So many of my clients come to me and they’re all up in their heads thinking that their beliefs are facts. And when it comes to quitting porn, if you believe that you can’t do it, that is enough to keep you stuck in the habit for as long as you hold that belief. But it doesn’t have to be that way, I have a solution for you in this episode.
A Belief Plan is a pretty simple concept, and while it is a bit of hard work, it is the key to intentionally creating new beliefs for yourself. So, whatever your current beliefs are, as long as you can recognize that they’re just thoughts that you’ve held for a long time, you can do the work to change them. You just have to decide what you want to believe about yourself.
Tune in this week to discover how to make a Belief Plan, so you can start to see what’s possible for you. I have faith in your ability to quit pornography, and by the end of this episode, I hope you’ll see that believing in yourself and your ability to overcome porn is an option for you too.
I have amazing news. If you want to take the work I’m sharing on the podcast deeper, I’m running a masterclass called How to Quit Viewing Pornography Even if You’ve Tried in the Past is 100% free! All you have to do is sign up here and I will see you there.
You are listening to the Overcome Pornography for Good podcast episode 34, belief plan.
Welcome to the Overcome Pornography for Good podcast, the show that will teach you to stop viewing pornography and never go back to it. If you want to learn how to train your brain out of a pornography habit, completely shame-free, then this is the show for you. I’m your host Sara Brewer, a certified life coach and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Hey everyone, welcome to the podcast episode this week. I am so, so glad you're here. It has been a week. It has been a rough week. At the time I'm recording this there has just been a lot of hurt happening in our world and community this week and I'm very sensitive to it this week. So I am doing a lot of processing emotion.
And I'm grateful that you're here. I'm grateful that you're joining me here on the show. Before we hop into today's topic, which is called belief plan, I'm very excited to share it with you, I wanted just to share a review that one of you, my listeners, left for me.
It says, “Wow, this is everything I've needed and more. For half my life as I've struggled with porn I've talked with countless mentors and leaders in my church. I've greatly appreciated all the advice and counsel I've received over the years.
But now after listening to Sara’s podcast I've come to the realization that those things have only ever acted as band aids and temporary solutions. Whereas the things Sara teaches are permanent solutions that truly, as the podcast is titled, helps us to overcome pornography for good.
It's also been eye opening for me, as I've told my girlfriend about this podcast who doesn't struggle with porn. She too has listened to every episode and benefits from the principles taught. It's truly a podcast everyone can benefit from. Forever grateful for the new way of thinking and feeling this podcast has provided for me.”
Thank you so much for leaving me that review. I'm so happy for you and so proud of you for creating this permanent solution in your life. And I know anyone can do that with these principles.
I also get that message a lot, that this is for everyone. Anyone can come and listen to this, you don't have to be struggling with pornography. And absolutely, I agree 100%. I use all of these tools every day in my life. And they apply very, very well to pornography.
So let's talk about our topic today, which is a belief plan. A belief plan is just a plan that you create of what you want to believe. It's a way to very intentionally create new beliefs for yourself. If you remember, actually I don't know if I've talked about this in the podcast before. But a very, very simple way of how to change beliefs, I talk about this a lot, if you're in the program you hear me say this all the time.
How you change beliefs is first you just recognize that a belief is just a thought that you think over and over and over again. That's it. Sometimes we get all up in our minds and we think a belief is something that's really deep inside of me and I have to root it out. And I can't change it. And it's just too much in there.
But really all a belief is, is something that you've thought over and over and over again. And so it's just something that your mind believes a little bit more naturally. It's a belief just because you have a pattern of thinking it over and over and over again. So in order to change beliefs you just have to think different thoughts over and over and over again. It really is that simple.
Now, don't misunderstand me, it's simple but it's hard and it requires a lot of inner work. If it was so easy, there wouldn't be a need for coaching, or for therapists, or for any of this inner work that we did. So simple can be a little bit of hard work and little bit tricky. And it just depends too, I don't want to say that and put a limit on you.
