Tony Robbins: Creating Lasting Change Summary

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Change – general rules

Anthony Robbins says Change often happens when we least expect it. Example, a tragedy strikes, and then we quickly change.

And it happens more easily when we’re in a trance. To put someone in a trance you can actually talk about YOUR experience and (if you do it well) they’ll follow you in a trance. Your story will change their emotions, their focus.

Tony Robbins says that the problem with normal therapies is that they analyze for a long time the issue and where it came from. But that often matters little. Normal therapies diagnose a pattern and give it a label, making it even stickier for the people. If you know Tony Robbins you’ve heard this critic towards the most common psychotherapies and I couldn’t agree more.

The author says you need to address the underlying problems, the source of the problem, not just the outward behaviors. And the source of the problem is an emotional pattern of physiology, language, focus and beliefs.

Because if you smoke out of boredom and kill the smoking habits, then people will start doing something else which might also be unhealthy.

Tony Robbins says that to change someone you need a solid relationships first, which is based out of two things:

  • No judgement

This is the very basic : never judge the person you want to help. Be open to whatever they have to say without putting any label on it.

  • Respect and care

Look for something you can respect about someone. And care about them.

Tony Robbins says there are 3 levels at which people evaluate things: the targets (driving human forces: top 2 needs of 6 human needs) , the guiding force (global/identity beliefs, so you know how they meet their needs) ; fuel of choice (the top emotions people experience).

Life Conditions And Blueprint

Tony Robbins says that if your life conditions don’t match your blueprint then you’re unhappy.

If they match, you’re happy.

To help someone you must either change their life conditions or change their blueprint.

The six human needs:

Tony Robbins says that to change anyone you must understand what their needs are first.

Human beings have 6 human needs which drive their behavior. Our life is shaped by the way we learned to meet our needs.

Any time someone links in their mind consciously or unconsciously that thinking, believing, acting a certain way meets 3 needs, it will become a habit.

Changing someone is about breaking the old pattern and showing them a new way to meet their needs.

1-4 are needs of personality, 5 and 6 are the needs of the spirit.  The last two are what make you feel fulfilled.

  1. Certainty

Anthony Robbins says you can get certainty in ways which are positive, negative, disempowering (example: I know it’s a waste of time, it never works so I’m not even gonna try) or empowering, attainable or sustainable.

Worry is something that creeps up when we are not certain. Anthony Robbins suggest to always get a plurality of opinion and quality information.
A potent antidote for worry is to decide you’re gonna have faith. Anthony’s way to get some of the toughest times is to believe you are guided. The power of belief and faith.

You can also have too much certainty though. When you have total certainty you lose your edge, you get bored and you start yearning for a change.

  1. Uncertainty / variety / diversity / challenge /

The second human need is uncertainty.
We also need stimulus and change, we need it to feel alive.

  1. Significance

Tony Robbins says that significance means feeling special and worthy of attention.
People get it with things like trying to be different with tattoos and piercings, dressing top brands, being more generous than everyone.

  1. Connection and Love

Tony Robbins says that everyone needs connection and love.
Love is a bit scary though so most people settle for connection which you can get with intimacy, walk in nature..

Again, you can meet this need in positive ways, negative ways or empowering/disempowering ones.

  1. Growth

Growth is the need to develop and expand

  1. Contribution

The need to give beyond yourself.

Understand People And Yourself

What do you focus on?
Tony says most people focus certainty and on being significant (often trying to be significant via FB even if it means faking it).

Once you understand what’s driving you and what are the rules you follow you will understand yourself better.

To change someone, look at what need they value most. The more you reinforce a person’s behavior with the needs they value most, the quicker that behavior becomes automatic.


Step 1: Understand and Appreciate Their World

Tony states a huge truth to being with: to influence other people you gotta know, simply, what already influences them.
You understand by listening and asking questions.

A persons’s model of the world is made up 3 chunks / forces: the human needs, the beliefs (including identity beliefs) and their most common emotions.

Driving Forces: What Do They Need And What Do They Want

Tony Robbins says that first of all he looks at what are their top 2 needs. These are the preeminent needs and the driving forces.

