220: The Surprising Solution to Overthinking with Jon Acuff | Tanya Dalton Skip to the content
Jon Acuff podcast interview on The Intentional Advantage
April 13, 2021   |   Episode #:

220: The Surprising Solution to Overthinking with Jon Acuff

In This Episode:

How often do you find yourself overthinking? Whether it’s your business or personal life, here’s the thing: Overthinking is common. The good news is that overthinking your decisions doesn’t have to be a problem that constantly prevents you from achieving your goals! Join special guest and bestselling author, Jon Acuff, to talk about how you can turn your overthinking from a ‘super problem’ that holds you back to a superpower that drives you forward toward the success you deserve.

Show Transcript:

The Big Idea

Overthinking can be a superpower when used the right way.

Questions I Answer

  • How can I stop overthinking?
  • Why do I overthink everything?
  • What’s the best way to stop overthinking?

Key Topics in the Show

  • Jon Acuff’s latest book, Soundtracks: The Surprising Solution to Overthinking

  • Advice for turning overthinking into a superpower

  • What causes overthinking

  • The cons of overthinking

  • When overthinking is good

  • How to use overthinking to your advantage

Resources and Links

Show Transcript

Hello, hello, everyone. Welcome to The Intentional Advantage podcast. I’m
your host, Tanya Dalton. This is Episode 220. I have a fun episode for us today
because–know what? Let’s back up. Let me just start by asking you a
question. Do you overthink? Okay. I paused there and I didn’t really need to,
because I already know the answer is yes, because overthinking is something
that so many people deal with.
But my guest today, Jon Acuff, is on the show and he has written an
incredible book called Soundtracks, where he teaches us how to take our
overthinking, how to take it from being a super problem and shift it into a
superpower. And, you know, I love that. So I want to dive right into today’s
episode because it is really powerful.
And I think it’s really going to change your mindset about how you feel about
that internal monologue you have going on repeating inside your head. So let
me give you a little background on Jon and then we’ll dive right in.
So Jon Acuff is the New York Times bestselling author of seven books. He is an
Inc Magazine Top 100 leadership speaker. He has spoken to hundreds of
thousands of people at conferences and companies around the world,
including FedEx Nissan, Microsoft, Lockheed Martin, Chick-fil-A, and so many
more. He has a really large and highly engaged social media following who
love him for his unique blend of humor, honesty, and hope. John lives outside
of Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife and two teenage daughters. His latest
book Soundtracks is available right now. And it is a great book.

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I actually wrote an endorsement for Jon’s book because I loved it so much. I
read it several months ago. As soon as I read it, I said, I need to write an
endorsement and I need to share you with my listeners. So let’s do that right
[Tanya:] All right, Jon, we’re going to get straight to it. Cause I’m going to be
honest with you, I probably have more questions than we could possibly get
[Jon:] I have more words! Let’s do it, let’s talk fast.
[Tanya:] I love the book. I really love this book and I think it is so important for
people to understand. So let’s start with the really obvious question
soundtracks. What does the title mean? What does that mean? Soundtracks?
[Jon:] That title is for my description of, like, repetitive thoughts. Sometimes
people say thoughts are like leaves flowing down a river or clouds passing in
the sky or cars on a highway. For me, a repetitive thought feels like a
soundtrack to something that I’m hearing on a loop that is in the background
of my day, that tends to change how the day goes in the same way that if play
a terrifying soundtrack on a sunny clip of somebody walking into our house,
it’s a horror movie. If you play a beautiful song, it’s a romcom. And so
soundtracks have power. So yeah, that’s what a soundtrack is. It’s a repetitive
thought that you have often.
[Tanya:] Mm. I love it. It’s kind of like the repetitive soundtrack I have of my
childhood in the car of Neil Diamond, Kenny Rogers, Barbara Streisand on an
endless loop.
[Jon:] Yeah, James Taylor was mine. James Taylor, and we are going to
Carolina in my mind. Pretty regularly, we went to Carolina in our minds.
[Tanya:] We did a lot of The Gambler, so yeah.
[Jon:] Ah, but I grew up in Boston or outside of Boston. So we didn’t do a ton
of Gamblers. We, I mean, like, I, I didn’t know, country music existed until I was
like in college and I was like, who’s Travis Tripp? And then once, you know, he
exists, there’s no going back.
[Tanya:] Okay. Yeah. Well, and now you live in Nashville, so there’s no way for
you to avoid it.

