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3 Ways That We Jump to Conclusions [episode 108]

Click below to hear 3 ways that we jump to conclusions:

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Today we’re continuing the conversation we started last week about cognitive distortions. Today we’re diving into 3 more cognitive distortions. We’re talking all about how we as people jump to conclusions- and how you might be doing it more than you think!

Today we’re going to learn about another cognitive distortion – and this one is divided into 2 other types that fall under the umbrella as well for a total of 3 types of “jumping to conclusions”

What are Cognitive Distortions?

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, the term “cognitive” means “relating to or involving the processes of thinking and reasoning” and “distortions” means “a change to the intended or true meaning of something”. Therefore, cognitive distortions are irrational or biased thought patterns that lead to negative emotions and behavior.

Jumping to Conclusions:

“Jumping to Conclusions” means that we guess the facts of the situation without having enough information. To explain this further, I share a personal story about a time when I jumped to conclusions about home-schooling my kids and how I thought I knew what my family and peers thought about my decision.

Mind Reading:

This is when you believe that you know exactly what someone else is thinking and feeling (usually something negative about yourself) even when there is no evidence to back it up and they never said anything like it.

For example, a teacher who you’re hoping to befriend might buy a coffee for a couple of fellow teachers but she didn’t bring you one. You assume that it means that she hates you and doesn’t want anything to do with you. In reality, maybe she was just bringing them for the teachers who were right next door to her, and there are many other teachers she didn’t bring one for, too.

Fortune Telling:

This is when we believe something bad is just around the corner, for no good reason. As David Burns, who is credited as one of the original researchers behind CBT and the author I mentioned at the beginning of this episode, says, “It’s as if you had a crystal ball that only gives you bad news!”

This is just a preview of the 3 ways we jump to conclusions that dive into today’s episode. Check out today’s episode to learn more about jumping to conclusions- you might be doing it more than you think!

Key points on ways that we jump to conclusions:

  • What cognitive distortions are
  • How and why we have a tendency to jump to conclusions
  • 3 different types of jumping to conclusions
  • What “fortune telling” is what it looks like
  • What “mind reading” is and what looks like
  • Real examples from my life where I jumped to conclusions
  • What to do when we find ourselves jumping to conclusions

Resources mentioned:

Related episodes and blog posts:

Connect with Kelsey:

Read the transcript for episode 108, 3 Ways that We Jump to Conclusions:



Kelsey: You are listening to episode number 108 of wife, teacher, mommy, the podcast three ways that we jumped to conclusions today, we are continuing the conversation from last week where we’re going to talk about some more cognitive distortions, which are ways that our brain tricks us this week. We’re talking all about how we, as people tend to jump to conclusions and how you might be doing it more than you think.

Welcome to Wife Teacher Mommy, the podcast. I’m Kelsey Sorenson, former elementary teacher and current homeschool mom. And even though I’ve been a resource creator since 2014, I’ve realized that printables alone aren’t all you need in order to thrive as a teacher or homeschool parent. That’s why I also created this show and got started.


Certified as a life coach to help you finally kick burnout to the curb and feel confident with whatever challenges come your way with the right mindset strategies and new teaching inspiration. You’re going to be well on your way to your best teacher life. Now let’s go.




Hey, friend! Welcome to wife. Teach your mind with a podcast or welcome back of your regular listener. I love doing this show. It’s so much fun. I’m recording. This is the second of three episodes that I’m [00:02:00] recording for you this week. I love doing it. I love taking all this information that I’ve been learning and researching and studying and applying and sharing it with all of you. So. Such a great time. And part of this whole process that I’ve been doing to really increase my knowledge and all these things and find better ways to explain it to all of you is working on the book. That I am publishing with teacher goes publishing, which is have been a really fun project. I’m really enjoying it, diving into research. One of the parts that has fascinated me is getting a deeper understanding of the different types of cognitive distortions that we tend to have. So in last week’s episode, I kind of explain what that was, but I want to recap it today in case you’re listening to this one first, like totally fine. This isn’t like a TV show where you have to watch in order. This is more like one of those shows where, you know, you can tune in wherever you want. I do recommend going back and listening to the other one, though, if you haven’t listened to it, but to just recap, we talked [00:03:00] about. What cognitive distortions are. And really when you think of the word cognitive that’s like in the brain distortions things, aren’t exactly as you think. So that is when our brain is kind of tricking us. We’re kind of thinking something, but it’s not exactly true. Now, one other thing I want to mention is that if you want to learn even more about this stuff specifically, like the cognitive distortions. And Cognitive behavioral therapy, which is what, like the model that I’m teaching. Is kind of based on, I’m currently reading this book. Called feeling great by David Burns and I’m really enjoying it. It is a really good book. He’s more of the experts behind book, cognitive behavioral therapy. 


