I don’t even really know where to start in writing this blog post about my recent, first time experience with a Tony Robbins live event. If you’ve been following my social media pages (particularly my instagram stories) you would know I recently spent four days in Sydney at ‘Unleash The Power Within’ (UPW) with Tony Robbins and it blew my mind. Here’s my event wrap up and debrief of some of what I learned (there was heaps!), the things I loved (and didn’t) and all of the amazing take-aways from four huge days with Tony.
For those of you who aren’t aware who Tony Robbins is (funnily enough a lot of people I spoke with before attending the event had never heard of Tony!) you can head over here to read a little about what he is all about. But briefly, he is an incredibly talented life and business coach, speaker and mentor. He’s an author of many incredibly well regarded books on self development and business growth and he’s worked with some of the most influential and famous people in the world (including Oprah). Tony is also incredibly wealthy (he is worth about $6billion and owns multiple companies, homes and businesses across the globe) and is by far the very best speaker and story teller I have ever seen.
I would highly recommend checking out his documentary, ‘I am not your guru’ on Netflix for a 2-hour condensed glimpse at one of his most popular events which gives you a bit more of an insight into his work.
I went into this four-day event knowing I was going to learn a lot. My cousin invited me along with him as he attended UPW last year and really found it changed his life. It helped him clear some blockages and challenges he had been facing and he wanted to go back for more. He had been talking the event up to me for a long time before we went so I was getting really excited to see it all for myself.
High on life
The first thing I noticed at the event was the ENERGY. I have never been in a place with 6,000 people where each and every person was beaming and pulsing with energy and desire to better their lives. Not even attending a live AFL final game came close to how it felt in the UPW room. I wasn’t really prepared for it! I knew there would be people from all walks of life attending the event but I didn’t expect there to be quite as much hype. I also didn’t expect the place to be pumping with loud, dance music more often than not. The music was incredible, and really helped to set the tone of the event.
People (including me) would be dancing and jumping and clapping in the isles, and in their seats continuously throughout the day and night. The room was filled with flashing lights and big screens and we’d all be thrashing away at the music, clapping and cheering. It was seriously better than any club I have been to, and when I was dancing around like a lunatic, it was the most energetic I’d ever felt. People would probably mistake all 6,000 of us to be drunk or high on something by the way we were acting but (of course I can’t speak for everyone) we were only high on the energy and excitement!
The thing with UPW is that no one is there to judge. It didn’t matter if you had no rhythm or moves, everyone danced anyway and didn’t pay any attention to anyone else. One of the reasons I really enjoyed the event was because of this. We were all there for the same thing – to better ourselves as people and to start living extraordinary lives.
When Tony finally came out on the stage, he was captivating. As I said before, he is the best story teller I’ve ever seen and he hooks you in. On the first day he started talking around mid-day and didn’t stop until 11.30pm. He didn’t go for a lunch or dinner break, his energy never wavered. I was blown away, it’s seriously impressive stuff. He had no notes in front of him telling him what to say either – the words just flew out of his mouth and everyone of them made sense.
Changing your ‘state’
A lot of day one was about learning how to change your ‘state’ (or the way you are feeling at any one time). Tony believes (and now, so do I) that you can change your state in a heartbeat if you simply change three important things: Your physiology (or you movement), your focus and your language. Now, as I said previously there was a lot of dancing and jumping and cheering – and there was a reason for this. Tony would tell us to get up out of our chairs (probably more than 50 times each day), shake our bodies out and then crank the music. By moving to the music and moving our bodies, our energy would boost, often our mood would lift (after sitting for some time) and we’d switch to our ‘peak state’ (which means the ultimate ‘state’ of feeling or our most energetic state). I really loved this aspect of the event. As much as I was getting so incredibly tired from the continual energy burn throughout each day (not to mention the late nights – more on that in a moment), it became clear to me how easily I could change what I was feeling.
It sounds so simple, right? Some of you are probably thinking it sounds stupid and a bit woo-woo, but I ask you to try it. The next time you’re feeling flat, low, or even a bit bored change your physiology even just a little. It could be as simple as walking your dog, going for a run or a gym class, or as simple as cranking on your favourite tunes and busting out a move in your living room and I can guarantee you’ll feel different.
Once we can change our physiology we can then move on to changing our focus. You’ve probably heard this before and it’s something Tony spoke of several times, what you focus on you become. I never really thought much about this quote before, I always just pushed the idea to the side. Another version, I think, and a quote I wrote in my notes from the first day is ‘we live what we believe we are’. And when you think about it, it really does make sense.
If we are constantly focusing and placing energy on the things we don’t like about ourselves, or the problems within our lives, our energy will naturally go there. Like, for me, I am seriously good at body shaming myself and putting myself down. It was one of the ‘limiting beliefs’ (which I’ll explain soon) that I had been telling myself over and over again. I’d beat myself up so bad that I’d never feel beautiful or happy with what I saw in the mirror. All of my energy and focus was placed on this. Of course if I’m focusing on the negatives I’ll never be happy with myself, and my body will never get leaner or improve like I always wanted it to do.