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[Jon:] Oh, yeah. Like, the mailman is probably a songwriter. Like everybody’s a
songwriter. Yeah, totally.
[Tanya:] Everyone’s got like a demo tape, right?
[Jon:] Oh yeah. Yeah. It’s like our version of it. It’s like LA with headshots, we
have demo tapes.
[Tanya:] So soundtracks really is this whole idea that we have these thoughts
going in our mind repetitively. And you really explored this journey that you
took from being an over-thinker to let’s say a super thinker. And I think that’s
so powerful. This ability to turn our tendency to overthink from a super
problem into a super power. I love it when we can take stumbling blocks and
turn them into starting blocks. Tell me about that. Overthinking.
[Jon:] That’s a great line. I love that, stumbling blocks into starting blocks. I
mean the big thing was there were a lot of great books written about
overthinking, but a lot of them come from a place of stop it, stop it, stop it,
stop it. And one, I don’t think that’s possible. Like, it’s kind of like when
somebody goes, I’m feeling stressful and you go, well, don’t like, everything’s
fine. And you go, Oh, I didn’t know that. I should’ve just, Oh, you cleared it all
And so the second thing is why would I ever get rid of this amazing machine?
Like, I’m very good at thinking and overthinking. So what if I just fed it with
thoughts that actually helped me versus thoughts that hurt me? So that
became kind of the driving force of, if you can worry, you can wonder if you
can spend, you can soar. If you can doubt you can dominate.
So how do we feed our overthinking with thoughts that are helpful, that push
us forward, that propel us versus hold us back? And once you do that, you get
this great freedom because most overthinkers have tried to stop overthinking
and feel like a failure every time they overthink again.
And so when you go, no, I think that’s great. You’re an overthinker? Awesome,
me too. Let’s think some amazing thoughts. Like if you can, you can change ‘I
can’t write a book’ to, ‘I can write a book.’ Guess what? You get to write a book.
Like, and it takes time. It’s not like it’s instant because nothing good in life is,
but it can be done. And it’s magic when it happens.

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[Tanya:] Oh, it’s so true. And I, I love how it’s not about stopping it because
you’re right. That’s not an easy thing to do, but there’s this epidemic of
inaction. Right? Which sounds frightening. And that’s what leads us to
feeling stuck. Right?
[Jon:] Yeah. And that’s the main difference. People will say, What’s the
difference between overthinking and being prepared? And I always say being
prepared leads to action; overthinking leads to overthinking. Like that’s how,
you know, if your preparedness leads to an action, leads to a launch, leads to a
business, leads to a cold call, leads to whatever you’re trying to do. Awesome.
You’re prepared, you’re detailed, you’re organized. If you’re overthinking leads
to more overthinking and more overthinking, more overthinking, then it’s
time to change that. Let’s talk about that. That’s different from being
[Tanya:] Yes. I think that’s such an important distinction to make between the
two, because I think we can excuse some of the negative overthinking that
we’re doing by saying, we’re just, we’re just looking at all the angles. We’re just
trying to make sure that we’re being realistic here. Right?
[Jon:] Yeah, well, one of the stats that I always think about is according to the
New York times, 81% of Americans want to write a book, 81%. It’s one of our
biggest goals as a country. And every year, less than 1% do. So that is a
staggering gap. 81% say they want to do a thing less than 1% do. And I think a
big part of why that happens is you and I meet the same people that will say,
Oh, you write books? I’ve been working on one for seven years. Or I’ve got five
half-finished manuscripts on my laptop.
I’ve got this. And so for me, I define overthinking as when, what you think
gets in the way of what you want. And if you really want to write a book, then
let’s figure that out. If you really want to start a business, if you really want to
scale a business, let’s figure out how to turn overthinking into something that
helps you versus something that hurts you.
[Tanya:] Ooh, I like that. I think that’s so true because I’ve heard people say
like, Oh, I’ve always wanted to write a book. I just don’t have the time. And I’m
like, well, What do you do? I’m retired. Like, what else do you do? What I like
about this idea of soundtracks is it really is that you choose your soundtrack.

