When do you experience your most irresistible urge to view pornography? For many of my clients, these moments of desire that feel especially challenging run the gamut from being off of work and having time alone on weekends, to stress or going through a rough patch.
Whatever your specific scenario might be, know that you’re not alone. These instances where you’re experiencing your most difficult urge often trigger so much drama about how you’ll never be able to quit or live up to be the kind of person you want to be. But the truth is it doesn’t have to feel so intense, and I’m showing you why this week.
Join me this week as I show you how you might be making your struggle with your most difficult urge harder than it needs to be. You’ll discover why avoidance is not the same as overcoming the urge, and the key to finding a real long-term solution.
You are listening to the Overcome Pornography for Good podcast episode 70, Overcome Your Most Difficult Urge.
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, so glad you're here. Like we've been doing recently, take a minute and celebrate a win that you have had over this past week. That could be a win specifically with pornography or a win in any other area of your life. We want to start really creating this celebration energy, this gratitude energy that will give you momentum to continue to keep going.
And I want to share a win that I received from a member of the program this last week and I just, I loved it. I loved it so much. And I love this example of a win. He says, “I processed several urges while I was sick, and I started to understand the commitment milestone a bit more.” If you're not aware, I have a number of milestones in the program. Stuff that you work through, and one of them is commitment. So that's what he's referring to.
He said, “I had been caught up in all or nothing thinking when it came to my commitment to stop viewing porn. And I have finally made the distinction between trying and maybe failing sometimes, and not trying at all. My outlook is more positive, and I feel like the process of overcoming porn is something that I can really do.” Yes, awesome. I love it.
I wanted to share that because I wanted to share, you know, remind us of this all or nothing thinking. And what he's saying here is he finally gets it, he is understanding that trying and not being perfect is better than not trying at all.
I heard a podcast recently where the host said, she talks about the 1%, and how sometimes we think 1% isn't anything. So, for example, if you want to have $100 and you only have $1, you might as well have $0. This is kind of what we think and how we think about it sometimes. But the truth is, is that 1% is so much bigger than nothing because that 1% gets you started, gets you rolling, gets you momentum.
And over time that 1% builds and builds and builds to 30, 40, 50, 90, 100% over time. This idea, right, of compound effects that we've talked about. Little actions, little successes create major results. And so being willing to try and maybe sometimes fail is so much better than being like, well, I'm just not going to try because I'm not going to be able to do it.
Or I'm not going to be able to quit cold turkey, so I'm not really going to try. I'm going to try next week when I have a little bit more momentum and a little bit more energy. No, even your little efforts are so important here. So I love that.
Okay, let's talk about your most difficult urge. So think about, and when I say most difficult urge, right, like your most difficult urge to view pornography. The urges, the desire, those moments of desire that are really difficult. So this might be your days off of work, that's when you seem to have really difficult moments, is days off of work. It might be moments where you're really stressed and upset.
It might be nights that you're away. Maybe you are a firefighter, and you stay at the station a couple times a week and those are when your most difficult urges come. It's interesting, I have quite a number of firefighters and this is something that has come up a number of times in my program.
It might be a witching hour. You know you have witching hours between the hours of 10 and 11, or whatever that is, and your witching hours are your most difficult urges. Or it might be in the middle of the night when you wake up in the middle of the night. Or work trips, or when your spouse is out of town, or after a test.
Maybe your most difficult urge is a random day when something rough happens kind of out of nowhere and you weren't really prepared and all of a sudden you're having urges. Or maybe it's the third or fourth day of you going without porn. Usually that third or fourth day is when you have some difficult urges. Or maybe it's the weekend, weekends always bring the most difficult urges.
Whatever that is for you, your most difficult urge is just those moments that you seem to worry about the most and that seem to be the hardest for you. So what we need to understand in order to overcome this most difficult urge is a number of things. But the first thing that we need to understand is that there's nothing wrong with you. Okay?
I listed those very specific examples for a reason. This is just a sample of common things that I hear that are most difficult urges. But I did that for a reason, to normalize them. To help you see that you're not alone. To help you avoid getting into the shame and making it mean so much more than it needs to mean. Okay, there's nothing wrong with you. We all have these and the less drama we can have around them, the easier they will be to overcome.
So, for example, I think about my toddler who really likes to dramatize things. So the other day he couldn't find his Mickey Mouse shirt and his brain went to, well, now I'm not going to be able to get dressed. And now I'm going to be cold all day because I can't find my Mickey Mouse shirt. And now I'm never going to find it. And I'll never get to go to Disneyland again because I can't find my Mickey Mouse shirt. And Mickey is never going to wave to me, and Mickey is going to hate me because I can't find my Mickey Mouse shirt. It is so cute.
And our adult brains do this too with a number of things, but specifically with pornography and these most difficult urges. We have this most difficult urge, and we dramatize it. We make it mean so much more than I have this area that's difficult for me.