It is a longer book with lots of fascinating info and how it applies directly to the work that I do here. But it’s really just helping me see it all from another angle, which I’m loving it. I love reading all self-help and psychology books. I can get my hands on. So if you’re looking for something, I’d definitely recommend. Getting your hands on that while you wait for my book to come out. If you’re, I mean, it is like a 500 something page books. So you definitely don’t have to be, does even have, like, [00:04:00] there’s a chapter at the beginning. That’s like the 15 minute version. If you’re just like, I want to get that snapshot, like. Super helpful. But mine will be shorter, more condensed and it’ll be specifically geared towards teachers and homeschool parents. So can’t wait for that book to come out mine to come out next year. I wish there were more information as we go along. But of course, this podcast is where I synthesize all this info from everything I’m studying with you, that I learned from my certification as a life coach. My background is a former teacher and current homeschool mom and the coaching that I do every week in wife, teacher, mommy club, with our members, which I love doing. And I’m so excited to be doing a workshop in just a couple of weeks on November, first, all about cognitive distortion. So if you’re a member, be sure to add that to your calendar, but you’re getting a great start right here on the show. So. Quick summary of what we talked about so far. So last week we talked about overgeneralization. And all or nothing thinking so all or nothing thinking. Is when you are thinking everything has to be all one way or nothing. [00:05:00] Like I’m either a great t-shirt or I’m a terrible teacher. We tend to think things like that. Then overgeneralization is where we might take like a one-time incident or something like. Let’s say your friend is late to lunch or something. And you’re just like, oh, she’s always late. Even if she isn’t like every time you’re telling yourself that. So when you take one thing and apply it to everything else. So if you miss that one, definitely highly recommend you go back and listen to that one. Okay. But today we’re going to talk about a new cognitive distortion here. And this is technically one we’re talking about today, but I said three because there’s kind of the overarching one. And then there are two different types of it that are more distinct. So we’re going to be talking about all three of those and they all fall under the umbrella of jumping to conclusions, just like in the title of this episode. Now jumping to conclusions is a common phrase. You’ve likely heard it before. The Google definition says jumping to conclusions means that we guess the facts of a situation without having enough information. Now I want to share a story that I, as I was writing, [00:06:00] I went through and wanted to give examples for every cognitive distortion. And the thing that came to mind was a personal story, actually, that I wrote about in my book. But I’m going to share it with all of you on the show here today. So this is a story that. Happened. It was last school year. As I just mentioned, I am a current homeschool mom. We’ve been homeschooling our kids since well, actually the beginning when my youngest went into kindergarten, it was something we’d been debating. And because we work from home or I’m like that flexibility would be nice to, you know, Not have the exact times. You need to go and travel on the off season, which is something we love doing. And we knew we’d have to stop doing that if we sent our kids to school. So. We decided to try it out. It’s been going well. But at one point I was really doing a lot with my company. We were starting to add coaching. We started the club and we were doing educate and rejuvenate and. That first year, I was still the primary person doing all the homeschooling [00:07:00] and doing all of those things. And it just kind of hit a point where it was like, you know what? I feel like I am doing too much. So I talked to my husband cause he’s working from home and stuff too. And I was like, you know what? I am fine with sending them to school or we need to get some, or I need your help with doing this. And so he’s like, oh, I’m happy to help, happy to help do the schooling. We had like an open and go curriculum and a computer program that he could run. And technically our kids are with a charter school, which also they go to weekly and they have check-ins on their progress. 


