This week, I’m introducing you to a life-changing concept I learned called the Choose Again method. Of all the wins and celebrations we see inside my program, the root cause of my clients getting on the other side of the pornography habit truly boils down to the fact that they all chose something new and different for themselves, and you can too.
We all have the power to change our lives by choosing to think about things in a new way. But choosing new thoughts takes being intentional and lots of practice reminding ourselves that they’re always optional. So in this episode, I’m showing you how to start inching your way towards thoughts that serve you by using the Choose Again method.
Join me on the podcast as I show you why the Choose Again method is so powerful for habit change. I’m laying out the three simple steps of this concept, explaining why it’s not about catapulting ourselves to happiness and dismissing our human experience, and showing you how to implement this practice to overcome unwanted porn use.
You are listening to the Overcome Pornography for Good podcast episode 64, Choose Again.
Welcome to the Overcome Pornography for Good podcast, the show that will teach you how 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 and faith-based coach.
Hey, you guys, welcome to the podcast episode this week. I hope everyone's having a good week, getting into spring, things are warming up. I just love it. I love, love, love this time of year. I am excited to dive into the content for today, it's a little shorter and very applicable today.
Before we dive into that, I want to share a win. I want to share a win. This is from a client in the program. They said, “After some long conversations, my wife officially asked me if I would move back in with her and renew life together. It's been a long and torturous year with a lot of introspection, belief, and identification changes.
Sara, you and your program made it possible after 46 years of self-denial, betrayal, worthless thoughts, and behaviors. Your program, if committed to and followed, is a life and marriage saver. I found you in time. From questioning my sexual identity to finding my true identity, you and your program is worth every cent.” I love it.
Gosh, you guys, there's so much hope. And I want to share these wins as often as possible because the more that we hear about other people doing it, the more hope we can have for ourselves. Quitting porn is doable, so doable. It doesn't matter how long it's been, it doesn't matter what's happened, it doesn't matter how bad things have gotten, there's so much hope and possibility.
And if me saying that right now, you're kind of like, “No, like, I don't know, it's still really hard.” Maybe just try on that idea and look at this win. You know, after 46 years of all of this self-denial, betrayal, worthless thoughts, behaviors, after separating from my wife, being able to change that and turn that around. And so it doesn't matter where you are, it doesn't matter how far you think you've gone, there's always, always hope and possibility to create what you want in life.
And that is my testimony. That is my testimony. I don't know everything, I don't know a ton of things, but what I do know is that change is possible, and you can create the life that you want. It doesn't matter how long it's been, it doesn't matter how many times you've tried, change is possible.
So, with that let's talk about the choose again method. So I learned this from Gabby Bernstein when I read her book, Super Attractor, I loved it. It looks like she may have learned it from Diederik Wolsak. And then I recently heard it, something that reminded me of it from Thomas McConkie, his podcast.
I don't remember exactly what the podcast was on, but he said something during the meditation. He said, “And remember, we can always choose again, we can always choose something different.” It goes along so well with that win that I just shared with you.
Okay, so the choose again method, the purpose of it is to help you stop spirals, stop negativity spirals, stop shame spirals. It's to help you notice negative energy and to change that, help you change patterns, help you change how you're feeling. Like I just said, we have the power to change our lives. And we change our lives by changing our thoughts and choosing new thoughts and choosing to think about things in a different way.
You don't necessarily have to force yourself to think new things. You know I talk about that often on the podcast, is our thoughts are everything, our thoughts create the lives that we want. And so in order to change our lives, we need to start at the root, which is to start changing the way we're thinking about things.
And that doesn't mean we have to force ourselves to think new things. You can change your thoughts through healing trauma, creating safety, sometimes getting validation so that you can drop resistance is really helpful. And then once you're at a more grounded place, you can start to choose how you want to think about things. You know, more than we give ourselves credit for, we can change the trajectory of our thoughts. We don't give ourselves enough credit for what we can change and the thoughts that we can start to change.
