Tony Robbins: No Easy Route to Self-Esteem

Yesterday we shared an outtake from a conversation between Tony Robbins and comedian Theo Von on overcoming feelings of low self-worth. Here’s another outtake from the same conversation, this one focused on growing self-esteem, and why participation trophies and external validation is not the right way to build self-esteem.

Tony Robbins’ take on self-esteem revolves around the idea that self-esteem is earned through personal effort and overcoming challenges, rather than through external validation or superficial achievements. Key points from his perspective include:

Self-Esteem as an Internal Achievement

Robbins emphasizes that self-esteem should be based on one’s own efforts and achievements, rather than external praise or recognition.

He criticizes the approach of awarding participation trophies in childhood, suggesting that it can lead to a false sense of self-worth.

The Role of Difficulty and Challenge

Robbins believes that facing and overcoming difficult challenges is crucial for building genuine self-esteem. This process allows an individual to develop inner pride, which is distinct from a superficial or ego-driven pride, or a sense of entitlement.

Ineffectiveness of External Validation

Robbins points out that external validation, such as being told you’re perfect or beautiful, does not necessarily lead to high self-esteem. He argues that genuine self-esteem comes from one’s relationship with oneself and the ability to achieve personal growth.

Progress and Growth as Key to Happiness

He links self-esteem to the concept of progress, stating that people find happiness in progress and growth. Achieving goals can provide temporary satisfaction, but the ongoing process of striving and improving is what truly enhances self-esteem and happiness.

Identity and Belief Systems

Robbins also touches upon the importance of identity in shaping behavior and self-esteem. He uses the example of Lance Armstrong to illustrate how a strong belief in oneself (“I always find a way”) can lead to extraordinary achievements, but also how it can lead to problematic behaviors if not aligned with ethical standards.

In summary, Tony Robbins views self-esteem as something that is earned through personal struggle and growth, rather than given or acquired from external sources.

It’s about building a positive relationship with oneself through continuous progress and confronting challenges.

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