What are the things you’re working towards and dreaming about for your life? Whether it’s related to shifting your porn habit, finding the love of your life, traveling around the world, or anything else, how are you going to guarantee the result you want?
Too many people have huge dreams that they unintentionally quit ahead of time on, because of their conditional commitment to it. They tell themselves they’ll bring their dreams to reality if everything goes right, as long as it doesn’t take too much effort, or if it’s easy. And if these statements sound familiar, you’re in the right place.
Tune in this week as I show you why conditional commitment will always stop you in your tracks, and why practicing unconditional commitment is a game-changer when it comes to changing your habits. You’ll discover why all goals require unconditional commitment, and how to start thinking about what you want in life through this lens.
You are listening to the Overcome Pornography for Good podcast episode 62, Conditional Commitment.
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 this week. If you're new here, welcome, welcome, so glad that you have found us. Before we dive into the content for today, which I'm really excited to cover, I want to share a couple of wins from those of you who are in Overcome Pornography For Good, which is my comprehensive program for anyone who wants to quit viewing pornography for good.
We dive in, we learn all the tools, you learn all the skills you practice, and you get tons and tons of coaching and tons and tons of help. I like to describe the difference for people between listening to podcasts and joining the program as the podcast is for more passive learning. It's an incredible resource.
I know that many of you who are listening to it are experiencing many transformations and starting to see these changes. And that's what I want to create, I want you to begin to start to see changes and be able to make progress on quitting your pornography habit.
Now, the program is more transformation and application. So it's a container where I can do a lot more than just talk to you in a microphone. But where I can coach and there's exercises, and trainings, and coaching, and individual help to help you apply everything so that you can actually overcome pornography for good.
There's a difference between listening and passively learning, and deeply implementing and trying and getting help and getting guidance. And that's what the program is for, that's that container. I like to describe it there's a difference between watching someone learn how to snowboard on YouTube and watching YouTube videos on how to snowboard and actually getting on the mountain with a guide, with an instructor to learn how to snowboard.
So, some wins from the program. This is from a client, he said, “Bit of good news, I have had 66 porn free days this year already. I have an 84% winning average, my winning streak is at an all-time high. My current streak is at a 10, where it used to be at a four. Your program is giving me my life back.”
Then this the same client said, “Since I've learned these skills in the program, I have become a new man. I am no longer afraid of the unknown. And for the first time in my life, I'm starting to have the first seeds of self-confidence that no matter how bad the urge may feel, I have the courage and the tranquility to sit with it and not give in.” I love it.
I love hearing those, I love reading those, and I love sharing them with you. Because the thing is, you guys, is that we often hear celebrations, you know, we hear about these transformations that people are having in all these areas of their life. People like to talk about how much money they make, or how much weight they lose, or their physical transformations, or they learned how to run this race, or they made it to their goal of traveling the world or whatever.
But we don't often hear the celebrations of people who quit being pornography, typically just, you know, there's some stigma there. And so I love to offer a safe place for people to share those wins and to share them with you here. Because they happen, they happen all the time. They happen every day. And sometimes in our minds we think, well porn is just something we have to struggle with forever. And I don't really know very many people who've actually quit porn.
And the only reason you don't know is just because they haven't talked about it, not because they're not there. But because they haven't shared because of the stigma around it. And so I share these, I want to keep sharing these wins to help you continue to open up your mind like, yes, this is possible for me. If they can do it, maybe I can too.
And instead of thinking about quitting porn as like this thing that is really difficult that not very many people do, what if we could switch that and be like, yeah, quitting porn is normal, almost right? Not in the sense that we have to shame ourselves and we're not normal if we’re not, but it's not a super rare thing. A lot of people learn how to do it and that means I can too.
It's really empowering when you can think that way about other goals you have in your life too, right? So instead of, yeah, running a marathon is really, really difficult, really hard, and not very many people do it. And then you start getting into the world of marathon runners and you're like, actually a lot of people do this. If they can do it, if he can do it, I could probably do it.
And the same with business, right? Oh, it's so hard to make money off of an online business, enough to live and quit my job. Right? It’s so difficult, not very many people do it. And then you get in the world and you’re like, “Wait, actually a ton of people do this. And if they can do it, maybe I can too.” And it starts to build some momentum.