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You choose the songs that you want to listen to. The songs that amp us up for,
you know, a big presentation or get us excited. And I love this whole idea you
threw out, one of my favorite songs you threw out, which is almost
embarrassing to say, but as soon as I read it in your book, I was like, ah, Jon, I
love ya, with the, It Takes Two, Rob Bass, DJ easy.
[Jon:] That’s a great song! Never be embarrassed by that song. That is a great
song. Like I did an event with them. Like, I did an event with them in Vegas
and he was the musical act. I quoted half that song in my speech. I was like,
I’m not internationally known, but I’m known to rock the microphone. Like
that is a fantastic song.
[Tanya:] It is.
[Jon:] So, yeah. Anyone who tells you differently, keep an eye on that person
because they are very wrong. But the here’s the thing. 99% of people don’t
know they have the permission or the power to choose their thoughts. Most
people think a thought is something they have, not something they hone. So
even my most type a, high performance friends who pick out their clothes
the night before they go to the gym, because it ensures they’ll go, don’t pick
out their thoughts before they have a big meeting.
They don’t say, Hey on Thursday, I’m making a big pitch and I know I’m going
to be stressed. So I want these three thoughts to go through my head on
Friday, I’ve got a big negotiation. I want these three soundtracks to be playing.
And when you do that, because here’s the other thing, you have a soundtrack
for every person in your life.
We all have a person that the second we see a notification of a text from
them, we feel a certain way and a soundtrack plays when he goes through
and we haven’t even read the texts. We don’t even know what the text is. So
what if you didn’t know that and go, I’m going to pick the right soundtracks
for the right people for the right projects?
It changes everything. Because the story you tell yourself about yourself and
your world is a story you’ll hear more than any other story ever told. And so
why wouldn’t you choose what that story is going to be and work on it and
grow it and stretch it? That’s where things get really fun in my opinion.

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[Tanya:] Yeah. I mean, that’s one of the things we’ve been exploring, not just in
this season of the podcast, but even the season before is thinking about how
you are thinking, recognizing that your thoughts are your choices. And I love
that you said that about, what we think is the default. Like this is just the way I
think there’s nothing I can do about it, but you shoot this great study in the
book where you talk about how a lot of times our thinking is flawed.
Even our memories are flawed. I felt like that was so powerful to understand
that even the things that we know we know because I was there and I saw
this happen. Can you share a little bit about how our memory works with a lot
of these soundtracks?
[Jon:] Yeah. So I mean, the summary is your brain can be a bit of a jerk. Like
that’s the shorthand, like if was a bit of a jerk and your memory lies. And so
Malcolm Gladwell’s gone into this extensively because he really studied how
Brian Williams, the NBC news anchor lied to David Letterman about I was on
a helicopter that got hit by a rocket propelled grenade. That seems like
something, if you and I, today we’d go, have I? I don’t think I have.
And so there’s all these studies that your mind distorts and changes and adds
and edits and that, you know, so that’s the bad news. The good news is so can
you. Like your brain is a part of you, like your arm is a part of you, and with
neuroplasticity and neurogenesis where there’s new brain cells born and folks
like Dr. Caroline Leaf and the stuff she writes about; there’s all these great
resources that go who you are today, isn’t who you are forever. Like, and you
have input into that. So you have input again. Like it’s not like it’s easy.
It’s not like it’s instant, but neither is going to the gym and neither is anything
else you want to improve your life with. But it’s powerful and it’s not instant.
But the ability to see a thought as a lie is pretty quick. I teach three questions
in the book to ask every repetitive thought. Not every thought. Every body
has like millions of thoughts a day. Just the big ones, the loud ones, the
blaring soundtracks ask three questions.
Is it true? Is it helpful? Is it kind? Like, you’ll be able to filter out most false
thoughts with those three questions: Is it true? Is this thing I’m telling myself
true? Is it helpful? Does it move me forward or does it hold me back? And is it
kind? Like if I said it to somebody else, would they still want to be my friend?

