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  • Writer's picturebryan hendley

The Importance of Dropping Your Anchors

When we come up against something challenging, we often have thoughts pop up about why we can’t overcome it. Perhaps they sound something like this:

“I’ve never done anything like this before” or “I don’t know if I can do this” or “This looks hard” or “I’m not cut out for this”

I could keep going and I’ll bet you could too. This is normal, and it doesn’t have to be something incredibly significant to bring up these types of thoughts or feelings. When the challenges of life present themselves, similar feelings often come up, as our first reaction is often to remind ourselves about why we can’t.

Wait!!! Don’t leave!!!!

This is not a You Can Do Anything You Put Your Mind To article. If you are looking for that, stick around, this might be better. If you don’t like those articles, stick around, I’ve got different angle I’d like to encourage you to take a look at.

Reflect Back on Your Anchors

When hard things, challenges, or tough stretches of life come up, I want to encourage you to reflect back on your anchors. There is a good chance that you have not purposefully or consciously dropped anchors throughout your life. However, I bet you’ll be able to recall the moments anyway.

Think back on the times when you were confident, when you did go for it, when you stood up for what you believed in, when your voice was strong, when you reached your goal. I’ll bet you can remember times when you came through in the clutch, or when you were especially proud of your actions, or when someone thanked you for doing something and that made you happy. This might be something that happened last week, last year, or when you were a kid.

So when you come up against the challenge, the moment that has you questioning whether or not you are good enough, or telling you that you’ve never done something like this before, I’ll bet there are moments that you’ve anchored in your mind that will allow you to remind yourself of a time that you were, did, or could.

That is not to say that you’ll be able to do it again, or that everything will be alright, or that you can achieve anything and everything because of that one time that you did that one thing. But all too often we choose inaction after we talk ourselves out of trying, based on the beliefs we have about who we are (or who we are not) in a given situation. If, we can reflect on a time when we were that guy, or did hold a similar characteristic, it can help us push through the challenge, and in doing so, provide us a new anchor.

Drop New Anchors

Moving forward, whenever you get the opportunity, I’d like to encourage you to drop new anchors. When you push through a thing, when you love through a challenge, when you make it through a tough conversation, when the world doesn’t end like you thought it would, drop an anchor. Make a mental and emotional note of how you made it through, how you won them over, how you said the hard thing, or how you lived into a version of yourself that you are proud of. Drop an anchor, so you can go back to it later.

Again, this doesn’t always mean a “win”. This isn’t about constant or guaranteed success. It’s about much more than that. It’s about acknowledging and remembering when you were tough, when you persevered, or when you did whatever the thing is for you. And we need those reminders. We need to remember the times that we stood up and acted like the person we want to become.

As you continue to grow and work and make a stand, drop new anchors for yourself that you can draw on later as the challenges continue.

I’m pulling for you, Bryan

— You can listen to a podcast version of this story here:


Writing that encourages. If you want to learn more about me or follow along, check me out here. You can listen to my podcast here. Check out my book, Be Kind, It Might Be Their Birthday, here.

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