Episode 40: Compound Effect

Uncategorized Oct 17, 2021

When my clients first come to me, they believe they need to be perfect right away in everything they do to quit porn. This all-or-nothing mindset is one I see very often in my work, and the truth is it’s not effective.

This week, I’m introducing you to the compound effect. It teaches that instead of having to move mountains every day in your attempt to quit porn, we can instead take small incremental steps consistently over time, and this is what will lead to your success. 

Tune in this week as I show you why an all-or-nothing mindset stagnates your progress, and how minuscule improvements over time are more powerful than you might think. You don’t have to be perfect. You just have to be courageous enough to take it one day at a time, and I’m guiding you through it. 

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. 

What You'll Learn from this Episode: 

  • How an all-or-nothing mindset is so prevalent in overcoming pornography and why it’s not effective. 
  • What the compound effect means. 
  • Why I approach everything in 2% increments. 
  • How a 2% improvement over time is more powerful than you might think.
  • The 4 most important skills you need to build to quit porn. 

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

  • Click here to sign up for my free masterclass called How to Quit Viewing Pornography Even if You’ve Tried in the Past!

Full Episode Transcript:

 You are listening to the Overcome Pornography for Good podcast episode 40, Compound Effect.

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’m so excited and so glad that you’re here. Thanks so much for being here. Before we dive into the content today I wanted to share a win with you.

Now, often I will share a podcast review, which I’ll probably keep doing in the future. And I love and I appreciate those so much. But we also have this big document that is full of all of the wins that all of my clients have. And any time they email me or email one of my assistants or share one with us we put it in this big document.

And they’re just so, so awesome and so fun to read through. And I was reading through some of them before I got on to share this podcast and there a bunch of new ones I hadn’t seen before. It’s so important for me to take time to celebrate those of you who are doing it and to celebrate those of you who are accomplishing your goals and making progress.

One of the best things I learned this last year is that celebration brings more celebrations. Celebration is the same energy as gratitude, and we know that when we’re grateful we see more things to be grateful for. And so I always want to share these because I want you guys to see what’s possible for you, I want t to create some momentum, some more belief.

I mean, honestly so many people struggle with porn because they struggle with the belief that they can actually do it. But it’s because people don’t talk about when they are able to quit. There are so many people who do quit, we just don’t talk about it and so it’s hard to have that belief when you haven’t really heard anyone else who’s been able to quit even when there are so many people who can and do.

Let me share this one, one of my clients, one of the members of the program said, “I saw a win. I am having more urges to eat yummy looking food than I am having urges to view porn.” Awesome. That made me giggle a little bit and I say go for it, eat that yummy food. Do it.

But awesome, you’re having more urges to eat food than you are to look at porn. This just is a result of you going through that process of bringing down that over-desire. These urges aren’t going to last forever, they don’t have to be there for the rest of your life. You can learn how to bring down all of that over-desire.

They go on to say, “My wife and I had an argument last and it was stressful, but I didn’t go to porn due to that stress.” He says, “Usually I would go to pornography and buffer from pornography, but I didn’t this time. Instead I worked things out with my wife.”

He also said, “I’m doing better in school. Often the stress from school would lead me to buffer and view porn, but since I’ve learned how to stop buffering, I’m getting my stuff done in time. He said, “I’m also studying the scriptures better and I am more self- confident.”

Then he goes on and he says, “Before I was trying to avoid the computer all the time. But now I’m anymore, I know I don’t need to avoid it. I’m not afraid of it anymore and I know that I have the control to not just give into my urges.”

So I love that win and I want to point out how when you learn these skills it’s so much more about learning how to quit porn, it’s about up-leveling your life in every area of your lie. And when you just laser focus in on quitting porn, like we see with this client, it can make your marriage better, it can make your school better, it can make whatever it is that you’re working on better. More, confident, more spiritual.

And it’s not necessarily because now pornography is gone and everything is better. But it’s because of the skills that you’re learning to quit pornography, how to quit buffering. So instead of okay, maybe he’s not buffering with porn but he’s going to go buffer with video games and still have the stress from school and not making up with his wife and all those things.

This is about so much more than quitting porn, if you can learn how to do these things your whole life will just be so much better. And I’m just so proud of you guys and I just love this win. So, congratulations, great job.

If you have any wins from listening to the podcast, feel free to send them to me. I would love to celebrate with you. You can send those to [email protected].

Today I want to talk about the compound effect. And to introduce this, a common mindset around pornography is this all or nothing mindset. I see it all the time. I have to either be all in if I'm going to quit porn or I'm not going to do anything. Or if I slip up, I have to start over. It's just like all or nothing, if I don't do it perfectly then I'm starting over. I might binge a little bit, I'm going to start over later. I have to be perfect at this. I have to quit this cold turkey.”

And the thing about this mindset is it doesn't work. If it worked, I would say, “Yeah, go for it, we're going to be all in. We're never going to slip up. We have to be all in, we have to dedicate two hours to this every single day or else we're not going to do it at all.” But it doesn't work, that hardly ever, ever, ever works.

