Join me on the podcast this week to discover how the thought, “I shouldn’t be here” keeps you stuck where you are right now. I’m inviting you to come at this thought with curiosity instead of resistance, and you’ll start to see what an amazing opportunity questioning this thought is in helping help you quit porn for good.
You are listening to the Overcome Pornography for Good podcast episode 31, I Shouldn’t Be Here.
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 everyone, welcome to the podcast episode this week. Last week, we talked all about the power of accepting yourself and why it works. Why those who accept themselves where they are at are able to quit pornography much faster than those who are not able to accept themselves where they're at.
We talked about how truly accepting yourself helps you make change quicker in any area of your life. Yes, including pornography. And I know it sounds counterintuitive, that's why I created that whole podcast episode around the topic. So go listen to that if you haven't listened to that yet.
Today I want to talk about this a little bit more in depth. And specifically, I want to talk about one thought that keeps people from quitting pornography. One thought that keeps them from this acceptance, keeps them in the shame cycle, keeps them feeling bad and buffering with pornography. And that thought is, I shouldn't be here.
I shouldn't be struggling with this. I shouldn't even be here in the first place. I shouldn't need to listen to this podcast. I shouldn't need to join this program, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. I shouldn't be here; I shouldn't be struggling with this. All right, and how many of us have thought this? Probably everyone, I shouldn't be struggling with this.
And here's what this thought does. And I want you to think about this for yourself. When you think this thought, how does it affect your life? Here's what I most commonly see, you think, “I shouldn't be here.” You feel either shame, or bad, or anger.
And the actions from those emotions is hiding from the habit, avoiding talking about it. Maybe it's really painful to talk about. You're not doing the program work if you're in the program. And it just results in you staying stuck in a place that you don't want to be. All from that thought, “I shouldn't be here.” Which creates the emotion that drives you to hide, avoid, and not actually do the work to quit.
It's really interesting because thinking that thought, I shouldn't be here, actually creates that reality where you stay in places that you don't want to be. You see that? Isn’t that really interesting?
So, for example, I mean, we can look at this in tons of areas of our life. But one example I thought of was sports. So, I played sports when I was growing up. And I remember being benched and not getting a lot of playing time and thinking to myself, “Oh, I should be so much better than I am. I shouldn't be here on the bench. Why am I here on the bench? What's wrong with me? If only I was better.”
And thinking that, being stuck in that mindset, I shouldn't be here, I just psyched myself out. And it made me perform worse when I was in the game. And then I got less playing time because I was performing worse. And the shame and feeling bad about my performance just made me actually perform worse.
And this “I shouldn't be here” is a very different mindset than “I'm going to work on this. I'm going to get faster. I'm going to get stronger. And I'm going to get off this bench.”
So that was my experience on the bench was, “I shouldn't be here. What's wrong with me? I shouldn't be here.” Whereas my parents saw it very, very differently. And whenever I talked to my parents about it, they told me that they never thought that they never thought I shouldn't be there on the bench.
They were always like, “Yeah, good. I'm so glad that you're having this experience. This is so good for you because you are a perfectionist and you like to be great at everything. And it's so good for you to not be good at everything.” And it was so good for me because I learned so much.
I learned grit. I learned resilience. I learned how to work smart and not just hard. Like I would work so hard, but I wasn't working hard at the things that mattered. And I learned that it's really important to work smart. And probably most important is that I learned, and I began to learn that my worth wasn't dependent on my performance.
So yeah, from my parents or even from like a bigger perspective, a more expansive perspective it's like yeah, maybe that wasn't a terrible thing. Maybe I should have been there. Maybe that was good for me.
Another example of this is, I've shared before I struggle
with depression occasionally. And the first time that I really struggled with this, that was the big thought that I had was “I shouldn't be here. I shouldn't be feeling this. I shouldn't just be sitting in my room all day unable to get off the couch.”
And all that did was kept me where I was at and feeling worse and building more resistance onto that depression that actually made me stay where I was at. When I switched that to, “Hey, this is okay. I'm okay. Maybe I'm just supposed to be depressed today.” It changed everything and allowed me to actually get out of the state of being depressed much quicker than being in this mindset of I shouldn't be here. I shouldn't be feeling this. I shouldn't be here.
Now when I get depressed, I just get really curious. It's not so much this mindset like, “Oh, I shouldn't be here, not again. I wonder why. Why am I here? Is it burnout? Is something off chemically? Do I need to be eating differently or better?” I just get really curious.
What I find is that it usually tells me that I need to rest. And it helps me make shifts so that I can show up in my life better. And I know, I'm assuming many of you are thinking to yourself, you're like, “Okay, yeah, sure. Okay, but this is pornography, this is different. I shouldn't be here is just a fact. It's not the same thing.”
But what I want to offer you today is that I shouldn't be here is not just true. It's not just a fact. It's a way that you're choosing to think about your porn habit, and I want you to question whether or not it's serving you.
