By Ann Shelley// Opinion Editor
When I think of inspirational speakers, Tony Robbins was always a name that came to mind. Since I was a little girl, I continuously heard his speeches on the radio say things like, “Where focus goes, energy flows.” My dad has been his number one fan for over 20 years since the start of Robbins’ career, and this summer I finally had the chance to see why.
When my father insisted we travel to Chicago to attend a conference focusing on self-empowerment, I didn’t know what to expect. The conference, “Unleash The Power Within,” consisted of lectures by Robbins. I didn’t believe that after four days I could have my whole mindset towards life changed. My dad and I walked in the first day early in the morning to get the best seats. We were in the front row. Little did I know Tony Robbins would be right in front of me three hours later.
After two days at this fantastic experience, I felt my confidence go through the roof. All the activities centered around getting to know the people seated around you better. I met grandparents, parents, recently graduated real-world workers, yet all of them taught me different lessons. I got to hear their stories, how they’ve gotten to be where they are today and what has impacted their lives immensely. However, no one’s stories compared to Tony Robbins’ story and how he started his career. He sat in front of us on the stage and told us how he used to be overweight working as a janitor, barely being able to pay for his apartment. I was shocked by how this powerful, perfectly fit, inspirational man used to be in a horrible situation. He told us how he seriously hit rock bottom and didn’t know how to get out of that mindset, but that’s when he figured it out. It’s just a mindset.
If we genuinely go into life knowing our worth and how much we deserve, anything can happen. One of the tricks they gave at the conference was if you’re ever feeling down, shake your butt. To most people, working an eight-hour shift at “Urban Outfitters” isn’t an ideal way to spend the summer. However, every single time I would find myself annoyed or wanted to go home, I would just shake my butt. Believe it or not, every time I would end up laughing because it’s the silliest thing. I dare you, try it. If you’re stressed about a test, stand up and shake that butt to see what can happen.
Another huge aspect of this conference was to let go of everything that has been holding us back, whether it be a job, someone in our life or something within ourselves. The only way to do that is to really feel the pain you’ve been having. Tony Robbins uses this for all of his therapy sessions and can seriously help people break their phobias or bad habits in an hour or less. For example, if you are trying to quit smoking cigarettes, he would put you in a room and make you smoke until you literally couldn’t burn anymore. This reiterated in the brain acts as a break in pattern and causes the individuals to become more disgusted by cigarettes. Obviously, this may not work for everyone, but it’s a start.
Another huge part of the conference was the advice to allow ourselves to feel the emotions within holding us back. Some individuals said they felt they weren’t good enough, they weren’t smart enough or they just couldn’t be successful. These insecurities have no validity; it’s just a mindset they had about themselves that was holding them back. As soon as they started telling themselves, “Yes, I can do this” or “I am unstoppable,” they will begin to believe it. For example, if you are a relationship-focused individual, most of the time you think you need a relationship to be happy. The way to break this habit is to start telling yourself how much happier you are without a romantic relationship and how much more you can focus on yourself and your future, which is more crucial. In the end, all you need is yourself to be happy.
In the end, I learned the most important lessons of my life. Everything you face in life you must face with the best mindset possible, believe in yourself and hold yourself accountable for things you can’t do.
“The quality of your life will be determined by how you react to tough situations in your life,” says Steve Shelley, after attending this conference. “If you say what can I learn from this bad experience, instead of pouting about it, you can learn to live from situations.” The best way to go throughout life is to know yourself better than anyone else and know that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. So if you ever have the chance to see Tony Robbins in his “Unleash The Power Within” conference, do it. The lessons I learned here will stick with me for the rest of my life.
Pictured above is the Tony Robbins conference in Chicago. Photo by Ann Shelley