Episode 16: Deprivation

Uncategorized May 02, 2021

How many of you feel deprived when you resist the temptation to view pornography? Of course you do. The hard work of overcoming porn is not just ignoring your urges. All you have done is decide not to look at it. But you still want to look at it. And it’s this feeling of deprivation that is going to keep you going back time and time again.

If you have tried to quit porn in the past and never made it because you just feel so deprived, I want you to listen in closely because I believe my approach can help you quit for good while actually feeling comfortable and empowered in the process.

Tune in this week to discover why you have way more control over your desires than you might think. I’m sharing where the feelings of deprivation and desire come from, why your past attempts to quit porn have failed, and what you can do to give yourself some power in this situation and finally ditch the habit for good.

I have amazing news. If you want to take the work I’m sharing on the podcast deeper, I’m running a masterclass called The Top 3 Mistakes That Keep You Stuck in Pornography and it’s 100% free! All you have to do is sign up here and I will see you there. 

What You'll Learn from this Episode: 

  • Where the feeling of deprivation really comes from.
  • 2 ways that desire is created in our bodies.
  • Why, despite what you might think, you actually have complete control over your desires.
  • How I see people trying to overcome and solve for their deprivation in ways that are never going to work.
  • What you can do to stop feeling the deprivation that is keeping you stuck in pornography.


Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

  • Click here to sign up for my free mastermind called The Top 3 Mistakes That Keep You Stuck in Pornography! 

Full Episode Transcript:

 You are listening to the Overcome Pornography for Good podcast, episode 16, Deprivation.

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 everyone, welcome to the podcast episode this week. I’m so glad you’re here. Gosh, I wanted to start this podcast. When I decided to do it, it was because I had all of this stuff that I was constantly thinking about and constantly wanted to share with you and it was like a podcast would just be so much easier than taking a video of myself every day on Instagram.

I don’t know if it’s easier, but I was like, I’d rather do a podcast, so I’ve got to do a podcast so I can share all this stuff. It’s an outlet for me just to give you as much as I can.

But the more I’m doing it, the more and more concepts and teachings that I have for you, and it’s just, one episode a week isn’t enough. I need to do two episodes a week. No, I can’t do that. I’m not going to do that. But, like, I thought this outlet would help me to feel like, “Okay, I’m getting all this stuff out here.” And I am, but now I just have more and more and more.

So, come follow me. If you’re not following me on Instagram yet, come follow me on Instagram. Get on my email list. Those are some great ways to keep learning all the stuff that I have to share with you. Come join my program if you want access to me personally and if you want to be the first to hear the stuff that I have to offer you. I usually introduce it there in my program and work on it with my clients there in my program, then bring it to the podcast or to my Instagram.

So, really quickly before we get started today, we’re going to talk about deprivation, which is super fun. But before we talk about that, I do want to mention just one last time here on the podcast that I have my masterclass coming up, my free masterclass, How to Stop Viewing Pornography Even if You’ve Tried in the Past. We’ll talk about the top three mistakes that will keep you stuck in pornography.

This is a brand-new masterclass. I’ve never done this masterclass before. So, even if you attended one in the past, you’ll still find this one super-helpful, relevant, and new. I think you’ll really enjoy it. So, you can sign up, sarabrewer.com/masterclass.

I wanted just to share a few things that those of you who have attended my masterclasses in the past, what you’ve said about them. This last week on my Instagram, I asked, you know, if those of you who had attended my masterclass would let me know if it was helpful to you and what was helpful and how it helped you.

And one of you responded and said, “I loved the free masterclass. Going through it definitely helped me with my pornography habit, but to my surprise, it has helped me with my mental health more than anything.” I love that because that really is, I mean, you can’t really have one without the other and the mental health, that aspect of it is what is going to fix the actual pornography habit and help you learn how to handle your emotions. Then we can quit buffering with pornography. So, yeah, you’re going to come learn how to quit porn but also, you’re going to learn how to better your mental health in all areas of your life.

One of you said, after the masterclass, you said, “I’ve never felt more understood, more positive about myself, and just more hopeful for my future. Thanks for all of this.” Yeah, so that is my goal in these masterclasses, is to give you tools to quit pornography for good and to give you hope and peace and just to help this heaviness go away, help you understand and see how you can live the life you want to live without pornography.

There’s a way to do it, and the way is more than just, “Hey, quit viewing porn.” That doesn’t work. If that worked, I would not have this podcast. What you need to do is you need to learn about your brain. You need to learn these skills of how to change a habit.

