Use a Countdown to Get You From Stationary to Extraordinary

Written by Posted On Monday, 04 May 2020 22:03

Did you know that your success, your happiness and your personal power may be tied to a simple decision, made in 5 seconds or less? According to bestselling author Mel Robbins, it’s within the five seconds of making a decision that you will either go forward on the idea or your brain will talk you out of it….that fast! 

In her book, “The 5 Second Rule” Mel directly states, “If you have an impulse to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill the idea.”

How many times has your intuition asked you to “go for it” and your “other brain” held you back to “think about it?  According to Robbins, in that tiny five second conversation with yourself lies your success or failure.   

Whether it is productivity, success, goals, more money or a new relationship, it starts with that conversation in your brain to take action or let it slip away… all happening in this small framework of time. 

According to science, we are hard wired to protect ourselves from new ideas that may put us out “there”. This action is often the barrier to allowing us to have what we want in our lives and not getting due to the inevitable pause that immediately will follow.

If you are like most of us, it may not be more discipline that we need, or a firehose in the morning to get out of bed and to the gym, but a new way of forming the habit of harnessing the five second countdown to take action in the moment.  

So if you are wondering why you aren’t seizing the moment, here are a few tips from Mel’s wisdom to help you jumpstart your success:

• Know that using the countdown can help project you into the uncomfortable for the moment, but will advance your productivity and personal power as you build confidence. 
• If you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, it might be your unwillingness to step out and speak up.  Life offers you opportunities all day long, but saying yes might require a new habit to countdown, just like a rocket being launched into space with a 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 BLAST OFF!  Let’s start talking ourselves INTO success instead OUT of it every day.
• Know that everyone who steps out takes a chance on looking stupid, getting criticized by our peers or more painfully, especially by our family.  The only way to change is to change the conversation in your head with YOU, and only YOU have the responsibility to either enjoy the consequences of your decision….good or not so good.
• If you still find yourself stuck in no action, practice the “5-4-3-2-1” countdown on smaller decisions first.  Mel recommends new actions like setting your alarm 30 minutes earlier, suiting up for a walk or a trip to the gym, or choosing that healthy breakfast.  Change is evident in small steps that lead to big outcomes, so start with knowing that YOU are the barrier between massive joy and enjoyment or status quo…all happening in that tiny 5 second space of self-talk.

Decide what you will do in your next 5 seconds to take your life from dull to dynamic!   

Note: Mel is amazing on this concept and for more information on the “5 second Rule” visit her website

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Terri Murphy

Terri Murphy, Communication engagement specialist, author, speaker, consultant, and Master Coach with Workman Success.  She is the author of 5 books, TedTalk speaker and co-radio host on Contact: or Email:

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