As an entrepreneur, I’ve always cringed at the phrase “realistic expectations” because I believe that anything you truly want is 100% possible. But when you understand my take on realism, being “realistic” about our expectations for the future is critical for creating new results.
We so often overestimate what we can do in the short term and underestimate what we can do in the long term. So many of us unknowingly do this in all areas of our lives, and it’s leading to us quitting, living small lives, and creating more evidence that we aren’t the people who can achieve the goals we want.
Join me this week as I show you why staying in this cycle of unrealistic expectations is so problematic, and how to stop the cycle so you can move closer to the changes you want to see by taking small, realistic steps towards it consistently.
You are listening to the Overcome Pornography for Good podcast episode 52, Realistic Expectations.
Welcome to the Overcome Pornography for Good podcast, the show that will teach you 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 coach and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Hey, you guys, welcome to the podcast episode this week. I hope you had a wonderful week. I have had a wonderful week. It is pretty snowy. I'm recording this a little bit before it'll be released, just trying to batch some episodes before the holidays.
And so it's been like the first week where it's been really snowy and windy. And I try to go on a walk every day and so I went to the place where I usually go on a walk, which is kind of by the canyon of where I live. And I forgot how freaking windy it gets. I could barely walk. And my ears were hurting, you know, like when the wind is blowing so hard it hurts your ears.
Anyways, I think we'll probably be going to St. George for a part of the winter. Which, for those of you who are not in Utah, St. George is about four hours south and it's where Zion is and all the beautiful red rock. And it's really, really nice during the winter.
Or we might be moving to Hawaii. And I decided I'm just going to keep talking about it on the podcast. Because maybe if I keep talking about it here it will manifest itself into reality. No, but for real, I really do have plans to go and move there and live there. We just need to work some things out with my husband's business and my husband's work. And so we'll see. We'll see when that happens.
But I am a warm person. I like the warmth much more than I like the cold. But we're just going to embrace it. Embrace the chilliness here.
Okay, before we hop into our topic today, I want to share a review that I got from one of you and I love it. And I can't remember if I shared it already. I might have shared it already. So if I have, sorry. But I think, I think I just thought about sharing it, I don't think I actually did share it. And it made me laugh and so I want to share it.
It says, “Sara, thank you so much for doing this podcast. Thank you for sharing your gift and coaching talent. I'm not a part of the LDS community at all, and I say that because I feel there may be some who see and hear your affiliation and somehow alter their perception of what you have to offer here.”
And yeah, so really quickly, I think I'm going to have that taken out of my podcast intro because I want to appear to a more broader community of people who are trying to quit porn. Kind of going out of just LDS to anyone, really, who is part of a conservative religion or anyone who wants to quit porn.
So I did appreciate that in the review. I've had quite a number of clients recently who are not affiliated with LDS at all, but really like the content. So thank you, I appreciate that.
And it says, “You are so helpful. I've taken numerous gems from your work. You offer support in such a kind of manner. Man, I see your empathy, compassion, and love just so abundant.
My favorite most helpful episodes were the self-concept episode and when it gets tough. I think I may have “hallelujah! It's tough” forever echoing in my mind. You have taught me that anything worth doing require struggle to achieve, and I'm so worth it. Many praises. Thank you, thank you.”
Yeah, thank you so much for leaving that. That made me laugh a little bit because I remember recording that and “hallelujah! It's tough,” being so into it right here by my mic. And some people might not feel the fervor I have as I'm saying that, but some people are really going to get it. So it makes me laugh.
And I'm really glad that you said that, that you liked that line, that you remember that. And yeah, I think that often, I think that often like, “Hallelujah, it's tough and that it's not just easy all the time.” And then there are other times in my life where I don't think that and I'm like, “Why does it have to be so tough?”
But hallelujah, it's tough. I went and listened to that episode, re-listened to that episode after I read that review. That is from episode, for when it's difficult, For When Things Are Difficult. That's a really good one, a lot of people like that one. So thank you so much for that. I really, really appreciate it.
If you haven't yet left me a review or rating on Apple, I would love it if you would do so. It helps me so much, it just takes a minute or two there on your Apple Podcasts app. You just scroll down to the bottom and then click the star and then type something in. Lord, it's been helpful. Yeah, I really, really appreciate it, it's really helpful to me and to the podcast.
So let's dive into the topic today which is realistic expectations. And really quickly before we jump into the content, I just want to let you know that I'm going to be offering a free class this month. A couple of free classes to help you really implement a lot of these concepts that you're learning in the podcast.