It’s like, I love the example of a manual. You need the right operating manual for your brain to change a pornography habit right now. What you’ve been doing, what you’ve been trying hasn’t been working because it’s been the wrong manual. It’s been like you’re trying to fix the TV with the manual for the microwave. That wouldn’t work. But so many of you are making it mean, “Something’s wrong with me because I can’t fix the TV with this stupid manual, what’s wrong with me”

There’s nothing wrong with you. You just have the wrong manual. It’s exactly the same with pornography and any habit that you’re trying to quit. So, those are the tools I’m going to give you in this masterclass. Make sure you come sign up. Again, sarabrewer.com/masterclass.

Okay, so let’s get into the topic for today, which is deprivation, which is so fun, right? You know, when I was writing out my outline for what to talk about this week, I didn’t necessarily plan on talking about deprivation. I had a different topic in mind.

But as I was writing out the outline, I felt this little pull towards, “Hey, we should talk about deprivation instead.” And I was like, “No, that’s not as fun. I want to talk about this other thing.” But I kind of kept feeling this pull towards this.

And one thing that I’ve really been working on, gosh, since last September is listening to that intuition, getting really familiar with that intuition, or the spirit, whatever you want to call it and really paying attention to it and listening to it. and I recognized that as, “Hey, we need to go this direction this week instead.”

So, that’s why we’re here. And I am excited about this. I love this topic and I think it will be super helpful for a lot of you. So, deprivation. What is deprivation, first off?

Deprivation is a feeling of desire from a place of lack. If you feel deprived – how many of you feel deprived when you quit pornography, or you say, “Okay, I’m done with it. I’m done with it this time,” and then immediately you feel deprived? And it’s this place of wanting it and desiring it, but from this place of like, “I can’t have it,” of lack, “I want this but I can’t have it.”

We feel deprivation with lots of things; deprived of sugar. My three-year-old feels deprived of TV all the time, “I need it, mom. I need Rainbow Ruby.” If he isn’t watching TV, sometimes he’s so deprived, feeling so deprived, “Mom, I need it. I need the TV.” So, that’s what deprivation is. I’m sure a lot of you have experienced this when you’ve tried to quit porn in the past.

Here’s what’s really interesting about deprivation. Deprivation comes from our desire. Deprivation comes from desire. So, if you don’t desire something, if you don’t want something, you’re not going to feel deprived of it.

So, for example, if I don’t want sugar, I’m not going to feel that feeling of deprivation when I’m not eating sugar. I’m not going to feel like when I’m not eating sugar if I don’t even want it in the first place.

Again, with my son, with my three-year-old, if he doesn’t want the TV, he’s not going to feel deprived, even if the TV is off and there is no TV, he’s not going to feel deprived if he doesn’t want it. For example, he wanted to go play with his new dollar-store superheroes. And as soon as he saw those new dollar-store superheroes, he had no more desire for that TV and all the deprivation was gone.

He actually said something to me pretty funny last week. He said, “Mom, come turn off the TV. I’m turning into a zombie.” And I was like, “Oh jeez, that shows you where my parenting is at this week.” Oh my gosh, “I’m going to turn into a zombie.”

So, deprivation comes from desire. If we don’t want something, we’re not going to feel deprived of it. So, deprivation doesn’t come because we don’t have something. Deprivation comes because we have desire for something.

So, if we get rid of the porn, you’re not going to feel deprived because we got rid of the porn. You’re going to feel deprived because you still want the porn. Does that make sense? This is the same with alcohol.

I don’t feel deprived of alcohol because I don’t really want alcohol, even though there is no alcohol around and I’m not having any alcohol and I’m sober, I don’t feel deprived because I don’t have desire for it in the first place.

So, desire creates deprivation. Deprivation isn’t caused by the absence of pornography. Deprivation is caused by the desire that you have for pornography. That’s principle number one.

Principle number two is that we cause our own desire. So, the way to fix deprivation isn’t so solve for the deprivation, isn’t to try to feel less deprived. The way to fix deprivation is to solve for the desire.

So, for example, again, the TV with my toddler, if I was like, “we’re just going to watch one show. If we just do one show, we won’t feel deprived because we’re not getting rid of it all the way,” That wouldn’t work because when I turn it off, he would still feel deprived. To fix that deprivation, we have to fix the desire.

So, think about this with pornography. When we try to fix the deprivation by solving for the deprivation, for example setting limits, maybe you’re like, “Okay, I’m just going to look at it just once this week, then I won’t feel as deprived because at least I’ll have it once.” That doesn’t work because in order to solve for the deprivation, we have to solve for the desire.

