I first wrote about anchors back in February of 2019. My word of the year was grounded and I wanted to give extra time to considering what helped me feel grounded across moments of the day, interactions with others, etc. This led me to the idea of anchors and what anchors me in parenting and in my work with others. I thought about how I had been using the word anchor across my various touch points with clients, coaches and others.

Then there were more questions around this concept:

  • Who are my emotional anchors?
  • How do we become and act as anchors for others?  What are we bringing to interactions and experiences?
  • When do we call upon our anchors most often?
  • How is being an anchor for someone or searching for an anchor different from the idea of being rescued?

These days, when many of us seem adrift in uncertainty and untethered from routine, anchors come to mind again. It seems we need anchors more than ever, but trying to understand what we need these days brings more questions: What kind of helpers do we most need right now? What anchors us across our days? And, how do we define an anchor? 

Woman holding child on a beach and identifying anchors.

Here’s a definition of anchor I’ve uncovered: Solid and reliable. Firm and constant. Stable and secure. 

Would you say this describes an anchor — like the anchor that keeps a boat in place? Connected by a rope, the boat is allowed to drift only so far in any direction around its center. So we look to the people and things that keep us centered, that prevent us from drifting too far in times of stress. And we try to be those solid connections for others.

As I reflect on parenting, coaching, mental health consultation, and leadership,  I’ve been wondering about the qualities of adults who thrive in times of uncertainty. What are the strengths, skills and habits that keep us grounded, visionary, inspirational, and transformational? 

We cannot move through new circumstances with only old anchors, understandings and approaches. We need new ones. And this doesn’t mean we don’t already have it within us. It might just mean we didn’t call upon it before.

What has been your greatest strength during this time of uncertainty? What have you held fast to when everything seems adrift? Share in the comments, as I know we could all use some anchoring ideas while we wait for fair winds and following seas.