Can just 5 seconds really change your life? Speaker and author Mel Robbins says, it can change completely, and it can change so much that you may not even imagine.
Do you want to pursue that career which is your passion? Do you want to improve your health and relationships? Do you want to be more confident and face your fears fearlessly?
The 5 second rule will teach you how to get out of any situation if you are holding yourself back, how you can finally live the life of your dreams by stopping hesitation and taking action. These simple techniques will give a new shape to your habits and will help you to transform any aspect of your life. With Mel Robbins as your guide, you will learn how a simple commitment can completely change your life.
HOW I DISCOVERED THE #5 SECOND RULE –
Sometimes in life, even the simplest or the smallest task seems very difficult. Even answering an email or going to the gym feels too difficult.
At the age of 41, Arthur Mel Robbins felt the same way every day.
For Mel Robbins, even getting out of bed after the alarm went off was a very challenging task. As soon as she wakes up, she only cares about all the problems happening to him like – bounced cheque, vacating notice put up by the bank on her house, her joblessness, struggling as a wife and mother, and drinking alcohol to ease the pain. Her every day started as if everything in her life was in turmoil.
Mel Robbins wanted to change her life but she could not understand how. After all, one night she saw an ad on TV. A typical 5-4-3-2-1 countdown of a rocket launch was being shown in it. Impressed by this, Mel Robbins decided that she would get up from the bed like a rocket the next day.
Although it sounded silly, but as soon as the alarm went off in the morning, Mel Robbins started counting down to 5 and managed to get up from her bed. So this is how the idea of # 5 second rule started.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT WHEN YOU USE IT –
When you feel the urge to score a goal, start counting backwards from 5 and move your body. By doing this #5 second rule creates a result in your life that you can see, feel yourself.
Mel Robbins notices this and psychological research also says that there is a 5-second gap or window between the instinct to take an action and your brain trying to avoid it by making excuses. By applying this rule in your life, you will leave the bet on this pretext and start taking action to achieve your goal.
This 5 second window comes again and again throughout our day. When you follow this rule, you will see that you have started taking small decisions to achieve your goal. You stop making excuses. And you will start giving up bad habits that come your way. By adding these small decisions, you will give a big result. This rule will work as long as you keep using it. This will help you remove fear from your life and take control of your decisions.
Why the Rule Works –
#5 second rule works because it is very simple. When you have a lot of desire to get a goal or you are hesitant to do the work you should do, then take action by adopting this rule. Start counting from behind, 5-4-3-2-1 and get up as soon as you reach 1.
Instead of getting stuck in something, it will force you to do things. The more time we spend in thinking about doing any work, the more chances increase that we will never be able to do that work. This rule helps us to end this bad habit of human beings.
You can use this rule in 3 ways. First, you can change your old bad habits and adopt new habits. Second, you can use it to defeat your fear and increase your confidence. And third, you can control your mind and eliminate negative thoughts and worries.
You can use this rule to make any part of your life even better and better because it works on “you”. By changing a bad habit by this rule, you bring a change in yourself whose positive effect stays with you throughout your life.
EVERYDAY COURAGE –
We often think of tales of courage, that such an act of courage requires high spirits, which has made many tales immortalized in history. But we can see this courage in our everyday life also. Moments of fear and restlessness challenge us to face them. This courage is already present inside each and every one of us. When we need it the most in life, to face a problem and to take action, it gives us a push and a boost.
This Courage comes in different forms. For example, Roza Parks performed Extraordinary “Everyday Courage” in 1955 in Ambala. In a bus, she refused to give up her seat. Later, when Roza remembered this incident, she said that she had not planned to do this and neither she had thought about its consequences. She decided it in just that moment because the limits of her tolerance had been exceeded. She was completely tired of being discriminated as a “Black American”. And so she stood up for herself without fear. Being courageous doesn’t always mean changing the world, it also means changing yourself.
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
We all have played the “waiting game” in life, waiting for the right time to start a business or to make ourselves more confident. Whatever the reason for this wait would be, it is holding you back. Because every moment of waiting by you not only delays you in achieving your dreams, but you are actually working against your dreams. The truth is that there is no “right time”. None of us know how long our life is. We only have this moment right now and it depends on you how you live these moments.