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My wife said that to me the other day. She said, Jon, if you talk to me, like you
talked to yourself, we’d be divorced at the altar. And that was her saying that
soundtrack you’re saying is not true, it’s not kind, it’s not helpful. And you said
it out loud to me like, cause I was comparing myself to another entrepreneur
that was like way more successful. And she was like, Jon, that would be like, if
you were like, man, that 19 year old girl is in really good shape. I mean, I know
you’re in your forties and you’ve had a couple of kids, but she’s in way better
shape. Like how are you?
[Tanya:] I don’t recommend that.
[Jon:] So she was like, you’re looking at an entrepreneur that has 600
employees. And you’re like, I’m just not keeping up. And you’re like, He’s a
corporation. Like you’re trying to compete with Like stop it. And so I think
that’s become part of the vernacular of our house. Like I talked to my kids
about soundtracks, like that’s, what’s been really fun is that I’ve had teenagers
go through the material and those are wins. A lot of broken soundtracks take
root. And if you can get somebody to believe something true at a young age,
like the benefits are lifelong.
[Tanya:] Oh my gosh. So true. And I think this is the best part of having kids
when they’re younger. Like I wish somebody had just taken me by the
shoulder when I was a teenager and said like, listen, think about how you’re
thinking. Right? Because it does, it becomes this habitual thing. And then
with confirmation bias, which we’ve talked about on the show that just
confirms everything that our broken soundtracks tell us you’re not good
enough. You’re not smart enough. You’re not thin enough. You’re the worst.
And I think that, you know, having that knowledge and that acceptance that
you are in charge of you and your thoughts is so incredibly powerful. I love
that you say that our thoughts are the internal soundtracks that we listen to,
kind of like our favorite song, but is it just our internal soundtracks that are
broken? Or what is the actual problem like with the overthinking?
[Jon:] Well, I mean, I think it’s a couple of things. One, sometimes it’s your
environment. Sometimes it’s the soundtracks you’re surrounding yourself
with other people, what your friends are saying, what your family’s saying,
what your spouse is saying, what your support network is saying, cause we’re
all really isolated right now.

