Book Review

 Mel Robbins' book, "The 5 Second Rule" is available on Amazon. (no affiliation.)

Mel Robbins' book, "The 5 Second Rule" is available on Amazon. (no affiliation.)

Book Review

The 5 Second Rule is three things:

  1. how Mel Robbins (no relation to Tony Robbins) put her life back together,
  2. scientific explanations about how and why “pattern interrupts” work
  3. an unequivocal self-help book.

The testimonials from people around the world attest to the effectiveness of the author’s thesis.


You can change your thoughts (and thereby change your life) by using a simple pattern interrupt.

A “pattern interrupt”  is a deliberate stoppage in a habitual thought process or behavior.

What is the 5 Second Rule?

No, it’s not how long you have before bacteria contaminate the food you dropped on the floor! (smiley face!)

Literally, it is the 5-second count down to lift off.

When your thoughts are preventing you from taking action, you count backward 5…4…3…2…1..GO!

It is action oriented. It’s a tool to get things done.

Mel’s story of how she “accidentally” found the system has the feel of reality.  She saw a rocket liftoff on a late night TV commercial.  And Robbins admits the whole process sounds silly.  Who would believe counting backward from 5 could change your behavior? (It does sound silly doesn’t it?)

Robbins provides the supporting data about the effectiveness of pattern interruptions. The fields of science that have studied pattern interruptions are diverse. Data from neuroscience to social psychology support her thesis.

Does it work?

The basis of the rule is “you’re never going to feel like it.”  Need to make cold calls? Do you put them off until you “feel like making the calls?”  Is going to the grocery on your list but you just don’t feel like it?

The thing is, for most of us, we’re never going to “feel like it”, whether it’s approaching someone new, or making a suggestion in a board meeting.  There will be some thought process, some habit, that will encourage you to wait a little longer - wait just long enough till the opportunity passes.  Wait just long enough until “you feel like doing it.”

Big Surprise - there is no magic in waiting to feel like doing something.  You have to act despite “not feeling like it.”

The testimonials in the book are impressive.People have used the 5 Second Rule to stop a suicide attempt, gain major health improvements and to progress in their business dealings.

My own experience?  Well, I completed this blog post thanks to the 5 Second Rule.  I highly recommend this book for your personal library.

You can learn more about Mel Robbins and the 5 Second Rule on You Tube.  She has been a frequent guest on several podcasts.