.

So find your anchor, something that resides within you and that remains untouched by the external chaos. It can be your value system, your faith, a creative outlet, or a connection with nature. The essence lies in cultivating a connection with something greater than ourselves, beyond the material and fleeting aspects of existence.

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The Brain Behind The Blog

Hi! I'm Krati Mehra

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I know what it’s like to fall apart and gradually put your pieces back together to build something better than what you had before and I share all my lessons in this space hoping that you will share my learnings without the struggle.

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