Mel Robbins Saying These 2 Words Will Fix Your Anxiety! The New Trick For Stress, Anxiety & Breaking Every Bad Habit In 2024!

Summary Notes


In this insightful conversation, Mel Robbins, a renowned motivational speaker and expert on confidence, delves into the complexities of personal change and the power of the "Let Them" theory. She emphasizes that change is a challenging process often hindered by our hardwiring to repeat patterns and a critical inner voice that undermines our self-esteem. Robbins introduces the "Let Them" theory, which posits that gaining control over one's life begins with relinquishing control over others, thereby reducing stress and anxiety. Addressing the difficulties of menopause and the impact of ADHD diagnoses later in life, Robbins shares her personal struggles and triumphs. She underscores the importance of taking action despite resistance and the fulfillment that comes from improving relationships with loved ones. Robbins' drive stems from a desire to help others feel seen and capable of change, offering hope and strategies for those feeling stuck or invisible.

Summary Notes

Mel Robbins' Expertise and Philosophy on Change

  • Mel Robbins is recognized as a trusted expert on confidence and motivation.
  • She emphasizes that motivation is unreliable and that changing habits or mindset is challenging.
  • Robbins highlights the human tendency to repeat patterns and the negative self-talk that influences behavior.
  • She offers two methods to overcome these challenges.

"Motivation's garbage because not there when you need it. And the fact is, if it were easy to develop great habits or change your mindset, everybody would have their dreams come true."

This quote explains Robbins' view that motivation is inconsistent and cannot be relied upon to drive change. The difficulty in changing habits and mindset is a barrier to achieving one's dreams.

The Let Them Theory

  • The "Let Them" theory is about releasing control over others, driven by personal insecurities and anxieties.
  • This approach can lead to significant, positive changes in one's life and relationships.

"The fastest way to take control of your life is to stop controlling everyone around you."

Robbins suggests that by ceasing to control others, one can regain control over their own life, leading to transformative experiences.

Changing One's Life and Potential

  • Steven and Robbins discuss strategies for change, focusing on happiness and health.
  • They explore the concept of potential beyond just success.

"At this time of year, everybody is thinking about changes that they want to make in their life."

Steven introduces the theme of change, reflecting on personal growth and the pursuit of potential in various aspects of life.

Life as a Road Trip

  • Robbins uses the road trip metaphor to describe life, emphasizing the ability to change direction at any point.
  • She advises stopping to assess one's situation and tuning into internal navigation to pivot in a new direction.
  • Robbins also discusses the importance of paying attention to negative feelings as signals for change.

"At any single moment, you can pull over, stop the damn car. Like, if you feel lost, if you feel turned around, if you have hit a dead end, do not find your way by continuing to drive in circles."

Robbins uses this metaphor to encourage people to take a moment to reassess their lives and make necessary changes, rather than persisting in unhelpful patterns.

Inner Compass and Wisdom

  • Robbins believes in a natural inner compass that guides individuals toward what is unique and aligned for them.
  • She emphasizes the importance of listening to this inner compass and having the courage to follow it.
  • Robbins distinguishes between feelings of expansion and constriction when making decisions aligned with one's true self.

"You are hardwired with this natural intelligence that is your own personal inner compass, and that it is tuned into what is unique to you."

Robbins asserts that everyone has an inherent guidance system that directs them towards their unique path and purpose in life.

Acting on Signals for Change

  • Robbins acknowledges the difficulty of change, noting that people often recognize signals but struggle to act on them.
  • She discusses the concept of inner wisdom and courage in following it.
  • Robbins differentiates between the natural fear response to change and true intuition.

"The problem is not what your inner compass is telling you. And the problem is that you won't listen to it."

Robbins points out that the issue is not the lack of internal guidance but the reluctance to heed that guidance and make changes accordingly.

Pain as a Catalyst for Change

  • Robbins agrees with the idea that change often occurs when the pain of remaining the same outweighs the pain of changing.
  • She discusses the necessity of hope or reaching a low point to motivate change.

"Change happens when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of making a change."

This quote encapsulates the concept that discomfort and dissatisfaction can be powerful motivators for personal transformation.

Identifying Those Ready to Change

  • Robbins and Steven discuss the challenge of identifying individuals who are genuinely ready to change.
  • Robbins believes that change is a long game and that it's difficult to predict who will successfully make lasting changes.

"The kind of people that are actually going to change will thank you for the hope and thank you for a specific piece of advice. And then they are moving so fast out that door because they realize that change doesn't happen overnight."

Robbins describes the characteristics of individuals who are committed to change, emphasizing their focus on action rather than just words.

The Heartbreak of Stagnation

  • Robbins expresses sadness over how many people remain stuck in life due to a lack of awareness or hope.
  • She emphasizes the potential for joy and presence that many miss out on.