And I want you to think about other areas in your life. If this is you, if you struggle with this all or nothing mindset, does it show up in other areas of your life? Maybe trying to quit junk food and work out. And you try to do it all at once and you're going to work out. You haven't worked out at all, and you're going to work out five days a week and you're going to only eat, I don't know, however many calories that you decide you're going to eat.

It doesn't work, this all or nothing mindset doesn't work. And some of you might be stuck in that trap in other areas of your life too. Usually, it just takes some time and you just learn one thing at a time. You do a little bit at a time and you get better and better and better. And so this is kind of the concept of the compound effect.

A really big mindset shift for my clients is that we don't have to be perfect at this right away. But we can learn and we can take steps and we can get better and better each day. We don't have to be like, “All right, it's a new month, no slip ups or else we have to start all over again next month.” Or “A new week, no slip ups this week or we'll have to start all over.” You can take steps and you can get better and better and better.

So the idea of the compound effect is that little things over time create massive results. Little actions over time create an amazing life. Now, my dad is into estate planning and so he's always talking to me about investing. He’s always telling me I need to go invest my money, always talking to me about compound interest and how magical it is.

He gave me this example, he said, “If you invest $500 a month at an 8% return rate for 30 years, you'll end up with $750,000.” Now that's the idea of this compound effect. Little actions, just 500 a month turns into $750,000. And if it's at a 10% return rate, that 500 a month in 30 years turns into a million dollars.

Now think about that, think about 500 a month compared to a million. That is a big, huge result for a much smaller input. Another example of the compound effect is think about if you were to lift just 2% heavier weights at the gym each day. Just 2% heavier weights, instead of being like, “All right, I'm going to go from lifting 100 pounds to 200 pounds.” You're just going to get injured. It's not going to work, you're just going to get injured.

But if you just lift 2% heavier each day, each time you go, oh my gosh, think about how strong you would be in a year, in two years, if you could just do 2% heavier. And that's such a small amount. That's such a small amount, but that small action over time turns into something amazing.

I use that 2% principle in all of my content. So whenever I write an email, whenever I write a podcast outline, whenever I do a post, I think to myself, “Okay, how can I just make their life 2% better?” Because it gets really overwhelming to me when I'm like, “Okay, now I have to give this person every single thing that they need to quit porn and talk about everything that might come up in their mind in this one email. Or in this one post, or in this one coaching session even.” That's overwhelming and it doesn't work. It doesn't work.

If I were to give someone all the information they need to quit porn in one email, they still wouldn't do it. They need that little incremental change, those little 2%, how can I make their life just 2% better? And over time, the idea is that the value that I've put out into the world is massive. If I can just focus, how can I make their life 2% better, after time it's just a massive amount of information and influence.

Think about if you were to go and network, think about if in your career you were to go to a network event just once a month. That's a small action, once a month go to a networking event, that over time, over years doing that every single month for years and years and years, your network, your connections will be massive.

Or think about if you were to read just one chapter a day. If you read one chapter a day for 30 years, how many books would that be? That would be a ton of books. Think about how much you would learn if you were just to read one chapter a day. And the key here is that these are small actions that bring big results over time.

And we have to be really careful and really on to our brain when our brain says, “No, we have to have everything right now. No, we have to have these results right now.” It's just not a very effective way to do it and it's really really overwhelming.

Okay, so this same principle applies to pornography. So urges processed over time will teach you to learn how to manage your urges without using willpower and how to stop looking at pornography. If you just process a few urges a day, within time you will be able to quit pornography and able to process your urges really, really well.

And think about Pavlov's dogs, so if you haven't heard me talk about Pavlov's dogs, that example, please go download my free training. You can get it on my website, sarabrewer.com/masterclass, or if you just go to sarabrewer.com it's up there on the top. I talk about that in depth.

But the idea is Pavlov's dogs, he was able to train his dogs to stop salivating at the sound of the bell by ringing the bell and not giving them the treat. Ringing the bell and not giving them the treat, ringing the bell and not giving them the treat. And it took time and it took a lot of ringing the bell and not giving them the treat for them to learn how to not be conditioned to that reward anymore.

Now, the problem is, is that most people when they want to quit porn, they don't focus on slowly getting better at it every day and slowly getting better at managing urges every day and taking just little steps each day. They just try to stop cold turkey, all or nothing. It hardly ever works. And I think that this belief just comes from a misunderstanding about quitting porn and what it really means to quit porn.

People, they don't think of quitting porn as learning a new skill. In order to quit porn what I teach is that you need to learn all these new skills in order to quit. Sometimes people think, “Oh, you should just be able to stop. It's just something you should just stop instead of something that you need to learn and get better at.”

Quitting porn for good, for good, requires learning about your brain. Requires learning emotional management. Requires learning mindfulness skills. Requires learning how to change your beliefs.

