When you have a big, lofty goal like quitting porn, but you don’t truly believe you can do it, how do you move forward? When we go after something new, it’s common to have a looming monster in the background telling us, “You can’t do that.” Well, this episode is all about what to do in those moments when you can’t shake the self-doubt.
The truth is, having a goal that you are intimidated by isn’t a bad thing. In fact, in my opinion, this is the best, most exciting way to live. Living outside of our comfort zone is how we accomplish amazing things. So, if you’re listening to this podcast because you hope you can quit porn, but you’re not sure exactly what that process might look like, you’re in the right place.
Tune in this week to discover what to do when you don’t believe you can do it. We’re talking about this in relation to quitting porn, but you can apply this logic to any goal you’re pursuing. I’m sharing how to start developing real self-trust by taking small, practical steps, so you can start believing that whatever you want to achieve really is possible.
You are listening to the Overcome Pornography for Good podcast episode 97, When You Don’t Believe You Can Do It.
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 this week. Super excited you're here, excited to talk about this topic today. Before we hop into it I want to let you know that I have a new free class coming up. It's kind of my end of the year gift that I want to offer you guys and the rest of my audience. It's called Five Easy and Proven Methods to Guarantee That You Quit Porn in 2023.
So I know the end of the year comes and sometimes in our minds we go, “Oh, I didn't accomplish these goals that I wanted to. I've made some progress, but I'm not exactly where I want to.” For those of us looking ahead and thinking about pornography specifically and we're like, “I don't want to be struggling with this forever. I don't want this to be in my life forever,” I created a class that will teach you these five things that if you do, if you learn these five things, you will be able to quit porn in 2023.
And so that's actually going to relate a little bit to what we're talking about today. You can sign up for that class at sarabrewer.com/fiveeasymethods. And that's five like spelled out, F-I-V-E, five easy methods. It’s going to be awesome, I'm so excited. I really love these live events. At the end I will offer a bonus Q&A.
I get questions often, “Hey, when are you doing more live events? When are you doing more live events?” And this is the next one that I have coming up. So it'll be at the very beginning of December, the date will be there on that page, the exact date. Come sign up, come learn these five things, get access to me in live time to talk to you and help you through what's going on for you.
And let's end this year the best way we can. Let's end it in a bang, right? Obviously, we're not going to wait until 2023 to start implementing these things. You can come and implement them right away and make progress even faster.
It's not uncommon for me to hear from my clients like, “Man, it's only been a few months and I cannot believe the progress that I've made. I haven't even slipped up in so long. I think I'm over this, I think that's all I needed.” That doesn't happen all the time, I don't want to create this illusion that progress is always super quick and easy.
But I also think it's important for us to be open to the idea that maybe it's easier than you think it might be. And maybe you can see progress very quickly. So, again, the class is Five Easy Proven Methods to Guarantee That You Will Quit Porn in 2023. Come sign up. I'm excited for that.
What I want to talk about today is I want to talk about what to do when you don't believe in yourself. When you don't believe that you can do it, when you have this big lofty goal and you're thinking about what you want in your life and you're thinking about what you want to accomplish. And behind all of that is like this pretty looming monster that's like, “You can't do that. I can't do that. I don't think we can do that.” And then you doubt yourself. You're like, “I don't know if I can do this. I want to, but I don't know if I can.”
And I hope that we all have goals like this. It is not a bad thing to have a goal that you are completely intimidated by and not quite sure if you can reach. That is actually, in my opinion that is the best, most exciting way to live. That is how people accomplish amazing big things.
It's when they have these goals that make them a little bit sick, not when we're just doing things that we know we can do over and over and over again. Oh, I know I can do this because I've done it in the past or this is pretty much in my comfort zone, so I'm sure I can accomplish this. It's just that idea of getting outside of your comfort zone.
