How To Stop Screwing Yourself Over by Mel Robbins (Transcript)

Title: F— YOU – How To Stop Screwing Yourself Over

Event: TEDx San Francisco

Speaker: Mel Robbins (Full Profile)

Brief description: Mel Robbins is a married working mother of three, an ivy-educated criminal lawyer, and one of the top career and relationship experts in America. Widely respected for her grab-’em-by-the-collar advice and tough love, Robbins drills through the mental clutter that stands between people and what they want. Her approach is smart, effective and entertaining…

Video Link: YouTube

MP3 Audio:


Mel Robbins – Relationship Expert, Author, Radio Host, Life Coach

Bigger welcome! Hello, San Francisco! TEDx – oh my God, blinding light!

Hi, everybody! How are you? Fine?! Oh my gosh! Okay, so…

My name is Mel Robbins, and for the last 17 years, I have done nothing but help people get everything that they want. Within reason! My husband’s here. So, I’ve done it in the courtroom, in the boardroom, in the bedroom, in people’s living room, whatever room you want to be in, if I’m there, I will help you get whatever you want by any means necessary.

For the last three years – I host a syndicated radio show. Five days a week, I go live in 40 cities and I talk to men and women across America who feel stuck. Do you know that a third of Americans feel dissatisfied with their lives right now? That is a 100 million people! That’s insane! And I’ve come face to face with it in this new show that I’m doing, which is also insane, it’s called “In-laws”. I move in with families across America – You guessed it! – who are at war with their in-laws.

We move them into the same house, I verbally assassinate everybody, we open up Pandora’s box, and I get people to stop arguing about the donuts and who is hosting Thanksgiving dinner, and talk about the real stuff. And that’s what I want to talk to you about. I’m here for you.

I’m going to tell you everything I know in less than 18 minutes about how to get what you want. So I want you to take a millisecond right now and think about what you want. You! And I want you to be selfish. Screw Simon and the “We” thing. This is about me, right now! Sorry, Simon.

What do you want? And here’s the deal. I don’t want it to sound good to other people. Being healthy will not get your ass on a treadmill. Losing your manboobs, so you can hook up with somebody, now that’s motivation.

So, I want to know: What do you want? Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to triple your income? Do you want to start a nonprofit? Do you want to find love? What is it? Get it, right here. You know what it is, don’t analyze it to death, just pick something. That’s part of the problem. You won’t pick.

So, we’re going to be talking about how you get what you want. And frankly, getting what you want is simple. But notice I didn’t say it was easy. It’s very simple. In fact, if you think about it, we live in the most amazing moment in time. So that thing that you have up here, whatever it may be, you want to use healthy eating to cure your diabetes, you want to figure out how to take care of the elders and start a new hospice center, you want to move to Africa and build a school… Guess what? You can walk into a book store – right now! – and buy at least 10 books written by credentialed experts on how the hell you do it. You could Google it. And you could probably find at least, I don’t know – a thousand blogs documenting the step, by step, by step transformation that somebody else is already doing. You can find anybody online and cyber-stalk them!

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You can just walk in their footsteps – just use the science of drafting. Follow what everyone else has done, because somebody is already doing it! So why don’t you have what you want, when you have all the information that you need, you have the contacts that you need, there are probably free tools online that allow you to start a business, or join a group, or do whatever the heck you want? It all comes down to one word: F*©#.

Shut the front door, you know what I’m talking about? The f-bomb. It’s everywhere. You hear it all the time. I honestly don’t understand what the appeal is of the word. I mean, you don’t sound smart when you say it. And it’s really not expressing how you really feel. It’s sort of a cheap shot to take. And of course you know I’m talking about the word “fine”.

“How you doing?” “Oh, I’m fine.” Oh, really? You are? Dragging around those extra forty pounds, you’re fine? Feeling like roommates with your spouse, and you’re fine? You haven’t had sex in four months, you’re fine? Really? I don’t think so!

But see, here’s the deal with saying that you’re fine: It’s actually genius. Because if you’re fine, you don’t have to do anything about it. But when you think about this word “fine”, it just makes me so angry. Here we are at a conference about being alive and you’re going to describe the experience of being alive as “fine”? What a flimsy and feeble word!

