INSIDER: The High 5 Habit: Take Control of Your Life with One Simple Habit

March 1, 2023

Tyler O'Mary, MBA

In today’s world, people are always on the go, completing task after task in a never-ending cycle. There is a constant juggle of work, family, friends, a “to-do” list of chores, and even the occasional, unexpected twist that always seems to creep in with the most unfortunate timing. After a while, the constant hustle and bustle of daily life can overwhelm us to the point where we lose our drive, our love for our passions, and sight of who we are and what we want to be. We dread getting out of bed each morning and long for a break as we go through the same routine of checking box after box off our long chore list each day.

Cover Image of the Book the High 5 Habit By Mel Robbins

As we continue to dig deeper into this hole, we lose sight of the most important thing: ourselves. Most people live each day by putting others first—celebrating others’ victories and consoling others when they’re upset. In addition to putting ourselves last, we also tend to be extremely hard on ourselves. The culmination of all these things makes it extremely easy for our mental health to drain, putting us in dark spaces.

In The High 5 Habit: Take Control of Your Life with One Simple Habit, Mel Robbins explains that the simple act of high-fiving yourself in the mirror first thing in the morning can help you take charge of your life by restoring your confidence and positivity. The High 5 Habit helps us escape negative thoughts, push through anxiety, and turn dreams into reality.  

THINK POINT #1: A High 5 Goes A Long Way  

How we see ourselves is often how we see the world. More likely than not, we are our own worst critic, constantly criticizing what we say, do, and think. Continually bashing ourselves can make us see the world in a negative light. We go from optimism to pessimism, and it eventually drains every ounce of confidence from our bodies. To regain control of our lives and turn pessimism into optimism, a simple high-five goes a long way. So, first thing in the morning, give yourself a high-five. The high-five is usually seen as a celebration or a form of nonverbal encouragement of others. Whether it be with friends after your favorite team scores the game-winning touchdown or encouraging someone after they closed the deal, a high-five connects individuals on a positive level.

It may seem pointless at first, but over time, the validation, confidence, celebration, optimism, and action that the high-five symbolizes becomes part of who you are and can help you believe in yourself again. Even though it may seem silly, science says it works.

THINK POINT #2: The Proof is in the Pudding

Researchers agree that giving a high-five to someone is a shared connection where energy passes from one person to another. Researchers also found that repeating mantras is beneficial if you actually believe what you are saying. For example, if you repeatedly tell yourself that you can do a certain task, that belief can actually come to fruition; however, a self-mantra doesn’t work if you don’t truly believe it, as your mind will find reasons to reject it. You can tell yourself that you’re the best salesperson in the world, but if you don’t believe every ounce of that thought, then you won’t live up to this expectation. This is one of the reasons why high-fives are so powerful. Our minds don’t reject high-fives because we associate them with believing in the person.

Researchers conducted a study of NBA teams where they tracked the number of high-fives each team gave throughout the pre-season and beginning of the season. They found that the teams who high-fived each other more were actually more successful and advanced further in the playoffs more often. This study, among other similar studies in other industries like sales, further proves that high-fives are directly correlated with success.

THINK POINT #3: Flushing Out the Negative

Giving yourself a high-five is only half of the battle—you must still reject negative thoughts that creep into your mind. Studies show that constantly criticizing yourself leads to lower motivation. Once you dig yourself into a hole, it can be extremely challenging to pull yourself out. The more you repeat negative thoughts, the more you’re going to believe them, and the more you’re going to find evidence for them; however, if you deliberately change your thoughts, you can rewire your default way of thinking. By deliberately and repeatedly thinking positive thoughts, you can essentially delete the negative thoughts holding you back from achieving your dreams.

Try to transform negative thoughts and emotions into positive ones. For example, rather than expressing jealousy of a colleague or competitor, reframe those thoughts into a positive or motivating thoughts, such as, “If she can be successful, then I can, too!” Humans are all vulnerable to negative emotions like jealousy, guilt, inadequacy, and fear, but reframing them to a more positive light will help create a new way of thinking.

Real Estate Implications

Real estate is a challenging industry in which to work, particularly when working as a commission-based agent. When in an economic or real estate downturn, it can be easy for agents to allow negative thoughts to creep into their psyche. Over time, negative thoughts can take hold, and the proverbial hole is so deep that it becomes seemingly impossible to climb back to the top. The simple act of high-fiving yourself first thing every single morning will allow you to take control of your life, think positively, and have more confidence. This confidence can help you land more clients, close more deals, and lead others on your team more effectively. When things aren’t going your way, rely on the notion that your hard work is leading you somewhere. The combination of a high-five and deliberately changing your thoughts will allow you to turn your dreams into a reality.

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Recommended Reading

Robbins, Mel (2021), The High 5 Habit: Take Control of Your Life with One Simple Habit, Hay House, Inc.: Carlsbad, California.

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About the Author

Tyler O’Mary, MBA
Baylor University
Tyler O’Mary earned his Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Business Administration with a double major in Finance and Entrepreneurship and Corporate Innovation from Baylor University.