5 second rule

I bet many of you experienced a situation where you bought a pack of chips and after opening, you realized that there is more air inside that the chips. I have similar feelings regarding the "5 seconds rule" book written by Mel Robbins. The book has over 250 pages and I'm really impressed by the author skills because it is hard to write a pretty long book about the topic that can be described on only one page. Let's take a look at what we can find inside.

5 second rule January 4, 2019

Most of the book is filled with screenshots of the facebook and twitter posts and the author comments. Those posts show how powerful the 5 seconds rule is for many people and it proves that it can turn your life if you will give it a chance. But what this rule is about? 5 seconds rule is a simple trick that is designed to stop negative thinking so you can act before your brain will tell you why you shouldn’t do something.

The Practice

Imagine that you are at the company meeting and suddenly a brilliant idea appeared in your mind. You want to share it with your boss and colleagues but before you raise your hand, thousands of negative thoughts are coming to your brain. It is so hard that you decide to not act and keep the idea for yourself. Later you usually feel a little bit embittered because someone else presented a similar idea or you just lose a chance to level up with your career. 5 seconds rule is a perfect choice for such situations. Let’s get back to the moment when the brilliant idea appeared in your mind for the first time but now we will use the 5 seconds rule. Before the negative thoughts will appear, you start counting backward – 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… and raise your hand. Now there is no other way, it’s showtime. And that’s it.

How does the rule work?

Because our brain is able to process only one thought at a time and counting backward is not something natural, you stop the negative thoughts flow. It is important to take immediate action after you reach 1 otherwise it won’t work. Counting forward does not work in most of the cases because after 5 there is 6 and so on, so you can do it forever. Counting backward forces us to take action because we know that after 0 there is nothing.

The real value

It really depends on you if the mentioned rule will work. But I believe that this rule is not the biggest value covered inside the book. There are two things that we often forget about that really make the difference in life:

  • Fear is a natural human emotion. Just because you are scared of doing something it does not mean that you are weak. Both successful and unsuccessful people experience fear. The biggest difference between them is that the successful people act despite the fear. You should feel more comfortable just with the information that fear is natural and you can’t get rid of it – you have to deal with it.
  • Our body reacts in the same way for stressing and exciting situations. It is good news because we can delude our mind and tell yourself that we are excited about the situation that scares us. As often as you will be using this technique you should take more control over fear and don’t let it stop you from doing things you want.


I highly recommend you to watch the TEDx presentation by Mel Robbins because the described book was created thanks to it.

You can buy the book on Amazon

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