New book from NYT bestselling author Lewis Howes is now available!

New book from NYT bestselling author Lewis Howes is now available!

Summit of Greatness 2024 | September 13-14 | Los Angeles, CA


Mel Robbins

The 5 Second Rule & The Secret to Motivation


When was the last time you gave yourself a high-five? 

It might seem like a silly gesture, but there is more power in it than you know. Today’s guest knows just how powerful this self-affirming action is — so much so that she built her whole business around it. 

I have the pleasure of having Mel Robbins on the show today. She is a best-selling author, TV host, and motivational speaker. She’s one of the leading voices in personal development and transformation. In her global phenomenon, The 5 Second Rule, she taught millions of people around the world the 5 second secret to motivation. Now she’s back with another simple, proven tool you can use to take control of your life in her new book, The High 5 Habit. If you enjoy this episode, make sure to check out our two previous interviews with Mel. I always love talking with her. 

In this episode, we discuss how to learn to love yourself, how to stop engaging in negative self-talk, why Mel thinks everyone is using the law of attraction incorrectly, what we get wrong about jealousy, and so much more! 

Who Is Mel Robbins? 

Mel Robbins is a lawyer, television host, author, and motivational speaker born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. Her books, The 5 Second Rule and The High 5 Habit have inspired millions of readers with their simple down-to-earth message about self-care and self-love. 

As a self-proclaimed “screw up,” Mel discovered how to change her habits and become a happier, more confident, and more fulfilled person at 40 years old. It was such a transformative experience, she can’t help but shout it from the rooftops! Her mission is to reach as many people as possible and teach them how to transform their minds so they can thrive in every aspect of their lives. 

Mel has so many great nuggets of wisdom on how to transform your mind and discover more happiness in your life. I can’t wait for you to hear and learn from this inspiring, empowering woman! Let’s get into it!


The Self-Care High-Five

In Mel’s words, “Tough love is a bunch of bologna.” She believes we respond much better to positive reinforcement than negative. I can relate to this as I think back to my coaches over the years. The ones who were positive and encouraging made me want to work harder for them, but the ones who were yelling at me and breaking me down made me not perform as well. 

This is the same in life. We need to learn how to celebrate and love ourselves — to build ourselves up and not break ourselves down with a negative narrative every day. It’s so much easier to do this for other people, but we often forget to celebrate ourselves. 

We are amazing at celebrating everybody else. We cheer for our favorite sports teams, we buy tickets to our favorite musicians, we throw birthday parties for people, and we take on extra work for our colleagues. We help our family members out and our friends out. But when it comes to supporting ourselves, we don’t know how to do it. In fact, there are a lot of people that think it’s selfish to put yourself first or that you’re arrogant. If that’s you, I’m here to tell you it [putting yourself first] is essential to your well-being, to your fulfillment, to your happiness — all of it.” – Mel Robbins 

According to Mel, if you’re feeling resistant to putting yourself first, it’s because you already have a deep story you’ve been telling yourself that you don’t deserve good things in life because of all the bad stuff you’ve done. Mel is here to tell us that’s simply not true.

Her entire business is around the power of the high-five, specifically the self-five. It started with a photo she took high-fiving herself in the mirror with messy hair and a retainer on. She realized by high-fiving herself in the mirror every day, she was boosting her morale and feeling better about herself. This photo instantly went viral and she started getting photos sent to her from all over the country of people high-fiving themselves in the mirror. At that moment she realized she had started a movement. 

“A high-five affirms your deepest fundamental needs. It’s not just a gesture when you high-five somebody…When you high-five somebody or fist-bump or put your arm around them, that raised arm gesture in a positive sense triggers your nervous system to tingle with celebration.” – Mel Robbins

There have even been studies done in the NBA where they looked at the teams that made it to the championship. When they went all the way back to the preseason tapes, it was the teams with the highest number of first-bumps and high-fives that made it to the top. 

There is a power in touch, but even more than that, it’s the power of encouragement behind the gesture. There is an energy in celebration. Even if you’re going through something difficult, you get a dopamine drip when you do this. You then feel a shift in your mood and become more motivated to get through the hard stuff. This is in part because of the positive programming associated with the high-five gesture. When Mel explained how this works, it blew my mind. 

Mel has these five-day challenges on her website where you simply need to commit to high-fiving yourself in the mirror for five days straight. The mental shift that happens is nothing short of miraculous. So many people have found breakthroughs in that little daily habit alone! 

Another tool Mel has in her toolbelt is the 5 Second Rule. This is also an easy, fast, and effective way to retrain your brain to get out of its default state. 

“The most important relationship you’ll ever have is with yourself.” @melrobbins  

The 5 Second Rule

Much of these tools have to do with self-awareness which is the first step. Mel’s 5 Second Rule, and book of the same name, teaches you how to reroute your thoughts when your inner narrative starts going into an ugly downward spiral. We’ve all been there, but we don’t need to stay there. It’s important to get out of that toxic thought cycle as quickly as possible. 

I start to notice when I feel down or when my energy drops, and then I tune into what I’m thinking about. I literally notice thoughts like, ‘Oh, you’re sitting there thinking you’re a bad person again. Oh, you’re sitting there thinking that somebody is mad at you again. Oh, you’re sitting there thinking that you screw everything up again.’ If it’s negative, I say, ‘5, 4, 3, 2, 1 I’m not thinking that.’ That’s the most basic technique to use.” – Mel Robbins

Mel explains that by doing this, it’s an act of defiance. You go from these negative thought patterns to a more positive, empowering “high-five” attitude. If you continue to tell yourself daily that you are fat, unworthy, screwed up, or that no one’s going to love you, that will be your life. Your life is what you tell it to be. 