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Somebody the other day said to me, Jon, my broken soundtrack is I’m lonely.
And I said, well, let’s flip that because the book talks about how do you flip a
soundtrack? And I said, let’s flip that to, I’m built for people. Cause I’m lonely
feels like a criticism, but I’m built for people is an admission. And then you get
to turn that into action and go look for community.
So she was beating herself up, over and over again. I’m lonely, I’m lonely, I’m
lonely.. And we’re all lonely right now. Like that’s the reality. Like the isolation
has created massive amounts of loneliness, but loneliness is one of those
things that feeds on itself. So you feel lonely and then you feel like, I don’t
know why I’m lonely. I should spend some time alone trying to figure out this
And that’s the last thing you should do. And it’s just this snaking its own tail.
And so, yeah, I’m a big believer in going, okay, what’s my environment telling
me, what am I telling myself? What actions are helping me kind of rewire
some of these soundtracks. So yeah. I don’t think it’s any one thing it’s usually
like in most parts of life, it’s a collection of things and you get to kind of pull
one out and go, Okay, well what does this mean? Like what does this mean?
And I teach to pull the thread. So when you have a thought, pull the thread
and go, what’s the thought behind that? And what’s the thought behind that,
cause there’s usually a series of thoughts that have kind of collected together
and you want to say like, I’m not mad at this situation. There’s some, you
know, Oh, I pulled the thread and Oh, I got taken advantage of in a business
deal nine years ago and I’m still entering negotiations going, how are they
going to screw me? Like, well let’s pull the thread. Like, let’s deal with that.
Like at the end, you know, it has nothing to do with this current negotiation.
[Tanya:] Yeah. I like that. It’s really getting to the heart, to the root cause of
everything. So you talked quite a bit in the book about how we can flip this
overthinking on its head. And I want to talk about that when we come back
from my mid-episode break, if that sounds good to you.
[Jon:] Great. Let’s do it.
[Tanya:] Today’s episode is brought to you by the Intentional CEO Mentorship
program. My revolutionary 12-month coaching program where I help female
entrepreneurs scale their businesses, so they can unplug from their
businesses and truly enjoy their lives. And honestly, isn’t that why we all
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started our business? For the freedom: the time freedom, the lifestyle,
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[Tanya:] All right. So let’s get back to it. Let’s talk about how we can turn this
over on its head. And in the book you describe one of your quote unquote,
abject failures with a speaking event. And you touched on how you pulled the
thread, you reframed the situation, and you really discovered how to turn your
own overthinking from a super problem to a super power. Can you touch on
that story a little bit and explain how were you able to flip that around?
[Jon:] Well, I mean, a lot of times I’ll process it with other people. I think that
soundtracks get sticky when we try to keep them to ourselves. So I’ll explain
that one, but I’ll give you a fresh one that happened just the other day.
The other day I was walking with a buddy of mine and he was like, what’s
going on? How are you? And I was like, you know, I saw this opportunity that I
missed and I feel sad that I missed it, and I feel afraid that I won’t get another
one. And I shared what I was thinking like these soundtracks.
And he asked me a question. He said, if you had taken that opportunity, what
would you have more of that you don’t have now? And that’s a good question.
And I was like, huh, like would I have a double house? Like, would I have like a
bonus house on top of this house? Like, I don’t know. And then the next
question he said was, If you had taken that opportunity, would you have gone
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deeper into your ego or deeper into your heart? And I didn’t have to spend a
second. I knew the answer to that one instantly, like, deeper into my ego. And
he said, Well, that makes me sad because then I don’t think you would have
valued these walks and I would’ve missed out on this relationship.
And so what I’ve learned is that if you’ll share in a community, you get to
receive gifts. I don’t get to receive that gift if I go, I got it all together. Like I got
it. I’ll figure it out. I’m verified. I’m verified on all the platforms. And so with the
failure that happened in the book that I shared, I thought a thousand people
would come to this event I was throwing and did, and it was humiliating.
But even in that moment, I was like, how can I use this to help other people?
That’s the other thing, like if you’ll share, I always say like, if you’ll go first, you
give everyone else in the room the gift of going second. Cause it’s hard to go
first. Like you don’t know what the boundaries are, but it’s easier to go
second. So I had my friend take a photo of me sitting there alone. I blogged
about it. I shared about it. It became my most popular blog post because it
was honest. It was real. And I was willing to share it.
And so for me, a lot of times I’ll go, Okay, what can I learn from this? How can I
share this? And like, you never arrive. You’re an author, do a book signing.
When people go, how do you stay humble? You say, you do a book signing.
That’s how you stay humble because in your head you’re like, man, there’s
going to be swamp, people crawling, maybe like around the block.
You always, my favorite thing is when you start them late. Cause you’re like,
we want to make sure people get here in time as if there’s a bus load of your
fans somewhere like just over the hill during traffic, it’s a whole Greyhound
bus full of people that love your work.
And so you’re going to have those moments. And so whether you’re an
entrepreneur, whether you’re an author, whether you know, whatever you do,
you’re going to have moments like that where you feel like, okay, wait a
second. This knocks me back down again. And so I’ve tried to turn those into
moments I could share, make the truth that I know from my life with that
particular moment.
That’s what I did. And it changed the moment. And then in the book I tell a
story of years later, I was on stage in that arena in front of 8,000 people. And I

