So many people have been taught a side of the story around worthiness that is holding them back. However, the more we learn about worthiness, the easier it becomes to access and step into our own. So, this episode is a reminder of the most helpful emotion you can create in combatting the shame that leads to people viewing pornography.
Shame and worthiness are big topics, but they both come from our thoughts. We feel shame because we’re thinking shameful thoughts about ourselves. Pretty simple, right? Well, as hard as it might be to believe right now, creating a sense of worthiness doesn’t come from our circumstances, our past, or our actions, it’s a result of the thoughts we think.
Tune in this week to discover everything you need to know about being worthy and creating the feeling of worthiness. I’m sharing why you don’t have to change your behavior in order to feel worthy, why quitting porn in itself isn’t where your worthiness is going to come from, and how you can create worthiness right now, regardless of your actions.
You are listening to the Overcome Pornography for Good podcast episode 87, Worthiness.
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. I’m so excited that you're here. We're just going to dive right into the content this week. I am interviewing someone really awesome for next week's episode and I have just a few minutes before they show up. So not a lot of chit chat here at the beginning.
But I do want to talk about worthiness. And I think this will be a really powerful episode. Powerful reminders, powerful concepts. The reason that I want to talk about worthiness is because the more we learn about it, the more we learn how to access it, the more we learn what it means to be worthy, et cetera, the more we're able to combat shame.
Empathy and worthiness are some of the best emotions to help us combat shame. And a lot of us have maybe been taught things about worthiness and what it means to be worthy that might be holding you back and might be keeping you stuck in shame. So let's unpack that. Just a small thing, let's unpack shame and talk about worthiness. Easy, small. Obviously, I am being sarcastic this is a big thing.
So worthiness, if we look at it as a feeling, as an emotion, worthiness comes from thoughts. When you feel worthy, that comes from your thoughts, it does not come from your circumstances. It does not come from your past, and it does not come from your actions. Okay?
And maybe I should define worthiness. So worthiness is being good enough, being worthy, being enough, being worth enough, okay? And if we think about it as a feeling, when you feel worthy, when you feel enough, when you feel good enough, that comes from your thoughts. It doesn't come from your circumstances, and it doesn't come from your actions, okay?
We learn this if you like the model that I've taught, or that I talk about in depth in the program. Brooke Castillo created the model, circumstance, thought, feeling, action, result. All of our feelings come from our thoughts, to create better results in our life we start believing new things and thinking new things. And we're just going to keep it really surface level there because yeah, there's some nuance, of course there's nuance.
But your thinking creates a lot of emotion. And so feeling worthy, feeling good enough, comes when you have thoughts that make you feel good enough, that make you feel worthy. Let me say this, again, it does not come from circumstances, it does not come from your past, and it does not come from your actions.
What this means is that you can feel worthy any time. You don't have to change your actions. You don't have to change your circumstances. You don't have to change what you're doing in order to feel good enough. Most of us have been taught the opposite, that in order to feel good enough you have to do good enough.
In order to feel worthy, we have to do this and this and this. And we can't look at porn, and we have to work out, and we have to read our scriptures, and we have to make sure we're praying. And we have to be all these things in order just to feel worthy and to feel good enough. Now, this is a flawed model because feeling worthy is dependent on the person, right?
So someone might be looking at porn and feel worthy and feel good enough, and someone might be looking at porn and not feel worthy and not feel good enough. I have many clients who are doing a lot of things, have a great job, have a family, are serving in their communities, are trying to quit porn, or working out and they don't feel good enough.
Whereas someone else might also have family, and have a job, and be serving, and be trying to quit porn and they do feel good enough, okay? This is proof that it’s not our circumstances or our actions that create this feeling of good enough. But it is how we are thinking about ourselves, how we are thinking about our lives that create this feeling of good enough.
Okay, so that's the first thing. That's the first really big important thing, that in order to feel worthy you do not have to do more. You do not have to change your past, you do not have to change your circumstances. In order to feel worthy you just need to practice thoughts and beliefs that will help you feel worthy. That's really, really powerful.
The second big point I want to make is that feeling worthy helps you create the life that you want. It's not the other way around. So many people get this backwards, they think that I will feel worthy once I have the life I want. I will feel worthy once I quit porn, and so until then I'm going to deny myself the feelings of worthiness. I can't let myself feel worthy until I quit porn.
And listen to me, this is why a lot of people stay stuck in porn. It’s because they do not allow themselves to feel worthy until they quit. And again, the model, the CTFAR, and if you don't know what that means, don't worry about it. For those of you who are in the program, we really use it a lot and if you've heard me talk about in the podcast before. This model will show us that over and over and over again.
When you feel worthy the actions that you take are going to be very different than when you're feeling not good enough. When you feel not good enough, you are going to take actions that prove that you are not good enough. Think about this with porn, you're not feeling good enough, you're not feeling like you can do enough.
