The Five Second Rule: Mel Robbins' Simple But Effective Way of Making You Move
Last year, I was told by a friend of mine that I needed to read The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage by Mel Robbins because it was “an eye-opener” for her. “It’ll inspire you and make you move your butt,” weren’t her exact words, but she said something along those lines. So, I picked it up and began reading it. I learned very quickly my friend wasn’t kidding. My eyes were bugging out of my head the entire time I read it because I realized everything Mel Robbins mentioned in this book was me. I was going through a lot of the scenarios she discussed throughout it. Thanks to Mel, I feel like I’m free!
What is The Five Second Rule About?
The Five Second Rule by Mel Robbins is about a practice she created, the appropriately named five second rule. All you have to do is when you feel down and out, when you feel like doing nothing (not getting out of bed, not going to the gym, not going up to that guy or girl and saying “Hi”), you simply count backwards from five – 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – and then yell out (whether in your head or out loud), “GO”. You will actually get up or gather up the courage to go and do it.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Lisa, there’s no way something this simple works. It’s like magic. She’s tricking you into believing this works.”
Magic? No. Science? Yes!
On the contrary, this is something that is backed by science. I mean it’s not like Mel Robbins woke up one day, counted backwards from five, and said, “This is how I’m going to make millions.” No, she did the research before presenting this to the world.
As she explains in this book, “There are all kinds of tricky ways your brain kills your urge to act. Some of my most favorite researchers, professors, and thinkers have written bestsellers and delivered epic TED Talks detailing how our own minds betray us with seemingly endless list of tricks…What all these great researchers have taught me is that the moment you want to change, break a habit, or do something hard or scary, your brain goes to work to stop you…your mind has a million ways to talk you out of acting. That’s the neurological reason why it’s so hard to change…change requires you to do things that are uncertain, scary, or new. Your brain, by design, will not let you do such things. Your brain is afraid of things that feel uncertain, scary, or new, so it will do whatever it can to talk you out of doing those things.”
Many People Back This Up
She continues to go in-depth on how the five second rule works. She gives a plethora of examples throughout the book, showing how doctors and scientists see something like this working. For example, Timothy Wilson, a social psychologist, has written about the psychological intervention “Do good, be good”, which is something that dates back to Aristotle’s time. “Its premise is based on changing people’s behavior first, which in turn changes their self-perception of the kind of person that they are based on the kinds of things that they do. This is precisely why the #5SecondRule is your ally. It is a tool for action and for behavior change aligned with your goals and commitments.”
Motivation is Crap!
One of the main reasons I love The Five Second Rule by Mel Robbins is because it truly inspires you and motivates you to be a better person. However, what’s funny is she doesn’t believe in motivation. She states, “Forget motivation; it’s a myth. I don’t know when we all bought into the idea that in order to change you must 'feel' eager or 'feel' motivated to act. It’s complete garbage. The moment it’s time to assert yourself, you will not feel motivated. In fact, you won’t feel like doing anything at all. If you want to improve your life, you’ll need to get off your rear end and kick your own butt…I call that the power of a push.”
In other words, this book doesn’t motivate you, but pushes you to be a better you. Do you want to quit that job you hate and do what you love? Would you like to go back to school? Or maybe face your fears and overcome anxiety? All of that can happen thanks to the five second rule. Again, this is why I love this book and why I love Mel Robbins. She has truly pushed me to do a couple of things in my life that I otherwise would’ve never done, whether it was because I was being too lazy, or I was too scared to do it.
Examples (It Works!)
Another reason I love this book is because she gives great, mind-blowing examples throughout of people using this rule and doing things they never thought they would do, or they just didn’t want to do for whatever reason. For example, a man finally got the courage to talk to his boss about a raise and got it. There’s also a plethora of examples where people wanted to go to the gym to workout but wouldn’t move. Then they counted backwards from five, yelled “GO!” and then went. However, the most extraordinary example of this rule working is one she gives at the very end of the book. There was a man who was about to commit suicide by jumping off of a ferry. Thankfully, he remembered the five second rule, counted backwards, stepped off the rail, and sought help.
**PSA: If you or if you know someone who is in a deep, dark place and thinks they don’t deserve to be in this world anymore, please know or remind that person that they are an integral part of this world. You are needed, and you are loved. If you ever need anything, please know I am here.**
Now, I have used this straightforward rule a couple of times in my life. I have used it for miniscule “chores” like working out, doing the laundry, or cleaning. But I have also used it for bigger choices: continuing to write and edit my stories, finding clients for my business, starting my blog (this blog), looking up free online courses to continue perfecting my craft, etc. All of this should’ve been done without the five second rule because it is what I love to do, but believe it or not, I needed it. I was being lazy. I was procrastinating and not in a good way. Mel Robbins and the five second rule became my savior because not only did they help me with my daily life, but they also helped me strengthen my relationships.
In the end, the way Robbins concludes her book is, dare I say it, motivating! She says, “Whatever is happening right now, this is it. This is your life. And it’s not going to begin again. You can’t change the past, but in five seconds you can change your future. That’s the power of everyday courage. When your heart speaks, honor it, 5-4-3-2-1- and move. One moment of courage can change your day. One day can change your life. And your life can change the world. There is greatness in you. The time to reveal it is now. 5…4…3…2…1…GO!”
In conclusion, I, obviously, recommend this book, but I also recommend that you start following Mel Robbins on social media and watch her YouTube channel. Honestly, whenever I don’t watch her videos or see her postings on social media, I feel depleted. But when I do, I feel so rejuvenated. You should definitely check out her Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, and also check out her website to learn more about her and/or how you can obtain any of her amazing books, including The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage.
Policies and Disclosure
Please remember I am not getting paid to write this review. I am just a fan and fellow author helping out another great author. To learn more, please check out my Policy page. Also, I would love to hear what you think of this review and of the book, if you’ve read it. You can either comment below (please read my “Comments Policy” on the Policy page before doing so) or contact me.
The photos featured in this post are my photos. The first is my copy of The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage by Mel Robbins. The second is just a small example of the notes I took while reading this book. Finally, the third is my “signature photo”, me with my copy of this incredible book.
**This post was originally published on November 8, 2019**