On Monday night and sat and watched I Am Not Your Guru on Netflix, the behind the scenes filming on Tony Robbins six day event. It's been coming up on my account as one I might like for months, but I've never entertained it, until now.
Over the past few months I've been pushing forward to do the things that make me uncomfortable. I've always believed we grow on the other side of our comfort zone, but I've also realised that I have times when I'd just rather avoid things. Tony Robbins was one of the things I've been trying to avoid, and I never really knew why.
Tony Robbins is a name that you can't really avoid. His programmes, talks, seminars and photo are pretty much everywhere in the world of self development. My fire walking instructor worked with Tony Robbins, it was the image of Tony on the marketing material that made me put off the training. I've trained in Breathwork with Dan Brulé, Tony Robbins breath work coach, and I've had conversations with Tolly Burkan, Tony's fire walking instructor.
His courses and programmes have never appealed, and neither have his books and as I sat flicking through Netflix last night making the most of having the TV to myself, the feeling of discomfort as the programme flicked up on the screen was something I wanted to avoid, but I also realised that I needed to stick with the feeling and explore it. I watched the programme.
So what did I learn and what had I been avoiding?
Firstly, my introvert self felt paralysed as I watched the high energy on screen. I'd heard it, I'd seen it on some short clips and intro videos, but the intensity on the programme, not for me, and absolutely not on that scale.
At the point one woman was given a 'choice' about dumping her boyfriend whilst on loudspeaker on the phone made me almost sick to my stomach.
And yet, his routine, which his teachers talk about openly, is similar to mine, although much more intense. His self belief and self confidence, sky high. The way in which he challenges, uncomfortable.
I watched a video a couple of years back that someone had filmed at one of his events and I saw him use his power and size to physically dominate a women from his audience. He continued to walk forward, she continued to move back - and yet she stood her ground with her words which made him walk forward even more. The domineering, masculine power, was what I had been avoiding.
And I realised this is why ins some areas of life I've stayed small and stepped back. I've seen and experienced 'powerful' people using their power to make others stay small. To keep them contained and their voices unheard. And this is what I rebel against. And I rebel against it to the point of not liking the sound, or feeling or intensity of 'power'. I've seen and experienced power being abused and people overstepping because of the 'power' they have, of the power others perceive them to have.
But I've also experienced what it's like to step into your power, to step up and be yourself full of integrity, full of youness! I've just not always felt comfortable acknowledging my own power and what I might be able to achieve if I were to let it unfold.
I can't see me ever being one of thousands in a room at one of Tony's events, as I watched, less and less appealed to me. I don't pretend to know it all, not even close, but the energy doesn't appeal to me. And yet, the passion, drive, habits and mindset were something I think we could aspire to be/have/do more of.
So I've learned what appeals and what doesn't. I've learned that the 'power' is what's been putting me off and that actually, this is nothing to shy away from. For now I'll keep stepping out of my comfort zone and seeing what else I can uncover in the unexpected moments where the feeling of discomfort comes up.
What are you avoiding?
Kelly is Founder of The Chrysalis Crew and a Global Empowerment Coach for Leaders and HR Professionals at kellyswingler.com. She leads and coaches with an open heart, an open mind and has the courage to challenge the status quo and do things differently so that we can change the world of work.