Maybe you're telling yourself, if I tell myself I'm not good enough, then I will buck up and do better. You can maybe do that for a few days or a few weeks. But then it always leads into looking at porn, giving up, doing other things because you're feeling not good enough.
It's like fuel for your car, okay? Your emotions are the fuel that drives your actions. And so the fuel that comes from the emotion of not good enough, not enough, not enough, is really crappy fuel. It runs out really fast and it doesn't get us very far. Really think about how that feels in your body.
When you feel like you're not enough how does that feel in your body? What do you want to do when you feel like you're not enough? When you feel like you're not enough you do not take inspired action, you do not stay committed, and you don't make changes. When you feel worthy, okay, now think about the other side, we're flipping it.
Think about what it feels like in your body to feel worthy, to feel enough. What actions do you want to take when you are feeling enough, feeling good enough? That's when you are committed. That's when you show up for yourself and you show up for yourself out of love. That's when you follow through with your goals. That's when you do the hard things, okay? It's not the other way around, results, results, results.
We know truth, we know goodness by the results that they bring into our life. The Bible verse, for those of you who are Christian, by their fruits you shall know them. You know if things are good by their fruits. You know if things are good by their results. And the results that come from worthiness are always, always good.
And so for those of you who might be like, well, I can't let myself feel enough until I quit. Like God doesn't want me to feel enough, God wants me to beat myself up or like it just feels weird to say to say like, oh, I'm enough and I don't have to change. Look at the results. Look at the results of that and you will be able to see very clearly that it is good, that it is good fruit.
Worthiness is good fruit. Worthiness will help you get the result that you want, and you don't have to change anything. You don't have to change your actions, you don't have to change your circumstances in order to feel worthy. You just have to change your thoughts. Change the way you think about yourself, change the way you think about your life, change the belief systems that are not allowing yourself to feel worthy.
You might not have been taught this, this might be the first time you're ever hearing this. This specific truth that you are 100% worthy right now, always. Your worthiness as a human never ever, ever, ever changes. You are always enough. You are always enough, even if you're lying and cheating and stealing, your worth does not change. Your worthiness as a person does not change. There is nothing inherently wrong with you and you don't have to do anything more to be worth more as a person.
Have you heard the $100 bill example? Where someone holds up a crisp, clean $100 bill and asks someone how much is this worth? They say, well, it's worth $100. And then they pull out a really wrinkled, crumpled, dirty, there’s some tears $100 bill and they hold this up and they say, how much is this worth? They say well, $100.
It doesn't matter if one is really crisp and clean, and the other is dirty and crumpled. They're both worth the same. And that is the same with humans. Sometimes people hear this and they think well, that's not true because you can't just live in sin.
I want to make the argument that even, like depending on how you define sin and all of that is super nuanced, but you can live in sin and still be 100% worthy. And jeez, you can find so much evidence for that in your religious practice. And I'm going to talk about that a little bit more here in just a minute.
Okay, but back to that truth, you are 100% worthy right now always and there is nothing inherently wrong with you. I was not taught this, and most of us probably weren't. I was taught that my worthiness was based off of my actions. I was taught, and even if it wasn't like very directly taught this, it probably was but like I got this message a lot that you have to do enough things in order to be good enough.
And I remember some church meeting sometime I heard the opposite. I heard someone say, you are enough exactly how you are, and you don't need to change at all to be enough. And I heard that, and that was the first time that I really heard it. It was probably said to me before, right? But it was the first time I really heard it. And I thought bull crap, that is not true. I am not 100% worthy if I'm not doing the right things. I'm not enough if I'm not doing the right things.
But I trusted the person who said it to me, and I decided just to try it on. I decided to try on this belief. It's like lenses, have you heard me talk about lenses before? We have lenses and we see the world through these different lenses. Like if I'm wearing blue lenses, I'll see the world through tinted blue. If I'm wearing green lenses, the world will be tinted green.
Our beliefs are our lenses. And so the lens I had been carrying around with me that I was given from a young age was you have to do X, Y, or Z to be worthy. Your actions create your worthiness. And so I was finding evidence for that everywhere.
And as soon as I switched that lens, I tried on this belief that I am 100% worthy as I am, I don't have to change anything about me. I just tried that on, maybe this is true, what if this was true? And I saw evidence for it everywhere. And for those of you who are religious, you will find evidence for it everywhere in your religious practice as well, which is what I was kind of saying before.
And I think it's really interesting, right? Because we find what we're believing, right? So we find evidence for what we're believing, this is called confirmation bias. Our brains find evidence for the things that we're thinking. And so if I'm thinking I have to do X, Y, or Z in order to be enough, I'm going to find lots of evidence for that, especially in my religious practice.
I'm going to find leaders who say that. I'm going to find scriptures that say that. I'm going to find lots of evidence that says I'm not enough and I have to do a lot of things in order to be enough.