If you tell something so much that you hate it, why would it ever grow to its most full, or reach its full potential? Scientists have even conducted studies on plants that have been spoke to negatively and documented how poorly they grow and thrive compared to plants spoken to positively and with love. It’s not rocket science, it’s simple facts.
Language and focus often go hand in hand, and by changing the language we use will also impact our state. The same principals apply as above. Sounds simple, right? It’s because it is. One thing I kept speaking to my cousin about after each day was the fact that a lot of what we were learning was so simple but when it is laid out in front of you it finally all makes sense.
Being called ‘Unleash the power within’ there was no surprise we would be working on ourselves a lot, and often at times it got quite heavy and emotional. By day three we were working on shifting some heavy issues we’d been carrying in order to move on from our problems and start living extraordinary lives. To some, it might sound really strange, and I have to admit, some of this stuff really did make me feel a bit uncomfortable but I did it anyway.
I was in no way prepared for the chanting we’d be doing throughout the event. Loud, crazy chanting to reaffirm all the things we were learning. Tony is a lover of ‘YES’ and he’d yell out and ask questions and we’d all chant back YES! I have to admit at times, the chanting was not my real cup-of-tea. I loved some parts, but there were bits that made me feel a bit funny. I’m not sure why, but I’m okay with not loving every aspect of the event, and Tony did say we may not agree with everything we experience across the four days and that was totally fine
The Dickens Process
I was also in no way prepared for the ‘Dickens Process’ which is way too difficult to try and explain in a blog post but I will say this: it’s a deep exercise where Tony had us write down and acknowledge three of the limiting beliefs (or things we constantly tell ourselves that we believe about ourselves or our lives) and visualise our deepest fears and consequences of what our lives would be like in five, 10 or 20 years time if we don’t rid them from our lives.
The whole process took several hours and the visualization part was really heavy. People would allow themselves to go into a deep state of visualization and really let their emotions take control. Imagine standing with your eyes closed in a room of 6,000 people thinking of the worst outcomes for your life because of the stupid things you’ve forever believed about yourself – and everyone else is doing the same. Who or what would you have lost if you’d kept telling yourself all of the bull shit you continue to tell yourself each day? As you can probably imagine people really took it to the next level, some were screaming, crying and yelling for nearly an hour! It was intense.
The idea behind doing this exercise however was to allow ourselves to see how terrible our lives would be if we continued to stand by our limiting beliefs and to give us an idea of what life would be like so we would have enough leverage over ourselves to want to change and to stop believing the crap we tell ourselves. It makes a lot of sense to me, but I was definitely taken back by the experience. Although, in saying that – I think it worked for me. I don’t want to feel shit for the rest of my life, and I now know I have the power to change that and a belief that I will make it happen.
Life and health
On the final day of UPW we learned about how much the decisions we make in terms of our eating habits can affect everything. A lot of what we discussed on the final day were things I knew already, but there was some great science behind certain health aspects that was explained and I really enjoyed it. I partiularly loved the video recording we saw of the incredibe Dutch man Wim Hof, also known as the ‘Ice man’ and the holder of 26 world records. I highly recommend checking him out online and on youtube. He is incredible and has defied so many odds and helped re-write so many scientific books because he has proven many of them wrong when it comes to the body’s ability to withstand pain.
I placed a lot of expectations on this event, and as we learned throughout the course of the four days, sometimes putting an expectation on something already creates problems moving forward. I got a little disheartened at times when I thought I wasn’t ‘getting into’ the event enough despite really taking so much from my time there. I can feel there is already a shift in me and my mindset, and to be honest, I have been a little worried I would lose that drive and energy I felt at UPW and I really never want to!
Some things I didn’t expect or didn’t truly prepare myself for included the late nights and how exhausted I would feel. On Day 3 at the dinner break I had a few tears because my mind and body were so tired. It didn’t help that the past few weeks have been incredibly huge for me in terms of life/work and travel, and after additional late nights of UPW it all started to compound. I knew each night was scheduled to finish around mid-night but I had no idea I would feel so exhausted.
I also didn’t expect to feel so inspired to help others, or to make positive changes in the world. I went into UPW thinking I’d learn ways to better my business and take some great tools home, but little did I know I would learn so much more about myself and my beliefs. I have been digesting all of the feelings and info from the event and I now have a pull in me to do more, be more and help more. I’m trying hard not to rush the process of working through what this means for me as a business person but I can feel there is a shift in what I want to do for the rest of my life, and exploring this is exciting!
I would recommend going into a Tony Robbins event with an incredibly open mind. Some people have likened his seminars to ‘cults’, and to be honest, there are aspects that probably do resemble what some would think a cult would be like. Still, be open minded. I never felt pressured to buy anything more from the Tony Robbins franchise, despite some upselling of his larger programs throughout the event talks.
I genuinely believe he is incredibly talented at helping people realise their potential, and I only wish I had a spare $1million to hire him as my personal mentor (and yes, that is what he charges for some one-on-one time!) Although, Tony believes if you have a strong enough will to have something you will always find the money and the time, so perhaps I need to rid myself of that limiting belief as well? 😉
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