And this is specifically for those of you who have a goal or who are thinking about quitting porn and it's way outside of your comfort zone, to the point where you’re like, I don't know if I can really do this. And I'm listening to this podcast because I have some hope that I can. And I'm listening because I really want to, and I believe other people can. And I'm hoping maybe there's some magic thing that I hear and then I'm able to quit porn. Or I'm holding onto this hope and that's why I'm listening. But I want to address you specifically today, okay?
And if you have quit porn and you're still listening because you know this stuff applies everywhere, or if you want to quit porn and you believe you can and you're getting really close, still apply this. Take this and apply this to your next thing. So this is something that I will talk about with clients often too. When they quit porn they're kind of like, “Well, now what?”
Or sometimes I'll find my clients make issues out of things that aren't issues. Like, for example, a client hasn’t looked at porn in a long time, and then had an urge and then made that a big deal when they didn't even look at the porn with the urge, they just had an urge.
It's like our brains need problems to solve. They do. Oh, this is a whole podcast episode itself, but our brains need problems to solve. And so you want to give it problems to solve that you want to solve, not just let it come up with problems to solve.
So, for example, I heard a life coach, I think it was Jody Moore, I heard her talk about how she had a client who, they would coach all the time on how messy the house was and how messy the house was. And trying to work on the thoughts around the house, and being content in her house, and having a clean house, how messy her house was just came up all the time.
And then she prompted her, “Well, what else do you want to create? Like what is a problem that you really want to solve, you really want to work on?” She's like, “I actually really want to create a business.” And so then they worked on that. And months down the road she was creating this business, working on it, working through it and this life coach said to her, “Oh, we haven't talked about your house in a long time.”
She said, “Oh yeah, it kind of just stopped being a problem. Like I'm so focused and busy on these other things, I'm really enjoying solving this problem, I'm really enjoying building this business. I haven't really been worried about the house. It's a little messy, but it's functional and we're happy.”
Love that story because it goes to show how powerful our brains are and how they want to solve a problem. And sometimes, sometimes the answer is to stop just letting there be a problem, and instead finding a new problem to solve and creating something that you really want in your life.
So, for example, this client who hasn't struggled with porn in a long time, it was still like he was trying to find problems that he could solve around porn. And so instead I worked on, and we prompted him to, well, what else? What else do you want to do? Now let's just say we've quit porn, we're good, we don't struggle with it anymore. Now what?
What do you want to create in your life? What do you want to do? What does your heart call you to do? What gets you excited? You have one shot in life, what do you want to do with it? And pushing your brain to solving that problem instead of the porn problem anymore. Okay, so this can apply to you if you have a big goal, I hope you do. And I hope it's a big enough goal that in the back of your mind you're like, “I don't know if I can do it. I'm not really sure.” Okay, this is going to be for you.
So what do you do? You have this big goal, you don't totally believe you can do it, you understand you should. You've heard me talk about how important it is to believe in yourself and the benefits of believing in yourself and yada yada yada, all those motivational things. You understand that. But you don't, you don't actually believe in yourself.
So what? What do we do? My biggest tip is that we develop self-trust. You learn how to trust yourself to do what you say you're going to do. And you start small. You don't start with that big goal, right? Maybe you can't say, “I trust myself to fully quit porn.” But you can say, “I trust myself not to look at porn on Friday.” And you build up to this.
So many of us have such crappy relationships with ourselves that we do not trust ourselves to do what we say we're going to do. We put something in our calendar like, “Friday, mop the floors.” And we're like, “I'm not actually going to do that. But I'm going to put it there because I want to do it and maybe I'll get around to it. But I don't really trust myself to actually do that.”
Whereas our relationships with other people, when we tell other people we're going to do things, we do it. When I tell my boss I'm going to show up at 8am, I show up at 8am. When I tell my friend I'm going to meet him for dinner, I meet him for dinner. But when it comes to ourselves and telling ourselves what we're going to do, a lot of us struggle with actually following through and trusting ourselves to do what we say we're going to do.
