The 5 Second Rule Book Review – how it can change your life

I read this book in a time in my life when I was going through severe anxiety. I, like a lot of my readers, suffer from this disease and have a lot of trouble coping with it.

In this book, it was said that Mel Robbins, the author, could cure you of anxiety in just five seconds. Now I know what you’re thinking, 5 seconds? Really? Well, I was exactly the same except I decided to take a chance. I was so sick of panic attacks and this constant feeling of anxiousness that I was willing to try anything, and boy am I glad that I decided to.

Transform your life, work, and confidence with everyday courage

The concept is a simple one but a great one.

The premise is that any time you feel you SHOULD be doing something, saying something or acting on something you count 5-4-3-2-1 and go. It’s that simple. We’ll drive into some elements in this review but as a starting point that is all, there is to it. It’s about acting on these impulses before your brain gives you time to second guess it.

One of the examples Mel Robbins gives is a man at a bar. He sees an attractive girl and wants to approach her. In the next 5 seconds, his brain will start berating him with thoughts like, what if she’s not interested, what if she’s rude, what if she just wants to be with her friends, what if, what if. If you can catch yourself and act before this happens you are much more likely to follow through with your objective than if you don’t. In point of fact, you WILL follow through with it regardless of the payout. Just 5-4-3-2-1 and go.

How the situation turns out is irrelevant. Do they end up hitting it off and going home together? Does she politely speak with him but nothing further eventuates? Is she a total bitch and in the end not worth his time? It doesn’t matter. What matters is, the more times that you practice this 5-second rule the more likely you are for it to pay off.

The Prefrontal Cortex and how it applies to you

The Prefrontal Cortex is the cerebral cortex covering the front part of the Frontal Lobe. And this is what we are going to activate when we 5-4-3-2-1. This brain region has been implicated in planning complex cognitive behavior, personality expression, decision-making, and moderating social behavior. The basic activity of this brain region is considered to be the orchestration of thoughts and actions in accordance with internal goals. The most typical psychological term for functions carried out by the prefrontal cortex area is an executive function.

Executive function relates to abilities to differentiate among conflicting thoughts, determine good and bad, better and best, same and different, future consequences of current activities, working toward a defined goal, prediction of outcomes, expectation based on action, and social “control” (the ability to suppress urges that, if not suppressed, could lead to socially unacceptable outcomes). The frontal cortex supports concrete rule learning, which is where something like the 5-second rule can be implemented and therefore literally imprinted into your brain.

Using this part of your brain is one of the main ways that psychiatrists help people with depression, anxiety or other mental health barriers, rethink and retrain themselves using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT. With the premise of this book in mind and using the 5-second rule, we can create a change in ourselves that will if practiced, become part of who we are and therefore easier to put into action each time we apply it. So when a situation or occurrence presents itself, along with the 5-4-3-2-1, you will activate your ‘Prefrontal Cortex’ and physically move toward that goal before other parts of your brain start giving you a reason as to why you shouldn’t do that.


This is definitely a great one and its concept is simple. In just 5 seconds you can literally change your outlook and your thinking. In just 5 seconds you can choose to go from sad to happy, from anger to calm, from not achieving to achieving, from no success to on your way TO success.

In this book Mel Robbins explains the rule and how it changes her life, she also shares the stories of other people and how it changed their lives too. It’s written simply and plain for all to see. She holds nothing back and her motivation in doing so is purely out of her desire to try to help others.

There’s no overwhelming motivation in here, the book only makes you face yourself and admit that the only person standing between yourself and what you could really achieve is yourself. What is standing in your way? You! Not your condition, your mental health or otherwise, not your family or society. As human beings, we have that gift to ignore what’s happening around us, if we want something so bad, even if it is silly or futile, but we always manage to find an excuse when it comes time to achieve something we really long for.

That’s what this book is about, stop lying around and lying to yourself and start doing what really matters to you. All you need is your own motivation and you can 5-4-3-2-1 into a better life.

Trust me, I’m living proof.


Enjoyed the book? Sign up for her Power of You course below.

If you enjoyed this review or need help with anything else, please leave a comment below and I will get back to you.

Love & smiles,


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