“I’m not saying change your thoughts and unicorns appear. I’m saying change your thoughts so you stop the 24/7 beat down and learn how to lift yourself up so that you can face the things that are going on in your life. Because the reason why you’re not changing is not because you’re not capable; it’s not because of the trauma or your past or anything else; it’s because of the beat down. That’s why you’re not changing.” – Mel Robbins

After you interrupt your thoughts with the 5 Second Rule, Mel says the next step is to give that nagging voice in your mind a name. When you personify that voice, you’re able to detach yourself from that voice and give yourself more power and authority to tell it to go away. For example, Mel’s son named his voice “Oliver” and often will tell him to get lost. This was a powerful tool for him.

Once you get in the habit of doing this, you can start to discern when that voice comes up and decide that you don’t want to talk to yourself that way. This is what rewiring your brain looks like. Your brain should work for you, not the other way around. 

Impact, Growth, and Self-Love

Mel is all about improving your relationship with yourself first so that you can help others and impact the world. If we don’t invest enough in ourselves, we will get burnt out by pouring from an empty cup, and we are also more susceptible to self-sabotage. That’s why keeping healthy patterns and habits in your life is so important. 

“People don’t self-sabotage intentionally. Nobody wakes up in the morning and says, ‘Today, I’m going to screw up my life.’ … What happens is people get triggered and then react, and then they fall into old patterns.” – Mel Robbins

This is why people’s relationships fail is because they are chasing people and seeking validation in romantic relationships. That will end when you can stand in front of your mirror and validate yourself. When you build yourself up and support yourself, you show up totally different from everybody else, and that’s a good thing! 

Once you’ve learned how to validate yourself and love yourself, you can start visualizing and attracting the things you want in your life. Mel gave an example of a vision board collage with all the beautiful pictures of things you want to see come to pass in your life. The thing that is missing on these vision boards is the bridge — the grit, sacrifice, and hard days that it takes to get to that dream. She suggests putting pictures of that process on your vision board as well and preparing yourself for the hard sacrifices ahead. 

“Visualize working a day job and telling your friends that you’re not going to go out tonight because you’re working on something. Visualize making cold calls and being told no. Visualize, not going to that party because you’re staying in on a Saturday and not going to the barbecue because you’re putting in the work. Visualize sitting in a seminar and learning from other people. Visualize watching YouTube videos. Visualize your first-ever course failing miserably. Literally, that’s the sort of thing that you want to visualize yourself doing and pushing through because that’s going to help you do the work.” – Mel Robbins

Another law of attraction concept is to start searching for the things daily that you want in your life. I have done this with money. I told myself years ago that I was going to find money everywhere I went, and now I find quarters, dollars, even 100-dollar-bills sometimes on the ground! It’s amazing that what you focus on starts to manifest. Mel does the same thing with heart symbols. She encourages her clients to find naturally occurring hearts in their day-to-day lives and literally they start showing up everywhere. It’s a higher level of awareness.

Speaking of higher levels of awareness, Mel has acquired so much knowledge and truth on her journey of self-improvement. At the end of my interviews, I always like to ask my guests three truths that they would leave behind for future generations and this is what Mel had to say:

Three truths:

  1. The most important relationship you have in life is the one you have with yourself, so treat yourself like the most important person in your life.

  2. Have a high-five attitude where you are always preparing for something amazing.

  3. Interrupt any thought you don’t want with the 5 Second Rule, and that will give you immediate control over what you think next.

These tools Mel talked about today will help you stop the self-hatred and the self-doubt that keeps you from doing what you need to do in this life. The 5 Second Rule is a hack that helps you find instant courage and motivation. This fundamentally changes how you see yourself and how you see the world. 

Why You Should Listen to This Mel Robbins Podcast Episode Right Now…

This interview is jam-packed with so many words of wisdom from my wonderful friend, Mel Robbins. Listen to the full episode for more, and don’t forget to share the episode with someone who needs to hear it: You could change someone’s life.

I’m so grateful Mel came back to The School of Greatness for another powerful discussion. I want to acknowledge Mel for being an amazing friend to me and many others and for constantly showing up. I know she goes through a lot of different challenges and a lot of different weights in her life. and the fact that she keeps showing up is a beautiful thing. I acknowledge her for being a symbol of inspiration even when it seems like there’s a lot going on in her life. 

Friends, join me on Episode 1170 to learn about positive self-talk, daily habits for success, and how to attract the things you want in life with Mel Robbins! It will change how you think! 

To Greatness,


Lewis Howes - Signature

“If you start to high five yourself and tell yourself that you deserve to be happy and you deserve to be fulfilled, you will start to see reasons for it.” @melrobbins  

Some Questions I Ask:

  • Why did you not know how to love yourself?
  • Why do we think that we’re not worthy of encouragement?
  • What is the difference between high fiving yourself in the mirror and high fiving a partner or friend?
  • What does science say about high fiving yourself in the mirror?
  • How do we learn to not self-sabotage the good things in our life?
  • What is something you’re constantly trying to overcome?

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How to learn to love yourself.
  • How to stop engaging in negative self talk.
  • Why Mel thinks everyone is using the law of attraction incorrectly.
  • What we get wrong about jealousy.
  • And so much more…
Connect with
Mel Robbins

Transcript of this Episode

Music Credits:


Kaibu by Killercats

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