Because what I see over and over and over again with my clients when I'm coaching people is “I shouldn't be here” keeps them trapped where they don't want to be. Keeps them looking at pornography because it's just creating shame and feeling bad and keeps them buffering in this place where you're looking at pornography and you don't want to be looking at, right?
So let's really question this thought. Let's question this thought, I shouldn't be here. I shouldn't struggle with pornography. Why? Why not? You might say to me, “Because it's bad and it's causing all these problems in my life.” And I would even question that. Are we not supposed to have problems in our life? Are we not supposed to cause problems in our life? Are we not supposed to make mistakes?
And so many of you are in this mindset you're like, “Yeah, I can make mistakes, but just not here. I was never supposed to make this mistake. And if I wouldn't have made this mistake when I was younger, I wouldn't be here right now.” Maybe that's not true.
I truly believe you are supposed to come to Earth at this time. And think about our Earth at this time, there's porn everywhere. Way more than any other generation, there's just pornography and it's everywhere. You are supposed to come as one of the first generations to have the internet. As one of the first generations to have so much access to pornography.
And you came to earth with a brain. With a brain that has a reward system that makes it like pornography. A reward system that makes it so that you crave pornography when you've been viewing it for a while, that likes the dopamine from the pornography.
Okay, you're not viewing porn because there's something wrong with your brain. You're viewing pornography because the reward system in your brain is working correctly.
Now really understand me here. It's not like there's something wrong and something's messed up and something's broken inside of your brain. No your brain is working exactly how it should be. I dive into depth about how it works in your brain in my program.
I’m not going to talk about that here just because it would take too long. But really trust me and understand that you wanting pornography means that your brain is working exactly how it should.
Now, does this mean that you're supposed to struggle with it forever? Does this mean that your brain is supposed to want it forever? Absolutely not. But right now? Is it supposed to struggle with it right now? Maybe.
And just pretend with me, just play with this with me. If you're supposed to be here and you were supposed to be struggling with this all along. Let's say nothing's gone wrong. This is all a part of the plan. Nothing's gone wrong. You're supposed to be struggling with pornography right now.
What would that change for you?
If you're supposed to struggle with porn, if life was exactly how it was supposed to be, then what? I want you to think about what an amazing opportunity it is for you to learn how to quit pornography. Because let me tell you, the things that I've introduced you to in this podcast are seriously life changing.
They're life changing in so many areas other than pornography. And if you weren't struggling with pornography right now, you wouldn't be listening and you wouldn't be learning these really cool things about your brain. And you have this opportunity to learn how to quit porn. To learn how to quit buffering. To learn how to process your urges. To learn this emotional management.
And if you can learn how to quit porn, if you can learn these skills, you can learn how to do anything. I'm serious. I'm serious, these tools that I'm teaching you, I always tell my clients this is about so much more than quitting pornography.
These tools that you learn, and that you practice when you're quitting porn are the exact same tools that can help you fix relationships, create amazing relationships, create other healthy habits. Maybe you want to get in better shape, maybe you want to eat differently. They teach you how to make a ton of money, how to uplevel your career, how to become great parents.
All of these things, every area of your life that you want to uplevel starts in your mind. Starts by changing your thought. Starts by learning how to sit with emotion instead of running away from it.
This is about so much more than quitting porn. Once you can learn how to quit porn, you can learn how to do anything. Especially if you learn how to quit porn with these brain tools. And you have the amazing opportunity right now to laser focus in on quitting porn to learn these skills and laser focus in on this one problem. Then you fix this and there's nothing that you can't do. You can apply this to everything else.
So maybe, just maybe, I'm not supposed to be here, is a lie. How could that be true for you? How could it be true that you're supposed to be where you're supposed to be, and nothing has gone wrong even though you're struggling with pornography?
And you guys understand, right? Like you know that I'm not saying, hey, there's nothing wrong with porn. What I'm saying is, maybe there's nothing wrong with you for struggling with porn. Maybe it's one of the best things that you could go through.
I mean, you learn how to do this, and you can help so many other people going through similar things. You learn how to do this and think about what a great teacher you can be for your family and for your kids. Because your kids are now going to go through this world and all of this stuff that's in it.
And remember, there's not only two options, like I shouldn't be here, and this is fine, I should be here. And this is okay, in justification, right? When I'm talking to my clients about this sometimes, we get confused. We're like, well, if I shouldn't be here, the only other option is I should be here, and this is fine.
And that's not what I'm saying. There's a lot of middle ground. There's a difference between, I shouldn't be here, there's something wrong with me, and I'm ready for something different. There's nothing wrong with me. This is the experience that I'm having. And I'm ready to create something different.
One is very shameful, and one is very empowering. But in order to reach that empowering place, you have to drop this idea that you shouldn't be where you're at.
Of course you should be here. Of course you should be struggling Of course you should be making mistakes. That's why we're here. We're not here to be perfect, even with pornography. And so now that we know that and now that we know that you're exactly where you're supposed to be, now what?
Now what do you want to create? Now what do you want to learn? Now what do you want your story to be?
All right, you guys, have a great week and we'll 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.