Today, we’ll explore the first of many tools of fear alchemy – certainty anchors.
You probably use these already, without knowing exactly how or why it works. Perhaps you have a prayer you repeat before every important meeting or sales call. Or perhaps you have a special desk where you do your writing. Or maybe it’s the music or podcasts you listen to on the way to work.
All of those help to ground us in an uncertain world, and in particular, when we’re doing the creative work that our brains interpret as high-risk.
After you read today’s selection, think about other ways you could use anchors to manage the uncertainty in your life and fuel your creative work.
PS – If you have some extra time, read back through Proverbs and notice how many similar instructions there are for establishing “paths” for ourselves.
A certainty anchor is a practice or process that adds something known and reliable to your life when you may otherwise feel you’re spinning off in a million different directions. Rituals and routines can function as certainty anchors by offering a sense of connection with the divine or with a like-minded community. A lot of the power of rituals and routines comes from the simple fact that they are always there. They are grounding experiences to which you can always return, no matter what’s going on. Their consistency makes them effective tools to counter the anxiety that comes not only from living in uncertain times, but from embracing endeavors that ramp uncertainty even higher.
Some of the most creative people in the world are attached to rituals and routines in their everyday lives. Novelist CJ Lyons has taken most of her mundane daily tasks, from laundry to lunch, and dropped them into a routine that hasn’t been altered in years. Professional blogger Darren Rowse starts each day by heading off to his favorite cafe, ostensibly to find a good place to write, but there’s a lot of ritual to that as well. The artist Ross Bleckner has for years kept to the same standardized day from the moment he opens his eyes to the moment he goes to sleep, seven days a week.
“The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.”
– Mike Murdock
Today, I will practice feeling the fear and choosing to move forward anyway. I will do one thing that scares me.
In the paths of the wicked are snares and pitfalls, but those who would preserve their life stay far from them.