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was the only one in that moment that was like, hold on a second, 500 yards
away from more of that Failure. Yeah. And so like fun things happen.
And so, and the other thing is I knew in 2008, I was like, I can be a public
speaker. I had no evidence. I had no proof. I hadn’t done it. I hadn’t been paid
a nickel to be a public speaker. All I had was a thought, but the thought was
all I needed. And so that’s where I go, Okay, overthinking, I think I can be a
I think I could be an author. I think I can own a business. Like, and then I turn
those thoughts into actions and actually prove that true. Like that’s my thing
is like, say it so often that it turns into actions that actually prove it true. It
wasn’t that I, like, said it once or set it a thousand times and didn’t do
anything. Like I still had to write the book.
[Tanya:] I think that’s the problem that I have when people talk about
manifesting is they talk about it, like, it’s just, you put it out into the universe
and I’m like, no, no, honey, the universe is waiting for action.
[Jon:] The Universe couldn’t care less about you; the universe in general
couldn’t care less about Jon Acuff. Like, no offense. The universe is doing
universe stuff; whatever the universe does all day–big, huge things, like
involving like mountains and rivers. Like another thing is I’m jaded by nature.
I’m a pessimistic, cynical negative person. I work hard to be positive because I
see the value in it. So like one of my favorite chapters is when I explored
positive thinking and I was like, cause I kept running into it.
And all these successful people I talked to, if you’d get them alone and go like
talk to yourself; you ever, like, have some thoughts–
[Tanya:] Those weird mirror conversations.
[Jon:] Exactly. One of my most successful friends is like, Oh yeah, I’ll share my
declarations with you. I was like, the dude has declarations, that’s what I’m
talking about. I got a pep-talk.
[Tanya:] That’s bigger than affirmations, let’s be honest. Declaration.
[Jon:] That’s what I’m saying. Like, it sounds like it’s got an exclamation mark
at the end of it. So yes, I think that’s, what’s the other thing that’s going to be
different about the book is that if you’re expecting like an emotional flowery,
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like there’s a ton of action. There’s a ton of like, Serenity now! from Seinfeld. So
let me go in there and see what’s–and I was like, dang, that worked, cool!
Like, it’ll work for you. Let’s try it.
[Tanya:] It’s true. And I love, it’s almost like you use yourself as the experiment,
right? You’re like, let’s try this. And I love how you’re right, like, when we share
the things that don’t go well, when we share our failures, it normalizes it for
everybody else. And we think, ‘Oh yeah, that’s happened to me.’ Right?
[Jon:] Yeah. The biggest lie is like, when I see somebody share something like
a hurt, thought, or whatever, like, a failure, I immediately am so proud of
them. And I think they’re brave and I want to be friends. When I go to do it, I
think the opposite. I think they’re going to think I’m weak. They’re going to
think I’m a failure. They’re not gonna wanna be my friend. So if you can get
around that and get a community where that is, I mean, not everybody’s a
safe person, obviously; there’s a bunch of idiots.
[Tanya:] Oh, there’s a lot of jerks out there. We’re on social media, Jon, we both
know there’s a lot of jerks out there.
[Jon:] Yeah, like get on Twitter; like it’s terrible. But yeah. So I think that’s a big
part of it. And so I just encourage people. Like you’re not meant to do this
stuff alone, whatever the stuff you’re doing is you’re like, you’re not meant to
do it alone.
[Tanya:] Yeah, we were built for people. We all were.
[Jon:] One hundred percent.
[Tanya:] We really were. And so I think that’s why it’s so important to really
almost get out of our own way with this, to take our overthinking and turn it
into a super power. We’re not going to get rid of it, so how can we turn it so it
really does work to our advantage? You do share so many great actionable
tips. Like one of them I love that you talk about is turn down the dial.
[Jon:] Oh my gosh. Game-changer, a game-changer.
[Tanya:] I mean like it’s so simple and it’s not like you need tools or anything
else to do it. It’s just like, turn down the dial.