The first thing you need to understand to influence people is what they need and what they want.

We already know the needs they have. They all have the first 4, not everyone has yet the last 2.
We need to know what they want, and we have to tease it out.


“I want to make a billion dollars”  is significance;
“feeling in control of my life” is certainty


Guiding  Principles

Tony Robbins says that the belief systems and the values we have are what has to happen to meet our 6 needs -and mostly the top 2-.
For example you can get significance by killing or by saving people, two completely opposite behavior but all going back to the same need.

Creating Lasting Change than goes on to describe the guiding principles (or guiding forces, Tony often switches words), which are composed of 7 parts:

  1. Global Beliefs

These affect everything. Your beliefs about time, life, death, people, God, destiny. What it means to have children.

Questions: What is their life about ; Who are their role models ; what is life about ; what is abundant in their life.

  1. Identity Beliefs

These are the beliefs about you. How you describe yourself.

For example: “life is that way, OK, but this how I am, this is how I’m gonna show up”

Questions: who are you really ; what can you be ; how can you expand your identity right now

Tony says that Identity Beliefs are key to understand because if we give someone some tool consistent to his identity he’ll use it. If those tools are not consistent with him he won’t use it.

  1. Values

Tony Robbins says that we know our identity through the values that we hold.
Values are ideals who are personally important to the individual. Values are what we want to move towards and away from.

Questions: what do you want ; what do you desire most in life; what do you really fear or find yourself avoiding most in life;

  1. Rules

What has to happen for their values to be met. Those are their rules.

Questions: What must a person do or never do in a relationships ; how do I know I’m successful

to feel loved I need to be told you so every morning; I feel loved when I love others ;


Contrary to Jim’s someone else’s rules could be “I only appreciate people who come out and confront me” and if you go and tell them “hey it’s no problem”, they won’t respect you.

  1. Vehicles

The vehicles are what we use to meet our needs. They can be positive, negative or neutral.

For some people it’s their bodies, working out every day I get certainty, significance and connection.
And Whatever vehicle people pick it tells you where their fears lie. You picked your business? Money is your fear. You picked your wife? Losing your life is scary to you.

In case of Jim, that’s his business.
He meets certainty, variety as it always change, significance as it’s growing, connection for the people around him, growth and contribution.
Another primary vehicle is his wife for both love and certainty.

  1. Situation specific beliefs

Beliefs about specific situations or context.

When would you break your own rules?
Or you might have a few people in your life you think are screwing up your life in a specific period of your life.

  1. Metaprograms

How your brain processes information.

Emotions – Where Do You Live

Tony Robbins says you should find what emotions are they most often feeling.

On average we have a half dozen emotions or less and we get to those states any way we can. it’s the language they use, it’s what they focus on. Switch what they focus on towards what they want rather than what they don’t want.

People go where they live: they find in the environment what triggers their emotions and then they blame their environment.

Example of Tony’s seminar when 911 happened. The woman who stood up screaming we had to kill them all and went into a rage frenzy. We use the environment to meet our needs, she got certainty by getting really angry. She got connection: everyone was paying attention.


Step 2: get leverage

Tony Robbins says that leverage happens when your brain and body becomes one and you go “this is it, no more”, when you hit an emotional threshold.

When failing to change is more painful than all the other options.
Leverage must be immediate. Immediate pleasure for changing now and immediate pain for not changing now.

People don’t change because the habit fills some of their needs. For example smoking makes you feel comfortable, it changes your state, it creates variety, you connect with yourself and other smokers.
But if your health becomes too critical, or if someone you love deeply hates cigarettes… now you start getting a leverage.

How do you know what’s the leverage? You try different things.
And if you know what their 2 biggest needs are, then you know where to look for.

Sometimes the trigger can be physical, example of stopping smoking by giving pain every time someone lights a cigarette. You can easily get to change someone with that kind of leverage.

But those people then take up eating or something else (later on this later on)

Global Solution

When you find a global solution you help someone get out of pain and into pleasure by finding something they value more than pain.

People keep being in pain because in their belief system that pain meets some of their needs.

Changing will take away some of their needs. With pain they are connected with themselves.


Tony Robbins says that to change someone’s behavior you change people’s state.