And that doesn’t work because, remember, the more that you look at pornography, the more that you want pornography. And the reason for that is that’s just how our brain is set up.

We have this reward system in our brain that I’ve talked way in depth about in other masterclasses that I’ve had. And I’ll have to schedule a podcast to talk about that in depth. But really simply, we have this reward system in our brain that’s set up that when we look at porn, we get a hit of dopamine.

If you remember, you know that dopamine is a pleasure chemical. So, your brain thinks that dopamine is super-super-important and it loves dopamine. And it thinks, “Hey, the more dopamine we have, the better we are living. We are living a better life when we have lots of dopamine.”

So, your brain thinks that dopamine is super-important and it remembers where, when, and how it gets the dopamine. So, it doesn’t just get a hit of dopamine and it doesn’t just remember, “Hey, we get dopamine from porn.” It remembers, “Hey, we get dopamine from porn at 10 at night on Tuesdays.” Like, it remembers where and when, “When we’re in our room at 10 at night, that’s when we get this dopamine.”

So, every time we look at that porn, we give that little squirt of dopamine into our brain. Your brain’s going to remind you at that time, that place, “Hey, remember we get dopamine. Remember, we get dopamine here.” It’s just how our reward system is set up. So, the more that you look at it, the more your brain is trained to want it.

That’s really me explaining it very simply, but that’s why, the more that we look at porn, the more that we want porn. So, that’s the first way that we create our desire, is by looking at it in the first place and creating a pattern and creating a dopamine pattern and these automatic urges that just seem to happen because of our brain’s reward system.

And the second way that we create our desire – really this applies to the first way too – is through our thoughts. Desire is an emotion, which means that desire comes from our thoughts, always. Even these automatic urges that I’ve talked about, you will still have a thought before those urges that will create desire. So, some thoughts that create desire could be stuff like, “I want it.” Just that simple “I want it.” When you think, “I want it,” you’re going to feel desire.

When I think, “I want Pad Thai,” I feel desire for Pad Thai. Maybe thoughts like, “This is really awesome, I love this, I really like this,” and the infamous thought, “I want it, but I can’t have it.” That thought’s going to create a lot of desire for you too. So, desire is caused by our thoughts. We create our own desire through our thoughts.

And again, think about this in regards to alcohol. I’m sure there are some of you listening who don’t want alcohol. And the reason that you don’t want it is because you’re not thinking, “I want alcohol.” And you’re not thinking, “Oh, it’s great. I need this to wind down. I need this to have a good time. I love it.” That doesn’t ever cross your mind. And because that doesn’t cross your mind, you don’t have desire for it.

And you can apply this to anything that you don’t want in your life. So, listen, the reason that you struggle with pornography and not something else – this is a question I get a lot is, “Hey, why porn? Why is porn something that I can’t get rid of? Why can’t it be something else?”

The reason it is pornography is because you have subconsciously trained your brain to want it through looking at it and those dopamine patterns, and because of your thoughts, because you’re thinking, “I want it,” and because you’re thinking, “I like it.”

With these other things, you’re not thinking those thoughts. And we’ll talk about how to change those here in a minute. But one that I really want to focus on, one big thought that creates this deprivation is this thought, “I want it, but I can’t have it.”

I hear this one all the time. This one comes up all the time when I’m coaching. Like, “I can’t have it.” Whenever I hear a client say, “I can’t have it,” I stop them and question that.

“You can’t? Because no one’s stopping you. You can totally have that and you can be happy. You can be happy and look at pornography. You can absolutely have porn be a part of your life. That’s a lie. I can’t have it is a lie.”

And this, “I want it but I can’t have it,” it really puts us in this powerless place in our life, like, “If I could I would.” Of course, absolutely you can. So, here’s this principle, that saying no, saying no to this and focusing on that no creates deprivation, “I want it but I can’t have it.”

What I want you to do is I want you to focus on saying yes. Instead of, “I want it but I can’t have it,” how about, “I’m choosing not to have it? And I don’t want it?”

If you wanted it, you would not be listening to this podcast. There is a part of you, this little part of you, your lower brain that wants it and that’s pushing you towards it. But really, you don’t want it. So, stop telling yourself that you want it because that’s just not true.

And if you do want it, that’s fine. Go have it. Go enjoy it. If you’re going to look at it, enjoy it. Don’t just tell yourself, “I can’t have this.” Because you can. Don’t just tell yourself, “I want it,” because you don’t.

