I’ve been a big fan of Tony Robbins for the past two years. I had been listening to his audio CDs, watching clips of his on YouTube, and of course reading his books. Earlier this year, I decided to take the plunge and purchase tickets to his UPW Event. (I had originally planned on going to his Los Angeles event but ended up falling and breaking and cutting open my nose and missing my flight out. Tony’s team was great about letting me use my ticket to attend a future event after I was back on my feet.) Finally, one within driving distance came along in November.
I ended up missing Day 1 of UPW (and the firewalk that goes along with it) because of a gig I had with L’Occitane. For this reason, I’m don’t consider this a full review of the UPW Event and instead am focusing on what I did get to experience and take away from Days 2-4 that I was present for. While I learned so much from the event, here are a few things that stood out to me.
1. YOU CAN DECIDE TO BE HAPPY/EXCITED/SAD/DEPRESSED
Going into a Tony Robbins event, be prepared to be active. It’s not a sit down and take notes seminar. There’s a LOT of emphasis on physical activity and group/partnered exercises (more on that later). And it’s going to feel ridiculous at first. It’s going to feel almost cult-like. Tony and his guest speaker, Joseph McClendon III, take you on an emotional rollercoaster. In what I can best describe as guided meditations, they will bring you up to tear you down and bring you back up again. My advice is, just go with it. There’s a method to the madness. Through the ups and downs, you start to notice the “buttons” more clearly to tap yourself into happiness, certainty and confidence, and also sad and depressed. When you become more aware of these buttons and how to press them, you realize how much more in control of your feelings and emotional states you are experiencing. Through what you focus on, the questions you ask yourself, the meaning you give to the outside experiences, how you hold your body, the way you breathe, how you use your face. It’s as simple as making the decision to behave your way to the feeling you want to have.
2. CHANGE YOUR FOCUS BY CHANGING THE QUESTIONS YOU ASK YOURSELF
Your brain focuses through questions. If you want to feel empowered, ask empowering questions. Instead of asking crappy questions like, “Why am I not good enough?” or “Why does this always happen to me?” Ask, “How would I feel if I was certain that I was good enough? How would I think? How would I walk around? What would I do differently? What would I do better?” Instead of asking, “Why do I have to do this? This sucks. This isn’t fun.” Ask yourself, “How can I make this more fun? How can I make this more enjoyable?”
3. PLATEAUS ARE TO BE EXPECTED
In every area of our lives, from our relationships to our finances, there will always be a point where progress and growth seem to slow down or come to a halt. Tony described three different groups people fall into when they get to these plateaus – The Dabbler: Gives up!, The Stressor/Achiever: Tries a million different things, never gives up until they make a breakthrough and does the same thing when they reach the next plateau, & The Master: Expects the plateau, seeks out someone who has already done what they are trying to do (i.e. a mentor) or get past and follows their advice and strategies.
4. USE FEAR TO MOTIVATE YOU
We all have our own set of limiting beliefs. The excuses and stories we tell ourselves about why we can’t have what we want and why we shouldn’t even bother trying. We hold onto the beliefs that serve us. By holding onto our limiting beliefs we are giving ourselves leverage to not change our patterns in order to gain certainty (at least things won’t change or worse, become worse!) But think about it, is it true that things won’t get worse if you continue to hold onto your belief of “I don’t have enough time,” or “I’m not smart enough,” or “I’m not good enough”? Think about all the things you haven’t done, “risks” you wouldn’t take if you continued to hold onto those thoughts and feelings. What could your life look like in a month, a year, five years, ten years from now if you don’t unleash your potential and step up and out of your comfort zone? If you don’t push yourself to grow into whoever and whatever you need to become to get the things you really want to experience? What would you feel like? How would the people you care about most feel about you? How would that make you feel? Make the idea of letting these excuses get in your way more terrifying than deciding to do something different, to do something better.
5. HAVE FUN
Getting what you want can require a lot of hard work and both physical and mental strength but that doesn’t mean you have to hate it. Think back to when you were a little kid. Use your imagination. Find ways to make the process more enjoyable. Operate from that. Use music, games, and creativity whenever and wherever possible.
Even though this isn’t meant to be a review as I missed the first day, I’m conscious of the fact that some of the people stumbling upon this post may be wondering if the event is worth going to. Do I believe that this event can change your life? Short answer: Yes. Long Answer: The event isn’t going to change your life but will show you how YOU can change your life. If you go, go with an open mind and be prepared to be uncomfortable. Be prepared to feel ridiculous. Most things will not resonate with you until a bit later, or at least that was my experience. But if you actually apply the methods and techniques Tony Robbins and his speakers offer in your actual day to day life, absolutely. When you change your patterns, of course your life will change form. The great news is that his approaches are simple to understand and implement and because of being at the event, you’re obligated to try them on and see how they work for you. It works if you work it. In the end, you’re the one in control of your destiny.