And we make it mean, well, I'm never going to quit. And I'm never going to be able to live up to be a good person. And I'm disgusting and horrible. And I'm going to have to avoid everything that triggers this urge. And you know what? My life is just never going to be as good as it could be because I'm struggling with this most difficult urge, right? Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
We want to try to bring down all of that intensity around these, okay? And neutralize it a little bit. Let's just look at the fact, the fact is that you struggle when, fill in the blank. That your most difficult urge is, fill in the blank. And that's it. It doesn't have to mean anything more than I struggle at nights. I struggle when I'm away from home. I struggle when I'm at the station, whatever. Okay?
So next what we need to understand is we need to understand that there is no avoiding this urge, okay? Overcoming it is not avoiding it. You are not actually overcoming pornography if you're just avoiding your urges, okay? Instead, what we need to do is we need to find a real solution.
It's not going to work if we try to avoid those situations and if we say to ourselves, well, I'm just always going to go to bed early. And overcoming my urge means avoiding it by going to bed early or avoiding being alone. So anytime I'm supposed to be alone for a weekend I'm going to go spend the night at my parents’ house, or whatever. Or I'm going to avoid being stressed. And if I can just really manage my stress and avoid any stress, then I won't have these urges.
And I know that's what we want to do, that's what we think the solution is. But it's not. There is a much better solution, because the truth is that you're never going to be able to completely avoid these situations. You're never going to be able to avoid being up late at night. That's going to happen occasionally, right?
You're never going to avoid being alone for a weekend. You're never going to be able to avoid being stressed. And I know we want to, but that's not going to happen. And that's okay, it doesn't have to happen. There's a better way.
Okay, next is that the solution needs to be different from what you've tried in the past. So, often what happens with these most difficult urges, so you try to work through it, you notice it happens and you're like, “Oh, I slipped up. I didn't do it right this time, next time we'll try harder.”
And you try the exact same thing, and it doesn't work. You’re like, “Oh, dang it, maybe next time I'll be able to do it.” And then the next time comes around and you try the exact same thing and you're just doing the same thing over and over again, telling yourself you just need to try harder instead of recognizing we might need to try something a little bit different.
Okay, I want you to think of it like a math equation. If you have this big, long math equation on your paper, you can start working through it, start solving it. And if you aren't able to figure it out the first time, you're not just going to go back and do the same thing over and over and over again expecting to solve it. You're going to have to do some adjusting and some tweaking.
So you go back and maybe the first couple things you did in that math equation worked and this is where we're going to try something different. Maybe you don't solve it all the way, so you go back, and you try again, and you make even more tweaks and more adjustments. You try it, you make adjustments, you try again and make more adjustments over and over and over again until you solve it.
That's what this most difficult urge is, it is just like a math equation or a puzzle. We need to practice, we need to try to get all the parts in the right place and it doesn't have to be any more dramatic than that. We're just solving an equation. And of course we're going to figure it out, right? Of course we're going to figure it out, even if it takes multiple tries.
It's not like, you know, if you're doing a math equation and you don't figure it out the first couple times, you're not like, “Oh, I'm never going to figure this out, this is unsolvable.” Right? You'll Google it, you'll get some help on YouTube, maybe you'll go talk to a math teacher. There's a way to solve this, it's not unsolvable. We can absolutely figure it out, and just because you're not able to do it the first couple times doesn't mean that you're not going to be able to do it.
Or if we think of it as a puzzle, right, if we can't get all the pieces in the right spot, if we just become frustrated and flip the table, “I’m never going to be able to do this, this puzzle is unsolvable.” No, it just takes patience, it just takes practice, and it might take a little bit of help.
Okay, the next thing we need to understand about our most difficult urge is that we need to notice that there could be a number of things going on. We need to start gaining awareness for where it is that you're getting slipped up.
So you might be having a problem using willpower and you notice that you're just using willpower with this urge and it's causing you to burn out and it's not really working. It could be that you're experiencing self-sabotage. You know that you can handle this urge, but you're not doing it for some reason, that’s self-sabotage. We need to figure out what the root of the self-sabotage is.
It could be that you're lacking some awareness of what's really going on, maybe you're buffering. You're not aware that you're feeling negative emotion, you're not aware that you're trying to run away from emotion. Or it could be that all or nothing thinking that we talked about at the beginning of this episode.
So it's really important, really, really, really important to gain awareness around these urges and to ask ourselves, what is actually going on here? You can't solve a problem if you don't know what the problem is in the first place. And the problem is not as simple as I'm viewing porn at 10 o'clock at night. We need more than that.
Why? Why are we having this problem? Is it because we're having a hard time using willpower? We’re not processing our urges, because we're experiencing self-sabotage? Is it because we're buffering? Is it because we lack commitment? Is it because we're burned out? Is it because we're feeling shame, etc. etc. We need to start gaining some awareness.