So for a while, he actually kind of took over and I went hands off for a little while to keep my head above water while we started charting some even more exciting. Territories in my company here at wife, teacher, mommy. And on one occasion. I decided that I wanted to jump back in and do the schooling. I was like, well, I know what I’m doing. How hard can it be? I’m a teacher and I know the curriculum I’ve been doing it before. I figured it would just be simple jumped back in and take it over. I would just go to where they were in the book. Well, as soon as I hustled [00:08:00] down to my adorable old basement classroom, if you’ve been on our website currently at the moment I’m recording this. If you go to wipe teacher,, you’ll see like, are like me and our kids in like a classroom. It’s actually like a classroom in my basement. That we put together and it’s usually not as clean as in that picture. I will tell you that. But anyways, I hustled down there to finally teach my kids again. I was really excited to do it. It opened up the curriculum books and saw where they were at. And so now I remember this was the second half. Of last school year. And I saw that one of my kids was on lesson 23. And I was like less than 23, we were halfway through the school year. And that just happened to be like where the bookmark was, where the book was at. And immediately I thought, am I missing something? They should be much further in their curriculum by now. And I immediately started panicking. About how far behind I thought they were. And from that, I immediately felt frustrated with my husband. I was like, why is, what is he not doing? Why are they not doing their work? [00:09:00] Why is he, why does he not care that they aren’t. That they’re getting behind or whatever. The frustration came out on my children as they worked with them. And I didn’t even have the patients to finish the lesson. Like I was kind of, cause I. And I’ll tell a little bit about what was happening as I was doing it, but I was like noticing every little thing. That was like, wait, they shouldn’t, they should have been able to do that. They should have been able to do that. It was like, my brain was like focused on wait there behind, let me find all the evidence for all the ways they’re behind, you know, And so at one point I just had had it. And so I went upstairs to my husband and I insisted that we needed to send them back to school. Full-time or hire a, hire a tutor to come in and do the tutoring because he wasn’t keeping up with it. And it didn’t ask if there was possibly anything else that could have been doing. And just where the bookmark was in the curriculum. So that was not one of my proudest moments. I just kind of freaked out at him. So, can you see how I was jumping to conclusions here? I thought that if they were only on this page of the [00:10:00] curriculum, that must mean they were behind. And I wrongly assumed that they hadn’t been doing anything else to supplement the curriculum. And that, that is exactly the only thing they had done. And I was also in several other cognitive distortions in this story as well, which we’ll dive more into those in my book, but if you don’t want to wait for it, I’ll also be teaching them in that workshop. So mark your calendars, if you’re a member. But what ended up happening is once they calm down, my husband kindly assured me that he had been working with the kids on exactly what they needed to be working on. Like once a he explained like the things that they were doing and, oh, we weren’t doing everything in this book. We were also using this and I was also doing this on the board and we were. Uh, using this other program and 


Yeah. When he explained it, they were doing. A lot more than I had anticipated. And in fact, I actually, I’m not one of those people, like as a teacher or a homeschool mom where I’m like, you have to do everything just by the book, by the curriculum all the time. Anyways, like, I mean, I have a whole business based on supplemental resources and they were using a lot of those too. 


Yeah, It’s just [00:11:00] interesting how my, what my brain immediately went to is they’re behind. They aren’t doing anything. Why is my husband not doing anything with my kids? You know? And it’s interesting cause he was doing something I value as well, which is finding other things. And teaching and ways that the kids were able to learn better. So when we jumped to conclusions, it’s kind of like what I did in this story. Just now we make negative predictions about the future and assume that the worst is going to happen without any evidence. Like we see something, we jumped to a conclusion of what is going on without looking all the evidence. But there are also two subsets of Dominic occlusions that are very common mind reading and fortune telling. So I’m going to go over each of these and I’m sure you’ll recognize both of these ha. Of having done them at certain times or other people doing them to you. I’m sure. You’ll recognize examples of both. So. The first one, let’s go over mind reading. This is when you believe that you know exactly what someone else is thinking and feeling usually [00:12:00] something. And a lot of times it’s something that about yourself. You think that they’re thinking badly about you. Even when there’s no evidence to back it up and they never said anything about it. So for example, let’s say you’re a teacher or hoping to be friend some other teachers in the building, and then you notice one of those teachers, she like Comes to school and she has a little gift for a few of the teachers at the beginning of the school year. And she didn’t bring you one. So you assume that it means that she hates you. She doesn’t want anything to do with you. In reality, maybe she was just bringing them for a few teachers who were right next door to her, or those were on her grade level team. And there were many other teachers who she didn’t bring one for too. 


