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The Power of 5 Seconds: Mel Robbins' Rule for Action Over Overthinking

Updated: Jan 23

"I am lost at sea," she said. My client called me this morning. She said she felt like she was in an echo chamber with her own thoughts. And the thoughts were not very nice! She is on the job hunt and has a couple of other things to worry about, and the turning of the new year turned on her anxiety big time. Are you familiar with those moments when your brain seems to be your biggest adversary, holding you back with doubts, fears, and endless overthinking? Enter Mel Robbins' Five Second Rule, a brilliantly simple tool designed to cut through the noise of your thoughts and propel you into action.


Understanding Overthinking

Overthinking is a common trap. It's a spiral of unproductive thoughts that can lead to anxiety, procrastination, and missed opportunities. We often find ourselves stuck in our heads, unable to take that crucial step forward, whether in our personal lives, our careers or in pursuing our passions.


The Five-Second Rule Explained

Mel Robbins, a motivational speaker and author, devised the Five Second Rule to tackle this problem. The rule is as straightforward as it sounds: whenever you have an instinct to act on a goal, you count down from 5 to 1 and then physically move or take action. The countdown is crucial – 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – then move!


Why It Works

The Five Second Rule is effective because it interrupts our brain's worry and procrastination habit loops. It’s a form of metacognition that breaks the cycle of overthinking and triggers forward motion. The countdown requires focus, which distracts you from your worries and excuses. By the time you reach 1, you’re primed to move.


From Thought to Action

The beauty of the Five Second Rule lies in its simplicity and versatility. The rule pushes you to take immediate action, whether it’s getting out of bed when the alarm goes off, starting on a project you’ve been putting off, or even initiating a difficult conversation. It transforms a moment of hesitation into a moment of decision. And, since I'm ALL ABOUT baby steps - this is the only thing I asked her to do today. Just keep doing this all day and then report back.


Transforming Your Life One Countdown at a Time

The cumulative effect of using the Five Second Rule can be profound. Each time you use it, you take a small step towards breaking the habit of overthinking and building the habit of action. Over time, this leads to increased confidence, productivity, and a more proactive approach to life.



Mel Robbins’ Five Second Rule is a powerful tool for mental change. Teaching you to act before your brain can talk you out of it ensures that you’re no longer a prisoner of your thoughts. Try it out, and you may find yourself achieving more than you ever thought possible, five seconds at a time. You can hear Mel talk about it in the video I have linked below.


Remember, the first step towards change is often the hardest, but with the Five Second Rule, you have a simple yet effective strategy to conquer hesitation and transform your life through action. I can't wait to hear how my client did. Hit me up if you would like to explore more!


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