Preventing Burnout: Find Your Anchor

Last week was a week that wore me down both physically and mentally. It was a result of setting unrealistic expectations and operating in an extreme work cycle that neglected proper rest, nutrition, and fitness. Unfortunately, I tread this line often.

But I took time this weekend to slow down, quiet my mind, and count my blessings. In the past, self-care was viewed as something that got in the way of productivity; I would work myself into the ground before I decided to ease off the pedal. In counting my blessings, I’m thankful to have walked through really difficult burnouts because I now get a sense of when I’m operating on fumes.

The difference between falling off the cliff and walking on the edge is having a lifeline that keeps me grounded; I call this my anchor.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson posted this image on Instagram a week ago.

The man has 10 movies in the pipeline, works out twice a day (beginning at 4am), just launched his own lifestyle brand (Project Rock), spends time giving back to his fans, and oh yeah, he just became a dad. To be that active and committed to his craft for 20+ years takes an insane amount of discipline and dedication.

The Rock has his anchor. I have my anchor. You should have one too.

What is an Anchor?

Your anchor is your one thing that sets you up for success in everything else you do. If everything in the day is a drain, your anchor is your one fill. If your day was a mess, your anchor is your one success.

Your anchor is the one thing that by doing it, everything else becomes easier or unnecessary.

You return to it, protect it, and cherish it.

My Anchor

For me, my anchor is my morning routine. More specifically, it’s the quietness when I’m still and reflective. I spend this time reading, praying, and writing. There are quotes, verses, and or prayers that I capture in this time that sustain me and propel me throughout the day. It’s my lifeline that keeps me from falling off the cliff.

For example, I’m a big fan of The Valley of Vision. I read one prayer every morning and ponder a specific passage. There’s normally one section that specifically resonates with me and I use it to console me throughout the day. It’s easy to operate going a hundred miles an hour; it’s not easy to pump the brakes. My anchor is the speed bump that reminds me to slow down.

Sure, the post-it note isn’t pretty. Yes, my penmanship deserves to be scolded, but it’s not about being attractive or pleasing anyone else. My anchor is for me; that’s it.

When I get overwhelmed by a flooded inbox, or a never-ending list of tasks, my anchor literally rests in the palm of my right hand. It’s a physical and visual reminder to be still, be calm, and be conformed to my identity. Enjoy the process, not the outcome, that’s what my anchor reminds me; it’s the “why” behind everything I do.

Protect YOUR Anchor

No one else is going to understand your anchor or view it as important as you. It’s YOUR responsibility to guard it, protect it, and cherish it.

Life happens. I don’t always get to my morning routine, but I do my best in defending the time. What this looks like is turning away most morning meetings. It’s not that I don’t like people in the morning — I promise I do — I simply can’t be fully present in that meeting if I haven’t had time to be quiet and still my mind. If I’m going to give the day and everyone in it everything I’ve got, I’ve got to remember how much I’ve already been given. My anchor is what reminds me of this and it’s fundamental to my journey.

What’s Your Anchor?

So I implore you to find your anchor. It’s what gets me through really rough times and it’s what keeps me grounded. I’d be a mess without it.

What’s your anchor?

Wesley FangComment