So the biggest most important thing you can do is to start developing that self-trust and prioritizing that self-trust over anything else. I am extremely cautious on making commitments to myself. I was just talking about this with a friend the other day. Like I really sit on things for a long time before I commit to them because I take my commitments to myself so seriously.
I am not going to tell myself that I'm going to wake up and go to the gym every morning at 5am because I know I'm not going to do it. And I refuse to make that commitment and not follow through. Whereas before, years ago, yeah, I would make commitments left and right, willy-nilly, because it was my ideal situation, my ideal life. And I thought it was helping me and I was being ambitious.
But really what it led to was a lot of burnout, and then not trusting myself. So then anytime I made a commitment, I was just so used to like blowing myself off, that I wasn't following through with myself anywhere. And so part of developing self-trust is taking these commitments to yourself very seriously.
So, for example, I don't know if I can 100% quit porn, but I know that I cannot look at porn on Friday. Or I know I cannot look at porn on Wednesday. Just start there. And with clients who are really, really struggling that I work with, who are maybe viewing every single day, or multiple times a day, this is where we start.
We do not go cold turkey. That's too much, that's too hard. That is like this really crappy commitment you're making to yourself that you know you're not going to follow through with. So instead we say, “Okay, let's make a plan. What day are you not going to look? And do you trust yourself to not look that day?” And we just start with one day.
And then you build that up and you're like, “Okay, I really trust myself that when I say I'm not going to look on Friday, I'm not going to look on Friday.” And then you build up. Okay, what else? What else can you do? Well, I think I cannot look on Friday and not on Tuesday. Okay, great, and we build up.
And the goal now becomes doing what you say you're going to do, instead of like quitting porn cold turkey. This is a much more sustainable, life-changing, and important skill than being able to quit cold turkey. It will make it so much more sustainable and help you actually build the skills that you need to quit.
And then what you can do is you can make a list of everything that you know that you can do. So I don't know if I can quit porn 100%, but I know that I can do all of the program work, for those of you in the program, right? I know that I can do all the work that Sara has laid out in the milestones. I know that I can go and do all that work. I know that I can keep trying and that'll give it everything I've got.
And you can even give yourself a timeline for that. I know I can go 100% in for the year of 2023, or even 100% in for a month and see what happens after this month. Start wherever you need to, that you feel like you can trust yourself to do.
Or this one, I love this one. I don't know if I can do it, but I know that I can find the information I need. And I know that there's something out there that can teach me how, and I know that I can find it. Which that's me. That's the podcast. That's the program. That's all the resources that I have for porn specific. But just this belief and this trust that I can find what I need. I know that I can put myself out there. I know that I can be uncomfortable in putting myself out there. And I know that I can give it everything I have.
Okay, do you see how this puts you in such a more empowered state instead of, I don't know if I can do it? Let's focus on what you do know that you can do and the self-trust that you have in yourself already. And then we can start building that self-trust to get where you want to be. So even one of those can be I know that I can start building my self-trust. I know that I can get better at trusting myself. I know I can work up to this.
Another example, if you want to get married, maybe in the back of your mind you're like, “I don't know if I'm really going to get married, but I want to.” It can be, I'm not totally sure, but I do know that I can go on 100 first dates. And I do know that I can handle rejection. Or I know that I can learn to handle rejection. I know that I can learn how to handle these emotions. I know that I can research and find places to find people to date.
Okay, we're breaking it up into smaller steps with things that you know that you can do and creating some self-trust around what you are going to start doing. Maybe your big goal is to get a raise. So I don't know, I don't totally know if I can get a raise. But I know that I can have those hard conversations with my boss.
I know that I can ask him what I need to do to get a raise. I know that I can tell her or him that it's my goal to get a raise and that I want this position. I know that I can learn how to offer more value to this company. And I know that I can work hard to become more valuable.
You can do this with anything, the sky's the limit. I want to make $50 million, right? That's one we're like, “What? Okay, part of me wants to barf when I say that.” Right? But if that's something you really want to go after, you really want to do, and you're feeling called to create, like I know that other people have done it. I know that I can find and be mentored by people who have done this before.
