When Your Brain Tries to Talk You OUT of Writing

procrastination Apr 13, 2021

Have you ever really wanted to sit down to write your dissertation, but find that you talk yourself out of it?

You say to yourself, "Well, I only have a half hour, so maybe I will just check email instead..." or "I'm not sure what to write in this section yet... I'll try again tomorrow." Only to find that tomorrow you don’t take action either?

Does this cycle continue day in and day out without you making the commitment to write through the confusion?

If this resonates with you, I have a strategy that is so simple (yet effective) that it will blow your mind. 

If you have participated in any of my writing challenges, you KNOW I love me some Mel Robbins. The concept she teaches in, The Five Second Rule has been instrumental in getting me to take action on tasks I’ve been resistant to doing in my daily life.

In the winter of 2017, I was having a tough time getting myself motivated to walk every morning. While I've been a member of the 5:00 am club for years (since writing my own dissertation), I could not get myself motivated to get out the door for my morning walk with regularity. I had every (valid) excuse in the book... It was cold... it was windy... I had things to do... I only have 30 minutes, so why bother... and would consistently talk myself OUT of it.

I apply the 5-Second Rule now within so many aspects of my life, and it has been so instrumental in getting me to take action, that I want to share it with you.

This one simple rule can help you to become your greatest self.

The 5 Second Rule is simple -If you have the instinct to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill it.

  • The moment you feel an instinct or a desire to act on a goal or a commitment, use the Rule
  • When you feel yourself hesitate before doing something that you know you should do, count 5-4-3-2-1-GO and move towards action
  • Mel defines instinct as any urge, impulse, pull or knowing that you should or should not do something because you can feel it in your heart and gut

Maybe you’ve counted to three before jumping into the pool. Same concept, right?

The main reason these tactics work is that they help us focus on what we need to do and cut out all the consequences we don’t like to consider.

Here are 3 reasons why this simple idea of a 5-second countdown can do the same for you:

  1. Through little acts of courage, the 5 Second Rule makes you less afraid over time.

    The concept defines that from each small act of courage, more courage follows. It compounds and hopefully when you’re old, you can look back on a courageous life.

  2. There are reasons the “right time” will never come, so you just have to start.

    Mel articulates two universal facts:

    • We all want to change our lives way or the other
    • We spend most of our time waiting for that change to magically occur. Our excuse is always the same: “I’m waiting for the right moment.” Deep down we know that moment will never come. But Mel actually tells us why that is. She names three reasons:
      • Change is always new.
      • It always comes with uncertainty.
      • It’s always scary.

3. The 5 Second Rule helps to override your feelings, a tactic which is called a psychological intervention.

What you’re doing then is called psychological intervention on a very small scale: You’re changing your behavior to impact how you feel, rather than hoping for the process to happen in reverse.

Want to join the 5:00 am club and spend an hour before your husband and kids wake up to get some writing done? When you tackle your morning by taking action and facing the dissertation, you will be so proud of yourself and good feelings will follow.

Ready? 5…4…3…2…1 – GO!

Keep going, Mama! You've got this.




Dissertation Tips Sent Directly to Your Inbox!

Join our email list to receive dissertation tips, tricks, and encouragement sent directly to your inbox.

Don't worry, your information is safe with us and will never be shared.


Think Like A "Phinisher"

Silence the Inner Critic and Become the "Phinisher" in 2021!



(Note: Please take a minute to read our OUR DISCLAIMER first before proceeding.)

Enter your name and email address below!