I’m in the middle of reading Mel Robbins’ book The 5 Second Rule. If you have not read it it is about using the 5 second rule to change your life. The basic principle is that when you have an instinct or inclination to do something, especially those things that help you toward your goals that you may not want to do, you should countdown from 5 then physically move to start doing it. You count down because after you get to one our habit will be to internally say something like, “Go!,” or, “Blastoff,” making it easier to begin the task. You use that 5 seconds to focus on counting to stop your brain from creating obstacles or excuses that prevent you from beginning. Beyond this being a great tool to redirect your behaviors there are some great insights in the rule itself.
One that particularly stood out to me was that we use adjectives to define ourselves. “I’m just a procrastinator,” or, “I’m a worrier,” are things we’ve all at least heard if not used to describe ourselves. For me it’s not standing up for myself. The thing about this book that I’m enjoying is that it isn’t that I’m a pushover or a doormat, it’s that I’ve let myself get into the habit of not standing up for myself. The difference may be subtle but it is powerful.
When you use things you do you subconsciously use that to define your personality and character. Making it as permanent as your DNA and that birthmark you hate. However, personality is changeable. A lot of how we act is nurture, not nature. So, changing that thought in your brain to, “I’ve made a habit of procrastinating,” gives you back the power to change it.
Yes, change is easier said than done. Partly because your brain is designed to keep you in your comfort zone. We’re not in the wild anymore however, so getting out of our comfort zones is typically where we find that inner peace we all search for. Growth and change are hard but doable. You just have to find the courage to 5-4-3-2-1, blastoff!
This year for me is all about “action.” I want to start acting on the things that have scared me in the past. Those things I overthink and get anxiety over. Heck, even writing this blog post would have caused me anxiety in the past because this is about me, something I’m doing, something I’m buying into. That’s usually a little too real for me. It’s easier to talk about things from an academic point of view. But where’s the risk in that.
An example is my Grocery Cart Incident post, that happened in the summer. Over 6 months ago. I wanted to write about it but I was terrified of the judgmental moms out there. But, I decided to say fuck it and write it anyway. I even hit publish! Share some things you want to do but are scared of doing.