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Mel Robbins 5 Second Rule

See how to use the 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins to become the most fulfilled person you know

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Please note: This is an unofficial summary created to help you understand and apply the principles outlined in the book. For full disclaimer details, click here.

The 5 Second Rule (2017) by Mel Robbins is a guidebook that will help you take control of your life, change your behavior and live life with less fear and more courage. The book presents a technique that will help you take action when you need to and unlock your potential in just five seconds.

It explains through concrete examples why so many people procrastinate and put off pursuing their dreams. People are often faced with an opportunity to do something that will help them reach their goals but their subconscious stops them from leaving their comfort zone and doing whatever they need to do. Mel Robbins 5 Second Rule helps you take that step before you lose your courage. People often spend their entire lives waiting for that perfect moment that never arrives. Adopt a do it now mindset and you will achieve a lot more in life.

“If you’re searching for that one person who will change your life, look in the mirror” Mel Robbins

What is the five second rule?

The author, Mel Robbins, is an author, journalist, entrepreneur, and motivational speaker. She developed this simple decision-making tool that can change your behavior. When you feel an instinct fire up to act on a goal or a commitment or the moment you feel yourself hesitate on doing something count down from five (5- 4- 3- 2- 1) to prevent acting on detrimental urges. As you reach 1, you take action. This simple act of counting down from 5 distracts you from your anxieties and redirects your attention to what you should be doing, instead of letting your urges make the decision. When you keep doing this, you can break a negative cycle and create new and better habits. The counting will help you focus on the goal or commitment and distract you from the worries, thoughts, and fears in your mind.

The author claims that the rule is a research-backed metacognition tool that creates immediate and lasting behavior change. Metacognition is any technique that allows you to beat your brain in order to accomplish your greater goals.

When do you use the five second rule?

You can use it whenever you need to take action. For example, if you decide you want to exercise in the morning but part of you wants to go back to sleep. When you need to do something and you feel like procrastinating, then count down from 5 and then take action.

This tool is especially useful if you’re the kind of person who sits around waiting for inspiration.

Sometimes we don’t have the courage to take action. This is one of the ways the 5 second rule can help us. During the time you countdown you can build up the courage you need to do whatever you need to do.

The author gave the example of Rosa Parks who refused to stand up on a city bus and give her seat to a white man. The defiance became a historic moment. It was a very small step yet it caused significant changes. That is the basis of the five-second rule. It isn’t groundbreaking yet, it is so effective. It simply pushes you toward being a more courageous person. Rosa Parks was a shy and introverted woman. Her instincts were not necessarily to fight against injustice. Yet that’s what she did. She was not a particularly courageous woman yet at that moment she felt the power and courage to do something that aligned with her beliefs and that’s what she did. Often, we have beliefs and goals that cause us to want to take action on the one hand. On the other hand, we have instincts that tell us to play it safe and not be courageous. But the five-second rule can give us just enough time to do things that will present more opportunities without letting our fear take over. It enables us to be more courageous and less fearful.

How to become the most productive person you know

Every day we have opportunities to either move toward, take a chance and be vulnerable or play it safe in our comfort zone. If you want to reach your potential, you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone and Mel Robbins 5 second rule can help you do that. See other ways to find the motivation to leave your comfort zone.

Each day presents a chance to move toward greatness or stick with a safe and mundane routine. If you want to live an exceptional life, you’ll have to make the choice of taking five seconds to push yourself out of your comfort zone.

Don’t wait for the perfect timing

People often spend too much time waiting for the right time to do something and they never actually pursue their dreams. How many times have you decided to start a diet tomorrow? How many times have you wanted to make a career change but decided that it isn’t the best time to do it?

In order to make a change, you have to make a decision. You can always put making a decision off. The problem is that when we keep putting things off, they never actually happen. When you keep starting a diet tomorrow, then you never really start. So why not let this very moment be the one you’re waiting for? Let the five-second rule be the tool that allows you to make the choices you’ve always wanted to make.