Sometimes beliefs are very easy to change. Sometimes I hear a sentence or a thought or a belief and it resonates with my spirit so strongly that I just believe it, like that. Other times, it's a belief that I know would be good for me and I want to start believing, but I really have to work on it and practice it and work towards it. That's what a belief plan can help you do.
So to change beliefs is first you want to notice. You want to notice what your beliefs are. Recognize the belief, recognize that it is a belief and it's not just a fact. Two, question it. Question that belief. Be willing to be wrong about the belief. And then number three is practice a new belief.
So a specific example, maybe you have the belief, “I can't quit pornography.” You want to, one, recognize it and notice that it's a belief and not just a fact. We cannot go to the courthouse and prove that you can't quit pornography.
In fact, we probably have a better chance of proving the opposite. But it's not something that we can just prove, it's not just a fact. So recognize it as that, recognize it as a belief, as something that isn't just true.
Number two, question it and be willing to be wrong about it. Even just ask yourself, “Am I willing to be wrong about this belief? Am I willing to be wrong about my belief that I can't quit pornography?” If you're just willing to be wrong, it'll take you so far.
I think of the Scripture, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you can move mountains. It's the same principle here, if you're just willing to be wrong about those beliefs you can move those mountain beliefs that seem so big.
So am I willing to be wrong about this belief that I can't quit pornography? Yes. Question it a little bit more, how could I be wrong about it? Other people quit it. Other people who have looked at it longer than I have, have quit it. And I don't care how old you are, I guarantee you there's someone who’s struggled with it longer than you have and has been able to quit it.
And then lastly you want to practice. Practice a new belief that feels a little bit more believable to you. If you can't go from, “I can't quit pornography,” to “Yes, I can totally do this,” you can start to practice the belief, “Maybe it's possible for me to quit. Maybe it's true that I can quit. Other people have quit and so can I. As long as I never give up, I might be able to quit this.” And you practice that thought. You practice it over and over and over and over again.
And that's how something becomes a new belief because you start thinking that enough times, and it becomes your new belief. It's like potty training a puppy. I might have used this example here on the podcast before, but I love it. When you're potty training a dog or a puppy, they're going to want to just go pee on the carpet or on the floor, wherever. And you have to redirect them outside.
And then the next time they have to pee, they're going to want to go on the carpet, and you have to redirect them outside. And you're going to have to redirect them over and over and over again, because they're going to automatically want to go to the carpet or wherever it is that they're used to peeing. But after you redirect them enough times, that puppy learns just to go outside.
It's the same thing with our thoughts. Our thoughts automatically want to go to this place, to this belief that we've been thinking for so long. If we can just redirect, redirect, redirect, that's how we create new neural pathways in our brain, new beliefs to think, so that it becomes more natural, and you don't have to fight to believe something new every single day.
Okay, so another example is maybe you have the belief, “I'm not worthy. I'm just not good enough and I'm not worthy.” So number one, again, is notice. Notice that it's a belief, recognize it as a belief and not just a fact. Your brain wants to tell you, “No, it's just true.” And I want you to be willing to question that. Recognize that we can't just go prove that you're not worthy.
Now listen to me, I'm going to do a whole podcast episode on worthiness for you guys because we get confused. We think that temple worthiness is the same as worthiness. If you're not a member of the LDS church you might not know what temple worthiness means, and that's okay. But for those of you who are members of the church, temple worthiness does not equal overall worth, overall goodness, overall worthiness.
In fact, Julie Hanks, when I interviewed Julie Hanks, I loved how she said, “I just we would get rid of that word worthiness and say preparation instead.” I'm temple prepared instead of temple worthy, they're not the same.
So that might be a belief that you have is if I'm not temple worthy, I'm not as worthy as I could be as a person. It’s just not true. So notice that that's a belief, not just a fact. Number two, be willing to be wrong about it and be willing to question it. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe I'm wrong that I'm not worthy.