So it wasn’t like you were singled out, but you jumped to conclusions. You’re like, oh, like I’m never going to be able to be friends with her. When really it’s just like, no, maybe it was just, she was giving something to those couple of teachers for some other reason. 


So an example of when I found my self mind rating was back in 2019, like I mentioned, we started homeschooling my kids my oldest started kindergarten. [00:13:00] And it was a tricky decision for me. And honestly, the biggest factor for that was my fear of telling people about that choice. Isn’t that crazy? Because I didn’t question the fact that I could teach him. In fact, I was already doing it. He was going to preschool, but. More of his learning, how to read, like he was reading so well. And it was because of what I was doing at home. He, we were doing lots of activities together, lots of learning, educational play-based activities and everything. And I knew that just continuing that into kindergarten would just be continuing that, continuing to do what I was already doing. And we did find that charter that we love and everything. So he was still going to get some school, but. I thought that people were going to think we’re making a dumb decision. I thought that people were going to think that, especially in my position where I helped teachers, the thought that people were going to think that it thought that I hate public schools and I hate public school teachers, which is not true at all because I’m a former teacher. I had great experiences in school, myself. 


I love supporting teachers. [00:14:00] Really for us, it’s more the flexibility and just something we like for our lifestyle. 


Another thing I was worried about is that my family would just think that I was making a dumb decision because. Like, because my kids would be missing out on things or they. It would be awkward and not socialize because I’d done tons of research. And I knew that that isn’t true about homeschoolers, but I didn’t want to have to explain that to everybody. And I just didn’t want them thinking that I didn’t know if they believe me, so I was just really worried about it. And that’s why I was thinking they would think without me even bringing it up to them, but it didn’t end up being the case. In any case, I’ve never had any teacher in our community think anything badly about me homeschooling our kids. At least, I mean, maybe they have, but I haven’t had them say it to me as far as I know. And I also have, my family was like, Hey, I bet you’ll do great at it. So my mind reading was not at all accurate or if people are thinking that. Like quietly, like hasn’t impacted me at all for the like, Five years we’ve been doing this now. So. I was definitely mind reading the mind [00:15:00] reading version of jumping to conclusions. And it’s funny because that was preventing me from making the decision. Right. And ironically, when your mind reading. And if we were kind of to look back at that first example with the teacher and the gifts and everything. Mind reading can often lead us to feel social anxiety or shyness, which may cause us to withdraw from people preventing the desire to relationship we want to have with those people. So it’s pretty crazy. So where this happens a lot, another example, that’s not just for teachers, but women, especially is in our marriages or relationships. So, if you see your husband or partner is frustrated about something, you might take a guess about what it is and assume, you know, what’s going on because you know them so well, even if you’re wrong about it. You might even think. And I mean, I’ve done this a lot. You might even think it’s something you did that it’s like, oh, he’s frustrated. What, what did I do? What do I need to do to fix it? Like I need to fix the problem or whatever. That’s another cognitive distortion called personalization. When you make things your fault, even when they aren’t. So that’s kind of a sneak peek, but [00:16:00] it can kind of tie into mind reading too, when we’re like, you know, being like, wait. I think I know what’s going on when, when you don’t necessarily sell. Okay. The next type is called a fortune telling. So this is when we believe that something bad is just around the corner for no good reason. So as David Burns, who was the author of that book? I mentioned at the beginning of this episode, he’s credited as one of the original researchers behind cognitive behavioral therapy. And what he says about this is. It’s as if you have a crystal ball that only gives you bad news. So an example of this might be like, let’s say you’re an online school teacher. You’ve a busy day of virtual classes and some of the kids seem unengaged. They are muted when they should be un-muted and vice versa. They also have their cameras off. So you wonder what’s going on. The teacher might think it’s today’s class was this difficult. The rest of the school year will be a disaster. They won’t learn anything. And I’ll be seen as an awful instructor or as a parent, you might worry that if your child doesn’t quite on the level that they quote should be with reading. That they are [00:17:00] going to drop out of school and be complete failure in life. And how are they ever going to get through school or be successful or anything like that? That’s like, you’re taking one small thing and you’re making it out to be like such a bigger thing. That’s going to happen in the future. 