"What really breaks my heart is how stuck people are."

Robbins conveys her emotional response to seeing individuals unable to move forward in their lives, highlighting the importance of recognizing and breaking free from limiting patterns.

Identity and Self-Narrative

  • Robbins discusses the role of internal narratives and self-talk in shaping identity and behavior.
  • She suggests that examining one's self-critic can reveal underlying beliefs that drive actions.
  • Robbins believes that a conscious decision to improve one's life and emulate the behaviors of successful individuals is crucial.

"And of course, what you think about yourself then drives the things that you do."

Robbins links the importance of self-perception to the resulting behaviors and life outcomes, suggesting that changing one's internal narrative can lead to different actions.

Personal Health Journey and Commitment to Change

  • Mel Robbins discusses her struggles with menopause and feeling out of control with her body.
  • She emphasizes the importance of making a decision to improve her health and understand her body's changes.
  • Robbins details her approach to studying experts on hormone balance, gut health, and women's health to regulate hormones naturally.
  • She highlights the significance of taking consistent actions that align with her health goals.

"And so I make a decision and a commitment to myself that I want to feel better. I want to understand this."

Mel Robbins explains that the decision to feel better and understand her body's changes is the first step towards taking control of her health.

The Illusion of Motivation and the Reality of Action

  • Robbins criticizes the concept of motivation, calling it "garbage," as it is often absent when needed.
  • She discusses the importance of action over motivation, stating that actions change self-perception.
  • Robbins shares her belief in an action-first approach, which involves doing necessary actions regardless of self-talk or motivation.

"The action first approach is what I personally believe in because I think it works faster."

Mel Robbins expresses her belief that taking action leads to faster personal change than waiting for motivation.

Understanding the Biological Chain of Events

  • Robbins describes the biological sequence from sensation to action: sensation, perception, feeling, thought, then action.
  • She explains how understanding and reversing this sequence can help gain control over one's actions.
  • Robbins emphasizes that emotions and sensations often precede and control actions, leading to feelings of frustration and lack of control.

"And I'm not in control of what I'm doing. My emotions and my sensations and my trauma and all of the stuff that has been running on, like, autopilot forever, that is controlling who Mel Robbins is."

Mel Robbins highlights that without understanding the biological sequence, one's emotions and sensations can control their actions, leading to a lack of control over one's life.

Behavioral Change and Therapy

  • Robbins discusses two methods to change behavior: therapy and a behavior-first approach.
  • She suggests that therapy can help understand and change default thinking patterns.
  • Robbins advocates for a behavior-first approach, acting as the person you want to be, to change habits and behaviors.

"Take a behavior first approach if you want to get in better shape."

Mel Robbins advises that adopting the behaviors of the person you want to become can lead to change, even if the underlying thought patterns have not yet shifted.

The Let Them Theory

  • Robbins introduces the "let them theory," which involves letting go of trying to control others and focusing on one's own actions and decisions.
  • She credits her daughter for teaching her this approach, which has led to significant peace in her life.
  • Robbins shares a personal story about her son's prom to illustrate the theory and its impact on reducing stress and control.

"The fastest way to take control of your life is to stop controlling everyone around you."

Mel Robbins explains that by not trying to control others, one can focus on their own life, leading to a greater sense of peace and control.

Driven vs. Dragged

  • Robbins and Steven discuss the difference between being driven by positive desires or being dragged by negative influences.
  • They explore how achievements can be tied to self-worth and the need for validation.
  • Robbins shares her own experiences of feeling driven and the transition to becoming more intentional and in control.

"A lot of us are driven by the desire to want to feel seen, the desire to feel loved, the desire to get the accolades, which is why so many of us feel driven to achieve."

Mel Robbins discusses the common motivations behind achievement and the importance of being in control of one's own drivers.

The Impact of Childhood Experiences and Conditioning

  • Robbins talks about the influence of childhood experiences and conditioning on adult behavior and decisions.
  • She emphasizes the importance of becoming aware of one's conditioning and programming to gain control over reactions and decisions.
  • Robbins mentions various therapies and approaches that have helped her smooth out her nervous system and act more intentionally.

"Until you can drop into your body and just calm down your nervous system and not be revving that internal engine so much, but to be able to just... I feel like I've smoothed out my nervous system."

Mel Robbins shares her journey of therapy and self-improvement to calm her nervous system and make more conscious, controlled decisions.

Acknowledging Emotions and Taking Responsibility

  • Mel Robbins discusses the importance of acknowledging feelings and taking responsibility for one's own life.
  • She introduces the concept of "let them," which involves allowing others to do what they will without trying to control them, and instead focusing on self-reflection and personal growth.
  • Robbins emphasizes that trying to control others is often a result of one's own insecurities or controlling nature.
  • By saying "let them," one acknowledges both the situation and their emotional response to it.
  • This approach forces individuals to look inward and consider what they need to take responsibility for in their own lives.