If you’re crappy, say you’re crappy. If you’re amazing say you’re amazing. Tell the truth. And this not only goes for the social construct: “Oh, I don’t want to burden you with the fact that I hate my life”, or: “Hey, I’m amazing. But that would make you feel terrible.” The bigger issue – The bigger issue with “fine” is that you say it to yourself. That thing that you want, I guarantee you, you’ve convinced yourself that you’re fine not having it. That’s why you’re not pushing yourself. It’s the areas in your life where you’ve given up. Where you’ve said, “Oh, I’m fine. My mom’s never going to change, so I just can’t have that conversation.” “I’m fine. We’ve got to wait until the kids graduate, before we get divorced, so we’ll just sleep in separate bedrooms.” “I’m fine. I lost my job, I can barely pay my bills, but whatever – It’s hard to get a job.”

One of the reasons why this word also just annoys me so much is, scientists have calculated – Oh yeah, I’m coming down! Scientists have calculated the odds of you being born. That’s right. They’ve crunched the numbers. I see you up there. They’ve crunched the numbers on you – Yeah, you guys standing up, you want to sit down for this. They’ve crunched the numbers on you being born. And they took into account all of the wars, and the natural disasters, and the dinosaurs, and everything else.

And do you realize that the odds, the odds of you, yeah, right here, put your computer away, stand up for me, Doug! So the odds of Doug here, turn around, say “hi” to everybody – the odds of Doug being born at the moment in time he was born, to the parents you were born to, with the DNA structure that you have, one in four hundred trillion! Isn’t that amazing?

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Doug: I’m so lucky.

Mel: Yes! You’re not fine, you’re fantastic! You have life-changing ideas for a reason, and it’s not to torture yourself. Thank you. Thank you, Doug.

Christine was right when she said all of you could be on stage. Because all of you – we’re all in this category. One in four hundred trillion. All day long you have ideas that could change your life, that could change the world, that could change the way that you feel, and what do you do with them? Nothing. Hopefully I won’t moon you. You didn’t pay for that. And I want you to just think for a minute, because we all have – I love to use the analogy “the inner snooze button” – you have these amazing ideas that bubble up.

You’ve been watching people all day and I guarantee you, like ping pong balls – bam-bam-bam and every time you have an idea, what do you do? – Hit the snooze! What’s the first decision you made this morning? I bet it was to go back to bed. “Yeah, first decision today, I’m one in four hundred trillion, I’m going to go back to sleep.” And I get it. Your bed is comfortable! It’s cosy, it’s warm. If you’re lucky, you’ve got somebody that you love next to you, or in my case, I’ve got my husband and my two kids and possibly the dog. And the reason why I’m bringing up this first decision that you made today, and the inner snooze alarm, is because in any area of your life that you want to change, any – there’s one fact that you need to know.

Activation Energy

This one: You are never going to feel like it. Ever. No one’s coming, motivation isn’t happening, you’re never going to feel like it. Scientists call it Activation Energy. That’s what they call the force required to get you to change from what you’re doing on autopilot to do something new.

So try this test tomorrow. You think you’re so fancy, I know, you’re attending TED. Try this. Tomorrow morning, set your alarm for thirty minutes earlier. And then when it goes off, take those sheets, throw them off, and stand up and start your day. No snooze, no delay, no, “I’ll just wait here for five seconds because Mel’s not standing here” – Do it.

And the reason why I want you to do it is because you will come face to face with the physical, and I mean physical force that’s required to change your behavior. Do you think that somebody who needs to lose weight ever feels like going on a diet? Of course not. You think they ever feel like eating boiled chicken and peas instead of a croissant? I don’t think so. The activation energy required to get your ass away from your computer and out the front door, to go on the walk, you said that you were going to go on, is the exact same amount of force that it takes you to push yourself out of a warm bed and into a cold room.

What’s interesting about being an adult is that when you become eighteen, nobody tells you that it’s now going to be your job to parent yourself. And by “parent yourself”, I mean it’s your job to make yourself do the crap you don’t want to do, so you can be everything that you’re supposed to be. And you’re so damn busy waiting to feel like it. And you’re never going to.

One Response

  1. Shannon Wayne brown June 23, 2015 7:29 am

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