I know that I can learn how to offer enough value that it would create $50 million. I know that I'm determined and that I could put myself out there and deal with failure and deal with rejection. And I know I can handle any sort of failure and any sort of rejection.
So there are a couple of key points here that are really important as you're going through this exercise. The first key point is to recognize that the price for anything is discomfort. And so if you can trust yourself to feel any emotion, you can trust yourself to do anything.
Our unwillingness to feel discomfort is the only thing that keeps us from going after those big dreams and those big goals, all right? You can learn anything, you can find mentors for anything, you can create anything. It'll take time, it will take work, it'll take dedication, and most importantly it'll take a willingness to be uncomfortable.
It'll take a willingness to maybe fail, a willingness to be rejected, a willingness to feel embarrassed, a willingness to feel disciplined, a willingness to feel all of these emotions. So that's the first thing. And really, when we're learning how to trust ourselves, the most important thing that you can do that you can start practicing right now is trusting yourself to feel emotion.
But this is when people quit porn for good, is when they stop being afraid of urges because they trust themselves to feel the emotion of the urge without responding to it. And this relates to any emotion. They trust themselves to feel stressed and not need to escape the stress with porn. They trust themselves to feel lonely and they're okay. They can feel lonely and they're good at feeling lonely, and they don't need to escape loneliness with porn.
They can trust themselves to feel bored. They can trust themselves to feel antsy. They can trust themselves to feel inadequate. If you trust yourself to feel any emotion, jeez, the things that you can accomplish, there's nothing you can't accomplish, really.
That sounds so cheesy, you guys, but it's so true. My favorite quote from Brooke Castillo, she says, “Discomfort is the currency for success.” That's true with anything, especially with quitting porn. The currency, the way that you pay for success, the way that you pay for a life without porn is discomfort, okay?
And then second, the second really big thing here is you have to trust yourself that even if I don't accomplish this, I'm going to be proud of the effort I put in and I'm going to love myself, right? Do you feel how that just kind of releases the pressure and then we can get to work? We can get to work, and we can go all in because we don't have all this pressure anymore.
I trust myself that I am going to be proud of the effort I put in. I'm going to look back and say, “Man, I gave it everything I had, I really put myself out there, I really tried hard, and I really learned as much as I can.” And that even if the result doesn't happen how you want it to, I love myself still no matter what.
And I say this from a place of, like there's not any doubt in my mind that every single person listening to this podcast, every single one of you can quit porn. There’s like no doubt my mind, you just got to learn the skills. That's like the base. Like we're going to quit porn and then you're going to go do all these other amazing things with your life with these skills that you learned, okay? That's like, of course you can do that.
But to help quiet some of that, you know, just that feeling of what if I can't, that thought like, “I don't need to do it to feel good about myself, I trust myself to love myself no matter what,” so powerful, so important to take with you as you're going through this. Okay?
And then just to relate this back to this free class that I have coming up, Five Easy Proven Methods to Guarantee That You Quit Porn in 2023, these are all things that you can practice and do and that you can trust yourself to learn how to do. These are very practical things. So if that feels like such a big goal in your mind, or even if you've just got a little hump to get over, come to this class, learn these things I'm going to teach you, write them all down.
And then remind yourself when you're feeling doubt, when you don't really think you can do it, remind yourself, I’m not totally sure, but I know I can do this that Sara talked about. And I know I can do this that Sara talked about. And I know I can do this. I know I can do these five things, or I can learn how to do these five things, or I can practice these five things and master these five things. And that's what I'm laser focused on. And as I laser focus on that, porn will cease to become an issue.
This is something I tell people in my program often, is instead of hyper focusing on quitting porn, let's hyper focus on mastering these skills. And as you hyper focus on mastering these skills, the porn use will go away, okay?
All right you guys, have a great week. We'll talk to you next week.
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.