Hesitation will kill action

June 28, 2017


It was our first time repelling down cliffs and waterfalls, and in those few hours, there was nothing short of adrenaline, energy, and hesitation. While team encouragement helped, what got the group through each stage of the journey was our bias for action. Hesitation is inevitable in extreme sports and day-to-day tasks — think about those times you really did not want to get out of bed — so it comes down to how you train your mind to overcome that pause right before you’re suppose to do something….and actually do it.

Mel Robbins (@melrobbinslive) is best known for 5-second rule which has been making waves in the performance and productivity world. The reality is that most people depend on motivation to get them to do something but fail to realize that motivation is never present when you need it most — when you need to take the first step and just start ‘doing.’ That first step often brings uncertainty, fear, & stress — and our brain is wired to protect us from doing just that. While you know the benefits of doing (from our ‘rational’ neocortex brain), 95% of our decisions are based on feelings from our limbic brain, and that is the problem. 


Mel’s research found that as we begin to accept the fact that we are not ready but continue to take action anyway, we build a bias for action. The more we dwell and hesitate on doing something, the less likely we will actually do it. Her work comes down to a simple rule — to take action before hesitation gains traction.



1) Know when you want to do something


2) Become aware of when hesitation kicks in & how your thoughts, emotions and behaviours respond


3) Give yourself a small window of time (Mel uses 5-seconds)


4) Counting down to 1 is a far more effective psychological nudge to take action


5) Start doing


6) Overtime you will recognize your bias for action


Shout out to Imagine Ecuador for fantastic repelling and rafting experiences!


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