And so that's the purpose here that I'm trying to create, is a lot of people quit viewing pornography. And if they can, maybe you can, too. And what are they saying, what are they doing that's helping them do it that you can apply too?
So let's hop a little bit into the content for this week. I titled today's episode conditional commitment. There is a difference between conditional commitment and unconditional commitment. It's like conditional love versus unconditional love. Some people choose to believe that love is conditional and if you do X, Y, or Z, you are worthy of love. Whereas many enlightened people, a better way to live is to realize that love is unconditional and to offer yourself unconditional love, or people in your sphere of unconditional love, where it doesn't matter what you do, I still love you.
That doesn't mean I don't have boundaries. And that doesn't mean that I'm not taking care of myself, but I love you, period. Not if you do all these things, I will love you. It's a difficult place to be especially maybe in a child parent relationship, to feel like your parent is offering you conditional love.
I will love you of you get good grades, I will love you if you are good enough, I will love you if you have a family, I will love you if you live this life that I imagined for you. Instead of unconditional love, which is, hey, it doesn't really matter what you do, I love you. There are no conditions placed on this love. What a powerful, powerful thing that is.
Now we can apply that to commitment. There is conditional commitment, which is I will be committed to my goal if X, Y, or Z. And there is unconditional commitment, which is I will be committed, period. So let me give you a bunch of examples. I'm going to give you a bunch of non porn examples, and then we're going to talk about specific pornography examples of conditional commitment and unconditional commitment.
So let's say you want to be committed to create your dream job. Conditional commitment looks like I will create my dream job if other people see my worth. If I can do it by age 40, if I don't do it by age 40 I'm probably just going to give up and decide that I have to just settle. I will create my dream job if it's not too hard if it doesn't take too much effort. I will create my dream job if I receive validation that I can do that from my spouse, or from my boss, or whoever.
You see, my commitment is conditional on these things. If other people see my worth, if I can do it by this certain time, if it's not too hard, if other people give me validation, right? Instead of unconditional commitment, which is I will create my dream job, period.
I will create my dream job even if no one sees my worth. I'll go out and I'll find the right place, the right company, I will create this. I will find people who see my worth to have my dream job. I will create my dream job even if it takes me longer than I thought it would, I don't have time limits here.
My success is not conditioned on how long it takes, I'm just going to do it. So even if it takes me 10, 20, 30 years, I'm going to make this happen and I'm committed to it. And I will create my dream job even if everything seems to be against me. It doesn't matter what happens, I'm committed to this. Can you feel the difference between these two?
Here's another example, maybe you want to travel the world. That's your commitment to yourself, you know that that's something that your spirit was always meant to do, was travel the world, right? So conditional commitment looks like I will travel the world if I find a partner or spouse who wants to do it with me. I will travel the world if I have X amount of money saved up by this time.
I will travel the world if it doesn't take too much effort. I'll travel the world if everything goes right. If COVID goes away, if nothing goes wrong, if it's easy. I'll travel the world if I don't get nervous and anxious about it. Can you feel the energy behind that?
And then there's the energy of unconditional commitment. So instead I will travel the world, period, and I will make that happen for me. So I will travel the world even if my spouse doesn't want to travel with me. And that's me, this is me.
This is something that I love, and I want to do, is I want to travel, and this is a place I've had to come to because my husband's the best, absolutely the best decision I ever made was to marry him. He's seriously incredible. And he doesn't like traveling. So I've had to come to a place of like, okay, am I really committed to this? Or am I committed to this only if my husband will come with me?
And I'm in a much more empowered place and a much more happy, fulfilled place when I'm like, no, I'm going to do it no matter what, even if he doesn't want to come with me. I'll find someone else to come with me. I'll create different relationships with people who want to travel with me, and I'll let him be him and keep my relationship with him in all these other areas that I love.
So, again, back to I will travel the world period, even if I have to save up. Even if I have to find a way to do it cheaply and inexpensively. My salary isn't going to depend on whether or not I travel the world, I can figure out a way to do that. I will travel the world even if it's difficult and it takes a lot of effort. I'll travel the world, even if I'm nervous. And even with COVID, and with travel restrictions, and even if everything doesn't go right, I'm going to figure out a way to do it. Can you see the difference?
Okay, another example, maybe you're committed to building an amazing support system and having an amazing friend group. Maybe you felt this pull like it's time to build up some more friends, and some more support groups, and some more people to connect with.
