Keep Your Head Out of It

I don’t feel like training today.

A couple of weeks ago I was pretty down in the dumps. I had had an emotionally challenging weekend with a trip to Brinkley to see my dad, who is very sick with Parkinson’s. As if the disease isn’t enough, there are many underlying issues when it comes to his and my relationship.  However, with him in late stages of Parkinson’s, the emotional baggage has to be set aside and spending some time with him becomes priority.

Dragging my butt to the gym to train on Monday was a tremendous challenge. My thoughts seemed to only be able to focus on the noise in my head and the LAST thing I felt like doing was training.

How many times do we react to everything we feel? How often do we give in to something because we “don’t feel like it”. We know we should train or eat well or complete our tasks at work, or fill in the blank, but we get into this pattern of dismissing what we should do because we listen to our feelings instead of just doing. You probably don’t even realize how much you get stuck because you react to how you feel, and you then create worry, and then those emotions take over.  How many times during the day do you hesitate or doubt yourself?

Your brain is actually designed to stop you from changing or doing things that are scary or new. Your brain is designed to protect you. How does it protect you? It traps you in your head and makes you overthink EVERY LITTLE THING. The very moment you decide to do something scary, break a habit, make a change or try something new, your brain goes to work to stop you. This is called cognitive biases, also, mental noise.

I recently read the book, 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins. She brings to light our reactions to our feelings and how often we choose the path of least resistance because of these feels. However, you do have a system in your head that can beat your brain at it’s own game. This, ‘5 Second Rule’ is not the, drop something on the floor, pick it up in 5 seconds and then it’s considered safe to eat. This 5 Second Rule is a tool that helps you take action and helps get you out of your head. You have to stop thinking and start living before the system in your head gets a chance to stop you. You think that you are by design an “over thinker’, well, many are, and in many cases you’ve taught yourself to be, but the good news is, you can control all of this.

  1. Locus of Control – Foundational principal of psychology which basically describes 2 kinds of people.  People who believe they have power over events in their lives, in which case, a person with an internal locus of control believes that he or she can influence events and their outcomes, while on the flip side, someone with an external locus of control blames outside forces for everything. and they believe life is just happening and they’re a victim of whatever happens to them.
  2. Bias Toward Action – is a core principle or mindset of design thinking. In the most basic sense, it means that we promote action-oriented behavior, rather than discussion based work that means you’re the kind of person who has a bias toward taking action verses a bias toward thinking.  You have the propensity to act or decide without customary analysis or sufficient information ‘just do it’ and contemplate later.

Here’s an example of the 5 Second Rule Mel uses often in the book. Your alarm clock goes off, you hit the snooze, again, and again. You are letting your brain tell you that you’re not ready to get up, you’re tired, you had a long day, you need extra sleep, etc.  With the 5 Second Rule, your alarm goes off, you count, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, turn off the alarm and get straight up.  Simple right? Well, we all know simple isn’t always easy, and that’s ok. Practice it and see if you can become more productive.  For my CrossFitters, I post the workout every night, you look at it, and you can contemplate how difficult it will be and you can mull it over and over in your head until you’ve wound yourself up so tight you can’t even sleep. Instead, look at (or don’t) and count, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and just plan to go and trust that you’ll get through the workout no matter what.

When you use the 5 Second Rule, and you physically move, your brain starts to build new habits. You can create a bias toward action by using the 5 Second Rule. Over time the more you use it, not only do you learn how to take action, but you then learn to operate with a bias toward taking action. You create immediate change in the moment but over time you create new habits and you can become an entirely different person!

Pick up Mel Robbins’ book, 5 Second Rule and let her inspire you to create the change in your life that you need to make!

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