How To Stop Screwing Yourself Over

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How To Stop Screwing Yourself Over

How To Stop Screwing Yourself Over

Did you know that over a third of American’s are dissatisfied with their lives right now? That’s over 100 million people! That’s an insane number! I was recently inspired by a TED Talk I saw, it’s called How To Stop Screwing Yourself Over. It’s authored and performed by Mel Robbins – no relation to Tony.

Mel Robbins is a married working mother of three, an Ivy-educated criminal lawyer, and one of the top career and relationship experts in America. Widely respected for her grab-’em-by-the-collar advice and tough love.

Robbins drills through the mental clutter that stands between people and what they want. Her approach is smart, effective and entertaining. Five days a week, Mel hosts her own syndicated radio show The Mel Robbins Show, discussing hot topics and giving advice to callers across America. She is starring in a new series, In-Laws, airing this summer on A&E. In addition, she writes a monthly column for Success Magazine, is a former CNBC contributor and is the co-founder of Advice for Living, Inc., which develops products and television programming with experts in the wellness, health, relationship and career categories.

Most nights, once the kids are in bed, you’ll find Mel at home with a bourbon on the rocks and her Australian Shepherd at her feet, writing about life, love and everything else on her award-winning blog: www.melrobbins.com

How To Stop Screwing Yourself Over

Her talk covered a lot – it was inspiring, brutally honest, and caused me to act upon the 5-second rule – keep reading to find out exactly what that is!

Mel’s talk covered most of what I’m about to share with you below. I’ll attempt to share the most important points with you.

STOP – take a second and think about what you want. Don’t make it sound good to other people. What do you want? Do you want to lose weight, have a triple digit income, find love, or start a non-profit? Travel the world? Part of the problem is you won’t pick!

Getting what you want is simple, but not easy. If you think about it, we live in the most amazing moment in time. The fact is, anything you want to do is researchable. There is either a book, a course, or a video out there that can teach you how to do…something – and written by credentialed experts to boot! Go on – Google it.

You can find thousands of blogs devoted to that topic documenting the step by step by step transformation that somebody else is doing. Someone else did all the legwork so you don’t have to. So you can learn and grow from their experiences. So why don’t you have what you want? Why aren’t you a happy camper? You have all the information you need at hand, right? So, what’s the real reason we aren’t happy or getting what we really want out of life? Keep reading…it will all make sense to you soon. 

How To Stop Screwing Yourself Over


Mel goes on to talk about the word “Fine”. She says, “the word Fine – is the true and only F-bomb.” We use it all the time – for everything. How are you doing? Fine. How are you feeling? Fine – saying we are “fine” is really genius. If we say we are fine, we don’t have to do anything about it.

Are you dragging around those 40 extra pounds – and your fine? Haven’t had sex with your partner in months – and your fine? Feeling like roommates with your spouse and your fine? Really? I don’t think so. All brilliant examples.

Mel states, “It’s a flimsy and feeble word” – if you’re crappy –  say you’re crappy.  If you are amazing –  say you are amazing. Be honest! The bigger issue with fine, is we say it to ourselves. Now, this is key. We have convinced ourselves we are fine and that’s why we don’t push ourselves. We have convinced ourselves we are fine not having it, not doing it – and that is the brilliant truth of it! It’s the areas in our life where we have given up.

The Odds:

She also stated that scientists have calculated the odds of you being born – and they took into account all the wars, natural disasters and the dinosaurs and everything else that could have gone wrong. And the odds of you being born at the moment of time you were born in, and the parents you were born to, with the DNA structure you have are – wait for it – 1: 400,000, 000, 000. Yes, that’s one in 4 hundred trillion!

Amazing right? She said you are not “fine”, you are fantastic. You have life changing ideas for a reason and it’s not to torture yourself. All day long you have ideas that can change your life, that can change the world or the way you feel…and what do you do with them? Nothing.

The Snooze Button:

How To Stop Screwing Yourself Over

We all have wonderful thought-provoking ideas and inspiration and yet what do we do? Hit the snooze button. The reason this is so important? In any area of our lives that we want to change – we are never going to feel like it.

