How to Limit Yourself Less or 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins

My first introduction to the 5 Second Rule happened just a couple months ago when I read Mel Robbins’ book. She was also invited as a guest speaker to the Arbonne GTC conference in Las Vegas. Since then I recommended her book and TedX Talk to all my friends. Mel Robbins is the most booked female speaker in the world and after watching her speak at the GTC, I understand why. Since I was unable to attend the conference, I got access to live streams of her sessions and recordings. In this blog post, I will share how the 5 Second Rule affected my life and the key takeaways from her talk in Vegas.


Mel started her speech with a slide about being LIMITLESS which also was the theme of this year’s conference. How do you LIMIT Yourself LESS and make your future LIMITLESS? We all surround ourselves with limits, excuses, fears and self-doubt – “I am too busy”, “I don’t have the skills”, “I don’t quality for this position.” So the gap between your instincts and actions, confidence and self-doubt, courage and fear grows bigger and bigger. More and more we find ourselves hitting that snooze button, watching more Netflix, snapping at people we love, and getting frustrated over tasks that keep piling up.

The key to changing this infinite loop lays in the 5 Second Rule. The moment your brain starts procrastinating, ask yourself what you are stressed about and apply the 5 Second Rule to help you start doing things you are supposed to do. Procrastination is a habit, a short-term stress reliever that works against you.

“By simply counting backwards you override the part of a brain that stores your habits, excuses, all the things that sabotage your success and limit you. Choose what you do next and manage the gap.”

Another topic Mel talked about at the Conference was confidence. Confidence is the willingness to try something new. When you try something, you fall in the confidence competence loop – you either succeed or learn. When you learn something you build new skills. The more you do it, the more confident you become. One way to start saying yes to new responsibilities, new skills is by counting backwards (5..4..3..2..1..) and try something new. Power and the responsibility is in you!

“When you point your finger and blame someone or something for the failures in your life, there are three fingers pointing back at you.”

5 Second Rule Is for Everyone

After reading the book and watching Mel’s TedX talk, I started applying this rule daily. One day I caught myself counting backwards 30 times! Yep, we all have those days when your thoughts are wandering around in the grey, negative space that just keeps sucking you deeper and deeper. I also use this rule when I need to make that uncomfortable call, share my ideas, and ask questions. I am a happier person now, enjoy little moments more and don’t let my self-doubt overtake my life.


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