Are there other people that I know that I love and adore and would call them worthy humans who are struggling too? Who are maybe struggling with the same thing that I am, or maybe struggling with something that in my mind I would consider worse. I guarantee you could think of someone that you love and adore and that you think is very worthy, and they're struggling just like you are. So maybe you can apply that to yourself as well.
And then number three is you just practice. You practice your new belief, you practice thinking differently. Maybe I am worthy. Maybe I am good enough. Maybe worthiness isn't dependent on my pornography habit.
And I know for some of you, you're like, “Okay, but does that really work? Can I really believe something else?” And I want to tell you, yes. Yes, you can. I thought the same thing. And I specifically had the worthy one. Like, I can't believe I'm worthy unless I'm doing all these things.
And in fact, I heard someone maybe in general conference, I don't even remember, like someone said, “Sisters, you don't have to do anything to be worth more.” And I was like, “Bull crap, I don't believe that.” But then I was willing to be wrong about it. And I was willing to look at the world with a different perspective. With the perspective that I am worthy, with the perspective that everyone around me is worthy, and it changed everything.
And I want you to remember that our beliefs determine what we do in our lives. And our beliefs determine how our lives turn out. So, for example, I have clients who will quit pornography, not want pornography, be done with it. But then a couple weeks later start viewing pornography again. And this is because they haven't changed their inner beliefs about themselves.
They've learned the urge work. They've learned how to stop buffering. They learned how to feel their emotions. They've done all that good work and then they just haven't changed their beliefs about themselves.
So they still see themselves as someone who struggles with pornography. And if you believe about yourself that you're someone who struggles with pornography, you will create that reality for you. I see that happen to my clients all the time.
Another example is people who work out, but they don't see themselves as someone who works out, or who is good at working out, or who has a pattern of that. They usually aren't able, and I'm speaking from experience, they're not able to work out for longer than just a couple of weeks because it's so incongruent with what they believe about themselves. But as they start to believe and see themselves as someone who prioritizes working out, they start to create that life.
Another example is money. This is so common with money, we have beliefs about ourselves and what we're worthy of when it comes to money. And what we're worthy of receiving, and what we're worthy of receiving when it comes to money. So there are studies of people who win the lottery and they're ecstatic, and rich, and abundant. And then a few years later they go back to having the same amount of money that they had before they won the lottery.
And that's because if we aren't living what we believe about ourselves we're always going to default to our beliefs about ourselves. Or there are people who make a lot of money in a business or in a job, but they still see themselves as someone who only deserves and is only worthy of X amount of money. And so they either frivolously spend that money with things they don't need, give it away to people just to kind of get rid of it.
What you believe about yourself, what you believe that you're worthy of is what you're going to create. And that's true with pornography and habits as well.
So I want to introduce to you the idea of a belief plan. This is such a fun, fun exercise. A belief plan is just a list of beliefs that you want to have about yourself. It's a very intentional list of beliefs that you want to create for yourself.
I did this almost a year ago with beliefs that I wanted to have about my business. And about my coaching business, and about this podcast, and about my program. In fact, let me share a few of those with you. It was a whole big paper. One afternoon I just took an hour or two and just wrote out all these beliefs that I wanted to have and it's pages and pages long.
Some of those beliefs are stuff like, “My program is the best place for people trying to quit pornography. My clients get incredible results and I receive celebrations from them daily. I am a thought pioneer in this space. No one can help these people like I can.” A lot of thoughts like that.
And I'll tell you, I put in my calendar to write out that belief plan and then I put in my calendar, look at it six months later. And I looked at it six months later when it showed up in my calendar recently and I was just blown away at how those beliefs really came into my existence and how I truly, truly believe those things.
It's not like something I have to work towards believing, it's just something that comes naturally to me. And I'm like, “Yes, that is true. My program is the best place for people to quit porn.” And I tell people that all the time, I’m like, “You will not find a program like this that gives you this much help for this price.” And you will not find a program like this that gives you the quality of help that we give you here.
I receive celebrations from my clients and other people who listen to my material almost every single day about them having wins and them making progress towards their pornography habit. It's just amazing to me to see the power of intentionally deciding what you want to believe about your life and then just see it happen and see it manifest itself. It's so cool.
