How to Stop Overthinking With Bestselling Author Jon Acuff

Jon Acuff

Verywell / Julie Bang

Every Monday on The Verywell Mind Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Amy Morin, LCSW, interviews experts, authors, entrepreneurs, athletes, musicians, and other inspirational people about the strategies that help them think, feel, and do their best in life.

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Meet Jon Acuff

Jon Acuff is a NY Times bestselling author. He’s written seven books, including his newest one called Soundtracks.

He’s also the host of a podcast called, “All It Takes Is a Goal.” He’s a popular motivational speaker and he’s got a great sense of humor. He talks openly about some of the struggles he has experienced in business and in life and the lessons he’s learned along the way.

Why Jon Acuff Is Mentally Strong

Jon’s new book, Soundtracks, is about overthinking. In it, he shares the strategies that work for him when he has a broken soundtrack playing in his head.

He acknowledges that he’s a work in progress and he offers actionable advice for his readers and listeners. 

He’s also open about the fact that he has seen a therapist to help him change his thought patterns. He’s not afraid to talk about the need for professional help sometimes.

What You’ll Hear on the Show

  • The difference between overthinking and being prepared
  • How Jon overthinks when asked to pick a restaurant
  • What overthinking looks like in business
  • The simple exercise that will help you identify your broken "soundtracks"
  • The link between loneliness and overthinking
  • How the pandemic has led to increased opportunities to overthink
  • A soundtrack that can help with shame
  • How to borrow other people’s soundtracks
  • The specific soundtracks Jon has borrowed from friends
  • The one soundtrack he’s taken from Kanye West
  • The three questions you should ask every soundtrack
  • Why your brain is a jerk and the three things it does to you
  • Why everyone has a pocket jury who is looking for evidence that might not exist
  • The risk and benefits of placing labels on yourself or being labeled by other people
  • How to turn down the dial on the soundtracks that aren’t helpful
  • How to track your progress without expecting immediate results

What You’ll Learn About Mental Health and Mental Strength

The way you think affects how you feel and how you behave. And overthinking can be a huge roadblock to thinking and feeling your best.

Some people rehash things that already happened and it prevents them from enjoying life now. Others second-guess what they should do next to the point that they can’t take any action.

And sometimes, we just keep replaying the same unhelpful messages in our heads over and over.

Fortunately, you can learn to respond to negative thoughts in a more productive way. And you can choose not to believe everything you think.

Jon’s suggestions about soundtracks are helpful strategies for dealing with thoughts that can hold you back in life. It’s similar to creating mantras or catchphrases that can help you think differently. 

Quotes From Jon

Approach change as a tourist, because we're all tourists to 2021. Nobody right now would go, ‘This is like my 50th global pandemic. I've actually been through so many of these.’

  • What if, when you receive feedback, it's an invitation to grow, not an attack on who you are?
  • Thoughts always turn into actions. Actions turn into results.
  • We want silver bullets a lot of times in life where I think the healing and the growth is really in the process.
  • I'm either going to succeed at it or I'm going to get a story.

More About the Podcast

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By Amy Morin, LCSW, Editor-in-Chief
Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She's also a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.