Last month, at one of his UPW events, personal development master Tony Robbins was confronted by a woman who had been a victim of sexual assault. In his response to her, Robbins used an exercise he often uses at his events to demonstrate resistance and what happens when, in any situation or life moment, we push back against what is causing us pain…

I’ve been a Tony Robbins Platinum ,as well as a coach his events to contribute to transforming lives, and I attribute much of my own transformation from a life of unfulfillment to one of purpose and clarity to Tony Robbins’ teachings and guidance. I spent an entire year after selling my business attending his events to get back to the basics of what fulfills me and build from there. As I learned  leadership training to coach at his events, this particular exercise is consistently used by Tony and his team to demonstrate the consequences of resistance. What I also know for sure, is that even though his delivery may have been overly zealous, his message was very much skewed by the media. In fact, I the media proved Tony’s point with the way they manipulated this event.


Resistance and the creation of tension:

I want to speak on Tony Robbins’ exercise and lesson that he was trying to share with this woman. In fact, I know the lesson because I have been teaching it exactly this way at one of his events and yet as a petite 5’4”, I couldn’t possibly use intimidation as a manipulation strategy! At Tony’s events, we work with hundreds of victims of sexual assault, abuse and rape who have found identity and clarity through the perspectives Tony offers. The pushing with the fist part is to demonstrate that when we resist anything in life, in nature even, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This permeates beyond physics. In our social realm, in society, the workplace, family, relationships, anywhere; where we push, we get a push back. What we resist, persists!

As Newton’s law stipulates, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. We are now starting to experience some unfortunate and negative backlash from the #metoo campaign through concerns, confusion and fears  in power experience in regards to around them. After countless conversations I recently shared with en, it becomes urgently imperative to restore women’s power so they rise above the current level of suffering, and equally urgent is the must to address men’s unease and apprehension towards women, within the current circumstances.

As a collective force for good, we need to look at how we change the behavior AND the narrative between men and women to foster supportive conversations for both genders in society, work, family, and relationships; not more divisive and more destructive.


Identity in victimhood:

Tony also addresses an important and interesting aspect of victimhood that is more specific to victims of sexual abuse, assault, and harassment. Identifying the source of a victim’s pain is part of the healing, yet progress is highly limited if too much time is spent with the suffering. For true healing, victims need to return to their core strength, choose to move forward powerfully and create a new compelling future that turns their pain into a gift. Feeling whole and complete only comes from alignment with your authentic self, with your heart.


Media and men:

Interestingly, the way the media exploits all events around the #metoo campain’s impact actually speaks to Tony’s point. It is in the media’s best interest to keep the victims in suffering as it is more newsworthy, while it also ignored the context of Tony’s perceived “intimidation” to create a whirlwind of tension. Though all forms of abuse must be unveiled, the media is responsible for creating even more divisive and negative fallout for women in the workplace. Backlash does not necessarily mean positive change. Clear, direct, open-ended conversation as to how to make changes towards a better inclusive future is what the media fails to address between men and women in this turbulent time.


The demonization of masculinity and how it hurts women in business:

Right now that backlash, anger, and tension is at an all time high. And it’s actually hurting those it’s intended to help: women. Some men fear showing aspects of masculinity and interacting with women in general. More men are cautious and confused as to how to approach women in business and whether they want to hire any of them now. Many male managers and executives are starting to avoid the risk of hiring a woman over a man for the same talent. According to LeanIn’s survey “Almost half of male managers are uncomfortable participating in a common work activity with a woman, such as mentoring, working alone, or socializing together.” We must move forward differently.

Without inclusive conversation and clear solutions, a path forward together in harmony cannot happen. A one way screaming match never truly fixes the problem.