With anything that you want to do, you have to take action before your brain, (your anxiety) interferes and talks you out of it.
You have about a 5 second window.
5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 – GO.
You either do it, or you don’t. If you don’t do it, you probably won’t ever.
Whatever it may be, you have about a 5 second window to decide to act and make it happen before your brain shuts it down.
That’s how efficient anxiety is at holding you back from accomplishing what you know you’re capable of. Time and time again, it stops you dead in your tracks from taking action. You hesitate because you’re fearful, you hesitate because you’re scared, you hesitate because you’re depressed, but you always have a choice. You don’t have to let the anxiety win.
There was a Ted Talk I watched in 2011 by Mel Robbins that hit this topic out of the park:
It’s a phenomenal concept and her book is even better at explaining it:
The best part about it, is it works. It’s particularly effective for those with anxiety.
If you’re plagued by overthinking, worrying, self-doubt, or fear, the 5 second rule needs to be part of your anxiety self help strategy.
With it, and other resources, you can start to make real progress where you don’t feel limited by your anxious thoughts, but empowered by them.
Each anxious thought is an opportunity to implement the 5 second rule.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by anxious thinking.
We can rapidly go from one worry to the next, without any real strategy to overcome them.
Worrying starts to become a cycle and pretty soon, you’ve spent the last hour going over every part of your life that isn’t perfect. Or maybe the last day. Maybe even the last year.
The 5 second rule allows us to turn each anxious thought into an opportunity to act. Do something, anything, to better that situation. Down the road, your future self will thank you for it.
Find yourself worrying about money and finances?
Count yourself down to 5 and do the first thing you can think of to improve that situation. Maybe it’s organizing your finances, calling the bank, or reviewing your retirement funds.
There’s always something you can do.
The point is, there is always something you could be doing today, to put yourself in a better situation tomorrow.
However, we often skip these things and procrastinate because of our anxiety. We get overwhelmed and we shut down. Self doubt, worry, and fear get the best of us.
Recognizing that there is always something you can do allows you to implement the 5 second rule in any situation.
The 5 second rule encourages action
The best thing about the 5 second rule is it’s based around action. The entire philosophy encourages you to act.
Vastly different from other self help, it’s something you can start doing right away.
Never suffer from information overload again.
With most other anxiety advice, there’s always some key concept. Something you have to understand to its full potential to make the most out of it. It’s generally kind of complicated and frustrating. Even after spending the time reading the material, you still don’t feel like you know where to begin.
On the other hand, there are so many self help guides that leave you with information overload. They seem straightforward on the surface, but in reality, they aren’t.
I’m sure you’ve seen the lists. “25 Ways to End Anxiety” “10 Life Lessons for Those with Anxiety” it goes on and on.
How do these authors not understand that a list of things just isn’t practical? You can’t implement that, it’s not a strategy or a way of life.
The 5 second rule is simple and it gets you making changes quickly.