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The 5 Second Rule Changed My Life

The best-selling book, The 5 Second Rule: Change Your Life, Work and Confidence, by Mel Robins is a self-help book on how to overcome procrastination, self-doubt and fear. I read it and it changed my life. Here are the most important lessons I learned from it.

What is the 5 Second Rule? 

The five second rule is a concept that helps you do what you want to do without letting your brain talk you out of it. You have to activate yourself and just do the thing you promised yourself. If you decide to get up at six o’clock in the morning, you should get up right away, not lie down and think about whether you deserve to snooze for a while. To trick yourself  and disrupt negative thought patterns you count down: five, four, three, two, one and just do it. By counting backwards, you interrupt your brain, giving yourself time to take action. Mel explains it better than me in the video below.

I have used the five second rule myself to avoid snoozing in the mornings. Especially now when it’s getting darker and colder, I want to stay in bed, but instead of doing that, I count down and get up. I’ve also use it when I shoud exercise but don’t feel like it. I think this book helped me get back into running after years of not running. I now run several times a week and feel great about it.

Some of the most interesting concepts in the book were:

  • The Power of Activation: Mel highlights the critical role of taking immediate action to disrupt negative thought patterns and push through hesitation. By using the “5 Second Rule,” you can activate your decision-making process and overcome the fear and self-doubt.
  • Breaking the Habit Loop: The book explores how the “5 Second Rule” interrupts the habit loop, which consists of a cue, routine, and reward. By using the rule to interrupt the initial cue and replacing it with an immediate action, you can rewire your habits and create positive change.
  • Mindset Transformation: Mel challenges readers to confront their limiting beliefs and adopt a growth mindset. Through the “5 Second Rule,” you can shift your thinking, reframe your perceptions, and develop the confidence to step outside your comfort zones.
  • Building Momentum: The book emphasizes the importance of consistent action in building momentum and achieving long-term success. By using the “5 Second Rule” to take small, incremental steps towards your goals, you can cultivate a sense of progress and motivation. Don’t forget the importance of habits, of getting 1% better each day. 
  • Embracing Courage: Mel encourages you to embrace everyday courage by taking risks and embracing vulnerability. She illustrates how the “5 Second Rule” can help you overcome anxiety, conquer fear, and step into your full potential.

I really enjoyed this book. The fact that Mel weaves in her own story and uses personal examples gives more weight to the concept. It’s amazing that such a small thing can make such a big difference in a person’s life. Read it, or listen to her podcast – especially if you want to get better at not procrastinating.

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