We often keep waiting for a push from others to achieve our dreams. We just want to hear from their mouth that our idea is awesome and we have that ability that we can achieve our destination. Instead of wanting to hear it from others, fill yourself up with enthusiasm. No matter how scared or how nervous you are, get up courageously and bring yourself forward.
Nothing is a “right moment” but any moment can be “right”.
Let’s talk about EL James. She is the author of the famous novel “Fifty Shades of Grey”. Without an agent or book dealer, James, a working mother, began writing inspired by “Twilight”. Over time, she gained the confidence to write a book, which she herself published later. One million copies of that book were sold in just four days.
When we think of taking an action, we want a guarantee of getting something from it. But most of the time there is no guarantee. Start thinking that the result doesn’t matter. What matters more is that by going out into the world, by trying, you keep the power inside you awake.
American actor Mark Ruffalo auditioned 600 times, after which he got his first role. Rovio is the creator of the popular “Angry Birds” who launched at least 50 games before tasting success.
Picasso made 50,000 paintings in his life, but only 100 got the title of masterpiece.
Being in the outside world gives you the chance to try out many opportunities that you might not normally get. With the #5 second rule, you can end this “waiting game” and start working towards achieving your dreams. You can muster up the courage.
YOU’LL NEVER FEEL LIKE IT –
We may consider ourselves to be logical decision takers, but the truth is that our feelings take most of our decisions. So now you must have understood why any kind of change seems so difficult – we know what we should do, but ultimately our feelings take the decision.
The “5 second rule” helps us to go against the feelings and take immediate action. How you are feeling and what action you are taking, these two have to be separated, then only you will be able to be successful. When you start, the result is not important, it is important that you did something to start, someone took action.
Imagine that you work in a company and your goal is to get promotion. For this, you read many books, attended seminars and took the help of a coach. But you know very well that to get promotion you need to speak, put forward your ideas but you cannot do it.
So here you can easily apply this rule. End this habit of being silent in the meeting because by doing this you are doubting yourself. 5-4-3-2-1 Start the counting, push yourself to speak, to share your ideas.
HOW TO START USING THE RULE –
Change is simple but not easy. The best way to introduce this rule into your life is to start with the “Wake Up Challenge”. Set an alarm 30 minutes before your wake up time and count 5-4-3-2-1 when the alarm goes off in the morning. Get out of bed. This is a very effective way to apply this rule, there are many reasons for this. First, this is a very simple method. When your alarm goes off, you will either follow this rule or you will turn off your alarm. If you are successful in changing your morning routine, then you can change any part of your life.
You will experience what psychologists call “activation energy”. This is a big push you need in the beginning so that you can change your life. You will find it very difficult to get out of bed in the morning but after that, the whole day will start feeling very easy.
Just as Mel Robbins followed this rule to turn off the alarm and faced her day, this rule made many positive changes in her life. Stephen also has a similar story. He didn’t have any job for 4 months. Then he applied this rule, starting with the “Wake Up Challenge”. The habit of getting up early changed his way of thinking. He was able to find a job that he really liked. Now Stephen could pay his bill and started saving the remaining money. One small change had filled his life with positivity.
IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH –
The goal of many people is to make their health better than before, whether it is to lose weight, or to make their heart more fit. Or to heal ourselves from some disease. Today, despite having so much information about living a healthy life, it is no less than a struggle. Here again our feelings start taking decisions.
You know that home food is better than buying fast food, but still you buy food from outside because you didn’t have the “inclination” to cook it in the morning. You know that instead of watching TV, you should go for a walk, but you do not “feel” to go out in the cold. Now this rule is needed here.
By adopting this rule, quit the habit of saying “I don’t feel like it”. As soon as you think that I want to get ready for the gym or drink water instead of soda, just do that immediately, don’t let your feelings get in the way. Just start counting backwards from 5 and listen to the voice of your mind. Your feelings don’t matter but actions matter because only they can make a change in your health and life that will benefit you throughout your life.
In February 2014, Charlie’s weight was 383 pounds. She listened to Mel Robbins TED Talk. From that day on, she started using the #5 second rule, to take actions that could affect her health and can make it better. Charlie lost 176 pounds and changed his life 360 degrees. She was successful in doing this because she did not listen to her feelings, but took such actions which were better for her health.
INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY –
Productivity depends on your ability to focus. You have to focus on your work by ignoring the distracting things and then instead of wasting time on useless things, do the work which is most important first. You have to be serious about managing the distractions. We know very well how much the notifications coming on smartphones, iPad’s and other electronic devices distract us. Knowing all this, why don’t you ignore it? It’s simple but not that easy, is it? But doing this will make such a big difference in your productivity that you will be surprised.
