The 5 Second Rule & A Comfort Zone Challenge Update
Last week’s blog was all about Gratitude and ways to implement it as a part of your daily life. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, I do hope you’ll take a minute to do so. Gratitude is such a powerful mindset tool, and I would encourage you to give it a try in your own life. It is easy to add a gratitude practice to your days as part of a self-care routine, and the benefits from it are noticed quickly. I love when things are helpful, and also when it doesn’t take a lot of time to see results.
This week I’m talking about another mindset tool that quite literally changed my life and how I approach many different areas both personally and professionally. Mel Robbins is the author of The 5 Second Rule, and many other great self-help books, and I feel so grateful that I found her work when I did. I had hit a rough patch in my life a few years ago, and I was going through a lot of transitions all at once. Overwhelm had become such a part of my daily life, that I lived in a pretty constant state of fear and anxiety. Once I discovered The 5 Second Rule and how powerful of a cognitive tool it is, I started to reclaim my life and get things back on track.
So, in today’s blog, I want to spend a little bit of time giving an introduction to this powerful mindset helper. I highly highly highly recommend Mel Robbins and her amazing work. I would love to think I’m immulating her in my own work, so I have to pass on the awesomeness that I’ve discovered.
What is The 5 Second Rule
I really am a Mel Robbins super fan, and I am so grateful to have found her books and her work. The 5 Second Rule is a self-help tool based on science, so of course I love it! I tend to think of it as a motivational tool, but it can be used in so many different ways. The idea is that any time you have a thought towards pushing yourself or motivating yourself or going after your dreams to live your best life, you have about 5 seconds to act or your brain will kill the idea.
Instead of letting your brain kill the idea, what would it be like to count backwards from 5 to 1 and then move?
Let me give you an example of how this could be implemented into your life right now. Let’s say you are wanting to work out after you get home from work tonight, but when you get home you feel so tired that all you want to do is watch Netflix or take a nap. When you get home, you can give in to the impulse to lay on the couch, or you can give yourself the 5 second countdown to sit with the feeling of not wanting to work out, but then once you get to 1, you do it anyway. It really is that simple, and it works!
That’s just one small example of how The 5 Second Rule could be used, but the applications are limitless. The idea is to interrupt the pattern of not doing the things you want to be doing and give yourself a “push” towards growth. How would your life change if you stopped standing in your own way, and started living out your goals and dreams?
Motivation is Bullshit
When I first discovered The 5 Second Rule, I purchased the book through Audible (Sidenote, I believe you can get this book for free if you sign up for Audible). I would listen to it as I drove to and from work each day, and I loved how matter of factly Mel Robbins spoke about things. It felt so relatable, and I really appreciated the fact that she not only teaches others how to live their best life, but she also uses the things she teaches in her own life.
As I was driving along one day, I heard her say so clearly, “Motivation is Bullshit!” and I couldn’t help but giggle and agree. She went on to explain that we will probably never feel motivated to do the things that need to be done, but that doesn’t stop them from needing to be done.
Dang…It was a love/hate moment for me.
I knew I couldn’t go back to the moment before I knew that truth, and oh boy did it ring out loud and clear for me. Whether I was putting off cleaning out the cat litter until the very last minute, I was avoiding making return phone calls to people that were waiting to hear from me, or I was just not getting out of bed in the morning when I didn’t feel like it, I realized she was so right! I never felt particularly motivated to do those things, but it didn’t stop them from needing to be done.
I’m a big believer that we can’t un-know things, and as much as I hated realizing the truth in her words, I also found a new sense of acceptance about the things I was putting off or avoiding. It’s like I felt validated that there are tasks we never look forward to, but I realized that I was the one standing in my own way of making progress. I started to feel a subtle but profound change in how I was approaching my daily tasks, and I started seeing a shift in my thinking. By using The 5 Second Rule, I was able to stop procrastinating, and I increased my productivity dramatically. I also felt less at odds with myself and less annoyed when doing those tasks I don’t love doing.
It was and still is amazing, and I am always finding new ways to use The 5 Second Rule!
Flip the Script
After the section on motivation being bullshit, Mel hit me with another point of awesomeness. She was talking about the script in our heads and the ways think about and have an internal dialogue related to those things in our lives that “have” to be done. Since she had already established that procrastinating and not doing those things was not the answer, there had to be a better way to approach the process of actually doing them. Flipping the script is the process of changing “I have to” into “I get to”.
Once I heard this, it was like the gears in my head clicked into place. The way we approach the items on our daily to-do list has so much to do with how we feel about doing them. For example, if the moment my alarm goes off in the morning, my first thought is, “ugh! I have to get up now…”, it feels like a chore or a burden. If instead, I think to myself, “yay! I get to get up and start this new day!”, it feels a lot less like a chore or a burden and a lot more like a gift I’m excited to receive.
I know I know, you’re reading this thinking, “wtf Lindsay, that sounds like fake happiness” and I totally understand why you’re thinking this. I promise you it’s not fake, and I’m not asking you to be fake. There is some truth to the idea of “faking it til you make it”, but what I’m asking you to do is to imagine shifting your own script from what you “have to do” into what you “get to do” and see how it feels. It’s not magic, but I am a believer we get to choose our reactions and respond to the world from a place of power and not as a victim.
Comfort Zone Challenge Update
I do hope you’ve been challenging yourself to jump out of our comfort zone. If you are finding yourself wanting to and then talking yourself out of things, maybe you could try to use The 5 Second Rule as a way to push yourself a bit. Growth doesn’t happen if we stay in our comfort zone, which is why I am continuing my Comfort Zone Challenge indefinitely.
In my opinion, nothing feels as bad or as scary as staying stuck in my own way. By using The 5 Second Rule and continuing with my Comfort Zone Challenge, I feel more empowered. I used to feel like life was passing me by and I was just along for the ride. As soon as i started challenging myself, I felt a noticeable shift in how I view the world and how I approach things in my life.
If you aren’t sure where to start or if you need someone to help keep you accountable, I’m always here to support and help you on your journey.
Work with Me
If you are interested in setting up an appointment for therapy, life coaching, or consulting or if you would like more information about ways to use gratitude, how to implement self-care into you own life or ways to use The 5 Second Rule, you can call my office directly at 314-485-9189 or feel free to send me a message. My direct email address is email@example.com and you can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for more life and relationship tips!
I will be launching a number of new workshops and coaching groups in the next few months, so there will be many ways to connect and work with me! Stay tuned for details on them coming soon!
Therapy Thoughts Workshops
If you are local to the St. Louis area and interested in attending my monthly Therapy Thoughts Workshops, I would love to have you join the discussion. With school starting this month, things get a bit hectic for everyone, so we have decided hold the next workshop in September. It will be Wednesday, September 18, 2019 from 7:30pm-8:30pm, and it will at the The Bike Stop Cafe in St. Charles. We will be continuing the discussion about relationships, and I will let you know the exact topic very soon. Just a reminder, the cost is $5 to get in, and this gets you $2 off any drink of your choice as well as entry into the attendance raffle drawings. I hope to see you there!
Therapy Thoughts Podcast
My Therapy Thoughts podcast is re-launching next week, and I am so excited!!! It will be available in both audio and visual formats eventually, but for now it will be available through my website at this link. I am really looking forward to having this up and running again, and I am so grateful to all of you for your continued support. Also, remember to make sure you are following my social media platforms and make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel, so you will be able to watch all the episodes once I have the videos ready to go!