A great way for you to start practicing doing this right now is to whenever you're feeling that urge, when you're noticing it, practice observing what's going on in your head and in your body. And so pull out a piece of paper and just write down all the thoughts you're having and write down all the things you're feeling. You'll start to see and uncover what's going on, okay?
And then lastly, the last thing that we need to recognize about these most difficult urges, is that if you can tackle your most difficult urge, you can do anything. Seriously. And if we can just laser focus on this one urge, it's going to be so much better than if we're really broad like, well, we're just going to quit porn altogether, cold turkey.
Now, that's the goal, is to quit porn altogether, but the more we take this into smaller chunks and one thing at a time, the easier it is to do. And if you can tackle that most difficult one, you can start to gain momentum and trust and confidence that you can keep going and that you can really do this.
It's like making money, right? That first little bit of money that you make, that first thing that you sell, can be really intimidating and really scary and the most difficult part. But you make that first $2,000 or whatever it is, and you gain some confidence and some momentum. You're like, “Oh, I can keep doing this.”
And especially if you handle this most difficult one, you can start to quiet that brain drama that says you're not good enough and you can't do this because you can remind yourself, no, remember that time I tackled my most difficult urge? That is evidence that I can do this. So I'm going to hold on to that. I'm going to hold on to that and use this momentum to carry me forward.
So I want to help you with this more, okay? I am doing a workshop, a new workshop called Overcome Your Most Difficult Urge and we're going to really dive into all of this. The purpose in this workshop, Overcome Your Most Difficult Urge is that you're going to learn how to overcome your most difficult urge. You're going to get some momentum, get a jumpstart. If you've been in a bit of a rut, we're going to get out of that rut.
I want you to have an amazing quick win during this weekend where we do this workshop. Maybe you’ve made some great progress but you're still having some trouble areas and you want to focus on those trouble areas. This will help you get out of those trouble areas.
And I've created it so that it's for you if you're viewing a lot, like daily or multiple times a day, and you want to start overcoming your most difficult urges and stop viewing as much as you are. And it's also for you if you're viewing occasionally, maybe even just one time a month. We can tackle that urge that still slips you up, right?
Ideally, you know, the purpose of this is to give you a quick win. So ideally, you can apply it that weekend. But if you don't experience that difficult urge that weekend, you can apply it whenever it happens.
Okay, you're going to get personalized help and walk through this process with me live. You'll also experience some of that accountability through the weekend, so we're going to have a call on Thursday and a call on Monday. And you'll learn some amazing tools that will make quitting porn so much easier than it has been in the past.
So the idea is that you come to this workshop and you're committing to overcoming your most difficult urge. So when you sign up you're saying to yourself, “Okay, we're going to figure out this urge. I'm committed to do that. I'm committed to showing up for myself. I'm committed to putting in this work.” And me, Sara, what I'm committing to is to giving you all the tools you need and helping you create a bulletproof plan to do that.
And like I said, when you can do that, when you can overcome this most difficult urge, you can do anything. So here's what it includes, it includes one 60 to 90 minute workshop where we do all the work together and I teach you a lot of awesome tools. And we create a specific plan for this most difficult urge. And it's live, so I can help you.
You'll get a limited time replay of that workshop. And then the following Monday we'll have a follow-up call on mastering self-accountability where I'll answer any questions that you have and troubleshoot any problem areas that you had with your plan. It'll be a follow-up to help you stay accountable, and if you've had any problems to work through those problems, okay?
And it is $6. Okay, it's only $6. And to be honest, it's worth at least 20 times more than that. But I was talking to a client the other day and he said that, you know, he's a member of the program. He says, “This program is worth 10 times more than what I paid for it. He said, “I would pay 10 times more than what I actually paid for this.” And I said, “Yes, exactly. That is exactly what I'm trying to create.”
And that is literally my business plan, is to make things at least 10 times more valuable than what I charge for them. And this is much, much more than that but it's something that I really want everyone to come and to experience and to get a great win during this weekend. Like I want this to be an event where we all show up together and we have a great weekend where we overcome our most difficult urge.
And it's a really powerful three or four days together. And there is that little bit of cost, $6. And with that you're just more likely to show up for yourself if you have a little bit of skin in the game. You're more likely to show up and to come and really experience this transformation if there's a little bit of a cost. But I mean, $6, chump change. So I’m trying to make it available to everyone. And I'm really, really excited about it.
Okay, so you can go and sign up at sarabrewer.com/mostdifficulturge, that's all one word, most difficult urge. We'll also link it in the show notes, and you'll see the time and the date all on that page. It'll be in a couple of weeks from the time this episode is released. And I hope to see you there.
Okay, you guys, we'll talk to you next week. Have a wonderful 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.