We aren’t used to being in charge of our brains, or even noticing our brains, or seeing our thoughts as optional. So many of us and, you know, even me years and years into all this coaching and practicing coaching every single day, sometimes I still find myself believing my thoughts. It takes me being intentional and reminding myself and practicing to remember and be like, oh, yeah, thoughts are optional, they're not just fact. I can choose to think something different if I want.
But we're not really used to that and so that's the purpose of coaching, and podcast, and the program, is to help you start practicing this. Help you start practicing being in charge of your brains, noticing your brains, seeing your thoughts as optional and choosing something different.
Instead of just believing all of our thoughts, we can start to observe our thoughts and decide if we want to keep thinking our thoughts instead of just believing our thoughts and not being aware of them, we can start to just become aware of, “Oh, yeah, these are the things that I'm thinking, it makes sense why I'm feeling this way.”
Sometimes we're just having a down day, everything's just going wrong, and I feel horrible. And then you start having all these thoughts, you have these negativity spirals, and you don't really stop to question them, you just notice them going in the spiral. And so if we can just start to notice those, it can help us get out of them. Our thoughts create our feelings. And so the more we can stop and question and change our thoughts, the more different we'll begin to feel.
So back to the choose again method, there are three steps to this choose again method. Number one, you notice the thought. Number two, you forgive the thought. And number three, you choose again.
So number one, notice the thought, like I was talking about before, we just want to start observing our brains, observing what we're thinking. You can do this by just pulling out a piece of paper and journaling, or just writing down all the things that you're thinking.
If just during your day you want to stop and maybe you notice you're feeling pretty negative, you can just pull out that piece of paper and write down everything that you're thinking that's going on in your brain. It can help you notice what you're thinking. This in itself is a skill and something that takes some practice. Noticing what you're thinking, being aware of what you're thinking.
Okay, number two, forgive the thought. Forgive this part of you that had this thought. This is a really, really important step. If we don't have this step, it creates a lot of resistance and maybe some guilt and some shame for even thinking the thought in the first place, right?
So if you're noticing your thoughts, you're writing out all your thoughts and you're like, “Oh my gosh, what is wrong with me for being so negative?” Right that’s going to create some resistance, make it hard to change. So step number two is forgiving that thought.
Now, if we want to think about parts and there are these different parts inside of us. Have you guys seen Inside Out? In part of my trauma certification we were talking about internal family systems, IFS, learning about this way of looking at ourselves, as we have all of these different parts of ourselves. We have parts of ourselves that are protectors, and part of ourselves that are managers and, you know, all these different parts where they play different roles in our body.
Thinking about Inside Out, that Disney movie, it's the story of this cute girl and she has all these different parts inside of her. She has a happy part, a sad part, a mad part, a disgusted part, a fearful part. They're all different parts that make up herself. And so you can think about, you know, you're noticing these thoughts, you notice the part of you that's thinking this thought, you can forgive that part. You can love that part, forgive that part, forgive that thought.
So you notice yourself thinking, “I'm so afraid that everything is going to be ruined and I'm never going to be able to get my life back on track.” You can notice that thought, and then notice that it's a part of you that is feeling fearful, you can forgive that part, you can forgive that self. Notice it and then love it and forgive it.
And then step number three, choose again, and decide is there something else that I want to think? Is there something else that I want to choose to believe and choose to think?
So some examples, you notice the thought, “I'm never going to figure this out.” Okay, step number one is just notice it. Step number two, forgive it. Say, “I love you, I love this part of you that thinks that, and it's okay. I forgive you.” And then you choose again. You can just choose one step up, one thing that feels a little bit better.
So maybe an example is I'm choosing to trust that everything is working out for my favor and that good things are coming, even if I can't see it right now. I'm choosing to trust in God, to trust in the universe, to trust in a higher power that it's going to work out. I'm going to choose to trust that because I want to change, I will be able to change, and I don't have to know exactly how. I don't have to know the timeline, but I'm choosing to trust this.