So there's the conditional commitment, which looks like I will have an amazing friend group if I live in a good area, if people like me, if I don't feel anxious or nervous, or if I click with the people that I invite to hang out with. Instead of unconditional commitment, which is I will have an amazing friend group even if I live in a different country and there are a lot of people around me.
I have a friend who is an amazing example of this, she lives in France. In fact, it’s Lindsay Poelman, you guys have heard her on the podcast a couple times. She lives in France and is so connected and such an amazing friend and has an amazing group of women that she's connected to, even though they all live in different countries than her.
Okay, I will have an amazing friend group even if I need to learn how to manage my social anxiety around people. Even if that's something I need to figure out, I'm not going to let my social anxiety keep me from that commitment. And I will have an amazing friend group even if I have to hang out with 100 people before I find one friend, right?
Sometimes our goals and our commitments are conditional on how successful we are when we first start. So we start hanging out with people and we don't really jive with the first, I don't know, even 10 people that we hang out with and we’re like, “Well, it's just not going to happen. My commitment is conditional on whether or not those first 10 people were going to work out and it hasn't really and I'm kind of discouraged and I'm just going to give up.”
Instead of unconditional commitment, even if it takes me 100 people to find one person that I want to be a friend with, I'm still going to find the people that are meant for me and the people I want to connect with in this community I want to be a part of. I'm going to find that, it doesn't matter what happens, nothing's going to get in my way here.
This is similar to dating, for those of you who are in the dating pool, this will be a really powerful thing for you to implement. So instead of I'm going to get married if I find someone by this time, and if I connect with people. And I'm going to continue dating if it's not too difficult, and if I find people that I want to be with in the first couple dates.
You can change that to, if finding a serious romantic relationship is something you really want, you can take some of that power back and create unconditional commitment like I am going to find an amazing person to date, even if I have to go on a 100 first dates that are crappy, right? Even if it's not easy, even if it's awkward. Right, even if, even if, even if.
And that's not me saying that you have to do that. If you don't want to do that, don't do it. But if that's a goal of yours, if that's something you want, you have so much more power than you think you do. And that unconditional commitment will give you so much confidence and power to create what you really want in life.
And I think I was going to say this later, but I'll say it again here, the life you want is 100% available to you. Anything that you can imagine, and I know that sounds cheesy, but really listen to me because I see this everywhere in my world, in my coaching world watching so many people creating amazing lives.
Anything you want is available to you. An amazing relationship, an amazing community, a job that you love, maybe a business that you love, the workout routine that you love, whatever. You know the spiritual life that you want. Anything that your heart is calling for, you can have if you can embody unconditional commitment. Unconditional commitment, which is I'm going to create this for me no matter how I get there, no matter how long it takes.
So let's keep going. Let's do just another couple examples. So I will build an amazing online business, I know some of you are interested in that. It's a cool time that we live in where you can have the internet and have a laptop and create a really amazing business that helps thousands and thousands of people.
I know, that's what I do. And sometimes I look around and I – Do you guys want to hear a little secret? So where I record my podcast in my office, and if you follow me on Instagram or if you're in the program and you see the coaching calls, I have this cute background with the desk and my certifications and some cute things. It's also the same room where my daughter's crib is, but it's just hidden out of the camera.
And so sometimes I'm working, and I look around, and I'm like, “Here I am, a mom of two toddlers with a laptop, working out of the nursery that I've kind of created into my office too. And look at all of these people that I'm helping and this business that I've created that is really successful and making a really big difference in the world.”
And I can look at that I'm like, “Whoa, I can just do that with a laptop.” Right? It's an amazing world we live in. So if that's something that you're like, “Oh, I want that.” You hear about people online talking about being able to quit their jobs and work for themselves, that is available to you. But we have to keep in mind this idea of conditional versus unconditional commitment.
There's the conditional commitment, which is I will build an amazing online business if I can do it by 2023 or if I can do it by this amount of time. If people like my stuff and I receive validation that what I'm doing is important. I'll build an amazing business if I make X amount of sales in the first year, or if I make X amount of money in the first year, or in the first two years, or even in the first five years.
I will build this amazing business if it doesn't take me too long. I will build this amazing business if people support me. If my family starts hearing what I'm doing and they're like, “Yeah, go for it.” But if people aren't supporting me and they think I'm crazy, then I don't know if I'm going to do it.
