Are You Falling Prey to this Potent Form of Self-Sabotage?

Read the question below and the truthful answer will be whatever first comes to you – your initial gut reaction.

Read it, close your eyes and notice your truth rise up from within you:

What is MOST important to you in life?

Your answer/s are what we call your Life Anchors.

Your life anchors are what must form the foundation of your life experience in order for you to feel most alive, most fulfilled and for you to notice, appreciate and value the deeper meaning of your existence.

We call them life anchors, because:

  • they are the factors in your life which anchor you from the external world around you, back to the depth of soul inside you
  • they anchor you when life gets stormy, keeping you present, focused and in perspective
  • they anchor you when you are unsure, when life looks more uncertain than certain
  • they keep you on an even keel
  • they hold you grounded when you might otherwise get too lost in your head, ego, or pride and almost float away

Life Anchors

Life anchors are primarily either factors external to us (e.g people) or experiences we have. Both are directly linked to generating strong positive emotions within us. The anchors allow us to feel the depth of love, peace, happiness, freedom and self-expression that are available to us. But it is neither the anchor, nor the resulting emotion that is truly key. It is the fact that the anchors and resulting emotions help us to REMEMBER the CORE of who we really are, and connect us to life's depth.

Life Anchors will commonly be:

  • Relationships (e.g. family, friends, pets)
  • Passions, purpose, calling (e.g. experiences and endeavours for fully expressing talents/gifts, while contributing to ‘the whole')
  • Health & wellbeing (e.g. meditation, yoga, martial arts, walking, running)

It is essential that our life anchors form the foundation of how we choose to live, of what we value, of where we spend our time.

They replenish us, they energise us, they balance us, they keep us… well, anchored!

Self-Sabotage – Are You Adrift?

The issue is that too many of us choose NOT to prioritize our life anchors. We don't use our life anchors as the foundation from which we live. They are not the center of our experience from which all else flows, and we don't give the time, focus and energy to them in the way that allows us to derive most benefit from them.

Instead, we self-sabotage by living on auto-pilot, or in fear, or in apathy, or in a way that allows other people to tell us what our anchors should be, and unwittingly we find ourselves and our life experience being centred around other priorities, not our life anchors.

You might be choosing work over family. You might be choosing addiction (food, alcohol or drugs) over health. You might be defaulting to mindless, numbing pastimes over your passions.  When I say “choosing”, what we really mean is not consciously choosing, but defaulting – habitually or accidentally swaying too far, away from your anchors. No one in their right mind would consciously, happily, wholeheartedly and passionately choose, on purpose, to create an imbalanced life where less meaningful things take priority over their life anchors.

You don't need your life anchors to take up all your time or resources. You don't need to make your entire life about your anchors. You do, however, need your life anchors to be just that… your anchors that form the foundation and focal point around which the rest of your life dances.

Choose Them

Without consciously choosing and prioritising your life anchors, and giving them the attention, awareness and energy they need to help you stay connected, they can no longer serve you.

Their service to you is to bring deeper meaning and positive emotion to your life – but most importantly to keep you connected to the core of who you really are.

Your life anchors need you to choose them, so they can in turn serve you in this way.

Anchor Yourself

  1. Take your answers from the question at the top of this blog, “What is MOST important to you in life”, and write them down with plenty of space under each answer.
  2. For each Life Anchor that you've identified, objectively consider whether you give that anchor the time, space, focus, energy, attention, love and partnership that it needs, in order for it to serve you.
  3. For each Life Anchor that you notice you are NOT in balance with, write down why that is. If you find it difficult to find the reason why, here are two tips. A) The reason will be you, and your choices, behaviour or default direction in some way and B) If you struggle to get authentic with yourself about this, close your eyes and sit with it. Sit with the not understanding, not knowing the reason or any discomfort. Sit there until you feel some sense of why you are not in balance with that anchor.
  4. Define ONE action you can implement this week to redress the balance and give life blood to your life anchor, so it can do it's job of helping you to stay most fulfilled, most satisfied, most alive and most… well… anchored!

With love, Bernadette

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2 Responses

  1. Hi Bernadette
    I only found this article today (or maybe it found me today!)
    Anyway, upon the question of what is most important to me, I immediately, instinctively responded: Money & Security.
    But then I thought – would I be happy to lose my family as long as I can keep my earthly possessions? And the answer was absolutely not!
    However, if I lost all my earthly possessions, and I have no job and no income, but my family are there to support me … would I be happy? Again the answer is negative.
    So it seems I have a lot of digging and soul searching to do yet!

    1. Hi there, thanks for sharing! Well… I would suggest that rather than asking yourself if you would be “happy”, ask yourself if you can be accepting, peaceful and somewhat balanced. No one is ever going to be happy if they lose their job and all their income and possessions, even if they do have their family/friends around them, but it is viable to feel safe, accepting and somewhat at peace in that situation. I would also recommend that rather than considering the worst case scenario and what you would value in those situations, rather ask yourself questions like:
      – Right now, in my current circumstance, what/who is deeply meaningful to me (beyond physical/material things, rather meaningful in my heart and soul)?
      – What activities, rituals and experiences do I know help me to feel physically, mentally and emotionally balanced and healthy (e.g what lifts me up and helps me to nourish myself at all levels)?

      Hope that helps Schalk

      Best wishes

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