Overcome the psychological obstacles that stand in your way

You can’t control your feelings, but you can always control your actions. Why do professional athletes succeed? They show us how you can push past your physical limits by ignoring your feelings such as exhaustion and continuing to run, swim or cycle. Athletes understand that feelings are only suggestions and sometimes it’s best to ignore those suggestions, especially when you’re trying to reach a goal.

This is a good lesson to learn since most of us base our decisions on feelings rather than goal-oriented logic. Instead of letting fears and worries stop you from reaching your goals and living your dream life, catch yourself and take five seconds to make the decision that brings you closer to your goal. This is what’s known as a psychological intervention. You have to change your behavior before you can change how you feel about yourself. The five-second rule changes your behavior and provides you with the courage to overcome the psychological obstacles that stand in your way.

Don’t procrastinate

The five-second rule is a useful tool to prevent procrastination. The author explains that there are two kinds of procrastination – innocent procrastination and destructive procrastination. When we avoid getting things done, even when we know that there will be serious consequences, it’s destructive procrastination.

Procrastination doesn’t only result from laziness or bad time management, but it is also a side effect of how we deal with stress.

According to Timothy Pychyl, a psychology professor at Carleton University, procrastination is a result of our powerful subconscious desire for instant gratification. It offers an immediate yet temporary, relief from the stress of life. The author suggests you use the five-second rule to overcome the temptation of procrastination. According to Dr. Pychyl, the best way to complete a task is to “just get started,” so you will want to start the five-second rule the moment you start to sense the urge to procrastinate or do something else.

Manage Distractions

You already know how your phone, social media, emails, etc are a distraction but stopping these things feels impossible. Even though you know you should silence your phone, stop checking social media and email all day, you don’t actually do this. This is where the #5SecondRule comes into action — you don’t have to want to get rid of these distractions, you just have to push yourself to do it. First, you must decide that distractions are not good since they are bad for your productivity. Second, you just remove the distractions.

How to become the happiest person you know

You can use the 5 Second Rule in combination with some recent research-based strategies to beat fear, stop worrying, manage or cure anxiety, and change the way you think. The author explains that confidence is a skill she’s built over the years by practicing acts of everyday courage.

In the book, the author helps you learn how to break the addiction to worrying and negative self-talk and talks about the power of gratitude. She also gives you a step-by-step method to interrupt, reframe, and eventually eliminate anxiety from your life. Here are some tips:

Reframe your anxiety as excitement

Next time you’re feeling nervous about something, don’t tell yourself to “calm down.” Instead, say, “I’m excited!”. Anxiety is a negative state that you can flip around and make positive. Instead of letting fear take over, you can let positive excitement motivate you.

Beat Fear

The author cured herself of her fear of flying using the 5 Second Rule and a specific form of anxiety reappraisal that she calls “anchor thoughts.” This is a thought that is relevant to your fear but presents something positive that will come out of overcoming your fear. For example, the author was too scared to fly, so her anchor thought was about what she will do when she reaches her destination.

This use of the 5 Second Rule is a form of what researchers call “If, Then” planning. It’s a way to keep yourself in control by creating a backup plan in advance. You initially plan not to get nervous (Plan A) but if you do, then you have your anchor thought ready (Plan B). Studies show that this kind of If-Then planning can boost your success rates by almost 3 times.

Stop Worrying About Things you Have No Control Over

Most people spend far too much time worrying about things that are beyond their control.

Dr. Karl Pillemer, a Cornell University professor, spent over ten years discussing the meaning of life with more than 1,200 senior citizens. Most of the people interviewed regretted spending so much time worrying about things that were beyond their control.

Whenever you start worrying about something, take five seconds to peacefully count down from five so you can reassert control.

As soon as you reach “one,” ask yourself these two questions:

  • “What am I grateful for in this moment?”
  • “What do I want to remember?”