Do you feel that motivation just isn’t happening for you? Scientists call it “activating energy”. That’s what they call the force required to get you to change from what you are doing on autopilot to get you to do what you need to do.  It’s the least amount of energy required to activate atoms or molecules to a state in which they can undergo a chemical reaction.

The Exercise!

Mel suggests you do this exercise. Set your alarm for 30 minutes earlier than when you normally wake up. When it goes off, take the sheets, throw them off, stand up and start your day. No snooze, no delay – do it! The reason she said this is so important is that you will come face to face with the physical force that’s required to change your behavior. The “activation energy” is that force that it takes you to push yourself out of your warm bed and into a cold room.

Do you think anyone ever feels like doing anything that means actual work for us? It’s your job to do the crap you don’t want to do to be everything that you’re supposed to be. And, you are so damn busy waiting to feel like it that you’re never going to. After all, didn’t our parents make us do the things we were supposed to do because we wouldn’t? Even if we get good at something, we will figure out something else that we don’t want to do. It’s human nature but you can change all that! 

Autopilot/Emergency Brake

Mel describes our brains as follows: One side is for autopilot and the other side is the emergency brake. Those are the only two speeds we have. Autopilot – Emergency Brake. Guess which one our brains like better? You guessed it – autopilot.

We’ve all had the experience of driving to work and not remembering how we got there right? That’s autopilot. It’s functioning, just at a low-level. Anytime we do something that’s different from our normal routine, that’s the emergency brake. And our brains have that reaction for everything we do that’s out of the normal routine.

Example, you walk into the kitchen, see a mess that everyone has left for you and you think – great, well, I’ll just clean it…and then punish the hubby for leaving it for me by not having sex. That’s what we do. Anything that’s a break from our normal routine will require force. We spend our lives trying to push ourselves into a stable routine only to become bored with it.

We wake up the same time, we eat the same breakfast, we drive to work the say way, we show up to work, we pretend to look busy, then we drive home, eat largely the same dinner, and go to bed and wake up and do the same thing over again the next day. No wonder we are bored out of our minds! It’s the routine that’s killing us.


How To Stop Screwing Yourself Over

Mel said something brilliant – when you feel stuck or dissatisfied in your life it’s a signal – and it’s not a signal that your life is broken, it’s a signal that one of your most basic needs is not being met. Your need for exploration. Everything about your life, about your body, grows.

Everything grows for your entire life – your hair, your nails, your cells regenerate and your soul needs exploration and growth, and the only way you will get it is to force yourself to be uncomfortable. Brilliant! And so darn true.

She said you must force yourself to get out of your head. She says, “If you are in your head, you are behind enemy lines.” She continues saying, if we were to put a speaker so everyone can hear what we say to ourselves, they would institutionalize us! You would not hang out with people who talk to you the way you talk to yourself. Truth right? So, get out of your head! Your feelings are screwing you!

If you listen to how you feel when it comes to what you want you will never get it because you will never feel like it. We need to get outside our comfort zone. It’s not about taking risks, it’s about getting outside your comfort zone.

The first 3 seconds when you push yourself out of bed suck, but once you are up – it’s great!  Get outside your comfort zone– that’s where the magic is!

The 5 Second Rule:

How To Stop Screwing Yourself Over

This rule is the key to acting on your inspiring thoughts and plans. If you have an impulse that’s pulling you, if you don’t marry it with an action within 5 seconds – you pulled the emergency brake and killed the idea. In other words, you have to do something, anything with 5 seconds or the idea is dead. This really makes a lot of sense.

If I have an idea or an inspiration about something and don’t immediately do something about it like write a note, send myself a text, something, the idea is gone, dead. You must do something physical to marry the action and the idea together or …you’ve pulled the emergency brake.

Your problem isn’t ideas, your problem is you don’t act on them. It’s not anybody’s fault except your own – you killed it. You’re doing it to yourself – stop it! Remember, you are 1 in 4 hundred trillion – you’ve got stuff to do! And it’s not going to happen in your head!

