Sunday, January 10, 2021

Don't Overthink It * Session #1

Welcome, all you enthusiastic, insightful, knowledgeable readers ... I am delighted that you {yes, I'm looking at YOU} are here!

This is our first of three Sunday Evening Book Club gatherings focused on Anne Bogel's Don't Overthink It: Make Easier Decisions, Stop Second-Guessing, and Bring More Joy to Your Life.  

If you haven't grabbed your copy yet, simply jump right on over to Amazon where the Kindle edition is still priced at a ridiculously crazy $1.59!  You can also get the paperback right here.  {As an Amazon Associate, I may get a small financial benefit if you use these links.}

And it's not too late to invite your bookish friends ... please feel free to share this invitation on your favorite social media sites!  The more readers, the merrier the conversation.

Let's jump right in with 3 quotes from Part One - Set Yourself Up For Success ...

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Perfectionism

{Chapter 3, page 40}

'Many are shocked when they realize that perfectionism and overthinking go hand in hand ... But once we understand the connection, we see how perfectionistic tendencies fuel overthinking.  When we face a decision, the impossibly high standards demanded by perfectionism are just that - impossible ... if we equate right with perfect, it is deadly - because when we aim for perfection, we freeze.  When perfectionism reigns, if we can't tell what the absolute, unquestionable best option is in a given situation, we do nothing - except fret about it.  Hello, analysis paralysis.'  


Values

{Chapter 4, pages 56 - 57}

'Our lives should reflect who we are and what we care about.  We may think we know what we value but find that those values don't actually influence our decisions.  This inconsistency makes it impossible for our decisions to flow naturally.  To ensure our values align with our actual lives, we need to "fact-check" ourselves by asking, "What does my behavior indicate I value?" ... When I'm wondering if my life and my values are in sync, I've found it helpful to take a look at my calendar, because it reflects those things I value enough to actually plan for.' 


Responsibility

{Chapter 5, pages 67 - 68}

'It's both discouraging and empowering to realize how many problems we create for ourselves when we neglect the basic tenets of responsible adulthood.  It's discouraging because even if we don't want to, we need to do these things.  Many of these tasks - basic, boring things - don't feel important in the moment ... It's empowering because these habits are well within our control ... these basics are essential, and setting up systems to ensure they actually get done has a profound effect on our mental load.   When we establish the right habits ... we can stop much overthinking before it starts, because the things that need to get done actually get done.'  

*

OK!  Let the uplifting dialogue begin with the quotes above, your gleanings from Part One, the intersection of your faith with what you're discovering, or whatever you have to bring to the table ... 

Linda

P.S. #1  Read Part 2 - Take Charge, Chapters 6 - 9 for next Sunday evening's Book Club.

P.S. #2  Subscribe so you don't miss a single session.

P.S. #3  Please Help Me Find Some Books For My Friend touched a tender place in the hearts of many of you and truly blessed my dear friend as she does battle with cancer.  I am so deeply grateful for the generous lovingkindness you've poured her way.  

She writes, Linda - this is truly amazing!!  Such power in Christian community - even when it's on-line.  This is such a gift to me - the recommendations and the prayers!  Thank you, thank you!  I really appreciate all the comments and suggestions!  I've ordered a couple books from the library.

P.S. #4  Sharing the Book Club with Jeanne  .  Richella  .  Lisa

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Don't Overthink It * Session #2

Session #3

48 comments:

  1. The thought in her first chapter that she wasn't going to be happy with either outcome of a particular decision was a big help to me. I can get stuck in a cycle of wanting to choose the "best" -- but sometimes both options are imperfect. Instead of stressing me out further, that relieved me--I don't have to worry about the "perfect" choice most of the time.

    I also liked the points about being careful how we think about ourselves, so we're not reinforcing negativity, starting small, adopting a "try it and see" instead of a success/failure mindset, letting our values impact our choices, and "completing the cycle."

    I love how simple and practical her writing is.

