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The Stoic, the Alpha, the Know-It-All

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“Be a man.” “Man up.” “Start acting like a man.” These are things we hear all the time – in the locker room, in the media, in our own homes. We’ve been conditioned to adopt certain beliefs about what “masculinity” is, and we routinely force those ideals and expectations upon others, and upon ourselves. But what has this cost us?

In this episode, Tony’s editorial director, Ana Yoerg, sits down with entrepreneur, performance coach and host of a top-ranked podcast, Lewis Howes.

By all accounts, Lewis had always fit the cultural ideal of what a masculine man should be. He was a two-sport All-American who went on to play football professionally. He built his podcast, “The School of Greatness” into a global phenomenon. And he was becoming financially and professionally successful beyond his wildest dreams. But he soon realized that his whole identity was built on misguided beliefs about what “masculinity” was: dangerous, false ideas learned from teammates and coaches in locker rooms and stereotypes in the media. And like so many men, Lewis grew up to be angry, frustrated and always chasing something that was never enough.

So at 30 years old, Lewis began a personal journey to shed the many masks that he and so many other men wear, and to discover who he is at his core. He sought advice from some of the world’s best psychologists, doctors and household names like Tony Robbins himself. And he documented everything that he learned in his latest book – The Mask of Masculinity: How Men Can Embrace Vulnerability, Create Strong Relationships, and Live Their Fullest Lives.

In this episode, you will hear Lewis discuss the ultimate emptiness of the Material Mask and the man who chases wealth above all things. You will hear him talk about the cowering vulnerability that hides behind the Stoic Masks of men who never show real emotion; and the destructiveness of the Invincible and Aggressive Masks worn by men who take insane risks or can never back down from a fight. And you will learn about Lewis’s own struggles with the masks he has worn, and how he has learned how to break through the walls that held them back so he could truly find himself, and ultimately, how he could find true happiness.


[01:04] Ana introduces the episode
[01:30] Lewis Howes – a brief background
[03:15] Welcome Lewis
[04:00] Why Lewis felt the need to explore masculinity
[04:15] Holding on to trauma, anger and resentment
[05:15] “I didn’t have the emotional capacity to be alone”
[05:55] The culminating moment of his anger
[06:35] Understanding why his anger took a hold of him
[07:00] Opening up about sexual abuse
[08:05] Shame, embarrassment, guilt
[08:35] Releasing emotion and finding comfort
[09:30] The loving reaction from other men
[10:40] “It took me a while to feel okay”
[11:05] The decision to open up to his family
[12:15] Sharing past trauma with a broader audience
[12:45] Making a real impact in the world
[13:35] The terrifying experience of sharing on his podcast
[14:15] The reaction from his audience
[15:15] More to learn about the masks we wear
[16:00] 1 in 6 men have been sexually abused
[16:15] So many men have been suffering in silence
[17:30] Why opening up allowed Lewis to shed his masks and accept himself
[20:05] How the masks he wore worked for him
[21:45] Men are taught to hide their pain
[22:35] What sports engrain in men
[24:35] What Ana fears as a parent
[25:05] Lewis’s advice to parents
[26:35] Whose love did you crave most?
[28:15] How Lewis saw his father
[29:55] When his father transformed
[30:35] His relationship with his father
[31:35] The feeling that you’re never really yourself
[32:05] Awareness of the mask you wear
[34:15] Lewis’s catalyst / interruption
[34:35] Wanting acknowledgment as a child
[35:15] The simple shift parents can make
[36:05] Shifting away from the traditional idea of masculinity and femininity
[38:15] The stoic mask
[40:15] Why some men have few people to talk to about their emotions
[41:15] Why so many men commit suicide
[42:25] Women are constantly expressing their feelings to others
[43:15] Shedding the stoic mask
[44:55] You don’t have to take a bullet to lose your life
[45:35] Men are easily influenced by the women they are in a relationship with
[48:55] The material mask
[49:55] Lewis’s own experience with the material mask
[51:15] You’re attracting people based on what you’re putting out there
[52:45] Are you building wealth to create your value?
[54:45] When men are more concerned with talking about themselves
[55:35] The “Know-it-All”
[56:15] Advice to men who act like they have the answers to everything
[57:45] Be the person with the biggest heart
[58:35] If you always have to be right, that means someone else has to be wrong
[59:35] The life you gain when you shed your masks
[1:00:35] Freedom, inner peace, fulfillment, self-worth
[1:02:20] Living a life of service
[1:03:15] Taking time for yourself to heal
[1:04:25] The Mask of Masculinity


Why we all need pain – Pain is part of life, and while it is seen by most as something to be avoided, pain can actually be a good thing.

How to let go of the past – Learn how to loosen your grip on the past so you can move forward in a healthier, happier way.

Why you are the way you are – There are a million stories of why people do what they do, but all these stories revolve around just six primary driving forces.




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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