"When you say let them, a couple of really interesting things happen. Number one, you acknowledge what's happening, which both acknowledges that your friends are out to lunch without you, and it also acknowledges that it bothers you."

The quote explains that by using the phrase "let them," one is recognizing the reality of the situation and their feelings about it, which is the first step in dealing with emotional responses constructively.

Staying in Your Peace and Power

  • Mel Robbins advises to "stay in your peace and stay in your power," which is about maintaining composure and not being easily agitated by others' actions.
  • She shares a personal example of how she applied this during a family gathering, avoiding getting caught up in others' expectations.
  • Robbins highlights that people often get involved in toxic dynamics because they react to triggers, which perpetuates negative cycles.
  • By not engaging in these dynamics and focusing on oneself, one can change the energy they contribute to relationships.

"Very much so when you start using it, you will notice how often you get agitated or frustrated by what other people are doing."

This quote underscores the common occurrence of becoming upset by others' actions and suggests that using the "let them" approach can help mitigate this agitation.

The Myth of External Sources of Happiness

  • Mel Robbins challenges the idea that happiness can come from external sources like money or other people.
  • She argues that focusing on changing others to achieve happiness is futile and that true happiness comes from within.
  • Robbins points out that there are exceptions to this rule, such as intervening in dangerous or harmful situations, but ultimately one must focus on their own actions and values.

"The worst advice I've ever received is that someone else can make you happy."

The quote captures the essence of the discussion that happiness is an internal state and cannot be reliably sourced from external factors or other people.

Generosity and Non-Control

  • Mel Robbins discusses the concept of generosity in the context of not trying to control others.
  • She reasons that allowing others to be independent and responsible for their own feelings and actions is an act of generosity, not selfishness.
  • By removing oneself from the dynamic of trying to control or fix others, one can focus on their own growth and well-being.

"How is not controlling other people a selfish thing to do?"

The quote questions the perception of self-care as selfishness, pointing out that respecting others' autonomy is a form of generosity.

Self-Preservation and Curiosity

  • Mel Robbins suggests that taking the "let them" approach is also an act of self-preservation, as it allows individuals to focus on their own issues rather than being distracted by others.
  • This approach can lead to self-discovery and better understanding of what truly bothers an individual and what they value in relationships.
  • Robbins also touches on dealing with people who exhibit toxic or narcissistic traits and how the "let them" approach can serve as an emotional shield.

"It's going to reveal all the things in your life that really bother you, because right now you're distracting yourself by being upset about other people instead of pulling that energy back in."

The quote emphasizes that by not focusing on others' behaviors, one can uncover personal issues that need to be addressed.

Temporal Landmarks and Goal Setting

  • Mel Robbins introduces the concept of temporal landmarks and their significance in creating a sense of a "before" and "after."
  • She stresses the importance of self-assessment before setting new goals, using the start of a new year as an example.
  • Robbins recommends writing down various life categories and ranking them to understand one's starting point and then setting goals to improve those rankings.
  • She distinguishes between goals, which are immediate steps, and dreams, which are long-term aspirations.

"January 1 is what's called a temporal landmark. And a temporal landmark, I'm not going to get the definition right, but it is this term used for moments of significance, moments that create a before and an after."

The quote explains the concept of temporal landmarks as significant moments that mark a transition, which can be leveraged for goal setting and personal growth.

Dreams, Jealousy, and Direction

  • Mel Robbins encourages people to use their dreams and feelings of jealousy as directional signals for their lives.
  • She explains that dreams are not just about achieving specific outcomes but about guiding one's direction in life.
  • Robbins suggests that jealousy can be a powerful indicator of one's true desires and can reveal what one authentically wants.

"Dreams are that moment where you pick your head up and you get really quiet and you tune in to what your mind, body, and spirit is telling you."

The quote highlights the importance of dreams as a way to align with one's inner compass and to set a course for the future based on true desires.

Personal Impact and Empowerment

  • Mel Robbins shares a touching message from a podcast listener who found empowerment and direction through Robbins' advice.
  • She reiterates the "let them" theory, emphasizing that it empowers individuals to express their truth and set boundaries, leading to a life free from fear and control by others.

"When you take responsibility for your truth and you take responsibility for expressing it, and then you take responsibility for your boundaries and you take responsibility for your healing, you do have the possibility of living the rest of your life in a completely different way."

The quote encapsulates the transformative power of taking responsibility for one's actions and truth, which can lead to a more authentic and fulfilling life.

Mel Robbins' Personal Journey and ADHD Diagnosis

  • Mel Robbins shares her personal journey of being diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 47, which provided her with an explanation for lifelong feelings of being different.
  • She describes the process of her son's diagnosis with dyslexia, dysgraphia, and ADHD, which led to her own realization and subsequent diagnosis.
  • Robbins reflects on the relief and understanding that came with the diagnosis, allowing her to make sense of her experiences and behaviors.

