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The 5 Second Rule Can Change Your Life!

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      Mel Robbins discovered what she calls “The 5 Second Rule” during a period in her life “when everything was falling apart.” She explains that she was inspired by watching a NASA launch countdown, and decided that she would use a five second countdown to launch herself out of bed the next morning rather than hitting the snooze button repeatedly. It worked!

      She has since used The 5 Second Rule to create success in many areas of her life including overcoming procrastination, worrying, anxiety and more.

      On her website,, she explains The 5 Second Rule: “The moment you feel yourself hesitate (when you know you should do something) start counting backward 5-4-3-2-1, then GO. The Rule is a proven form of metacognition. When you use it, you shift mental gears, interrupt your habit of overthinking, and awaken your pre-frontal cortex – making change easy. The rule acts as a ‘starting ritual’ that breaks bad habits and triggers positive new behavior change.”

      Since experiencing her personal success with The 5 Second Rule, she has researched why it works to overcome the doubts and hesitancy that cause us to stay in our current state rather than taking action for change. In her 2017 book, The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage, she explains: “…how our own minds betray us with a seemingly endless list of tricks including cognitive biases, the paradox of choice, the psychological immune system and the spotlight effect. 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.”

      “…change requires you to do things that are uncertain, scary or new. Your brain, by design, will not let you do such things… (and) will do whatever it can to talk you out of doing those things. It is part of your hard-wiring and this hesitation happens really fast. That is why you have to act even faster to beat it.”

      “The Rule leverages and is an example of some powerful and proven principles in modern psychology: a bias toward action, internal locus of control, behavioral flexibility, the progress principle, starting rituals, the golden rule of habits, authentic pride, deliberate action, “If-Then Planning,” and activation energy.”

      The book explores those principles in more depth as she shares how to use The Rule in specific areas of your life. She has also included many examples of people succeeding using The 5 Second Rule.

      The 5 Second Rule can be helpful for students who want to overcome procrastinating with homework, fear of asking for help, or managing test anxiety.

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