If you’re on our email list, you’ll know that we didn’t post last week because we were attending a seminar. If you’re not on our email list, well, now you know that too.1

More specifically, we attended Tony Robbins’ Unleash the Power Within event in Dallas. It’s a four-day seminar “designed to help you unlock and unleash the forces inside that can help you break through any limit and create the quality of life you desire.” During the four days, we found some personal motivation and energy, burned our feet on hot coals,2and most importantly, achieved some clarity on what makes our mission unique and necessary.

You may not have noticed, but we have been bouncing between terms like self-help, self-improvement, and self-development when we refer to the space in which we’re operating. We’ve been refusing to commit to one of those terms because we’ve known something about our idea was different. However, it occurred to us that we may not have been clear on exactly what that distinction is. Experiencing Tony in action and engaging with his content (and followers) gave us that clarity, which is what we want to share with you now.


One of the main exercises at Tony’s event is about identifying what you want to achieve or obtain, along with the beliefs you have about why you don’t already have these desires in your life. He calls these “limiting beliefs”. He then goes through an elaborate exercise to help you restructure these beliefs to free you to obtain your goal. While it is inarguably a very powerful and effective exercise, something about it didn’t feel quite right; we could sense that it wasn’t the full solution. Our intent here is not to tear anyone else apart, so we won’t get into specific criticisms, but we talked about it later that night, and landed on a metaphor that helps demonstrate what’s missing in the self-help field.

Imagine you have yourself a car.3Now, imagine you want your car to run better; to give it a little boost. You look online to learn more about how to give your car that extra edge, and the online forums are saturated with all sorts of people, each with their own opinion about what THE solution is. Someone might tell you that a quality carburetor is the key to a better car. Someone else might claim that it’s all about supercharging.

But if you’re still driving a 1971 Ford Pinto, a top-of-the-line carburetor isn’t going to turn your shitbox into a racecar.4Sure, it might help to a degree, but the effectiveness of any additional part is going to be limited by what the other parts can keep up with. Your car will only be as strong as its weakest part.

What does this have to do with self-development? As it currently stands, the self-help field is full of reductionistic approaches. The real-world and virtual spaces are filled with confidence hacks and productivity hacks and relationship hacks and every other kind of hack you can think of.5Supercharge this, custom-exhaust that. At some point, someone needs to step back, understand the whole system, and design a program that addresses the whole as more than the sum of its individual parts.

Samuel Jackson transcending and including self-help in this meme "I'm tired of these monkey-fighting life-hacks in my Monday-to-Friday self-development!"

When it comes to our internal development, there is an order to development we all must adhere to if we are to create lasting, impactful growth. If we want to be the best versions of ourselves,  the reality is there are some things that are prerequisites for other areas of development. Without a solid baseline of positivity, you won’t be able to imagine a solid future for yourself. Without a healthy level of self-esteem, you can’t be open-minded about your own faults and shortcomings. Without first developing the high level of self-awareness necessary to cultivate mastery, augmenting your self-confidence is really just arming you with a potentially destructive delusion.

There exists an optimal way to approach our self-development, and the self-help field has yet to discover it.6We are building that approach. That is what Realize Renaissance is.

We can keep tinkering with our cars; adding this, changing that, oiling this, replacing that, ad infinitum. Or, we can take a step back, understand the underlying structure, ask ourselves what it is we really need this car to do, and build the best damn car possible, from the ground up.

There are many existing programs out there, such as Unleash the Power Within, that have the potential to change the life of an individual. We are combining all that’s known about the development of the self and applying a structure that accounts for how these parts interact to give us the ability to create massive, lasting change in our lives. Our mission at Renaissance Performance has the potential to transform the very fabric of humanity as we know it.

That is what drives us.7That is what we are after. That is what we promise.

A Prompt on Integration:8

In the comments below, share with us a challenge or concept that has escaped you that you’d like to ensure we cover! Do you have any experience with self-help products previously? Did you feel anything was missing?