Saturday, September 29, 2018

The Five Second Rule {Books}

Internal motivation has most always been a struggle for me. Any takers? And the last three years especially as I've dealt with chronic health issues after my concussion that doubled my fatigue level, brain fog, and physical strength. The desire to find something to be motivated by was just gone. 

It's been so hard to become inefficient as a person due to issues beyond my control, but has been absolutely pivotal to my personal growth - to realize how much internal emphasis I put on being a "productive" person - and also emphasis on being a person who earned her way or earned her right to have the kind of life she wants. A lot of words kept popping up in my self-talk, like deserve, and worth, and strive. So that negative self talk has had to GO. Through a long bout of therapy, neurofeedback, and a massive practice of self-compassion and more brain-healing practices, I am beginning to see the fruits!

But because I have been trying to reframe the productive/performance-driven part of me, I've also experienced some major inertia, although this felt freeing and so healing for a while. Then...I kinda got stuck. Real stuck. Like not getting out of bed, deep depression stuck.

A short while ago I stumbled onto Mel Robbins' Instagram page and she had me fascinated by her message of grounded empowerment. I reserved her book The 5 Second Rule at the library and finally got it and got down to business!

The 5 Second Rule

"The moment you have an instinct to act on a goal you must 5-4-3-2-1 and physically move or your brain will stop you."

According to Mel, "inside every decision there exists five seconds of courage that can change everything in our lives." It's not about having the right answers, it's just about taking the action to make an actual decision and move forward.

Using the 5-4-3-2-1 countdown, a person is able to tap into their own inner courage and their inner instincts, and to honor both those by taking action. The countdown then go retrains the brain and reframes mindset when used consistently over time. It takes a person out of their feelings about things and gives the brain a tool to use to form new habits and new pathways. We all know feelings are good. But sometimes feelings all the feelings can backfire, especially if you're a person who already feels the feels about the feels.

Mel says, "When you start to count 5-4-3-2-1, it is the beginning of a chain reaction that not only awakens the prefrontal cortex, but also gets you ready to make that physical 'initial huge push' that's required to change."

More quotes I love from Mel:

"When you 5-4-3-2-1 push yourself forward you'll discover the magic in your life and you open yourself up to the world, to opportunity, and to possibility. You might not get the girl, the part, or the response you wanted but that's not the point. In the end, you'll get something way cooler - you'll discover the power inside of you."

"Change requires you to act deliberately, despite how you feel."

Here's how I see the 5 second rule working in my own life:

- getting out of bed in the morning - no snooze button! SO HARD. Not great at it yet. ("If you have change your morning routine, you can change anything")
- choosing how to respond to and engage with my kids and my husband.
- choosing how I engage with friends and people at my place of employment
- deciding to go back to school in the subject area that I genuinely love
- deciding how to engage with my recurrent depression and self-talk - for example, are my feelings something that need to be given space and air, or is it just the ANTS invading (automatic negative thoughts)?
- continuing to work on my side hustles despite my huge self-doubt
- ETC!

All these things are all the small decision that make up LIFE! So all in all I'd say the 5 second rule has impacted me in a very positive way. I highly recommend Mel's book, if just to get your own wheels turning about where you're at with change, action, feelings, and growth. All good stuff.

Want more? She has a TED talk here that is worth a viewing and she makes a compelling case against the snooze button! Here's her Instagram again, and her book, the 5 Second Rule.

What about you? How have you battled personal inertia when you felt the time was right to change? 

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