Don’t let your story hold you back

Moving forward from a painful past with confidence and certainty

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Why do we have a tendency to hold on to the past? Why do we continue to let the most painful experiences in our lives not only influence, but control our future? And what would life look like if we were able to let go of the past, shed the stories that we carry with us and move forward in a way that is untethered to our pain?

In this episode of the real breakthrough series, we’re diving into a particularly sensitive subject – letting go of past trauma. You’ll hear from JoLynn, a woman who endured tremendous trauma in her past. And for years, decades even, she allowed that pain to dictate her life. She lived in a story of hurt, and she suffered massively because of it. 

The fear of letting go

Some of you may have endured unspeakable trauma in your lives. Yet as horrific as these experiences were, you may continue to hold on to them, fervently at times. Because letting go can be terrifying.

But holding on has profound consequences of its own. We continue to give the pain power. We keep cords of energy tied to the people that hurt us. We even let these terrible experiences become part of our identity. Instead of choosing to focus on the here-and-now, embracing the gifts of joy and presence, we live in the past in a world of pain. 

Most of us don’t realize that we can choose the way we feel and how we see the world. We’re stuck in patterns that we can’t move beyond. We have an “emotional home” that we continue to return to, even when it hurts us.  

As Tony Robbins would say, “It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” What will you decide to hold on to? What will you decide to focus on? Your past is not your future unless you live there – so where will you choose to live?

Choosing to change your story

When JoLynn attended Date With Destiny, she was living in the past and filled with pain. She had experienced unthinkable events, and while she thought she had moved on, she realized that she was actually stuck. She says, “I was addicted to my story.” And that story was holding her back. 

By working with Tony, she was able to step outside of that pain and gain a new level of understanding and perspective. And in a moment, she broke through to the other side – where she was able to let go, find forgiveness and choose a life of love and appreciation.

Uncovering the Six Human Needs

JoLynn learned that holding on to her story was actually serving some of her deepest human needs: the need for significance and the need for certainty. As Tony explains, “Significance normally requires us to achieve something, but that’s scary, so we create problems.” 

Problems let us avoid taking responsibility. They give us a reason for failing. They become our emotional base, to which we return time and again, because “even discomfort is comfort,” when we are used to it. 

Breakthroughs like JoLynn’s happen all the time at Date With Destiny. It’s a powerful event and one of Tony’s favorites. Ready to hear this compelling story for yourself? Listen to the podcast below. 


[01:11] Episode Introduction
[03:00] Jolynn introduces herself
[03:50] What is a meadow report?
[04:40] Jolynn’s history of abuse
[04:50] Addicted to her story of pain
[05:10] What needs did the story meet?
[05:25] The greatest addiction in our lives
[06:40] Problems tell us we are enough
[07:20] Problems give us significance without risk
[08:00] Dive head first into fear
[08:15] Fear is an illusion
[08:20] You are more than what happened to you
[08:30] You get what you tolerate in life
[08:50] Finding significance and certainty through her pain
[09:30] Your emotional home
[09:45] An excuse for failing
[10:10] What she learned at UPW
[11:00] Being able to find a place of joy
[11:20] The impact on her relationship
[12:20] Changing the story
[13:30] An exciting future ahead

"you are more than anything that could ever happen to you. You are more than anything anyone could ever do to you" - Tony Robbins

Like JoLynn, you could be living in the past and not even realize it. You could be clinging to a story that’s no longer true, a story that’s holding you back from reaching your peak state. At Date With Destiny, you’ll break down these barriers and reconstruct your story from the ground up, so it will empower you instead of holding you back. 

Team Tony

Team Tony cultivates, curates and shares Tony Robbins’ stories and core principles, to help others achieve an extraordinary life.

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