Taking more risks and gaining confidence by building anchors
When some parts of your life are consistent and predictable, you can take on more parts of life that are risky and unpredictable
In 2019 when I moved to Los Angeles, I had no friends and no place to stay beyond the first 10 days. Even after I found a place to stay, I was living with random strangers I’d never met before in a new city in a new country.
How did I gain the confidence to continue to make new friends, put myself out there in the dating game, and do ‘socially risky’ things like attending meetups, going to concerts, bars, restaurants alone, and talking to random strangers?
I learned the concept of anchors and built them into my life.
Anchors are things that keep you grounded in life, from where you gain the confidence to branch out. These are mental “safe places” that give you a sense of security.
Having a partner, close friends and family, trusting work relationships — these are all natural anchors, the ones that most of us depend on.
It’s easy to take these for granted, and you only realize how much you’re doing that when they’re taken away from you when you move by yourself to a new country where you know no one.
What do you do for security until you build personal relationships in a new place?
Doing the same things at the same time every day and every week gives you a sense of consistency that can keep you grounded.
Joining a regular meetup, a class, the gym, or setting your own rituals helps a lot with this. In my case, when I moved to LA, I joined a regular language exchange meetup and an improv class, which was held at the same time every week.
Favorite Places ❤️
Frequenting the same places, again and again, gives you a sense of consistency as well as personal ownership — they become “your” places. A little piece of you in a new (or old) place.
In my case, I biked to the same part of the beach in Santa Monica multiple times a week with a towel, a journal, and a book.
I would also visit the same coffee shop twice or thrice a week to order the same drink every time, and write in my journal or apply to jobs (I was searching for my second gap year internship at that time).
Finding and cooking the same supermarket foods and discovering restaurant dishes that you can go back to again and again also gives you a sense of consistency and familiarity.
Building a “supermarket routine” of purchasing the same things every time, while still trying out new things, is a great way to anchor yourself as well.
We actually find that most successful people have multiple anchors like these — they usually have fixed ways of dressing, their favorite restaurants they go back to again and again, their favorite spots to vacation at, and they are often very religious about sticking with their routines.
When you have many different variables at work or in business, it helps to reduce the number of other variables in life.
Video of the week
I made a YouTube video about how to write effective cold messages, and how I was able to meet some of my favorite YouTubers in New York by doing so.
Thanks for reading! Thanks for subscribing! Hit ‘reply’ to let me know what you think — what are the anchors that you build in your life?