Remember, there's a difference between listening and learning in the podcast, and actually implementing it. And I hope that some of you who are listening to the podcast are doing great and able to figure it all out and implement it all on your own.
But for many of us, and this is me, that's not how our brains work and how my brain works. My brain needs a little bit more implementation. It needs something a little bit more than just listening.
And so, next week I'm offering a free class. You'll just have to go to the URL I'm going to give you. I'm going to be offering a free class that will help you implement more of these concepts, plus a bonus Q&A at the end.
So I get a lot of questions on my Instagram and in my email, and I don't get time to answer all of them. Hardly any of them I have time to answer. So, this bonus Q&A at the end of the class is a great time for you to interact with me one on one, ask me any questions you have about quitting porn, any questions you have about your journey.
And I'm going to stay there and answer any questions you have there at the end of that class. So come sign up for that. You can sign up by going to sarabrewer.com/freeclass. Sometimes you guys ask me, is it really free? Yes, anytime I say something is free, it really is free.
You just have to sign up and you'll get the emails with the link. So sarabrewer.com/freeclass. It'll also give you all the date and time details that I don't have with me right now.
Okay, let's hop into the content for today, which is realistic expectations. Now listen, you might hear that topic and be like, “Realistic expectations? That sounds a little depressing.” It might in your minds be a little bit depressing like, “Okay, I need to like lower my expectations so that I can actually be realistic here.”
And that's not what I'm saying at all. I'm not saying we need to lower expectations of what we really want in life and be realistic. Oh, that's like one of my least favorite things, especially as an entrepreneur. And my husband is also an entrepreneur. And so we started that journey really young.
My husband didn't end up finishing college and always wanted to do our own thing. And that's something we would hear a lot is like, you need to be realistic. Like, okay, when you're done with that, though, what's your realistic plan? I cringe whenever I think of that because really, anything that you want is realistic.
Here's what I mean by realistic expectations, we often overestimate what we can do in the short-term, and underestimate what we can do in the long-term. Okay, so I don't want you to hear realistic expectations and feel shot down and miserable. I want this to give you hope.
Do you hear that? We overestimate what we can do in the short-term and we underestimate what we can do in the long-term, in the long run. Now really think about it, what do you imagine for yourself in the long-term, in the long run? What are you imagining 15, 20 years from now?
And whatever that is, whatever it is that you're thinking will happen in 15, 20 years, you are underestimating that. You are underestimating that. Now, when we get tripped up a little bit is this first part where we are overestimating what we can do in the short term.
So let me give you some examples. My favorite example of this is 75 hard. Now, have you guys heard of 75 hard? It's the challenge that goes around where we've got 75 days to do something really difficult and totally change our lives. And the challenge is you're going to do two 45 minute workouts a day, and one of them has to be outside.
It's eating a diet without ever going off of it. It's no alcohol. It's one gallon of water a day. It's 10 pages of a book a day. All those things in one day. And then if you miss a day, you have to start over. Barf. Saying that out loud makes me want to gag. It sounds so horrible.
And sorry, I know some of you probably are into the 75 hard thing. If you are, it's fine. You can be into it, whatever. But this is a classic example of us overestimating what we can do in the short term and not even thinking really about what we can do in the long term.
It's like this mindset where we have to do all of this really quickly, and we're going to change our life in 75 days. We're going to do all these things in 75 days. And I'm going to talk about why that's harmful and why that doesn't work here in a minute.
But if we were to think about long-term and how we're underestimating what we can do in the long-term, we might think, okay, in the long-term I can have this extremely fit and healthy body. But not just that, really long-term you could do anything you want with your body.
You could run an Iron man. You could do the ultra-marathons if that's your thing. That sounds like hell to me, I would never want to do that where you're running 100 miles in a night or something. But some people want to do that. You could be a professional bodybuilder.
You can do all these things long term, but people aren't really challenging themselves to think big in this way because they're so focused on the short-term and overestimating what they can do in the short term. But I promise you, if you were to instead really think what is my dream outcome with my body and my fitness? And think about it long-term instead of these short-term 75 hard challenges, you will get so much further. And you will accomplish so much more than if you accomplished 75 hard.
Another example of this overestimating the short-term, underestimating the long-term is for business owners. We overestimate, we're like, “Okay, I'm going to make $100,000 in this first year.” And is it doable? Totally, absolutely. But it might be a little bit of an overestimation, or whatever the number is that you want to put.
