Tony Robbins * Free Press * November 1, 1992 * 544 Pages
Still making my way through this beast. Here’s what I’ve found most helpful this time around:
You can change your emotional state by changing your physical body. Every emotion you feel has specific physiology linked to it, like posture, breathing, patterns of movement, and facial expressions. So if you are in a bad mood, change up your body, and it can actually put you in a good mood. Smile, do jumping jacks, or strike a Superman pose. Just do something different; move in a different way.
You can also change your emotional state by shifting your focus. We often play the same “movie” of our stupid mistakes or embarrassing moments over and over and over again. (I do this all the time.) But Robbins asks, “Why watch yourself in your least favorite roles?” Stop playing the same tape of the past and, instead, focus on where you want to go, what you want to achieve. Visualize the good stuff—not your fears—and your brain will automatically look for a way to get it.
I also really loved what he has to say about the power of words.
The words that we attach to our experience become our experience.
So if you want to feel something different, then describe it in a different way. It’s pretty straightforward advice, but, wow, it really works. For example, instead of saying you’re depressed, say you’re uncomfortable or open to something new. Instead of saying you’re anxious, say you’re excited or hopped up like a bunny. You’re not failing, you’re learning. You’re not afraid, you’re curious. You don’t hate something, you just prefer something else.
And it works for positive emotions, too. Are you feeling just okay, or are you feeling magical, unstoppable, dynamite, phenomenal, blissed, centered, and extraordinary? It’s crazy how powerful language is, because it frames how we experience life. It seems so obvious to me now, but it took reading this book for me to change the way I talk to myself. It’s made a huge difference.