So this past weekend I travelled to Chicago to spend four days with Tony Robbins for his “Unleash the Power Within” seminar. I dragged my boyfriend with me, and we didn’t really know what to expect. Well, it was four days of jumping around, hugging strangers, screaming YES! and walking across hot coals …and I came out of it with some incredible insights that I wanted to share.
1. FEAR is what stops us from moving forward in life.
We all experience fear in our lives that keeps us from really going after our goals and what we want in life. Over-achievers call it “stress”, but whether it be fear of failure, fear of being alone, fear of rejection…the two primary fears that we all share are the fear that we’re not enough, and therefore the fear that we won’t be loved. This is what it always comes down to, no matter what your fears may be. The trick is learning how to use this fear to break free of your limiting thoughts and beliefs instead of allowing it to drag you through a miserable life. We did an activity where we write down our greatest fear, and answer the questions “what benefit has this fear given you in the past?” and “why be free of this fear now?” Fear is there to serve us to change, but it can also imprison us if we’re not careful.
2. You control your emotions, and therefore the quality of your life
When something horrible happens, are you someone who thinks “what did I do to deserve this?” or “this is a challenge, and therefore a gift.”? The way that you perceive experiences will affect the quality of your life, because it reflects the pattern that you’ve chosen to create for yourself. We all know those people who seem happy all the time, and then others who are always sad and complaining – it really just depends on what you’ve chosen to focus on. If you focus on how awful everything is, and all of the things that you DON’T want in your life, then that’s what you’re going to continue to attract. Instead, focus on all you have to be grateful for and all that you’ve accomplished. Focus instead on all that you DO want in your life, and you’ll begin to find ways to make things happen – it’s just how our brains work.
Tony is also big on the idea that MOTION leads EMOTION. The reason we jumped around and hugged each other so much is because it puts you in a “peak state” – a physiological state where you feel confident and empowered. The simple shift of pulling your shoulders back and your chest up can really change your entire mood, and smiling can actually make you feel happier – give it a try.
3. The Dickens Process: Getting rid of your limiting beliefs
For me, this was the most powerful activity we did all weekend. First we identified the limiting belief that has been producing unwanted or negative consequences in our lives. Tony then led all 5,000 of us through a visualization where we look 5 and 10 years into the future, and feel the pain that this belief has continued to cause us. It’s important to truly feel the effects of these simple little beliefs that have caused huge setbacks in your life, and will continue to do so if you don’t get rid of them now. He helped us to realize that the truth is usually the exact opposite of your belief – and therefore whatever you’ve been telling yourself is bullshit. You then take the time to replace it with a new empowering belief and go through the same process of visualizing the future now that you’ve gotten rid of your limitations.
The point here is to associate massive pain to not changing and massive pleasure to making that shift. He explains that in order to interupt limiting patterns, you have to send the message to your brain that huge pain will come as a result of this pattern. I cried my eyes out during this activity, so it was definitely effective. I was actually also able to use this technique to stop my nasty nail biting habit – which I’ve had for pretty much my whole life. Once I was able to interrupt the pattern, the neural connection was weakened and eventually died. That’s how breaking patterns works – it’s pretty amazing.
4. Raise your standards
Good is the enemy of great. If you want a better quality of life, then you need to raise your standards for yourself. So many of us settle into a comfortable life, a comfortable job, a comfortable relationship – but there is no growth in comfort. We live who we believe we are – so it’s important to not only write down all that you aspire to become, but surround yourself with others who have the high standards that you are working towards. One of Tony’s big lessons is that there are no failures, only outcomes – therefore you always succeed since you have now learned how to do things better, and opportunity has arisen. You cannot be afraid to go after greatness – put real emotion behind attaining your goals and know without a doubt that you are capable of achieving anything that you truly want and believe you deserve.
It was a little bit crazy, but I would definitely recommend this seminar to anyone who feels like change is needed in some area of your life. Whether it be in your relationships, your career or your body, he really addresses all aspects of your life and the beliefs that could be keeping you from greatness. I know he’s going to be in New Jersey next – but check out www.tonyrobbins.com for more info. I’m all signed up for his “Date with Destiny” seminar in December – I’m drinking the TR kool-aid and loving it.