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    1. Barbara, thanks for kicking off our dialogue. Yes, I'm loving how simple, practical, and conversational Anne is in her writing. I'm not ready for anything heavy these days, and this hits the spot in dealing with things that matter without being ponderous!

      Good stuff!

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  2. This really stood out to me: "Mental energy is not a limitless resource. We have only so much to spend each day, and how we choose to spend it matters."

    It reminded me that when I waste my time overthinking, I can't get that time back. I'd rather spend my valuable time resource in a more productive way than overthinking.

    I also appreciate how she reminds us that we can't think our way out of analysis paralysis without recognizing it first. I want to learn to catch it earlier when I'm doing it!

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    1. That whole mental energy is a huge thing, isn't it, Lisa. I think it's true for most everybody but even more so as we get older and can't easily multi-task and find we have less tolerance for drama and foolishness and things that don't matter in the light of eternity.

      Such a superb idea to be aware of how we spend our limited amount of mental and emotional energy ... especially in this long, draining season.

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  3. Replies
    1. From your heart of compassion to His heart of mercy. Thank you, Victor.

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  4. I really like “what does my behavior indicate I value?” I will be giving that some thought this week. I think I will check out the book as well.

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    1. This sure is a powerful question, Kara. What's absolutely nonnegotiable in our lives?

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  5. I liked what she wrote on adulthood responsibility and the problems we create for ourselves when we don't do the basic things we have to do. Whether that is paying bills, signing the kid's school forms on time or keeping up with everyday kind of things. Once you let something go, it snowballs, you get behind and then you are so far behind it is out of control- then you just give up trying! Definitely helps to get a routine in place and deal with things as they come up, but it can be hard to do.

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    1. Marilyn, you're right, this is hard to do. As soon as we get some kind of order in our days and find it's working well, the rug gets pulled out from us and all kinds of circumstances change and it seems to go back to square one again!

      Arrggh!

      What works for you in keeping steady with your routine? Do tell ...

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  6. Years ago, I used to think I had to be perfect in order to be right with myself. Thank goodness God removed that lie from my life! And yes, there are times when we simply have to "adult" in order for things to go right and responsibly in our lives. Our values should guide our thoughts and our actions.
    Blessings, Linda!

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    1. Yeah, that perfection trap surely is a lie from the enemy of our souls, makes us feel like losers because we're never perfect, and discourages us from reaching higher.

      Yes, let's 'adult,' Martha! I like the way you put it.

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    2. Yes yes yes to the enemy making us feel like losers. We will never seeerfection this side of heaven so Get Behind, Satan.

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  7. I do not over-analyze,
    that's not the fence at which I fall;
    in act, some folks express surprise
    that I can really think at all
    because I have simian air,
    "gorilla's" not a bit unkind,
    and I find it's only fair,
    admitting to the state of mind
    that says to take the very first
    decision that occurs to me,
    and though some look with lips a-pursed
    I shall just go on happily
    as nature's smiling idjit-child,
    running free and running wild.

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    1. Gorilla? Gee, I never thought of you that way. Guess I didn't over think your true identity, huh?

      ;-}

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    2. Linda, were I privileged to meet you in person, 'gorilla' is probably the first description of which you'd think. In spite of the cancer I've been pushing hard to stay in shape, and while having a 52-inch chest, 22-inch biceps and a 32-inch waist would be impresive were I 6-ft-5, I'm 5-ft-9, and the result is, well...weird.

      Barb has been distressed that she can't find t-shirts in XXXL easily; I suggested she try a Big and Tall place, and her reply was classic:

      "You're not tall, and you're too darned big!" (She used another word rather than 'darned'.)

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    3. Always remember - Barb knows best!

