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What I learned from a 5-day challenge...


These days it seems everyone is doing some kind of "challenge". Truthfully, these make me pretty skeptical and after they try to sell something to you for the first 20-minutes I'm out. This time I stuck with it!

Just finished reading "Soundtracks" by Jon Acuff and was curious to learn more about his work. BAM! His Overcoming Overthinking Challenge appeared on his feed and I signed up. Here are the nuggets from each session...


The 2 most powerful word in the English language are "me too". We are not alone. Finding out others have similar feelings, struggles and experiences is powerful.

Our thoughts become our actions that become our results.

Day 1 - Empathy

Empathy is for yourself AND others. If you aren't kind to yourself, you will find it difficult to be kind to others. Empathy is understanding what someone else needs and acting on it. It's caring about what the people you care about care about. Read less minds, ask more questions.

None of us is good at something we've never done before.

"Be brave enough to be bad at something new." -Jon Acuff

Day 2 - Change

There are 2 types of change; voluntary and involuntary. The first one we choose and the second is outside of our control.

4 types of change we will experience are ceiling, jump, opportunity & bump.

When you hit a ceiling you need more education and/or training. This allows you to jump. When you hit a bump find the door opportunity has opened.

Win the way you've won before. In this way you get to be you during the change.

Day 3 - Resilience

Listen to yourself. Think about what you're thinking about. If "I'm lonely" comes up, consider flipping it to "I'm built for people".

"Resilience is forward motion despite the absence of courage, comfort or clarity." -Jon Acuff

Bravery is a choice not a feeling. The bigger your purpose the bigger your resilience. Connection to purpose provides courage, comfort and clarity.

Day 4 - Hustle

Hustle creates long-term in the face of short-term stress. It's putting miles between you and your desire to quit. Motivation is a mission not a moment. It grows during a chosen goal.

Day 5 - Enjoy/Live/Win

Today is brand new and tomorrow is too. Enjoy the past. Live in the present. Win the future. You have a gift worth giving. It's not fake it until you make it, it's telling yourself the truth in advance. The only person in your way is you and you quit doing that yesterday!

The feeling of fear will get in the way. Listen to it. Turn the feelings into positive beliefs. Those beliefs will become your identity.

"Fear is a great teacher but a horrible CEO." -Jon Acuff

Was it worth it?

Short answer; yes! He had interesting ways on connecting familiar concepts with action steps to integrate them into our lives. His efforts have created a positive community that is helping thousands self-actualize.

Follow your interests and passions. They are indicators of your future success. Scratch that itch!

You get out of it what you put into it. Get past the "sales" pitch and lean into your growth. It's a great gift for yourself.

Everything we do is inherently unique because there's never been another person like each of us on the planet, ever. It's amazing what possibilities open up when we stop judging our ideas before we pursue them.

Whether its Jon Acuff or someone else, go for the challenge. If you come away feeling like you should have paid more for the experience, recommend it to others. Go into it to learn something then share with others along the way!

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This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Ag Extension (funding opportunity no. USDA-NIFA-OP-010186), grant no. 2023-41595-41325 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Extension Foundation. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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