Now you need to be active and plan your day properly. This also means that you should take advantage of 2-3 hours in the morning because research has proved that our mind is freshest at that time, so we are most productive at that time.
Author Mel Robbins had increased her productivity so much only by managing her morning. She made a strict morning routine and followed it firmly. She used to leave her phone in the bathroom so that there is no desire to check distracting notifications. She had created a “must-list”, a list of things that needed to be done to achieve her goals, which she looked at while brushing.
She used to spend the first 30 minutes before 7:30 in the morning to plan her day, especially the tasks that were included in the “must-list”. She did not check her phone at all so that she could complete all the morning work properly and quickly. You too can increase your productivity a lot by following this routine.
END PROCRASTINATION –
We all have struggled with the habit of postponing our work for tomorrow at some point in our life. Sometimes it also helps you as if you are working on a project and later you come up with a better idea then you can use it in the project. Taking a break and after a few days you can look at your project with a fresher perspective. On the other hand, it also has a negative side which can completely spoil your goals and idea. This means that even knowing that there are some things that are very important to do, not doing them will hurt a lot, but you still keep putting them on tomorrow.
But people don’t understand that this destructive habit isn’t laziness – it’s just an attempt to handle stress. You don’t get upset because of an email or paperwork. This is a big thing like a personal matter or a financial matter, you can feel relief for some time by avoiding any difficult task, but going ahead this habit increases the stress very much.
You can manage this avoidance bad habit in 3 simple steps. First, stop blaming yourself for this habit, forgive yourself. Stop thinking negative about yourself by using this rule. Second, imagine yourself exactly what you want to be and leave this habit and come out of it. Third, start by using this rule. Take concrete steps to focus on the things you are avoiding, even if it is only 15 minutes a day.
This method is very simple but you need to take action. Let’s see an example. Scott is a PhD student and lives with his wife and child. He is very frustrated due to lack of money and keeps on postponing the important work. Due to this habit of his, serious problems started to arise. He began to consider himself a failure.
Then he started applying this rule. First, he forgave himself for this bad habit. He realized that his financial stress should not affect his work. Now he had started controlling his life. Then he started imagining himself as he wanted to be, which was to be a professor.
This rule had taught him to make wise decisions, finally, Scott went on to do the work he had been putting off for a long time. He did not think much, just jumped into it and made his life happier than before.
STOP WORRYING –
If instead of enjoying your life like most of us, you just waste your time and energy worrying about “what will happen”. It seems we were born with a default setting to worry about. When we don’t pay attention to something, we just start worrying. It’s like our default setting. And in the end it does not allow us to enjoy the beautiful moments of life, it snatches them from us.
When your mind starts going to negative thoughts and depressing thoughts, then do not let it affect you, instead apply this rule and put your thinking in positive direction. Mel Robbins shared an anecdote, as she waited for her daughters to return from their Peru trip. All day she had only scary thoughts like plane crash, flight delay and loss of luggage. But then with the help of this rule, she tried to divert her thoughts in a positive direction. Whenever she had a bad thought, she would count down to 5 and wonder how excited her kids would be to tell them about their trip.
When you start worrying about something, then you too can change your thoughts by following this rule. Replace your worry with a positive feeling. If you feel that you are going towards negativity, then remember some beautiful moment in your life or remember a moment for which you are very thankful.
END ANXIETY –
Anxiety is more than worry. The way to control it is to understand it and then change it. We will definitely experience such moments in our life where we will start feeling nervous, like when we suddenly come in front of a moving vehicle. Restlessness means when anxiety starts happening without any major reason. You will be doing a simple thing like pouring coffee into the cup and suddenly you will start feeling restless. We know about two ways to cure this discomfort – which is therapy and medicines. There is another approach that the author calls a “reframing strategy”. It means to turn your restlessness into excitement because for our body both these feelings are absolutely beans. It is our brain that calls them by different names. When you start to worry, you can use the #5 second rule to stop it from turning into a panic. Start counting 5 seconds and tell yourself that you are just excited.