If you leave them where they are, they stay stuck in a negative state and won’t budge.
And you do that through physiology and focus.


Focus is what they focus on and what it means for them. Ask questions whenever possible and tell stories so they get a bit in a trance.

If I tell you something and we have great rapport maybe you’ll listen, but if I ask you “what do you think this might mean in this context” then I make you come up with YOUR OWN resources and you can’t deny your own experiences.

Have a frame that interrupts their pattern is also important. You can ask a question which is really bizarre (example of Tony speaking to a suicidal guy and he tells him “is it because of the red shoes” “what?” “because they’re fucking red”).


Tony Robbins says to tell someone in advance what to pay attention to and what it means. It’s the most powerful way to change someone.

The preframing works like the placebo effect -which is extremely powerful BTW-.

An example is: what I’m gonna do right now is the most powerful pattern ever, there wasn’t one person who didn’t heal, you will love this one.

If you are with someone who’s skeptical immediately say that you know what they’re thinking. “you know what, I don’t know if this really makes sense, it probably doesn’t, but why don’t we give it a try”, which will immediately build rapport.


Tony Robbins says that preframing happens when someone has a problem and you change what it means.
What things mean is determined to what you compare and contrast them to.

Example of John Belushi: he forgot how life was when he was struggling. You make sure you never forget your roots, the ultimate frame of reference for Tony was taking his kids to some of the worst places.

Make sure you compare yourself to what empowers you and make sure what you reframe for the people you speak to aligns with their core values and beliefs.

If I value learning and you reframe something as having fun, it’s not as powerful.
It’s better if done with questions and after you interrupted the pattern so they pay attention (if they’re in a stuck state it won’t work).

Your friend complains about the dates he’s been going to are a failure and you say “maybe god is protecting you from these men because he has someone special lined up for you”

Context reframing
You let them see their situation in another context. Ie a problem in a situation is a benefit in another.

Content reframing
Give some input they didn’t have. Or tell them something they believe is not true.


Tony Robbins says deframing is when someone is caught up in something and you destroy their frame of reference.

For example someone complains about something trivial, then a guy on a wheelchair passes by and says if you can help as he can’t eat anything.

your child who’s complaining about eating his piece and you say “you know, there are a lot of children in the world who are starving and would love to have your piece to eat”


Step 3: Interrupt the pattern

Tony Robbins says that all change is the interruption of pattern. Once you understand that, all gets easier.

You interrupt the pattern and bring resources -confidence, calm, grit etc.- from other realms of the personality (and if they don’t have any, from other people).

People are subject to a pattern of focus and beliefs, physiology and language (which puts them in a certain states and give certain emotions).

Ideally you interrupt all 3. Language by itself won’t do.

Interrupting the pattern is key: people often fail to change because they try to change pattern before first interrupting the old one.
Ideally you want to interrupt the pattern asap: kill the monster when it’s small and before it’s ingrained in their system.

Any pattern which is continually broken will eventually be changed. You have to scratch that old CD so that you can’t go back.

You can break the pattern physically (throw water on them, pain, slap them.. ), take them into a more positive future, change the language pattern (ie.: “next time you feel depressed say, thank god I’m not a cockroach in Bulgaria and repeat 20 times a day”)

Rapport & Common Mistakes

It’s good interrupting the pattern with elegance and with rapport. Sometimes it’s not possible for Tony to build relationships first and he gotta intervene right away, but then he doesn’t keep breaking pattern but builds rapport.

There’s a fine line between breaking a pattern and destroying rapport.

Attention not to get too offensive, but also don’t make it too subtle or expected.


The simplest way to break someone’s pattern and rewire someone’s brain is with questions.


The more outrageous and unexpected it is, the better. Something gross, bizarre, or sexual.


Pattern Recognition

When you learn to see the pattern, you can anticipate what’s going to happen.

We need to learn their evaluation process. Noticing the state they’re in, the questions they ask themselves and the neuro-association they have.

If we can help a person see how their evaluation is the source problem, we can show em a way to solve them.

Step 4: define the problem in solvable terms

Somebody say they’re depressed? No, they’re not depressed, they’re bored. They’re living life under someone’s else terms. You redefine their situation in a way which is addressable.

