Inspire – Women of Dartmouth Stories

The 5-Second Rule

Mel Robbins ‘90, life coach, author, motivational speaker, TV host and all-around badass Dartmouth ’90 chic talks about not apologizing, assuming good intentions, visibility in the workplace, and more life-empowering goals and tools

Getting your shit together is a lot harder than you may think. It requires a level of maturity and honesty that is both scary and sobering. Especially if you were as screwed up as I used to be. As much as I wanted to blame other people, it took me decades to realize that I was the only one who was making my life miserable and I was the only one who had the power to change for the better. When you accept as fact – that you are 100% responsible for your life improving – that’s the secret to getting your shit together.

Today – was a “wow, I’ve come full circle” moment for me. My freshman roommate at @dartmouthcollege invited me to speak for the @womenofdartmouth board. Cool, right? Here’s the problem. While I loved Dartmouth, I hated myself while I was there. My anxiety spiraled out of control in college and law school and I did some very destructive things. I was a train wreck in relationships, drank too much, was petty and competitive AF and lied about a lot of things. I have forgiven myself, but I am not proud of how I behaved in those years. Since graduating, I have avoided reunions like the plague because I don’t want to be reminded of that period of my life.

So I was a little on edge about how I’d feel walking into a room full of people from the past. I’m proud to tell you – it felt amazing. I realized in sharing about who I used to be 30 years ago, just how far I’ve come and how much work I’ve done on myself.

I did the work to change for the better and so can you. You may not be to blame for what happened to you, but you are always responsible for healing yourself.

Read “5 Seconds To Launch: Motivational speaker Mel Robbins ’90 insists everyone can make big changes if they act on the impulse” in Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, Jan 2018

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7 thoughts on “The 5-Second Rule”

  1. The simple switch from “I’m sorry” to “thank you” has been very powerful for me in both business and personal interactions. Thanks, Mel, for your accessible advice and inspiration!

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