We all want to transform something about ourselves at some point in time. We want to lose weight, earn more money, build a business, have great relationships with loved ones, expand our horizons, have adventures and help others.
We know what we want to do and we know how to do it. It might be losing 50 lbs of body weight by eating more vegetables and reducing processed sugar intake. Or, maybe you want to write a book to help others become more organized by writing 250 words a day.
But you find yourself not taking action on these important goals. You resist doing anything new. You resist making changes to your environment and doing the hard work of getting the right things done.
You realize you need courage to do the work, to do the things that feel difficult, scary or uncertain.
Instead, you psych yourself out. You give in to fear, anxiety and uncertainty. You choose to believe that you cannot be courageous and courage is reserved for a chosen few.
How wrong you are.
Courage is inside all of us. Courage is waiting for you to grab it and transform your life. And you have the power to do harness your courage. Just you and only you.
Mel Robbins’ 5 second rule
Before you can act or do anything hard or anything you want, you need to make a decision to act. You can make that decision in just five seconds.
Author Mel Robbins explains in her book The Five Second Rule that just before you bolt from doing anything hard, pause and count backward from 5 and then go do the thing you are afraid of.
Yes, it is that simple.
Where can you apply the 5 second rule in your life?
You can apply the 5 second rule in all aspects of your life.
Do you want to lose weight? Pause, count down from 5 and measure your meal. Apply the rule to stopping yourself from going for second helpings and to avoid desserts.
Want to get out of debt? Use the 5 second rule to stop yourself from buying unnecessary items on your credit card. Instead, look to create something instead of buying. Work on that painting you have always had in your mind.
Want to write a book? Use the 5 second rule to outline the chapters or to write a section.
Want to learn a new language? Use the 5 second rule to sign up for a class and to keep showing up to the weekly lessons.
Want to go bungee jumping? Use the 5 second rule to make a booking and request safety training.
You can use the 5 second rule to take courageous steps to break bad habits and make good habits in any area of life. You can use the rule to take steps to becoming more adventurous and to explore.
Why does the 5 second rule work?
Whenever we are faced with transforming an area of our life because it is our own goal, we will need to override default thinking and actions. New goals often require new thinking and new actions.
Most times, we need to act first and get a different result before a change in thinking follows.
In many situations, we are afraid to take action. We need a quick way to override our feelings and thoughts to take the necessary steps toward our goals.
We need to act courageously despite how we think and feel.
We can’t control how we feel but we can develop a bias to action instead of inaction. Many times, inaction appears to be safer choices than action.
You have to ignore your feelings to act in progress to a goal. If we don’t ignore those feelings, we allow our feelings to keep us where we are at. The 5 second rule helps us to override our feelings.
The act of counting down from 5, 5-4-3-2-1, distracts from your anxieties, redirects your attention to what you should be doing, and stops you from submitting to all your urges.
By developing the habit of applying the 5 second rule, we can override anything that triggers the bad habit of bolting from actions that could transform our lives.
By continuously using the 5 second rule to override your default and impulsive actions, you can act and produce results that can shift your thinking and shape a new identity.
Our natural instincts tell us to play life safe and that anything new, including a new way of living, is dangerous. The 5 second rule helps us to override our need for excessive safety and comfort and to default to courageous action. Most times, our transformation is on the other side of discomfort and fears.
Instead of letting fears and worries stop you from fulfilling your dreams, pause for 5 seconds to make the decision that brings you closer to your goal. 5-4-3-2-1 go.
Life is far too precious to spend it living in fear and anxiety of what could have been if only you took action despite your fears and comfort. So before you regret another minute, use the 5 second rule to assert control. Use the 5 second rule to develop a bias for action and to live life to the fullest.
The way forward
Not convinced that the 5 second rule can transform your life? Just try it out for one day. You can apply it to one area of your life or to many areas, it does not matter. I am certain you will transform that day.
When you apply the 5 second rule to all aspects of your life in one day, you will see that it has the potential to create many opportunities for you.
Five seconds is enough to change your behavior and to change how you feel about yourself.
The 5 second rule is a technique that will turn your life around. It is your ticket to an exceptional life. It takes just 5 seconds to push past fears and out of your comfort zone. It takes 5 seconds to help you to override your emotions and impulsive inactions to propel you to the life you are meant to live.