Mel Robbins is a powerful motivational speaker who is trusted by global brands to design and deliver multi-media, interactive keynotes that inspire change, challenge thinking and accelerate personal and business growth. Her TEDx Talk on "How To Stop Screwing Yourself Over" has over 3 million views, and her book on the brain and productivity, Stop Saying You’re Fine, is a business bestseller that has been translated into four languages. She started her career as a criminal defense attorney and went on to launch and sell a retail and internet technology company.

Follow Mel Robbins on Twitter at @melrobbins and visit her website at

Mel Robbins got ELM16 off to an exciting start with a compelling message for attendees aimed at helping them in their professional as well as their personal lives: you can change your life for the better right now. She calls it the “5 Second Rule” and it is very simple: count down from 5 and act. “5-4-3-2-1-Go!”

Mel began her career as a public defender in Manhattan. During the 5 years she spent in that job, she came to recognize that her work was all about understanding human behavior. Most cases didn’t go to trial and her focus was on helping defendants to make tough decisions. She wondered why so many defendants, those who were guilty and had been caught red-handed, chose to move forward with “not guilty” pleas, delaying sentencing. And then one day a defendant explained that as soon as he was sentenced, he knew he’d be sent “upstate” to prison, hours away from home where his family would no longer be able to visit him frequently. Slowing the progress of the case meant more time with his children.

This focus on understanding people’s motivations is something that has stayed with Mel, even while her career progressed from prosecutor to entrepreneur to television news analyst. And when she was going through a difficult period professionally, Mel discovered that all she needed to do to motivate herself and move forward was to count backwards from 5 and take action. When she shared this tool with others, she found that people all over the world wrote to tell her how much it had helped them make a change as well.

Mel has spent the last three years talking to neuroscientists and others who research the habits that often take over people’s behavior. In that time she has learned that 95% of our behavior is driven by how we feel, rather than what we think. Whenever we have a decision to make, we subconsciously tally our options and then ask which ones we most feel like doing. The answer is often that we feel like doing something other than what we should do. “I don’t feel like working out because it’s hard.” “I don’t feel like presenting my point of view in a meeting because it’s scary.”

This process of stopping to think can short-circuit a person’s efforts to reach their goals. When you pause, Mel explains, your brain will find no shortage of reasons why you shouldn’t do the thing that is difficult or uncomfortable. So you shouldn’t stop. Don’t give yourself that option. When you know what you should do, just count down and do it – “5-4-3-2-1-Go!”

When you apply this rule in your professional and personal life, Mel told our attendees, “You have no idea where your goal-driven instincts will lead. You might be absolutely shocked by how it changes everything."