      ;-}

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  8. I guess I haven't overcome perfectionism, Linda. Especially when it comes to inwardly over-thinking. I often replay what I wish I had said in my mind following a conversation, and I frequently second-guess my decisions. I had never connected that to perfection. I guess I know I'm kind of hard on myself and need to allow myself more grace... That section in Chapter 3 is what gives me the most pause for reflection. I also want to take to heart her advice on giving ourselves "mental health breaks" and "regular, restorative breaks." I find the older I become, the more I need those! :) Love and blessings to you!

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    1. Well, I think you're in very good company, Trudy, when it comes to needing breaks, white space free from noise, quiet time to contemplate God's Word, a well-deserved afternoon nap, an hour with a book or a puzzle, saying a pleasant 'no, thanks' when a request comes that doesn't align with your values or time or energy.

      And this is more necessary than ever with the way life seems to be spinning out of control. Only Jesus gives us peace.

      And that grace you're talking about!

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  9. I just finished chapter one, and was pleasantly surprised. Why did I wait so long to read this book! Hopefully will be caught up with you by next Sunday!

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    1. It is a delightful read, isn't it ... so conversational, like sitting with a really discerning friend ...

      ;-}

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  10. I didn't begin to read the book yet, so I will be some weeks behind in the discussion. I am finishing up Rachel Held Evans' Inspired. I love the author's thoughts on values. Sometimes what we publicly state as our values does not match up with what we are living. I need to think more about "walking my talk".

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    1. No rush! You'll find it to be an easy read, not at all intense, more like a winsome invitation.

      ;-}

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  11. What an interesting book!...I'll have to see if my library carries the e-version!

    I used to be a perfectionist. I don't who said this: "Done is better than perfect."

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    1. Yep, for sure, sometimes 'done' is absolutely perfect, Margie! Here's hoping your library has a copy just waiting for you ...

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    1. Your place is so homey, creative, and relaxing!

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  13. Hi Linda!

    I love reading and even though I am not reading this book with you, I can glean so much just from the quotes you shared. I am a recovering perfectionist who was totally nodding my head when I read that perfectionism leads to overthinking. I get that on so many levels. The interesting thing is that in the last year I have fallen off of the wagon so to speak when it comes to perfectionism. I have leaned back in that direction and I realize it is to find some control in a crazy, uncertain world.

    I am not sure if anyone suggested the book, Searching for Certainty, by Shelly Miller for your friend, but it is the perfect book for so many reasons.

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    1. I was so excited to see you here that I headed over to your place to see if you had written! It's so good to see you again.

      You make such an important point that this is a time when we might be prone to head backwards instead of forward in our quest to live wisely.

      If ever we needed to think clearly and acknowledge what we can't control while embracing what we can, it'd be right about now ...

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  14. I am not reading the book Linda so am thankful for your post with bits and pieces of it. The one on perfectionism hit home. I think living overseas and moving as much as we have had broke most of my perfectionism. The word, "flexible" has become the grid I run most things through, also, "I can't fix this". Blessings.

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    1. Betty, thanks for sharing about the impact of ministry overseas and its challenges. I see what you're saying about tossing perfectionism out the window and learning flexibility.

      Admitting that we have no control to fix everything and everybody around us has been one of my life's biggest lessons.

      I'm glad you're here today, and hope you're feeling stronger with each passing day.

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  15. Thank you for your encouragement to read this book, Linda! As soon as I read the first story about anxiously checking the weather I definitely related to it! So far I have especially loved the section on values and how keeping the big picture in mind can guide our smaller decisions, and also the reminder that it is not a good idea to let fear motivate our decisions.

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    1. So many jewels packed into Part 1! I can relate on so many levels ...