"Of course you have ADHD. You are the most ADHD person, parent in my entire practice."

The quote from Robbins' pediatrician friend reveals the moment of recognition that led to her ADHD diagnosis, highlighting how such a realization can be both surprising and clarifying.

Misunderstanding of ADHD

  • ADHD is not solely about an inability to focus; it involves various symptoms and behaviors.
  • There is a misconception that ADHD only affects attention, but it manifests differently across genders and ages.
  • Boys typically show ADHD symptoms around age seven, often related to hyperactivity and difficulty controlling body movements.
  • Girls usually exhibit ADHD symptoms around age twelve, characterized by inattentiveness resembling daydreaming, disorganization, and self-directed negativity.
  • The onset of puberty in girls coincides with the emergence of ADHD symptoms, complicating diagnosis and treatment.

"I always thought that ADHD is that you can't pay attention."

The quote reflects a common misunderstanding of ADHD, which is often thought to be just a lack of focus, rather than a complex condition with a range of symptoms.

The Lost Generation of Women with ADHD

  • Historical ADHD research focused primarily on boys, leading to a lack of understanding and diagnosis in girls and women.
  • This oversight resulted in what is referred to as the "lost generation" of women who grew up with undiagnosed ADHD.
  • The different presentation of symptoms in girls and women led to many developing anxiety due to the challenges they faced in academic and social settings.
  • Women of this generation were often treated for anxiety without addressing the underlying ADHD, leading to prolonged difficulties.

"And what happened is, when they were studying ADHD, I guess in the late sixty s and early 70s, they only looked at boys."

This quote highlights the gender bias in historical ADHD research, which led to the misdiagnosis and misunderstanding of ADHD in women.

ADHD and Anxiety in Women

  • The misdiagnosis or lack of diagnosis of ADHD in women often leads to the development of anxiety.
  • Anxiety arises from the daily struggles of living with undiagnosed ADHD, such as difficulties in focusing, disorganization, and a sense of being overwhelmed.
  • Women with ADHD may experience heightened anxiety during high school and college, which can be misattributed to other causes.

"You develop anxiety already."

This quote emphasizes the link between undiagnosed ADHD and the development of anxiety, highlighting the importance of proper diagnosis and treatment.

Neural Networks and Focus in ADHD

  • ADHD affects the brain's ability to focus by disrupting two neural networks responsible for attention regulation.
  • The prefrontal cortex acts as a conductor, managing different cognitive tasks and sensory inputs.
  • In individuals with ADHD, the orchestration of attention is impaired, leading to difficulties in suppressing distractions and amplifying focus on specific tasks.
  • This cognitive dysfunction explains why people with ADHD may struggle with tasks that require sustained attention and organization.

"Focus and the ability to focus in appropriate ways requires two different neural networks in your brain."

This quote explains the neurological basis of attention difficulties in ADHD, likening the brain's executive function to a conductor of an orchestra.

  • Research suggests a possible link between childhood trauma and the development of ADHD.
  • Traumatic or stressful environments may cause children to develop adaptive behaviors such as tuning out as a protective mechanism, which can resemble ADHD symptoms.
  • The need for hyper-vigilance in chaotic environments may contribute to the development of ADHD-like symptoms.

"ADHD appears to be linked to childhood trauma."

This quote discusses the hypothesis that ADHD symptoms may be related to adaptive responses to childhood trauma, which can lead to the development of attention and focus issues.

Menopause and Women's Health

  • Menopause is a challenging and often overwhelming experience for many women due to the significant hormonal changes and lack of control over their bodies.
  • There is conflicting advice and a lack of clear understanding regarding hormone therapy and menopause management.
  • The historical exclusion of women from medical research until the late 1980s has led to a deficiency in knowledge and treatment options for menopause and women's hormonal health.
  • New research is exploring the possibility of extending menstruation to maintain estrogen levels and improve women's health outcomes post-menopause.

"Our entire network, from the brain through the entire body, is running on estrogen."

This quote emphasizes the critical role of estrogen in women's health and the complexities faced during menopause due to hormonal changes.

Personal Goals and Motivations

  • The speakers discuss the difficulty of identifying one's core motivations and setting life goals.
  • They explore the idea that goals may not always lead to fulfillment and that maintaining a desired state of being might be more important.
  • Mel Robbins shares that her goal is to enjoy life, have a good relationship with her family, and appreciate the time spent with her adult children.

"My goal is to enjoy it as much as I can."

This quote reflects Mel Robbins' personal goal to find joy in life and prioritize her relationships with her family, highlighting the importance of personal fulfillment over specific achievements.

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