I did so much work, before I even started coaching other people, I did so much work on myself. And I would always practice thinking better things about myself because it was my default to be pretty negative about myself. And I remember a moment this last year where I was driving in my car, and I remember the exact road I was driving down and what gas station I was passing.
And I just noticed my mind automatically going to, “You're doing such a great job. So proud of you. Look at where you are in life. Look at what great things you're doing. You live such a beautiful life. You're so important. You're so good.”
I just noticed my brain just telling me these wonderful things like I had a big sister right next to me in the car who just wanted to build me up. And it came very naturally, it didn't come with a lot of effort from myself. And I realized that that's because of all the work I did in the past, to start intentionally talking to myself that way.
Now, I'm not perfect at it. And as humans it's always going to be 50/50. And there's always going to be a part of our brain that tells us that there's something wrong. But the more that you practice, the more natural it becomes. So that's the idea of a belief plan.
Now I have a new belief plan that I need for other areas of my life that I want to work on. So I want you to do a belief plan for quitting pornography. I want you to take out a piece of paper and a pencil or just pull out, I like to do it on my computer. And just ask yourself, “What beliefs do I need to have to make quitting porn a reality for me?”
And then just write. And intentionally set those beliefs. You can come back and practice them occasionally. Or you can just kind of let them sit and put in a reminder for a month away to go look at them again. Whatever feels the best to you.
What I do know is that just this exercise of sitting down and writing out what you want to believe about yourself, I don't know how it happens, but I do know that it just creates change. It's like setting an intention and then in the background your mind, and your brain, and your spirit start working on it for you.
So let me give you some ideas of what you could put in your belief plan. I am in control of my mental and emotional life. I can breathe through and feel any urge. I get better and better at feeling my urges every single day. God is on my side, and because of that I can't fail.
Failure is not having slip ups, failure is deciding to stop trying. I'm supposed to struggle with this. This is a trial. This is a trial in my life and it's worthy of compassion and love just like other trials.
This next belief came from one of my clients, I asked him if I could use this when I was doing this podcast. He did a belief plan and he shared it with me. I love this. he says, “The worst case scenario is the launchpad of future success.” I love that.
I can get comfortable with being uncomfortable. It is not all or nothing, success comes from somewhere in the middle. I am in control of an all or nothing mindset. What I truly want, what I truly desire in life, is what I am capable of achieving.
What if that was true? What if you asked yourself, “What do I really want?’ Like when I stop and think about what I want for my life, what if all that desire was a sign to you that it's something that you're capable of having? I really believe that.
I have everything I need to quit porn, or I can find everything that I need to quit porn. The answer is out there, and I can find it easily. My overall worthiness is not dependent on my pornography habit. I can teach my brain how to think. It feels better to feel my feelings than it feels to buffer with pornography.
This is a space a lot of you are in. You're like, “I don't know if I just want to go feel my feelings. I'm afraid to quit porn because I don't want to feel my feelings.” Because you think that it's going to be worse to feel your feelings than it's going to be to buffer with pornography. I want you to try on this new belief that it's easier and it feels better to feel your feelings than it is to buffer with pornography. Quitting porn gets easier every day. And I have more power over this than I currently believe.
Okay, there's some ideas for you guys. As you go through this exercise, I would love to hear about your belief plans and see them. So feel free to email them to me at [email protected] or send me a message on Instagram and let me know about your belief plan.
All right you guys, I love you so much. I hope you have a great week. Keep up the good work and we'll talk to you later. Bye-bye.
I want to invite you to come and listen to my free training called How to Quit Viewing Pornography Even if You've Tried in the Past. If you like the podcast, you will love this free training. We talk about, number one, how to not rely on willpower or phone filters so that you can actually stop wanting pornography.
Number two, how to guarantee that you won't fail no matter how many times you've tried in the past. And number three, how to feel good about yourself while becoming someone who doesn't struggle with pornography. You can access this training at sarabrewer.com/masterclass.