Instead of unconditional commitment. And this is a big key thing, you know, when I'm talking to other coaches who want to build a similar business that's impactful to their niche, to their people that they want to talk to. This is one of the biggest things that I talk about that has been really game changing for me is this unconditional commitment.
I had no agenda for how long it would take. And I didn't really ever have a backup plan. I just knew, I knew I wanted to be a coach because I knew how impactful and life changing the things I teach you are. I just knew that's what I wanted to do with my life, so it was a very unconditional commitment.
And one of my main mantras that kept me going for a long time was it doesn't matter how long this takes, I'm going to create this. And it doesn't matter how many times I fail, I'm going to create this community that I want to create.
So unconditional commitment looks like I will create an amazing online business, period. Even if I fail a thousand times, even if no one wants my stuff the first few times I offer it. Even if I have to pivot and change what I'm selling, or what I'm talking about, or how I'm trying to help people. Even if I have to invest in someone to help me, or I have to invest in some ad spend, or I have to spend some money. Even if I'm the only one who believes in me.
This is something that a lot of people get hung up on, is they start going for what they really want in life and they're like, wait, why aren't my parents supporting me? Why does everyone think I'm crazy? It's a really common thing that happens.
So if your commitment is conditional on whether or not people are going to support you, it's not going to get you the results that you want. So instead I'm going to create this even if I'm the only one who believes in me. I'm going to create this no matter how long it takes. I am creating this.
And you can apply this to every goal, right? There's conditional and unconditional commitment with building muscle, with giving up soda. I mean something as silly as meeting a celebrity, right? If that's your dream in life and the thing you want to shoot for is to meet a celebrity, you can make that happen if you have unconditional commitment, right?
You can build your dream home, zero debt, et cetera, et cetera. Any goal requires this unconditional commitment to really get to it. Again, you can have any of that, any of that that you want, you just have to start believing that you can, and you have to have this unconditional commitment. There are a lot of people, whatever it is that you want, whatever it is that part of your soul just yearns for, it's like a secret, maybe, that you want that, other people create that, and you can too. The key, the key is unconditional commitment.
You can figure out anything, you can Google anything, but you're never going to learn what you need to learn to create it if you don't have unconditional commitment. The unconditional commitment is key.
So let's apply this specifically to porn because this is key to quitting pornography, you cannot quit porn without unconditional commitment. So conditional commitment around pornography looks like I will quit porn if it takes me this amount of time. But if I work on it for longer than six months and I'm still struggling, I'm not going to be committed anymore. It's just not going to happen. Right?
How many of us think that way? I will quit porn if I feel like it. If it's easy, if I know how, if it's the right time. I will quit porn if I know I'm going to get married and I know I'm not going to be alone forever. Or even I will quit porn if I get married. I will quit porn if things work out in my life so that I have the energy to do it. Right?
Instead of this unconditional commitment, I will quit porn, period. Even if it takes me longer than I thought it would. A great exercise, if this is you, if the time thing is something you struggle with, a great exercise to think about and walk through is are you committed to this even if it takes you 10 years?
And as I say that, I'm not saying it has to take you 10 years. In fact, if it's taking you 10 years you need to do something else, you need to try something new. You need to get some help and you need to come join Overcome Pornography For Good, truly. It shouldn't take 10 years.
But even if it does, are you still going to be committed to it? Like are you really committed to this or are you only committed to it if you're able to do it in a year or six months? Unconditional commitment. I will quit porn even if I slip up in a year. Even if I struggle again a little bit in a year, I'm still going to quit porn for good. I'm not going to give up and say see, it doesn't work. See, I can't do it.
No, unconditional commitment, even if I slip up in the future I'm still going to quit porn for good. I'm still going to create that life where porn isn't an issue for me. I will quit porn even if it's difficult, even if I don't want to sometimes, even if I give up for a few months.
That's a big fear a lot of my clients have, they're like, but what if? Because so many of you will go through this process of willpower, willpower, willpower, and then you're just exhausted so you give up for a couple months. And so that's the pattern that you're used to. And as soon as we stop using the willpower, we can get out of that pendulum, that swinging of willpower and then exhaustion and giving up, willpower and exhaustion giving up, we can get out of that.