Okay, another example, maybe you notice, step number one, notice the thought. “I really want porn right now, I wish I could have it.” Okay, step number two is forgive. Forgive this part. Gabby writes this sentence under the forgiveness part that I love. She says, “Thank you, thought, for revealing to me what I don't want so I can clarify what I do want.” And then step number three, choose again.
Maybe you choose to think part of me wants it and part of me doesn't want it. And I'm going to accept that urge and accept that part of me that wants it and allow it, but not seek out porn because my highest self really doesn't want it. There's that part of me that wants to get rid of this urge and feel better, but I know that ultimately I'll feel better if I don't look at porn.
Okay, another example. Number one, step one, you notice the thought, “No one understands me.” Step number two is you forgive. You forgive that thought, I understand you, I see you, I love you. And step number three you choose again, I understand me or I'm working on understanding me. I can try to find people who understand me. I'm sure there is someone out there in the world who would understand me, even if I can't think of them right now.
Okay, another thought, you notice the thought, “I can't control myself.” Step number one, notice it, I can't control myself. Step number two is forgive that part of you. Forgive that thought. Thank you for showing me what I don't want so I can clarify what I do want. I forgive you, I love you. This part that thinks you can't control yourself, it's okay, I've got you.
And then step number three, choose again. I can notice what I'm thinking. I can pause and interrupt my patterns. Look, I just paused myself right here, I can create change. I'm choosing to believe that I can create change. I'm choosing to let that thought, “I can't control myself,” go and fade off into the background and I'm choosing something different.
Another example, maybe you notice, step number one, notice the thought, “I hate my job.” Step number two, you forgive, and you love that part of you that hates your job. And number three you choose again, I can create the life I want. I can create a job that I love. I believe that I can find fulfillment in my work.
Okay, and do you see here we don't have to catapult into happiness. We don't have to go from I hate my job to, “Oh, I love my job.” Can you feel how that feels icky and that feels like it doesn't really work? I hate my job to I love my job is just like that toxic positivity. It's lying to yourself, that's what it is, it’s lying to yourself. But we can create one better feeling thought at a time, just one step up, one thing that feels a little bit better.
So I hate my job to maybe I can create the life I want. Or maybe I like this specific part of my job. I like having money, I like that I get to talk to people. Whatever it is, you can find the parts that you do like about it. But even taking it a step further, like I love that thought, right, we don't have to just love our job. But we can think, I can create the life I want.
And do you see how when you're thinking, “I hate my job,” your brain is going to find all this evidence for it, it's going to show you, “Yep, you hate your job because of this, and this, and this, and this.” Now, when you choose again, when you forgive that and you choose again, you choose to think instead, “I can create a fulfilling life, I can create a fulfilling job,” or even just like maybe I can create this. It's possible I could create a better fitting job for me.
Then your brain is going to go and look for all the evidence that that's true and it's going to try to find solutions for that, it's going to try to fix that problem. It's going to be like, “Yeah, I could do this different, and it would help me like my job more. I can do this different, and it would help me like my life more. Maybe I can start to go after my dream job, my dream career, that dream scenario.”
Okay, we don't have to catapult into happiness, but we can just start taking it one step at a time, one better feeling thought at a time. Practice this, you guys. Practice it this week, let me know how it goes. I'm going to be practicing right alongside with you.
We have a lot of happiness available to us. And I know on the podcast I talk a lot about life is 50/50 and we have to be okay with feeling bad. And it's so empowering to realize that, and then on the other side of that too, is we can allow more space for good feelings. We don't just have to accept that life is miserable, and we have to be miserable for our whole lives.
Of course, we’re going to experience 50/50. And, of course, we don't want to experience bliss all the time. We want to have the human experience of feeling all the feelings, but we can create a more whole and positive life. And we can do that by starting to choose again and practicing this choose again method.
All right, you guys have a great week. We'll talk to you next week. 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.