The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage

The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage

by Mel Robbins

The TEDx Talk about The 5 Second Rule was viewed over 18 million times on YouTube. The 5 Second Rule itself was the top nonfiction book on Audible and sixth most-read book on Amazon in 2017, and it was named Audible's 2017 Book of the Year in the category of self-development.

Summary Notes

Part 1. The 5 Second Rule

If you're searching for that person who will change your life look in the mirror.” -Mel Robbins

The 5 Second Rule can be used in many aspects of our lives: to push ourselves to go to the gym, to control our emotions, or to rise every day with confidence and courage. The most difficult are the smallest things like speaking in a meeting, stepping onto a dance floor, hitting “send” or “call,” or raising a hand.

It is not good to wait to “feel like doing it” or for the right moment. There is a powerful connection between our brains and the instinct to act. In five seconds we make a decision and push ourselves. If not, we lose the momentum—there is a five-second window between the initial instinct to act and losing the courage to do something. Counting distracts from excuses and focuses our minds on acting.

If we want to change a bad habit, we must replace the behavior pattern. If we use the 5 Second Rule every day, it will become part of our behavior and will trigger new, positive patterns.

Actions to take

Part 2. The Power of Courage

You validate your ideas by pursuing them.” -Mel Robbins

Courage is a push that unlocks opportunities that are behind what is scary, uncertain, and difficult. We cannot wait for the “right time” to improve our lives. That is an excuse. We avoid an action only because of fear of rejection, failure, or looking bad. We can be afraid and do it anyway.

Our feelings are responsible for our decisions, even when we know they are not the right ones. We cannot control how we feel, but we can control how we act by ignoring our feelings. The counting back interrupts the usual pattern of behavior and distracts from feelings. By changing our behavior, we change our self-perception.

Actions to take

Part 3. Courage Changes Your Behavior

Nothing will work unless you do.” -Maya Angelou

The 5 Second Rule is very helpful in the areas of health, productivity, and procrastination. All diets, exercise programs, workout classes, yoga, and other things that have a positive impact on our health have in common that we HAVE TO DO them. Although we feel that it won’t be easy, the 5 Second Rule can help us start acting.

When you want to increase productivity, the key word is focus. We have to manage distractions to focus on what’s truly important. We are most productive in the first two to three hours of the day, so it is good to plan to do the most important tasks in the morning.

Many people think that procrastination is the result of avoiding work. The truth is that it is caused by stress and the fact that we want to feel good right now. If we cope with stress by knowing the reason for procrastination, we can eliminate it.

Actions to take

Part 4. Courage Changes Your Mind

Rule your mind, or it will rule you.” -Horace

By using the 5 Second Rule, we can cope with problems like worry or anxiety.

Worrying doesn't solve any problem. Think about it as a default setting of our minds when we don’t pay attention. You may stop worrying just by reminding your brain to focus on the positive aspects of the situation and life.

Another problem is anxiety. The key to beating it is understanding what stands behind it.

To beat fear, it is important to find an “anchor thought,” something positive that we can expect after overcoming the fear and do what we are afraid of.

Actions to take

Part 5. Courage Changes Everything

All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” -Walt Disney

Confidence in ourselves is built through acts of everyday courage. It is created by the small things that we do every day that build trust in ourselves. Too often we downplay the importance of small things that in reality are not small at all. Nothing is easy until we practice it.

Passion plays an important part in our lives. Finding it is an active process and should be based on our curiosity. Also, if we are jealous of someone, that can be a clue to what we really want.

To take care of our relationships, it is crucial to not avoid having a conversation, asking hard questions, or saying “I love you.” And one of the worst enemies is silence, which creates distance. If we want to say something but are afraid, then 5-4-3-2-1 SAY it!

Actions to take

Don’t just read. Act.
Read comprehensive summaries and discover carefully compiled action lists for active learning
Phone Phone

Our site saves small pieces of text information (cookies) on your device in order to deliver better content and for statistical purposes. You can disable the usage of cookies by changing the settings of your browser. By browsing our website without changing the browser settings you grant us permission to store that information on your device.