BEAT FEAR –
This is also an important part of a person’s life when he has to face some scary situation. Our fears take different forms but what they all have in common is taking away from us the pleasure of enjoying that moment. Whenever you have to face a terrible situation, you can defeat your fear with a simple technique. In this an “anchor thought” is created, that is, a thought that supports you. It’s just like facing your fear gives you a positive thing. So if you are facing a situation in which you are very scared, then by holding this thought, you can reduce your fear somewhat.
Mel Robbins has explained this technique through her fear of flying. Whenever she had to go somewhere by flight, she used to have only scary thoughts like plane crash or terrorist attack, which used to scare her badly. In order to win this, she decided to create an “Anchor Thought” before every flight. Wherever she had to go, she would make up a thought about something special there, like walking with her mother in the middle of Michigan. Whenever her fear increased during the flight, she applied the #5 second rule to draw her attention to the beautiful moment she was eagerly waiting for, which she was going to get after the flight landed. The technique showed its magic, the fear of Mel Robbins was beginning to end. No matter what kind of fear you have, you too can defeat the fear by applying this technique.
BUILDING REAL CONFIDENCE –
We sometimes take confidence as a special quality of personality, but it is just a skill, a skill to believe in yourself and your talent. Like any other skill, this confidence builds up with practice. Building confidence means taking small steps that push you out of your comfort zone. Over a period of time, these small steps give a big result that fills you with a real and never-ending self-confidence.
You can follow the #5 second rule to build your confidence and give yourself small challenges. For example, Mel Robbins challenged a group of engineers that using this rule, they would have to introduce themselves to three new people. One of the engineers in the audience was in front of the CEO of the company he used to respect very much, but as soon as he came in front of him, his feet were frozen. He was feeling very disappointed with himself the whole day. But the next day, during the morning walk, he met the CEO again. By applying this rule, gathering courage, he went to talk to the CEO. He was able to talk very well, even shared a new idea that came to him with the CEO. This small courage had opened the doors of many opportunities for him in his company and also increased his confidence.
Pursuing Passion –
You get your passion only by playing an active role in a process. Start searching – what are the things that excite you or what are the things that you just can’t stop thinking about. When you find something that you are really interested in, then go deeper to learn more about it. Watch online videos, join classes, or learn from people who are already in that field. Don’t hesitate to do so. By applying the #5 second rule, whatever thing fills a spirit in your mind and gives satisfaction to your soul, just get busy in achieving it.
You will see that your quest will give you a speed and lead you on a path that will match you with your passion. Once that is done, new opportunities will keep coming your way. So master up the courage to listen to your heart. It may happen, that what is your only passion right now, becomes your way of life or career.
But it takes time for this to happen. In thinking about it and planning. Instead of asking yourself whether are you “willing” to embark on this new path, ask yourself whether you are “ready” for it. If your answer is yes, then give one last push by following this rule and start taking action to live your dream. 5-4-3-2-1 Make Your Dream a Reality!
ENRICH YOUR RELATIONSHIPS –
Did you know that it is very easy to improve your relationship – if you want to say something, say it. Often in life, it is very difficult to share experiences that are too private or scary. It has become our default setting that we leave the important things unattended because they seem easier to us.
The #5 second rule will help you say the things you want to say but your feelings hold you back. Start counting from behind and just say what you want to say.
This experience happened to Mel Robbins when her father suddenly messaged her and asked her to call him. And then all the negative thoughts started coming in Mel Robbins mind like the death of someone in the family or the family getting stuck in some trouble. Over the phone, her father explained that he needed to undergo brain surgery. Mel Robbins wanted to ask if she was scared but she held herself back. Then using this rule, she pushed herself and finally asked. It was a very beautiful moment with her father when her father said that he had lived a good and happy life.
Remember, there may be hesitation or fear in saying something but don’t leave important things unsaid, don’t think too much, just say it.
So you learned how just 5 seconds can change your old habits and way of thinking and teach you a way of working that takes you even closer to living the life you want. You learned that you can apply this simple technique in any part of your life, whether it is health, relationship or your business and career. You learned how to follow your passion and change your life so that you can get more satisfaction. If you want to start your dream business, or want to start exercising or want to be more patient towards your kids, then you should follow this rule and start from here.
The #5 second rule gives you such power that you can really change your life completely. It teaches you to live in the moment by destroying your old habits and negative thoughts. Go out to pursue your passion, conquer your fear and move forward and live the life of your dreams freely. And now you have learned how easy it is, 5-4-3-2-1, just take action and get to work.