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[Jon:] Yeah. When I learned that one, I was blown away and you’re right. Like
my approach is, when I learn something, I try it, and then I test it with a few
thousand people. Cause, like the best Jon Acuff idea from Jon Acuff’s office,
helps John Acuff. But, because I have generous readers, and we’ll say, Hey, for
30 days, me, you and this PhD researcher, Mike Peasley are going to try these
ideas and see which ones work.
So like that idea; David Thomas, who’s in Nashville; he’s another author and he
leads daystar counseling here, that does amazing work with kids. We had
coffee and I was asking him about negative thoughts and soundtracks. And
he said, the problem is with negative thoughts or stress or anxiety. He said,
most people want a switch. They want to find a single thing they do that’s a
switch. And it turns it off forever.
So they go yoga, yoga’s my new switch and they switch it. And it works for a
week, maybe even a whole month. But then the stress of life, that negativity,
Whatever, comes back and they go, Oh I’m a failure, I need to go find another
switch. And they just go switch, switch, switch, switch, switch. And he said, it’s
not a switch. It’s a dial. So that when you find it at an eight or a seven, you go
wait a second. I know some things that I do to turn dials down. So I’m going
to re-engage with those things. That’s, what’s so fascinating.
For me, running is a dial. When I feel stressed, I can turn it down by going for
a jog. But when I’m stressed, I often stop running, which is the opposite of
what I should do. And I eliminate the thing. And so sometimes even just
having a list of soundtracks that say, I live better when I’m running. I love
puzzles. I need friends, whatever the thing is, it’s a reminder that, Oh, wait a
second. I feel a little underwater. Am I doing the things that I know to turn
down the dials or not? If not, then okay; I need to reinvest in those. I need to
do those again. And yeah, for me having a dial mentality versus a switch was
[Tanya:] Oh, it’s huge. It really is. It’s ownership over it. That it’s not about
getting rid of it. It’s turning it down to a three or, let’s bump it to 11. One
louder, Right?
[Jon:] Yeah. Well, for me, like, it’s active. Like I tell people all the time, like I
gather those, like I’d rather like I want a long list. Cause on some days four of
them won’t matter, but the fifth one will magic or like 10 of them won’t
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matter. So I I’m a big believer in like having as many as I call them, turn down
techniques as you want to do. But like, for me, I love doing Lego sets, which is
like such a dorky thing to admit. But like I enjoy it. Like nothing in my life has
steps or instructions and a Lego set does. And so like, it’s my version of
quilting. So like I get some big race car and like it takes hours and weeks to
put together and it feels like a meditation.
[Tanya:] Yeah! John does that, too; my husband. He, we get the architecture
[Jon:] He sounds awesome.
[Tanya:] Yeah. He’s pretty awesome, I have to admit.
[Jon:] Great name, does Lego sets. Like, we’re two for tw; lives in North
[Tanya:] You guys are like soul mates.
[Jon:] Yeah, three for three. I like this guy.
[Tanya:] He’s a pretty good guy; he’s pretty good. But I just love how you make
everything so approachable. And so as we’re closing out the show today, I
would love for you to share one thing that you think my listeners can do today
to turn their overthinking from something that they think is a super problem
into a superpower.
[Jon:] Yeah. So I’ll give you a very specific, I’ll give you a soundtrack you can flip
that most people struggle with. Somebody the other day asked me, they said,
Hey, how do I get over imposter syndrome? Like, how do I get over imposter
syndrome? And that’s a great question because a lot of people feel that. And
so I said, you need to flip your soundtrack.
Instead of saying ‘over,’ trade out that word for the word ‘through.’ How do I
get through imposter syndrome? Because over is a word of perfectionism; it
has finality to it as if it’s one wall that you climb, and then you’re done. You go
through imposter syndrome; you go through fear; you go through challenges.
I’ve written seven books, New York Times bestsellers. I still feel like I’m not a
real writer a lot of days. I go through imposter syndrome. It doesn’t stop me.
But so right now, if you’re thinking I’m not a real business owner, I’m not
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entrepreneur, or whatever; go through that. Don’t try to go over imposter
syndrome. Like don’t try to get over it, go through it and process it and give
yourself the grace to do that over time versus having to have it all figured out.
[Tanya:] I like that. We’re works in progress.
[Jon:] Totally.
[Tanya:] Big, beautifully imperfect works in progress. Yes. So Jon, where is the
best place for people to contact you or connect with you? What’s the best
place to do it?
[Jon:] Well, I mean, the first thing: I have a podcast. So if right now you’re like,
Oh, that was really fun. He talked about a lot of things. He likes Legos… To hear
more though, go there. It’s called All it takes is a goal with Jon Acuff.
I’m a goal nerd and I love helping people with their goals. So if you’re into
podcasts, check out: All it takes is a goal with Jon Acuff. And then
soundtracksbook.com. If I were you I’d go, ‘I want to read this first chapter. A
lot of people can be funny or interesting on a podcast. She’s a good host.
Maybe it was her.’ Like, go read the first chapter.
[Tanya:] I’m sure it’s not me.
[Jon:] Maybe that’s what they’re thinking!
[Tanya:] Jon, you’re seriously; like, your Instagram feed is like one of the
funniest things.
[Jon:] Ah, thank you for that.
[Tanya:] Yes. Hilarious.
[Jon:] Yeah. So soundtracksbook.com and then acuff.me is my website. Jon
Acuff on Instagram and Twitter; no H in Jon. Does your John have an H? I bet
he has an H.
[Tanya:] He does. I’m so sorry.
[Jon:] I’m a Jonathan, that’s why I don’t have the H; but yeah, any of those
places would be great. I’d love for people to check out the work I do. And I
appreciate you giving me a chance to talk about it.