Step 5: Create new empowering alternatives

Tony Robbins says that it’s key to find out what vehicles people use to meet their needs.
Once you know, you must set a new empowering alternative.  People need a new way of thinking, of focusing, new physiology, new beliefs, new emotions.
Any behavior / thought or belief that gets reinforced constantly will become automatic.

Be on the watch for someone’s words.

And to change associate pain with the current behavior and associate pleasure with a new behavior.

Step 6: Condition it

To embed the new empowering alternatives you must use it every day. Doing is of course the simplest way. And Tony Robbins also proposes anchoring and incantations.


An anchor is a creating an association between a specific stimulus and a specific state.

An anchor is created any time someone in an intense state (depression, anger, love..), either positive or negative, and while they’re at the peak of that state someone consistently does anything unique.

Create an anchor

Either find someone in a peak state or create it. You can just ask them how was it when they felt amazing.
The amount of emotional intensity is key.
Now consistently do something unique.

And to test it take them out of their peak state and fire the anchor.

Collapsing an anchor

Create a series of positive ones which are more powerful than the negative.


When you speak aloud with absolute certainty and you repeat it and repeat it. They can override beliefs.

You have to do with your whole body and intensity and believe in it.
Tony as a youngster would do that for hours and hours, vibrating.

Tony’s daughter waiting for the BF to call and was getting impatient. Then he calls and she screams at him. Then Tony explains she is conditioning him NOT to call.


Step 7: Relate to Environment & Higher Purpose

Tony Robbins says that when creating change, you must connect it to a person’s highest values and help them integrate the new empowering alternatives into the environment where they actually live.

Help them see how the change relates to what they value most and to what ultimately they want to accomplish -and their highest love, that’s where the biggest leverage is-.

It might be a daughter, it might be a cause, it might be mastering an art or skill.

Peer Group: Empowering People Around

Most people lives are a reflection of the expectations of their peer groups. You live a life which is the reflection of the expectations of your peer group.

If your expectations for your life are higher than those of the people around you, they will pull you down.

Crete an alternative which meets your needs and which is good for you, for the people around and serves the greater good.


Identity is the belief of who you are. One of the strongest need in life is to remain consistent with our own definition of ourselves (with our identity).

Changing identity will create for ever change.
Who you are is more than anything you can face.

What shapes an identity? Beliefs, physiology, language, what they focus on (the triad), references.

If you wanna change someone’s identity:

  1. Give them an experience which contrast with their identity and (limiting) beliefs. So you start developing a new set of beliefs.
  2. Huge change in the physiology (train them to change them consistently and use their body consistently, so it’s not just a one off thing)
  3. Change the person physically
  4. Incantation: use the physiology and emotions with it (incantation is physiology, language and focus, the triad)
  5. Create a peer environment in which the only possible identity is the one supported by your environment
  6. Link so much pain to the old identity that they need to change and link pleasure into the new identity (or behavior, emotions, pattern). Pleasure is the long term motivator for long term as people learn to deal with pain
  7. Provide a compelling future ;
  8. Help them master a new skill: it gives a sense of growth and the identity expands



Leadership is a state of caring and rapport and a set of standards that causes other people to want to have something that you have.

The person who is most certain, if there’s rapport, will influence the other.
State and rapport are the two main ingredients.

Personal Mastery

Tony Robbins says that a leader’s gotta be effective on himself first. And doing so at many levels:

  1. Change state in a moment
    on yourself, you gotta be able to change your state in a moment.
  2. Change state in challenging situations
    take a situation where you normally don’t manage your state and link to a situation which puts you in a great state. The trigger for a negative frame becomes the trigger for a positive one. Pick those situation that scare you the most and turn them around. When the tigers shows up, you use it and you show up
  3. Live permanently in a great state.
    create a model of the world where you have no tigers: most of your time is at peak state, fulfilled. Your whole way of looking at life


Individual Mastery

  1. Take someone and change their state in a moment
  2. Take someone facing tigers and use those tigers to make them stronger
  3. Change their model of the world


Social Mastery

When you can do it to groups.


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