Mel Robbins was 41 years old, unemployed, on the brink of bankruptcy, constantly fighting with her husband, and slowly but surely becoming dependent on alcohol.
Her life was a complete mess and rapidly spiralling out of control.
This is her story, about how, in a moment of inspiration, she discovered the secret to beating the soul-destroying habit of hesitating.
She finally woke up!
As human beings, we are not designed to do things that are uncomfortable, or scary, or difficult. Our brains are designed to protect us from those things.
But, to do the things you know you want to do with your life and with your work, you’re going to have to do things which are uncomfortable, and scary, and difficult.
And you are NEVER going to feel motivated to do them.
At some point in life we all hit a moment when things are just not going how we thought they would.
So why is it so difficult to do the little things that would significantly improve our lives?
Well, it turns out that our minds protect us from uncomfortable, scary, and difficult actions through the habit of hesitating.
During this process, our minds perceive and magnify the risks in order to pull us away from something it deems to be a problem. And so we automatically and habitually hesitate.
In that tiny window, our emotions rise up and take over. Our good intentions are gone in the blink of an eye, and with them our hopes and dreams.
These tiny decisions (and habits are decisions after all) can take you so far off track that you look at your life and think “How the heck did I get here?”
The answer is because you got caught in the knowledge < > action gap, in which you know what you need to do, but you just can’t seem to make yourself do it.
Motivation, it seems, is never there when you need it.
The solution, however, is close at hand. There is a method of moving quickly from knowledge to action without stagnating in the soul-destroying ‘gap’.
The first thing to realise is that you already have the answer, you just didn’t know it yet.
It is as simple and easy as counting backwards, Five > Four > Three > Two > One.
5 > 4 > 3 > 2 > 1
That’s all there is to it.
The trick is that if you don’t act on your intention within five seconds of thinking about it, your brain will step in and talk you out of doing it (remember your brain is wired to stop you from doing things that are uncomfortable, scary, or difficult).
If you don’t act within the first 5 seconds of your idea, then you most likely won’t act on it at all.
A precious five-second window in which you can choose to move from idea to action.
When you count backwards – five, four, three, two, one – what you are actually doing is you’re interrupting what psychologists call ‘habit loops’ that get encoded as closed-loop patterns in your brain.
Your job then is to learn how to move from the ideas that could change your life to putting them into action.
What’s more, it costs you nothing, and it is backed by science. A really cool tool.
In the TrainSmart Diploma of Leadership and Management course you will learn other valuable skills to help you bridge the knowledge < > action gap (we figure that you can already count backwards).
When you understand the power of a 5 second decision, and you realise that you always have a choice to go from autopilot (habit) to decision-maker, everything changes.
You will become aware of the amount of garbage you put in the way of your hopes, of your dreams, of your potential. Everything comes down to the decisions you make in that tiny five second window of opportunity.
So, once you learn the new skill of the five-second rule, it becomes a ritual that will trigger you to act with new-found confidence and courage.
And you will become the kind of person who moves from thinking about doing something to actually doing it.
You always knew what to do, you just didn’t know how to make yourself do it.