How To Stop Screwing Yourself Over

Be actionable – practice the 5-second rule. You will be shocked by what happens.

Be sure to watch Mel’s Ted Talk – it’s inspiring and motivating!

Overall, I think Mel hit the nail on the proverbial head. We have to force ourselves to be successful – to be happy, to finally have the life we dream about. What are you waiting for? 

And as always, thanks so much for visiting and if you like this post How To Stop Screwing Yourself Over subscribe via email below and never miss a post again!

Carolann Drangonfly logo

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  1. What a wonderful, fantastic post about how to get out of our heads. I like and agree with the write it down right away or you will forget it. Sometimes I write it down but then forget where I put it. Funny that I get inspired most when away from the computer so a handy pen and paper is best. Well, anyway, thanks for the great information Carolann.

  2. Hi Sue, yes, I agree. Inspiration does seem to happen a lot when we are away from the computer. I think it’s because our minds are free to wander and be inspired without the pressure of all of the information we are processing when sitting in front of it being bombarded with info overload. Great point! I’m so glad you liked the post Sue. I hoped it helped to inspire you too! xo

  3. This was a long post but I was hooked from beginning to end. I love the 5 sec rule it really is true. I’ve been taking some time out to think about my blog and where to from here. I totally agree with all Mel and you have said. Some very inspiring work here – thank you! Sue from Sizzling Towards Sixty

  4. Thank you Sue. I know it was a long one but there was so much great info to share I just had to do it! Yes, it’s important to give ourselves the push we need and let inspiration be the driving force. Thanks again and have a wonderful rest of the week!
    Carolann xo

  5. When I tell people I’m fine it’s because a lot of people, mostly acquaintances, ask but don’t want to hear your life story. It’s become a phrase everyone uses. Saying fine just gets to the next subject, and honestly that’s fine with me. Hate talking about what’s wrong; would rather discuss what’s right and good. That said I know what you mean – yes about saying it’s all amazing.

    A wonderful, insightful and much-needed post. Carol.

  6. Hi Cathy, I do the same. We all do. I think what she was trying to say was, to be honest with ourselves…and not so much about how you reply although I have to say that when folks answer me by telling me they are not so fine, it’s very refreshing and at times engages me with that person even more. Of course, when a stranger asks that we are not going to go into our whole history with them lol. I loved the message Mel shared with us. It’s really eye-opening to be brutally honest with ourselves and try to do something about it. thanks so much for stopping by!

  7. I have to pin this. It’s simple, but brilliant and I really appreciate your doing this post today. These are conclusions I’ve reached, too, but you’ve put them all together in a great guide. Thanks.

  8. It’s so true that everything you want to do is researchable. So many people hold themselves back because they think they don’t know how to do something. I’ve always found that if I want something done, I learn how to do it and get it done quick. Waiting and over analysing is paralysing. Great wrap up of her talk.

  9. Explore. Create. Inspire. I’m going to write those words down and look at them everyday. Especially when I get stumped on an idea.

  10. We would be institutionalized if people could hear what we say to ourselves. The thing is, we say it and then we say it over and over again. It’s nuts. I like the term “activation energy.” I love the five second rule. I really don’t like autopilot. This is a post I’ll remember. Thanks.

  11. Thanks for sharing this. It is very interesting! I go on autopilot when I drive to the store and sometimes after the fact think I could have gone a few other ways that would be different and new. A small thing but something I can easily do!

  12. Hi Anita, oh my gosh yes! The stuff that goes on inside of our heads lol. I like that term too. It’s really empowering to know how activation energy and how it holds us back. Thanks so much for stopping by and have a fab day!

  13. Hi Michelle, I love those words too and when I was creating that image, I thought to have it framed. It’s great for inspiration for sure. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. Always great hearing from you!

  14. Hi Rebecca, I agree with you 100%. Over analysing is such a waste of time. I love researching anything before I invest in it but to a limit as well. thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. Always a pleasure hearing from you.

  15. In my first book, I had a whole chapter on, “I am fine.” The truth is that most of the time, we put ourselves and our needs last. Great post! Thank you for the kick in the pants.

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