So, when your brain starts telling you these things like, “I like it. I want it. I can’t have it.” I just want you to have something to answer it with. So, instead of, “I want it,” question that, “Actually, no I don’t really want it. Part of me wants it, but this deeper part of me doesn’t want it. That’s why I’m trying not to look at it.” Or, “I like it.”

Really question that. After my clients question that, they’ll be like, “Actually, I don’t like it that much.” You get to decide whether or not you like something. And if you want to like it, like I said, that’s absolutely fine. There’s nothing wrong with that.

But if you don’t and if something is pulling you towards quitting it and there is a part of you that doesn’t like it and doesn’t like it in your life, stop telling yourself that you like it. At least answer your brain with, “Actually, I don’t like it,” when it tells you that you do like it.

And instead of saying no, I want you to instead say yes and focus on the yes. So, instead of, “I’m not going to have this,” no to the porn, let’s say yes to the life that you want that is porn-free.

See how much more powerful that feels instead of no, no, no, no, no? Yes, to feeling in control of my life. Yes, to feeling in control of my sexuality. Yes, to a better sexual life, sex with love and intimacy and humanity and vulnerability.

I love what Glennon Doyle says about – she has a chapter on pornography in her new book and she says, “We don’t want fake sex ruining real sex for you.” So, say yes to real sex instead of no to fake sex. Instead of saying no to the pornography, we’re saying yes to a better relationship with our spouse instead of running away from the hard things in our relationships with our spouse, we’re saying yes to creating that, saying yes to feeling our emotion, and yes to that experience of being human instead of just running away from them with the porn.

Instead of saying no to porn, we’re saying yes to strength and yes to doing hard, difficult things just for the purpose of becoming stronger and proving to ourselves that we can do something that’s really hard.

And really think about this. What life would you have if you didn’t struggle with pornography? What would you spend your time thinking about? And what would you spend your time doing? And what would you spend your time listening to, instead of listening to a podcast on overcoming porn, maybe you’d listen to a podcast on how to make more money or how to become a better musician or how to build your relationship.

Think about this life that you want without porn and all the things you want to do and that you would spend your time doing. Maybe you’d spend your time doing more hiking or kayaking or working out or creating instead of just consuming.

Those are the things that you really want. So, stop focusing on the no to porn and start focusing on all these things that you really do want in your life. Start saying yes more. That’s a much more powerful place than. “I want it but I can’t have it.” That’s always going to create deprivation.

Instead, how about you don’t want it? That’s why you’re trying to quit. And we’re having these urges to view it and that’s okay. But really, deep down, I don’t want it. What I really want is I want a life with all these things that we’ve just talked about.

So, when urges happen, feel them, process them, and then remind yourself that you’re not saying no, but you’re saying yes to the life that you really want.

Alright, so a really quick recap here. Deprivation is caused by desire. Deprivation isn’t caused by the lack of something. Deprivation is there because you want something. And the best news ever, we create our own desire. We create our own desire.

So, the way to solve for deprivation is to solve for our desire. Here is how we create our desire; through our thoughts. So, in order to change our desire for pornography, we have to become someone who thinks different thoughts about pornography.

Isn’t that amazing? Isn’t that the best news ever? It doesn’t just happen to us. We create it. This is the work that we really dive into in my program Overcome Pornography for Good. It’s a process. It doesn’t necessarily happen overnight. But we work on those two big steps where we solve for those automatic urges, by processing our urges and going through the skill of learning how to feel our desires without giving into them, and solving for our desire by changing our thoughts, by changing our beliefs, therefore changing our identity.

So, if you want to come join me in the program, you are more than welcome to. The doors are open right now. There’s a whole process on learning how to solve for this desire.

If you come to the masterclass, at the end, I’ll give you a special invitation with some bonuses to come and join, if you are interested in that. So, look for that and come join that if you’re interested in it.

If not, like I said, you will get a lot of goodness out of my free material, including the free masterclass, so make sure you show up to that. Come and join me there. I would love to have you there.

Really, take some time this week to question your thoughts, especially those thoughts that you notice are creating your desire. When you notice yourself thinking, “I really want that,” stop and question it. Is that 100% true? Or is it possible that it’s not 100% true and that what’s more true is that you don’t want it and you have some desire for it?

Alright, you guys, have a great week. Talk to you next week. Bye-bye.

If you’re ready to apply what you’re hearing in this podcast and finally overcome pornography for good, I’d love to be your coach. I’ve created a virtual program with the intent to give you everything that you need to quit. Once you join, you have lifetime access to the content and lifetime access to individual support through coaching calls and coaching boards. For more information check out sarabrewer.com/workwithme.

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