And just like you wouldn't expect someone who's becoming a lawyer to be a great lawyer after just a few weeks of studying or after their first client, the compound effect teaches us that great lawyers become great lawyers because of the small things that they do consistently. Because of the hours of study over time. Because of the hours of working with people over time, it doesn't just happen like that. And it's the same thing with quitting porn.

So other examples of how this applies to pornography, the compound effect applies to pornography is with your beliefs and your thoughts. What you think over and over and over again, little, tiny thoughts, little, tiny beliefs that go unchecked will create results in your life.

So if you're thinking, “I'm worthless, I'm powerless, I can't do it” over and over and over and over again, it will create results in your life that prove that you're powerless and prove that you can't do it.

But on the other hand, if you take five minutes a day and practice different thoughts, and practice different beliefs, and do a little bit of different thought work. Work on believing that you're worthy, work on believing that you have control over your emotional life, that you're skilled, you will begin to believe that about yourself.

And just five minutes a day of doing that, over time, this compound effect will create these results where you do believe that. Where you do believe that you are in charge of your emotional life. Where you do believe that you are worthy. Where you do believe that you can do this.

When it comes to these beliefs and these thoughts I know many of you and many of my clients come and they're like, “Okay, I know that this is a belief that isn't serving me. And I see that it's not true, and I want to change it, but I can't change it. And I'm so frustrated because I'm still thinking the same thing.”

And you get upset because you think you should be able just to change it just like that. When in reality, you need to put in the reps. You need to put in the reps to change your beliefs. Just like when you're lifting weights you got to put in the reps in order to be lifting really heavy weights. It's the same thing with your beliefs.

In order to change your beliefs, you have to put in the reps, which is changing a little bit every single day. Doing that five minute exercise every single day and over time that will create massive results for you.

And for those of you in the program, make sure that you're doing those exercises under the self-coaching module that will teach you specifically how to do that. That self-coaching module, the exercises in there, I do them all the time. I still do them, I've been doing them for years. They're so, so good.

We can't expect our brains to change without putting in the reps for them to change. Just like we can't expect our bodies to change and to bulk up without putting in the reps, the exercise to do that.

And the compound effect, it applies to all the skills that you need to quit porn. So the four big ones that I talk about, and the four big ones that we dive into in the program is managing your urges, building and maintaining your commitment, emotional wellness and buffering, learning how to stop buffering, and changing your beliefs and your identity about yourself.

And every single one of those, you can create great success and all those if you're willing just to do something small consistently. It doesn't have to be this big, massive effort. It's just something small over time. And that's what's keeping so many of you from taking the plunge and really diving in again to quit porn.

Or for those of you who are feeling called to join the program, and I know that's not all of you who are listening, but I know there are some of you who know that it would be such a good thing for you. When you think about your future and your future self, your future self is saying to you, “Yeah, that's going to be really good for you to join that program.”

I know some of you are avoiding doing that because you think that as soon as you start you have to be all in and you have to do an hour of things each day and you have to put in a ton of big effort. But what I'm teaching here is the opposite. The compound effect teaches us that it's not these big things that we do that get us big results, it's small things that we do consistently, to get big results.

And that's why I specifically set up my program so that it's not a six week program or a 12 week program. It's a lifetime access program. You get everything that you need, including weekly live coaching calls with me or another coach in the program. You get all of that forever so that you can work at your own pace. So that you can take advantage of this compound effect.

Some of my clients are really busy in school and with work and they can't dedicate an hour to another program. But they can dedicate time to listen to one video a week, or come to one coaching call a week, or do one worksheet every few days. And I just want to reiterate to you that those small actions are not small.

One call a week, one worksheet every time you slip up, one video a week, whatever it is that you can do over time will completely change your life. And this is the principle in the scriptures, by small and simple things are great things brought to pass. If you have faith as a grain of a mustard seed, you can move mountains.

I had a client who said to me this week, he said, “I'm so grateful to my past self that I didn't need to be all or nothing. I'm so grateful that I went with my gut and I just started little actions even before I believed that I could really do it.”

He said one of the best things he did is he joined and he started working on quitting porn before he even really believed that it was possible. And he attributes that, this compound effect, this starting small to his ability to be able to quit porn.

And I just want to echo that. I think about how I lived my life up until a few years ago. Before then it was like really all or nothing. And I have accomplished so much more in my life in these last three, four years than I did before that because I was courageous enough to start small and to not need to be all or nothing.

I'm so, so grateful for my past self that didn't need to be perfect. I'm so grateful to that Sara that I think about that could just take it one day, one tiny thing at a time. That was courageous enough to just start. That said, “Hey, just one thing a week is good enough.” And it was, over time one thing a week turns into massive, massive results.

So if you're feeling overwhelmed, if you're feeling like you're not doing enough, if you're feeling like it's too hard and it's too much work to quit porn, I want your new mantra to be small and simple. Small and simple. What is one small thing that I can do that feels very doable, and that feels attainable? What's one small thing I can do? And just do it.

It doesn't have to be big actions. It's those small things, you guys. It's the small things that give us amazing, massive results in our life if we're willing to do them consistently.

All right, you guys, have a great week and 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.

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