Whereas when we focus long-term, they're really underestimating what they can do long-term. They're not even thinking about what they can do long-term. Maybe long-term they see themselves having a couple hundred thousand dollar business a year, $500,000.
When in reality what you can have long-term is you can have a business that has multiple millions of dollars a year. That has multiple employees that helps thousands and thousands of people. But when we're so focused on that short-term overestimation, we don't even think about what's available to us long-term.
And really, what you focus on is what you're going to create. So you might be able to create that short-term result, but we're so focused on that short-term overestimation that we're not even thinking about what's possible in the long-term.
Okay, another example is pornography. Really overestimating what we can do short-term. I'm going to go from viewing daily or multiple times a day to not viewing for 30 days straight. Really overestimating what might be doable and not thinking about long-term, underestimating what they can do long-term. If we're not underestimating what we can do long-term, you can really imagine a beautiful life that is completely porn free, beautiful, and healthy relationships, and sexual relationship with someone.
And what happens, oh, you guys, what happens when we overestimate what we can do in the short-term is we kill our relationship with ourselves. We literally kill our relationships with ourselves when we are overestimating what we can do in the short-term.
And here's what I mean by that, when we overestimate what we do in the short-term we're not able to follow through, we'll not be able to do all of it because it's too much. All it does is it creates more evidence in your mind that you can't accomplish what you want to accomplish.
It gives you more evidence for this belief that you start to have about yourself that you're not someone who can do X, Y, or Z. You just have more evidence for a belief that you are not someone who isn't healthy because you can't do 75 hard. Or you're someone who isn’t cut out for business because you didn't make 100K your first year. Or you're someone who can't quit porn because you weren't able to stop cold turkey for 30 days.
When we overestimate what we can do in the short-term, we kill our relationship with ourselves. And when we kill our relationships with ourselves, we aren’t able to accomplish what we want to accomplish.
And here's what I want you to know too, is all of those beliefs that you start to have about yourself as you kill your relationship with yourself, that sounds really dramatic. Kill your relationship with yourself, but it is so detrimental.
All of those beliefs that you start to have about yourself, like I'm not someone who is healthy. I'm not someone who is cut out for this. I'm not someone who can quit porn. Those are all lies. Every single one of those is a lie and they're just a result of you overestimating what you can do in the short-term and underestimating what you can do in the long-term.
And when we aren't setting realistic expectations about the future, we also set ourselves up for failure. When we aren't being realistic about the amazing things we can create in the long-term we're also setting ourselves up for failure because we start to feel unfulfilled and small. We lose drive, and purpose, and focus. And we live smaller lives than what's really available for us instead of living as big of a life as we possibly can.
Okay, I want you to really imagine the most beautiful and successful life that you can imagine. It's not a perfect life. That's not a life without struggles or challenges. It's not a life that's happier than where you are now. Remember, happiness and success aren't the same things.
But really imagine the most beautiful and successful life you can. And I want to tell you that that is available to you. And you get it by taking realistic small steps towards it consistently. You do it by stopping this cycle of overestimating what you can do in the short-term and underestimating what you can do in the long-term.
This is why I always tell my clients, you guys, this is why the program is lifetime access. Because can you come in and quit porn in a couple months? Totally. But if you don't, it doesn't mean anything about your future. And let's get rid of all of that pressure to do it really quickly because that pressure is just a sign that you're overestimating what you can do in the short-term, okay?
And then really build your vision and increase your vision of what you can do in the long-term. And let's take small, consistent, realistic steps towards that.
Okay, all right, you guys, and remember to come to this class that I have for you. This free class where I'm going to be there live. I'll be there to teach you some specific ways to implement these tools. And I'll be there at the end to answer any questions you have. Maybe questions about the topic today. Any questions you have about quitting porn. Any questions you might have about joining the program. All of that, I'm going to be there for you live during this class.
All right, you guys, have a great week. We'll talk to you next week. Bye bye.
I want to invite you to come and listen to my free training called How to Quit Viewing Pornography Even if You've Tried in the Past. If you like the podcast, you will love this free training. We talk about, number one, how to not rely on willpower or phone filters so that you can actually stop wanting pornography.
Number two, how to guarantee that you won't fail no matter how many times you've tried in the past. And number three, how to feel good about yourself while becoming someone who doesn't struggle with pornography. You can access this training at sarabrewer.com/masterclass.