5, 4, 3, 2, 1 … Go!
If you’re thinking this is a count-down for a rocket launch, you’re close; the only difference is that, here the ‘rocket’ resembles your own body, which you need to ignite and launch into action, as soon as you get the impulse to do it – And you’ve got just 5 seconds in your hand before you talk yourself out of it!
Oh, and it’s not me laying out this ‘brain-hack’; it’s Mel Robbins, our Influencer for this BLOGSpeaK Post, who also happens to be a highly sought after motivational speaker and coach, trusted by global brands and a contributing editor to SUCCESS magazine.
Mel, who started her career as a criminal defense attorney, catapulted herself into fame by being CNN’s most popular on-air commentators and not to mention through her Ted Talk, ‘How To Stop Screwing Yourself Over’; which currently has over 12 million views.
She also wears the hat of an author of business bestsellers such as, ‘Stop Saying You’re Fine’ and most recently ‘The 5 Second Rule’, which is considered as a simple yet profoundly practical solution - To help us become the best version of ourselves, by beating fear and uncertainty; breaking the habit of procrastination and self-doubt and most importantly, developing courage and the habit to not hold ourselves back!
Today, we explore some of Mel Robbin’s ideas into the role ‘motivation’ plays in our lives; how our minds are designed to protect us and how can we ‘hack’ our brain to serve us and push ourselves to lead a more productive, engaging and fulfilling life:
Motivation Is ‘Garbage’
How many times have we motivated and promised ourselves to do the things we so wanted to do - only to drop the idea when the actual moment to ‘pull the trigger’ comes by? Well, countless times, if I’m not mistaken.
Mel Robbins says, we’ve all bought into this ‘lie’ that we’ve got to ‘feel’ ready in order to make the change.
We read inspiring books; spend thousands of dollars on motivational, personal & professional development courses and events; join the gym and enroll into weight-loss programmes, get all pumped and fired-up to nail every one of our goals…
But when the moment comes next morning; when our alarm goes off; we hardly think twice and quickly hit the snooze-button – we go back to sleep. Because we don’t quite ‘feel’ ready at that particular moment; our mind plays the procrastination game and tells us; ‘You can always start again tomorrow’.
Where did all that ‘motivation’ go? What happened to all that ‘pent up’ energy that you were so brimming up with last night, just before you went to sleep?
Our Brains Are Designed To Protect Us
The truth, as Mel points out is – we're fed and we bought into this false notion that at some point we’re going to ‘feel’; we will have the courage or confidence to make it happen; and we believe ‘motivation’ is the missing link; which is absolutely not true!
The fact of the matter is; “Our brains are not wired or designed to do things that are uncomfortable, difficult or scary”. Our intellect or conscience may want to explore and try out new things; but when it comes to actual implementation – our brains take over and maintain the status quo… because it knows the ‘status-quo’ is keeping you alive.
Eventhough our human lives have evolved and our environments have become much safer, our brains are still living in the pre-historic age – reluctant to take the un-treaded path; in fear of being attacked by a saber-toothed tiger; or afraid to eat an unknown fruit for the same reason. In these modern times the brain treats any new activity or habit that is outside of its ‘comfort zone’ as a step into the unknown – be it going to the gym; starting a writing routine; or starting a new business.
Mel points out the key lies in our ingrained habit to ‘hesitate’. How many times have we thought of something great to say in a meeting, but hesitated to say it, only to let that moment pass by? It’s exactly at this micro-moment in time; when you hesitate that there’s a stress signal sent to the brain – which wakes up the brain, and as you have it; the brain takes this signal and magnifies it a hundred times to treat is as a threat; something it will avoid at all cost – to protect you!
The 5 Second Rule
There is however, a way to get out of this vicious routine of letting the brain have its way and rob you of your desires and aspirations.
It’s the ‘5 Second Rule’ which Mel teaches in her book. The rule is backed by research as a metacognition tool helping to create immediate and sustained behaviour change.
Whenever you feel an instinct to act on a goal or commitment; or it could be any moment you’re starting to hesitate on an action you know you should act upon – You can use the ‘5 Second Rule’.
It could be waking up to your alarm (and just before you hesitate and hit that snooze button) – start by counting backwards to yourself 5-4-3-2-1… the counting acts as a vehicle to help you focus on the goals; it takes you away from worries and fears that could sabotage your commitment. And just when you hit the number 1 … MOVE!
It’s as simple as that, and it works anytime you have the urge there’s something you should do; and you feel the hesitation, uncertainty or fear. Counting backwards 5-4-3-2-1 will help you quiet your mind and prevent the brain from pulling the ‘emergency brakes’.
Mel reiterates that ‘counting’ and ‘moving’ are both actions and by teaching yourself to take action, you will always beat your ‘thinking’ mind to interrupt and hold you back!
Here’s a nifty infographic from BuildingTheLifeYouLove on how ‘The 5 Second Rule’ can work for you:
We trust by implementing the ideas shared in this blog, that they may guide you to pursue your goals, commitments or resolutions, and catapult you to live a productive, meaningful, legendary, personal and professional life!
If you'd like further assistance or would like to discuss anything covered today, we'd love to hear from you.
Call Andy Fox (me) on (03) 5249 5570 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Website is www.element7digital.com.au