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Tony Robbins Is Onto Something
Tony Robbins danced onto the screen, his large hands clapping aggressively to the music as the crowd swayed back and forth cheering.
My sister and I watched I am Not Your Guru during my sister’s surgery recovery phase and we both felt inspired by it. It’s possible, a few too many days locked up in a hotel room dealing with food poisoning had taken us to a dark place. We needed Tony to bring a positive ray of motivation and off beat dancing into our lives.
So if you’ve seen me doing a “raise the roof” like motion with my hands and giving impassioned speeches this week, it’s because of Tony Robbins.
The documentary led us to buying the book, Awaken The Giant Within and while doing one of Tony’s exercises, I realized I had a limiting belief that is once again popping up its ugly head.
The exercise is straightforward, list out all your positive and limiting beliefs. What surprised me was that I was still carrying the negative beliefs that I’m not hard working and am disorganized. Beliefs that are not far off from my old fear that I wasn’t a doer.
I wrote about not being a doer when I wrote about Charlie Gilkey’s book, Start Finishing. Naively, I assumed I had crushed this negative belief, tricking myself into believing that writing about it meant that I had solved my problem forever.
However, these past few weeks I’ve been off my A game and it seems a little disruption in my schedule can push me into a negative headspace.
When I’m hitting my self imposed deadlines, have my schedule under control and am generally performing well, I show myself that I am a doer. That I can get things done.
When my life gets a little chaotic, I start to feel overwhelmed by the things that I have to finish and my growing to do list. When my essays came out late a couple weeks in a row, I started to question myself instead of taking the time to see if something needed to change.
Doing Tony’s exercise, I found myself asking, “Why is this a limiting belief? What is this preventing me from accomplishing?”
I realized I was slipping into a fixed mindset versus a growth mindset1. A fixed mindset is when you think you are born with your abilities and have little option to change them. A growth mindset leans into the idea that with time and effort, you can become better at almost anything.
Every month this past year, I thought my schedule would get lighter at some point and it never did. Next week I’ll be free, my weekends won’t be filled, I can finally catch up on reading Substacks and get ahead on planning content for my podcast.
This is a blessing because as I’ve been exercising my “doing” muscle, new opportunities have come my way. I have more people reading and commenting on my pieces which means more engaging from my side too.
However, I was ignoring the fact that I was adding new projects onto my plate and continued to read, write and engage whenever I felt like it. I started to lose sleep after procrastinating my deadlines and knew something needed to change.
My limited and fixed mindset went straight to believing I wasn’t managing my workload because I was inherently disorganized. That I was overwhelmed and falling behind because of some fatal laziness character flaw that lives inside of me.
Listing out these beliefs helped me see that I was still holding onto them. I found examples to prove they were wrong like my publishing streak and the positive feedback I’ve received on the work I’ve done. After that, I saw the limiting beliefs served me because they let me avoid putting together a system and content schedule for myself. I always think I love not having a schedule, but a lack of structure in an increasingly busy week has been slowly turning my hair grey.
As much as I enjoy a late night writing session, I don’t like to get to bed late and then turn up to my morning meetings sleep deprived. I have so many topics I want to dive into but I put them off because each week I don’t feel like I have enough time to focus on them.
While I’m having fun taking on new mentorship roles, I have to admit those take time to prepare and will take time away from creating new pieces. Surprisingly, it turns out that I can’t add something to my schedule without taking into account that I’ll have to invest time and energy into it.
My problem isn’t that I have a crazy back to back schedule. It’s inconsistent but not unpredictable. My issue is that I think I love working purely based on my feelings and my mood, but then get stressed and start to doubt myself when I feel overwhelmed. It’s time to admit I need a system in place.
What surprised me was how freeing it felt to admit this. It was easy to throw a pity party for myself and indulge in negative self thought. However, that was unproductive and could’ve spiraled into laying on my couch avoiding my problems. Seeing that I could change my situation if I was willing to sit and make a plan was way more satisfying.
So Tony Robbins, as trite as it sounds, came into my life and taught me an important and timely lesson. I am a smart, capable person who does get things down.
At the same time, I have big ambitious goals for the rest of this year and beyond. If I want to maintain the output I have been, even increase it, I have some changes to make. It’s time for schedules, content workflow plans, and maybe even a Notion page dedicated to all this.
*Insert hyperactive raise the roof motions*
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Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck is a great book to check out if you want to learn more about her research into fixed vs growth mindsets.