So that is fortune telling that is when we’re like, oh, I know what’s going to happen. And this is not looking good. You know? So jumping to conclusions is just the big overarching category. That is when we guess the facts of the situation without having enough information about it. And that was when I shared my story about like the homeschooling and everything and how I jumped to this is what must be going on when I didn’t have all the information. Right. Mind reigning is when we assume we know what someone else is thinking, and we make conclusions based off of it. So that was like the example of like a teacher buying presents for some of her other classmates. And she didn’t do it for you. And that doesn’t mean she necessarily hates you or anything, but that’s the conclusion that you’re jumping to. And also [00:18:00] my story about what it was afraid of with telling other people, my plan to homeschool. And finally is fortune telling that is when we. Assume that everything that is going to happen around the corner is just nothing good is going to happen. Like if today, if the first day of school went so bad, this is going to be a terrible school year or, oh, my kid is, you know, struggling in school. They are going, what are they going to do in the future? So those are things we do. When we’re fortune telling. So now what I want you to do is think about a time when you have done each of these three things, and then try to notice the next time that you do it. Just a fun little awareness exercise. So the next time you assume someone is mad or frustrated. A brief mind reading or the next time, you’re just find yourself thinking all about all the bad things that are about to happen. Remind yourself, oh, wait, am I reading right now? Or I’m fortune telling right now? It’s just a fun little awareness exercise. Then you can get curious about the, why buying it. Like, why am I thinking like this? Why am I worried about this? Or [00:19:00] why do I think they’re thinking that. What are they actually thinking? Should I, should I ask him, like, what should I do? You could also do a model or something like that. We’re going to talk about the self coaching model again. Next week, I’ve talked about it in a lot of episodes. But that is all for today. But if you were in the club, be sure to join us for our cognitive distortions workshop on November 1st, or tune into the replay for even more about cognitive distortions. And remember if you missed last week’s episode about overgeneralization an all or nothing, thinking, be sure to go back and listen to it because they talk even more about them in that episode. Now before we go. I want to read a recent review that came onto the show because I love reading your reviews and your kind words, especially about this podcast, because I Def, it definitely takes a lot of work to put this together and record these, and I love doing it, but I love hearing from those who were on the other side of it. It. So here’s a review that came in from graceful educator. And she said, if you are a [00:20:00] teacher and need balance in your life, this podcast and club is for you. Kelsey is amazing. I listened to this podcast every day on my commute to and from work. I have listened to the first 50 episodes so far. My favorite piece of advice has been, do something now that your future self will thank you. For later. I am a club member and the life coaching and resources are worth their weight in gold. So, thank you. Graceful educator for that review. And I would love for you to leave a review if you haven’t yet. And you’re enjoying the podcast. We are so close to 100 reviews as I finished up recording this episode, I would love to hit triple digit review soon. Maybe we’ll even have an extra giveaway in our wife, teacher mommy’s unite Facebook group. When we hit that number and feel free to send us a screenshot of your review. And we’ll send you a little coupon code as a thank you for taking a few moments to leave that review. 


Now you can do that on apple podcasts. I wish Spotify allowed you to do that, but you can’t. So if you would like to leave a review and you [00:21:00] don’t have apple, just send us an email. Or a DM. We love, we love hearing it anyway, but if you use apple podcasts, we’d love you to leave a review there. It definitely helps me as a podcaster. Thank you so much. And we will talk again next week. When we talk about what to do when you’re stuck.

More about Wife Teacher Mommy: The Podcast

Being an educator is beyond a full-time job. Whether you’re a teacher or a homeschool parent, the everyday to-do list is endless. Between lesson planning, grading, meetings, and actually teaching, it probably feels impossible to show up for your students without dropping the ball in other areas of your life.

Wife Teacher Mommy: The Podcast is the show that will bring you the teacher tips, practical strategies, and inspiration that you need to relieve the stress and overwhelm of your day-to-day. Your host, Kelsey Sorenson, is a former teacher and substitute turned homeschool mom. Tune in weekly to hear Kelsey and her guests cheer you on and help you thrive as a wife, teacher, and mommy. Because with a little support and community, you can do it all. For access to every single Wife Teacher Mommy resource, join the club at

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