      ;-}

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  16. Raising five sons definitely broke me striving for excellence. I desire to be a perfectionist - but I'm a writer who needs an editor. My cakes are shabby chic. It takes me forever to clean my kitchen. I had to finally embrace who God designed me to be. I had to stop obsessive thinking - and just walk with God. It's been a beautiful turn around on my life. Can I recommend my book for your friend? "All is Well. . . Even Though." It's a 28 Day devotional written to not be read in 28 days. It's scriptures with my photos - the scriptures were the ones God gave me in January 2019 when my husband had to have a heart-valve replaced (he was born with a 2 leaf which doesn't have the same longevity) - his condition was severe when it was identified. During the process, they discovered a nodule in his lung which was cancer. It's a book designed to help keep your eyes focused on God, simply encouragement in small morsels - just right for doctor's offices, bed-time, and hospital rooms. It's available on amazon. Those who have bought it for themselves buy it for others. Shalom, Linda!

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    1. 'My cakes are shabby chic.'

      ;-} Too funny!

      Maryleigh, I'm so grateful you shared your story ... and the book birthed from it. Bless you. I love little volumes with 'simple encouragement in small morsels.' When we find ourselves in crisis, the last thing we need is a huge tome to make our way through.

      READERS - Here's the link to Maryleigh's book. Just looking at the cover will calm your soul. We are invited to grow to the place where we are able to reply, 'All is well' ... even while in the midst of the unspeakable.
      https://www.amazon.com/All-Well-Even-Though-Devotional/dp/1080244522/ref=sr_1_13?dchild=1&keywords=all+is+well+even+though&qid=1610495332&sr=8-13

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  17. Linda, wow. These are great quotes! And the one on perfectionism and overthinking? Ummm, yeah, I have fallen into the trap these mindsets create. a few times. This sounds like an insightful book!

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    1. Yep, we've all been in the trap we've set for ourselves. Fortunately, we don't have to stay stuck there. By His grace!

      I'm grateful ...

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  18. I did get the kindle edition, Linda, but haven’t started it yet!
    Thank you for visiting my blog!

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    1. Oh I'm so glad you picked it up, Kitty. Enjoy!

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  19. Good book choice, Linda. I never could see the many facets of worry and overthinking, for me, leads to worry. The worry doesn’t necessarily paralyze me but it causes me to seek harder the perfect solution.

    Of these 5 chapters, perfectionism grabbed ahold of me. My conclusion to analysis paralysis is this: “We can’t keep searching for perfect solutions, interesting as the pursuit may be, because perfect solutions don’t exist.”

    I will store this reminder of my faulty decision making process and seek the best decision, NOT THE PERFECT ONE.

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    1. It takes the pressure off, doesn't it, Buds! What might we have accomplished along the way if we hadn't burned up all that valuable energy looking for something that doesn't exist?!

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  20. Hi, Linda! I'm going to grab my copy on Kindle so I can check it out! 😊

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    1. Yay! Jump right on into the discussion whenever you can, Tai. I'm glad you're here ...

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  21. Wow, this sounds so good, and I have benefited greatly from readers' insights -- which is no surprise because this community is wise and wonderful.

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    1. If this community is 'wise and wonderful,' it's all because of receptive, responsive readers like you, Michele!

      I'm grateful.

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  22. When we were traveling today, I was finally able to read the first 5 chapters. Letting our values helps us make good decisions was such a great reminder. My husband and I are still in the middle of transition and I find myself juggling different contract work plus other work I want to do like writing on my blog, etc. Should I accept this assignment? On the days, I don't have paid work, how should I spend my days. It made me think do my decisions and the way I spend my time reflect my values.

    The other thing that stood out for me was a quote for a Dr. Emmons on how sleep, exercise, and diet help build the "roots of resilience." So true. When times get crazy, keeping these as consistent as possible helps so much.

    I am hoping to read the next installment as we travel again tomorrow so I will be caught up for when you post tomorrow.

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    1. Hey TJ! How fun to hear that you're reading as you travel. I love doing that ... as long as my husband-driver stays awake at the wheel! {Not that we've traveled anywhere in a year, but anyway ...}

      I hear what you're saying about those 'roots of resilience.' I've found that devotional times, exercise, and diet are the first to go when things get overwhelming instead of being at the foundation where they belong.

      Glad you're finding some encouragement for your transition, friend. So good to see you again!

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