blog, Personal

TEDxSF How to stop screwing yourself over


I’ve never really been the biggest fan of Ted-talks. I’d heard of them and knew how popular they are but never really ventured out enough to actually watch them. Whereas my mum enjoys one every now and again as she’s eating her dinner. She usually sends me the ones she thinks I’d like and truthfully I never watch them, I’M SORRY MUM!

But she sent me this one about a month ago and told me I have to watch it! So I sat down with some snacks and a drink and put it on. But I could’ve never imagined how it would affect my life. And it isn’t something mind-blowing to me or magical, she just speaks the truth that I needed to hear in that exact moment, that’s all.

Let’s start with Mel Robbins. I’d never heard of her before but she’s a renowned motivational and keynote speaker, CNN commentator, TV host, author and creator of The 5 Second Rule. On first impressions to me I thought she was funny and used humour to keep her audience engaged with her. With the use of the board behind her she engages the audience even more, and asks them questions. At one point she even goes into the audience to speak to people. I liked her immediately and it’s not just the humour but how straight to the point she is. She doesn’t beat around the bush, she gets straight to the facts and speaks a lot of things that we don’t really want to hear.

In this video she basically explains how you can get what you want, within reason. She goes through why you haven’t got what you wanted yet, and how you can do it for yourself. If you’d like to watch the video, check it out here and it’ll take you to the Ted-talks video. But if you don’t have an extra 20 minutes to spare, I’ll write a summary about the talk and how it’s helped me below!

She starts by stating how apparently 1/3 Americans feel dissatisfied with their lives right now, 100 million people! (This talk is from June 2011). She then says that getting what you want is easy, but it’s not simple. She explains how when you think of the one thing you want, whether it’s to lose weight or earn more money, there are millions of books and articles out there telling you first hand how to do it. So why don’t we all have what we want?

And it’s all because of the F word… Fine.

When people ask how you are, ‘I’m fine’ or ask about your job, ‘It’s fine.’ Saying fine is actually genius because if you’re fine you never have to do anything to change it! The biggest problem with the F word is that you say it to yourself. You convince yourself that you’re fine without that thing you want which is why you’re not pushing yourself to go for it.

She explains how scientists have calculated the odds of you being born in the moment of time you were, to the parents you were born to, with the DNA structure you have. And the odds of that is 1:400 000 000 000! You are 1 in 400 trillion! You should be fantastic, not just fine!

In any area of your life that you want to change there is one fact you need to know – you are NEVER going to feel like it. You’re never going to FEEL like going to the gym or starting a diet. This is one of the things I struggle with. If I don’t want to do something, I feel myself almost waiting for the day that I’m going to feel like it and the truth is, I never will! I think that’s a lot of people’s problems with not getting what they want, to change their life to something they want, they’re going to have to force themselves. Scientists call it activation energy, the force required to get you to change what you’re doing on autopilot to get you to do something new.

She tells us how we should set our alarms 30 minutes earlier than normal and to get up straight away as you will come face to face with the physical force that’s required to change your behaviour. And I know it’s hard because I’ve tried it and not succeeded! But you can feel that force that makes you want to stay in bed!

When you’re 18 nobody tells you that it is now your job to parent yourself. It’s now your job to make yourself do all the stuff you don’t want to do, so you can be everything you’re supposed to be. And you’re so busy waiting to ‘feel like it’ but you’re never going to!

You have to force yourself. Your brain is always on autopilot and whenever you do something different it pulls the emergency brake. Anything that’s a break from your routine is going to require force.

She created the 5 Second Rule (no not to do with food!). She believes if you don’t marry an action to an impulse you get within 5 seconds you will pull your emergency brake and you won’t do it. I believe this to a degree because I think after 5 seconds you talk yourself out of it and you won’t do it but I also believe that some impulses you have to think about for longer than 5 seconds before you make a decision.

Lastly she believes that you have these basic needs and your body is wired to send you signals. If you need food, you feel hungry. If you need water, you feel thirsty. She thinks that when you feel stuck or dissatisfied in your life, it’s a signal. Not a signal that your life is broken, it’s a signal that one of your basic needs isn’t being met. Your need for exploration. Every part of you grows as you get older, she says your soul needs to grow too. The only way is forcing yourself to be uncomfortable.

From this TED-talk the ‘forcing yourself’ has resonated with me the most. I feel like I was in the mind set of ‘If I don’t want to do it then I don’t have to.’ And I don’t mean with everything but I meant with the things that would make me uncomfortable. For me it was going out for a walk on my own or starting a conversation with someone new. But the ‘you’re never going to feel like it’ mentality really hit home because I always thought that one day I might do. After this talk I have had to force myself to do things that I never normally would’ve done and it’s helped me so much. It’s gotten me out of my comfort zone and onto new things. I haven’t been able to do it with everything I do but I’ve made a start.

At the end of the day if you want to change an aspect of your life no-one else can do that for you. You have to force yourself to make the changes that you feel uncomfortable with, so you can become the change you need.

This talk might not be for everyone and we all will have our different opinions on it but I just wanted to share what it was all about and my opinion and how it has affected my life so far!

Let me know if you watched the video or read my post and what you think of her talk! Don’t forget to watch it just click here! Mel Robbins: How to stop screwing yourself over

Stay Happy!


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