These questions will help you shift your focus away from the worry and onto the more uplifting and positive aspects of life. Sometimes we forget the things that are truly important such as our relationships and life goals and focus on worrying about things we have no control over. When we focus on gratitude we realize that we have more things to be grateful for than to be anxious about. If you want to make gratitude a part of your life you might want to try our free gratitude journal.

You are in total control of your habits, mindset, and personality traits. You have the power to change them. Once you understand this, you can live your dream life. The five-second rule can help you to change your habits, mindset, and personality traits by adjusting your automatic reactions by counting down from five. By changing the way we make decisions, you can make small changes in your life that can add up and make a difference in defining who you are, how you feel, and what you do with your life.

How to become the most fulfilled person you know

If you can enrich your self-confidence, passion, and connection with people, your life will transform in ways that you thought you could only dream of.

There will always be someone who can’t see your worth. Don’t let it be you. Mel Robbins

Enrich your self-confidence

You can build your confidence by using acts of everyday courage and you can actually reconnect with yourself.

Find your passion

Everyday courage also helps you discover your passion. You do this when you win the battle with fear and find the courage to pursue what’s in your heart. The Rule can even help you find your passion. Finding your passion is an active process and you can use the Rule when opportunities start to appear. Many people don’t find their passion because they can’t get out of their thoughts and move into action. When you use the Rule to push yourself to start exploring and lean into opportunities as they appear you will be in a much better position to find your passion. How do you start exploring? The author explains that curiosity is the best way. Your curiosity is how your instincts get you to pay attention to what your heart really cares about. If you can’t stop thinking about something then explore that field. Pay close attention to envy. If you find yourself jealous of someone else, explore that feeling and try to understand what aspect of their life are you jealous of. This may give you a clue into what you really want for yourself. Once you have some idea about subjects you are interested in then explore each subject. Use all possible resources to learn about the subject (books, videos, courses, etc). As your exploration picks up momentum, you’ll move into the next phase— actually pursuing your passion full-time. Eventually, you will use your courage to turn your passion project into a passion-driven career or major life change. This will require planning and some slow, deep thinking.

Connect with people

The book also explores what creates deep and meaningful connections in relationships and why courage is such a critical component.

Mel Robbins 5 Second Rule Summary

The “5 Second Rule” is a self-help concept popularized by Mel Robbins in her book “The 5 Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage.” The basic premise of the rule is simple: If you have an impulse to act on a goal or make a decision, you should do it within 5 seconds, or your brain will talk you out of it. Here’s a summary of the main ideas behind the 5 Second Rule:

  1. Beat Procrastination: The 5 Second Rule is a tool to combat procrastination and self-doubt. It helps you take action immediately rather than hesitating and allowing excuses or fear to hold you back.
  2. Mind Hack: Robbins argues that the 5 Second Rule is a form of mental self-discipline. When you count down from 5-4-3-2-1, it interrupts your default thinking patterns and gives you a window of opportunity to override negative thoughts or hesitation.
  3. Start Small: You can use the 5 Second Rule for tasks of any size, from getting out of bed in the morning to making important life decisions. It encourages you to take small steps toward your goals, which can lead to bigger changes over time.
  4. Build Confidence: By consistently using the rule to push yourself out of your comfort zone and take action, you can build confidence and a sense of self-efficacy.
  5. Break Negative Habits: The rule can also help break negative habits by interrupting the automatic cycle of behavior and giving you a moment to choose a different response.
  6. Trust Yourself: Robbins emphasizes the importance of trusting your instincts and intuition. The 5 Second Rule can help you tap into your inner wisdom and make decisions more in line with your true desires and goals.
  7. Practice and Consistency: Like any habit or self-improvement technique, the 5 Second Rule requires practice and consistency to be effective. It’s not a magic solution but a practical tool for personal development.

The 5 Second Rule is a simple yet powerful concept designed to help people overcome hesitation, take action, and make positive changes in their lives. It’s a practical tool for self-improvement and personal growth.

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About the Author
Photo of NicoleMy name is Nicole and I created this website to share the tools that keep me organized and productive and help me reach my goals. I hope that you will find them helpful too.

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