But that's a fear that a lot of my clients have, is like well what if in a couple of months I just stop trying? You can even go to that place of even if I give up for a couple of months, I'm going to get back on the horse and I'm going to quit porn and I'm going to learn how to do it. Giving up for a little bit isn't going to keep me from reaching this goal of quitting porn in my life.
A hard couple of months is not going to be what deters me from my commitment. I decided I don't want porn in my life, I've decided it's not helping me, I've decided that it's keeping me from living the life I want. And so I'm going to quit even if that means that I'm not getting married anytime soon. Can you feel the shift? Can you feel the shift?
I had a conversation with a client a couple weeks ago, we were talking about a test that was coming up and how he was really afraid because he isn't a good test taker and thought he was going to fail the test. And if he fails the test he's going to look at porn. And I stopped him, and I said, “Wait, so if you fail the test, you're going to look at porn?” And he said, “Yeah, of course. I'm just going to go self-medicate and go buffer with pornography because it sucks.”
And I asked him, I said, “Wait, we need to stop here for a minute. Why is that your assumption that if you fail the test and you feel bad, and you feel failure, and you feel disappointment, and you feel discouraged, why will you just go and look at pornography? Why are you choosing that reality?” And he really stopped any thought about it, and he said, “Yeah, I guess I didn't realize that I was choosing that.”
And I said, “Yes, this is your conditional commitment showing up where it's like I will quit porn, but only if I don't experience these hard emotions that come up. I won't look at pornography if I pass my test. I won't look at pornography if things go well for me. I won't look at pornography if I'm not having a whole bunch of negative emotion.”
It's not going to work, it's never going to work that way. In fact, it's the opposite. In order to quit porn for good you need to learn to do that even when you're feeling disappointment, and failure, and discouraged. When we have conditional commitment, we are choosing to fail ahead of time, just like with my client where he said, if I fail this test, then I'm going to fail with porn.
Instead, you can choose, even if I fail this test, even if I have all these negative emotions, even if everything goes wrong in my life, I'm going to overcome pornography for good and there are no conditions on that commitment. This commitment is unconditional. And this porn-free life that I want is a reality that I will create no matter what.
You guys, this is so important. This is so important, this is so vital. This is so vital to your success. Nothing, nothing, nothing will keep you from reaching your goal of quitting porn, except for you giving up and you trying the same things over and over and over again. Do you understand how powerful that is? Nothing will keep you from quitting porn unless you give up and unless you just try the same things over and over again.
You quitting porn for good is completely in your power, all you have to do is never give up and keep trying, and keep working, and keep learning. It's the same with running a marathon. Nothing can keep you from running a marathon as long as you never stop trying. Even an injury, right? You can heal from your injury, you can go and figure it out. Even if you lose your legs, right, you can figure it out, you can get prosthetic legs. Our brain wants to go to these crazy worst case scenarios.
If you want something, you can create it as long as you never give up. And as long as you're open and willing to try new things and not just do the same thing over and over again. This is why I offer my program, Overcome Pornography For Good. It's so that you don't have to just keep doing it alone anymore.
I tell my clients, you truly can think about it that as soon as you join, quitting porn is as good as done. You have everything you need, you have all the support you need. Now we just put in the work, and we just don't ever give up. It’s that simple. And there's going to be limiting beliefs about yourself to overcome, there's going to be commitment to learn, there's going to be skills to learn about processing urges. But all of that's very, very doable if you have this energy of unconditional commitment.
So for those of you that are maybe feeling this pull to take the next step and to start making these big transformations, start applying more. Maybe the podcast has been great for you, but you want to take things to the next level with quitting porn, you really want to exude more unconditional commitment, joining the program is the next best place for you.
So I want you to know that that's open right now. And you're welcome to come and join us anytime. As soon as you're ready to take that step into unconditional commitment, we're here for you. Our promise is we work with you until you quit. Lifetime access to all the program material, lifetime access to all of the coaching calls, lifetime access to the Ask A Coach board. Lifetime access to everything because we work with you until you quit. So truly unconditional commitment.
Okay, you can go sign up at sarabrewer.com/workwithme if you're feeling that call and that pull to join. We're here for you. All right, you guys, let's start practicing unconditional commitment, it'll completely change your life. All right, have a great week, we'll talk to you next week. 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.