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[Tanya:] Absolutely. And I will share all the links to Jon in the show notes. But
Jon, this was fabulous. Honestly, the book is amazing. I’ll talk about it as we
close out the show, but it’s such a good book. You need this book, you know
why? Because we all overthink.
And Jon has given us the tools to take that and turn it into a superpower. I
don’t think we can ask for more than that, quite frankly. And I don’t say that
often. I don’t often tell my listeners, like you gotta go get this book.
[Jon:] I like these words you’re using. And I read the audio book. So the audio
book has a ton of bonus content, exclusive stuff. It’s only in the audio book. So
if you’re like, I’m an audio person, I don’t want a book. Amen. I love audio
books. They’re the best. So go check out the audio book, go check out the
print book, Whatever works for your life.
[Tanya:] I told you, you were really going to like Jon. He’s a funny guy, but full
of so much great advice. He puts a lot of thought and effort into every book
he writes. But this one I think is one of my favorites.
In fact, when he asked me to write the endorsement, this is what I wrote. I
said, is it possible to stop overthinking, increase your confidence and actually
accomplish the work you dream of doing? Jon Acuff proves it can be done.
Soundtracks is the ideal mixtape with just the right amount of actionable
advice, keen insight and hilarious anecdotes that make you want to rewind
and play it again–this time at full volume. And I mean it, I don’t write
endorsements for books that I don’t truly believe in.
So I want to encourage you to go and pick this book up. It really is going to
shift how you look at your own overthinking. And I believe that when you
have ownership over your thoughts, when you understand that the things
that you think are a choice that is when you have the intentional advantage.


**This transcript is generated by AI, so please excuse any typos or misspellings.


Tanya Dalton is a productivity expert, keynote speaker and best selling author who speaks to women’s organizations, corporations and non-profits to help them be more productive.