But when I switch that lens, now my brain is experiencing this confirmation bias but with a different belief. When I just consciously shift that belief, maybe it's true that I'm enough how I am and I'm 100% worthy right now, my brain was able to find lots and lots of evidence for that everywhere, including evidence for it in my religious practice.
Then I found leaders who were saying that. I found scriptures that were teaching me that, the prodigal son, right? So many things, so many things. So many things that my eyes weren't able to see, my heart wasn't able to see because it was closed off to that truth because I was experiencing confirmation bias with this lie that I wasn't enough, okay?
And for those of you, I'm going to speak specifically to my LDS listeners for just a moment because in LDS culture we use the word temple worthy. And I want to make sure that I talk about this because this is something that comes up for a lot of people. So there is a difference between being worthy, 100% worthy and temple worthy.
I say temple worthy, and I can fill my body like, ick. I don't love that phrase and I'll tell you why in just a moment. But let me just make sure that you understand that there's a difference here. Temple worthy, those are you have to do certain things in order to be allowed into the temple, right? You have to follow certain protocols, and certain commitments, and certain things in order to enter the temple, and not everyone can do that.
But we get that mixed up with our worthiness as a human. Your worthiness as a human never ever, ever, ever changes, even if you are not temple worthy. And like I said that temple worthy, like I can feel my body going, “Ugh.” I just do not like that term. And you might have heard me talk with Julie Hanks about this in my interview with her, but she suggested, she said it would be really nice if we would change that to say temple prepared.
Temple prepared instead of temple worthy because the worthiness, it's just too easy to get mixed up into like our own enoughness. Like are we enough? Are we enough? When an eternal truth is that we are enough just because we are children of God, right? So if that helps you in your mind to think of it as temple prepared, your worthiness is not ever dependent on your temple worthiness. That might be really helpful, okay?
Okay, so if worthiness comes from how we're thinking and how we're believing, how we learn how to operate from a place of worthiness and enoughness instead of operating from a place of lack and I'm not good enough, is like I talked about, changing that lens. Changing the way, just practicing, practicing seeing the world in a new light, practicing finding evidence really consciously, right?
When you're first learning how to do this and you're first changing this belief, it's going to have to be really conscious. You're going to have to intentionally decide to find evidence that you are enough and you're worthy as you are.
And then here are some other thoughts to practice some mantras that you can say to yourself, I am 100% worthy. Nothing can change my worthiness or my enoughness. I'm struggling, I'm struggling with porn, I'm struggling with this certain thing in my life. I'm struggling and that's okay.
I can struggle and be worthy and be enough. I am so proud that I'm showing up. I have my back. And overcoming this will make me better than if I never struggled at all. That one might be a little bit of a stretch for some of you, but if it feels good to you take it.
I truly, truly, truly believe this, that the skills that you will learn in quitting porn are going to completely change your life and you're going to be able to do so many amazing things because of what you're learning here. And that maybe, just maybe, maybe your life will be better off because of the things that you've learned, trying to quit porn. Maybe it's a catalyst for an incredible, beautiful, purpose-filled life.
Even just this one principle that we've talked about today, even if you can just learn how to feel enough and learn how to feel worthy for the rest of your life no matter what, oh my gosh, how much will that change your life? And how much will that change your family and your kid's life if you can show them how to do this by example? Oh my gosh, there is not a more beautiful gift you could give your kids or your family than the gift of knowing that they are worthy and enough exactly how they are.
There is nothing that will change your life more than that belief. I think that that is just the root. The root of so much suffering is the belief that we're not enough. That belief creates a lot of pain, hurt, and actions that don't help us show up how we want to in the world.
Okay, you guys, one other thing I want to say, go listen to episode 12 where I talk about sin versus weakness if you're having a bit of a hard time with this still. Still, especially with maybe some religious beliefs. Sin versus weakness, that's a really good one that can help you access this worthiness.
And then I also have a really amazing bonus class called Shame and Spirituality. So I really dive into how to rid shame from our spiritual practices and how to look at our spiritual practices in a way that can help us not feel shame for those of us that might struggle with that. That is in the program for those of you in the program. If you're not in the program, what are you doing? Get in there.
If you want to quit porn it's the best place to be. You get all the help you need. Tons and tons of support. Tons and tons of coaching support plus the whole program that will walk you step by step what to do, help you practice the things, give you exercises and teachings and all the things that you need. So you can join us there, sarabrewer.com/work with me.
Okay, you guys, have a great rest of your week. We'll talk to you soon, bye bye.
I want to invite you to come and listen to my free class, How To Overcome Pornography For Good Without Using Willpower. We talk about how to stop giving into urges without pure willpower or relying on phone filters so that you can actually stop wanting pornography.
We talk about how to stop giving up after a few weeks or months. And spoiler alert, the answer isn't have more willpower. And then lastly, we talk about how to make a life without porn easily sustainable and permanent.
If you're trying to quit porn, this class is a game changer. So you can go and sign up at Sarabrewer.com/masterclass and it is totally free.