top of page

The 5 Second Rule

I am a huge fan of Mel Robbins.

If you don’t know anything about her, please read on. If you do know about her, read on anyway. :-)

Who is Mel Robbins you might ask?

Mel Robbins is an American coach, podcast host, author, motivational speaker, and former lawyer. She is known for her TEDx talk, "How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over"; and her books, The 5 Second Rule (plus journal) and The High 5 Habit, as well as host of The Mel Robbins Podcast.

After reading this blog post, I hope you to try practicing the 5 second rule and maybe take her free course as well.

The 5 Second Rule is actually very simple. If you have an instinct to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill it. The moment you feel an instinct or a desire to act on a goal or a commitment, use the rule.

When you feel yourself hesitate before doing something that you know you should do, or want to do, count 5-4-3-2-1- take a physical action. Get up, speak up or whatever action fits that something. Procrastination and limiting beliefs begin to seep in after five seconds. The main aim of the 5 second rule is to break your thought pattern while making a decision. With practice, you can change your life.

Think of Rosa Parks. On that day when the bus driver told her to move and stand so a white man could have her seat, (which as near the back of the bus) she said no within a few seconds. Normally she would have waited a little bit longer, then begrudgingly gotten up and moved. But that day she quickly went with her heart and the rest, they say, is history.

Often when we think of something we need to do, we may come up with reasons to put this particular task off. Even though we know the task has to be done, by doing so has its benefits to you. Such as speaking up like Rosa did or you in a meeting, or any situation you’re in.

Using the 5 second rule in these moments acts as a prevention for talking ourselves out of doing it.

The moment you feel an instinct or a desire to act on a goal or commitment, use the rule.

Think of a rocket ship taking off. Mission control counts down, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, BLAST OFF and off into space the ship goes. The blast off is the action. If after five seconds you haven’t taken a physical action, excuses begin to flood your mind.

Basically, the physical action comes from the heart, (what we really want) where hesitating comes from the brain, (our self doubt and excuses). Mel gets into the science behind this.

Here are just a few examples of when to use the 5 Second Rule:

Before giving a talk at a public event.

Before going for a run, to yoga class, or another form of exercise.

Before going to a social occasion.

Before a negotiation.

When you get angry and before you start to argue.

When you get impatient while driving and before you beep your horn.

Before you reach for a cigarette/drink when you’re trying to quit.

Before partaking in any negative habit, such as biting nails.

The list is endless and the rule can be used everyday,

The problem isn’t the idea itself, it’s the not acting on it/them. You’ve pulled your “emergency brake” and stopped the action. Take a moment and think about a time when you wish you had taken action on a task, but pulled the brake instead.

Next time you are in that or a similar situation, use this method and see the benefit if has for you. Or just try it anytime you're making a choice out of habit. This is one of the best coaching tools and I like to use with my clients so they can better their lives. If you would like to learn more and go deeper with this life changing tool, go here and it’s free!

5-4-3-2-1 Blast Off!

You can do it and make your life better.



Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page