Decision Making in 5 Seconds or Less The 5 Second Rule

5 second rule decision making

Decision making time. Are you going to go after the life you want, or are you going to keep waiting until it finds you? I heard this (or something like it) on the season finale of This is Us and I loved it.

Have you ever heard of Mel Robbins? No, she’s not a relative of Anthony Robbins but their occupations are similar. She’s a life coach, author, motivational speaker and commentator for CNN.

I recently discovered Mel when I watched her Ted Talk and fell in love with her philosophy that she calls the 5 Second Rule, and it really speeds up the decision making process.

It’s so true, and if you haven’t heard about it I’m sure you’ll relate to it; and can understand how it can help with decision making.

The 5 Second Rule – Our Brain Melts Down

When you have a thought to do something you have 5 seconds to take action before your brain talks you out of it. Our brain doesn’t like to do new things. It loves the comfort zone. The problem is nothing happens in the comfort zone.

Our brain freaks out and says things such as: Whoa, you can’t do that, we’ve never done it before, or why are you doing that it’s a dumb idea; or don’t do that because it won’t work, we always do it this way… Even though what we usually do doesn’t give us the result we want.

I’m sure you’ve tried to give up something and experienced your brain doing this. You go without a cigarette, coffee, or sugar and your brain freaks out telling you that you can’t go without it.

An example Mel uses in her Ted Talk is when you’re at a function and get a feeling to walk up to someone and introduce yourself. If you don’t get walking within the 5 seconds your brain will start giving you reasons why you shouldn’t walk up to them.

The 5 Second Rule – I Don’t Feel Like it

Another topic she covers is  we don’t get where we want to in life because we don’t “feel like” doing the stuff we must do to get there. Which is true. You’ve heard the saying everyone wants to be rich and thin but only a few are willing to do what it takes to lose weight or make more money.

Change takes work and although we want many things to change in our life, we don’t feel like doing what it takes. Following her 5 second rule is a way to get past this so we can make decisions that will get us where we want.

The 5 Second Rule – Make a Decision and Take Action

To get what we want, we have to go after what we want. When you get an idea and don’t do something within 5 seconds you probably won’t do it. If you thought it, there must be a reason.

With her example of walking up to someone your brain will tell you things like they don’t want to meet you, or they’re out of your league to know. Such as meeting someone like Anthony Robbins. But they could very well be the person who’ll help you make changes.

Meeting them could lead to something wonderful. Perhaps they’ll become a business partner, or give you a lead on an amazing job. Your gut and heart told you to introduce yourself, so go with them because they’re the ones that want you to get everything you want in life.

Your brain just wants to keep you safe, and if you don’t do anything out of your normal zone you won’t get hurt.

The 5 Second Rule – The Simplest Action Works

Mel suggests writing an idea down once you get it. You don’t have to start it if it’s something like an idea for a marketing plan, or another project that takes time. But, if it’s something you need to do right away such as introducing yourself you should take action within 5 seconds.

I’ve started using her 5 second rule because it makes so much sense. It’s really helped with my decision making process. If you’d like to find out more about her book, check it out on Amazon.

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