The Mind-Blowing Lessons Tony Robbins Taught Me About Divorce
A divorce is a gut-wrenching experience.
Throughout my three-year divorce process, I swore I wouldn’t allow myself to become bitter or angry. I’d seen it too many times. Besides, with nine children, I needed to be okay — fast. They were depending on me to hold it all together.
So, I focused on reinventing my life. I’d sat with grief long enough — it was time to look forward. And in order to take care of them, I also needed to take care of myself.
I walked, swam, read inspiring words, and leaned on family and friends. I renewed and obtained certifications. Started a business and mapped out a new plan for our future. I also signed up for Tony Robbins ‘Unleash The Power Within’ seminar.
Don’t get me wrong: it wasn’t a straight-ahead path. Initially, getting through the day without breaking down was a challenge. When you’re on the receiving end of heartbreak, it takes every last bit of strength to look forward.
It can tear you apart if you allow it to.
After twenty-two years of marriage, my then-husband traded me for a newer model. At first, it was a lot to take at first — I carried all the shame and blame. But once I discovered the truth of who my ex had become, I knew in my heart it was over.
There was no more looking back.
What Tony Robbins taught me about divorce:
Months before, when I first signed up for the four-day Tony Robbins seminar, I could’ve listed fifty reasons why I shouldn’t. Namely that I was a single mom now — I shouldn’t indulge. But there was something deep within that kept tugging at me. I knew I needed to invest in myself.
If you’ve never been to a Tony Robbins seminar, it’s intense and full of movement — high-energy dancing, music, inspiration, and audience participation to ensure we’re in a peak state. Each day lasts around 12 hours. I attended during Covid, so it was a virtual event.
My divorce had just become final; it felt like perfect timing. And though Tony’s seminar wasn’t on divorce, I found the life-changing lessons I needed.
1. Life is happening for me — not to me
Becoming a single mom of nine wasn’t easy to contemplate. Seven of my children were still home. And it seemed I’d be doing the parenting mostly on my own.
I had a choice to make.
Was I going to let our divorce dictate the rest of my life, or was I going to rise above it? There are lessons to learn from all our experiences, good and bad. They shape who we become — and I wasn’t going to let this knock me down.
When we’re facing a situation that feels impossible, it’s our job to find our way through it. Tony says, “Instead of being resentful for these hardships, learn how to be appreciative that these challenges forced you to grow as a person.”
And grow we do.
There’s always a way forward, and our mindset has much to do with our outcome. We can’t always control what happens to us, but we do get to choose our response.
“The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t, life controls you.” — Tony Robbins
2. We’re more capable than we believe
I didn’t know how to make it without my ex at first. Who becomes a single mom of this many kids? It hadn’t been in my plans, and I wasn’t prepared.
How could I support them and myself emotionally and financially? Could I handle it on my own? I was crushed and didn’t have a lot of belief in myself — after all, I was still carrying the blame for our divorce.
Tony typically includes walking barefoot across burning coals at this event. It’s a symbolic ritual to empower us to move past our limiting beliefs. Because firewalking isn’t practical for a virtual event, Tony had us break a wooden board with our hands instead.
They demonstrated how to break it, and Tony inspired everyone to have a breakthrough moment — to emphasize we’re more capable than we believe. And to overcome beliefs that are not serving us. The energy and momentum working up to breaking the board are intense.
I, like most others, broke the board on the first attempt. It was a magical moment. Beliefs are powerful — but realizations are even more so.
Buying into our fears and self-doubt holds us back more than anyone or anything.
“Our beliefs about what we are and what we can be precisely determine what we can be” — Tony Robbins
3. Where our focus goes, our energy flows
When my then-husband broke the news of his wanting a divorce matter-of-factly over a phone call, it knocked me down. That night he also told me he probably never loved me.
Life as I knew it was forever changed. It consumed me in every way. All the who, what’s, and why’s were on repeat in my mind. It’s normal to process pain. But we can’t stay there.
Tony says, “Where focus goes, energy flows. And where energy flows, whatever you’re focusing on grows. In other words, your life is controlled by what you focus on. That’s why you need to focus on where you want to go, not on what you fear.”
It’s important to take time to think, process, and strategize, especially in divorce. Of course, we need to grieve; it’s part of the healing process. But our approach matters — life changes when we direct our energy toward where we want to go rather than how we feel.
I knew I didn’t want to live in the past. I needed to focus on my children and rebuilding my future. So I filled my days and kept busy working towards my goals.
“People who fail focus on what they have to go through; people who succeed focus on what it will feel like at the end.” — Tony Robbins
4. What is your why?
In the beginning, everything felt hard. I wanted to create a plan, a strategy, but I was stuck in devastation. However, once I moved through the shock and pain, I realized I had many reasons to dream big.
My main purpose in our marriage was to create a good life for our family. To be a loving wife and mother. But life doesn’t always go as planned — sometimes we need to readjust.
After two decades of marriage, I needed to let go of our dreams. To find my joy and passion. To figure out my ideals and take ownership of my new path. And for my kids, that meant leading by example, not words.
Tony says, “When you truly know your purpose, you’ll experience a sense of clarity like never before as you’re able to connect what you want to achieve to your ultimate fulfillment.”
Having a purpose in life and knowing our why is a powerful step toward our success.
“The first thing these people have who succeed, who are fulfilled, is that they’ve decided what the purpose of the game is, at least for right now.” — Tony Robbins
5. Live life in a beautiful state
When our marriage fell apart, I felt helpless and ashamed. But with time and awareness, I began to see the differences in me — in life, without him. Life felt full of possibilities, and I found many reasons to feel grateful.
Whatever obstacle we’re facing, we always have a choice in how we see it. When we look for the negative, we’ll find it. But when we’re intentional with our thoughts, we also find beauty.
Tony emphasizes cultivating and maintaining living in a present and beautiful state by identifying what brings us fulfillment and joy. And seeking those feelings each and every day.
It works. When we’re grateful, we live in an appreciative state. When we’re intentional with positive emotions, we naturally feel good.
“Your life changes the moment you make a new, congruent, and committed decision.” — Tony Robbins
Life-changing lessons from Tony Robbins:
- Life is happening for me — not to me
- We’re more capable than we believe
- Where our focus goes, our energy flows
- What is your why?
- Live life in a beautiful state
Though divorce can be a gut-wrenching experience, it’s possible to overcome it and even thrive. When we focus on being intentional with our days and actions, a world of possibilities opens up. We’re moving forward rather than staying stuck in the past.
Attending Tony Robbins ‘Unleash The Power Within’ seminar was one of the best decisions I made during a difficult time. The experience reinforced my decision to reinvent my life — my determination became stronger than ever.
Divorce isn’t a straight-ahead path. It’s full of unexpected ups and downs. But how we react to these ups and downs determines where we’re going. The lessons from Tony’s seminar were life-changing — I’m grateful for the experience.
No matter what we’re facing, it’s always worth it to invest in ourselves.
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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