I just finished listening to the book Soundtracks: The Surprising Solution to Overthinking by Jon Acuff. It's basically about how we overthink everything. Ever do that? I sure do! (In fact, he says we ALL do!) 

I distinctly remember a conversation at a PTO/Staff event with a mom of one of my students:  

She said, "Isn't it true how we all go home and think, Did I say the right thing? Oh I am so dumb for saying that? Did I listen enough? I probably sounded like a crazy person? and in that same jumble of thoughts, we are probably also thinking about the other person, Oh they were so nice. I'm so happy to have met them. Why do we do this?" 

The circle of 5 women all completely agreed and felt like she spoke to our soul. We are never critical of the other woman like we are with ourselves. So knock it off, right? Easier said than done... I would love to meet a woman who doesn't do this. Are you her? What are your tips? ...

This is a classic example of overthinking. Where else are you prone to overthink? 

Acuff also talks about how negative thoughts pop up (really) often without effort. He calls it the "pocket jury." Thoughts like "I could never do that." or "Of course it's a bad idea." or even those memories of shame or embarrassment you want to forget forever just appear in your mind as if they just happened. Talk about ruining the moment. And it's all in our heads! 

In order to combat the pocket jury, we need to actually think about defeating it. Affirmations sometimes are seen as hollow and cheezy (He even mentions Stewart Smalley here... hahaha.) But in reality, when we begin to tell ourselves positive things AND THEN actively look for the proof of them it turns an empty affirmation into something we begin to believe and then act to come true. 

Acuff explains all of this with humor and science and stories. Clearly, I recommend it! 

Yesterday, I practiced using one of his mantras, "Everything is always working out for me." after the plans to see an outdoor musical with a good friend (to support the other good friend in our trio and my principal who both had roles) were canceled due to rain. It seems weird, but I actually found myself tearing up when I thought about being unable to see the play at all. I know how hard my friend and principal had worked and how much joy the rehearsal process had brought them - I wanted to see that culmination of their effort and joy. And who doesn't love the musical Mamma Mia

However, as the day moved on, I purposefully changed my thoughts to "Everything is always working out for me." My husband and I ended up going to my favorite local burrito shop for a comforting lunch and we ate the burritos with crowlers of beer from our recent trip on our patio. We positioned ourselves under our umbrella at the table and enjoyed the soft sounds of the light rain all around us. Our kids played with legos in the house and it was a serene moment that wouldn't have happened. 

Later that evening, the theater company decided to hold the musical in the rain for the evening show. I headed to the park armed with an umbrella, camp chair, picnic blanket, snack, sparkling water and a smile. The rain fell softly while a crowd of umbrellas watched the magic of the show. The rain stopped before the end of the 1st act and we enjoyed a beautiful evening. The darkness that I wouldn't have experienced at the end of the show if I had gone to the matinee set the wedding scene at the end perfectly. The rain also meant a smaller crowd and an easy parking spot!

I got out of making dinner for the kids and bedtime craziness. Sure, I would have loved to attend with friends and coworkers as planned, but I would have missed out on the experiences I DID have. See, Everything is always working out for me. 

Try it! When you have a challenging day ahead, remind yourself that everything is always working out for you and then look for the proof! 

Also, I HIGHLY recommend this book! It explains mindset and affirmations and made me laugh. Jon Acuff is a public speaker, author, and former comedian. And he's my age. So the pop culture jokes land perfectly. 

Check your local library first. If you want to own the audiobook, I recommend libro.fm because it supports your local bookstores. Though, I have a kindle so Amazon/Audible is the obvious option, too.