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Believe - it is the key to change
Episode 310th October 2019 • Thrive Beyond Pornography (Formerly The Self Mastery Podcast) • Zach Spafford
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Episode 3

Welcome to the Self Mastery Podcast with your host, Zach Spafford. This is episode number three, believe. Hey everybody. Welcome to the Self Mastery Podcast. I am your addictive behaviors coach for LDS Men and women. In this episode, we are gonna talk about belief and let's just go ahead and just jump right into it.

Mark. Chapter nine verse 23 has a really interesting statement, and I'm probably not usually gonna talk about scripture, but I was listening to something that Jeffrey R. Holland was talking about and. , this kind of struck home to me. So this is where there's a family and they have this son and he has these seizures or spasms or something like that cause him to, fall into the fire or fall into the river.

And, the family's just distraught and they come to Jesus Christ and they're saying, help us please. If you have compassion, please have compassion on us. And. Christ turns to the father and he says, if thou can't believe all things are possible to him that believe it. This is this is this huge statement.

This is big time, right? If you can believe in something, you can make it happen. This, it's the way that I interpret that and. I think we we, I think as people, we think of this in like grandiose terms, we think of this as I'm gonna move a mountain and I believe I can move the mountain.

But I think that not very many of us take this same idea and we put it into our day-to-day lives, and we make it so that we can change what's going on. For us at a smaller micro level, right? Belief is a huge component of the work that I do. It is probably the key to what I do. I help people look at circumstances in their lives and help them find thoughts that serve them about those circumstances.

So let me give you an example. . I used to go to 12 step meetings all the time each week. I, I would get together with a group of men at a designated place at a designated time, and sometimes, sometimes you'd miss, but for the most part, every week for maybe five solid years, I would go to meetings where each person would say essentially the same thing.

They would say, hi, my name is Zach and I'm an addict. And I think my belief was bolstered by that phrase, like I would say those words. And that's what I believed that I was unable to stop looking at pornography in part, I think because I believed the words that I was speaking. At some point, I took a step back and I said, I'm gonna look at this differently because I want to stop believing that I'm an addict, cuz I don't wanna always be an addict and.

I looked at my brain and my thoughts differently. I started to observe what was going on in my mind that was taking me down the path that I felt that I couldn't step off of. As I did this, I came across a thought that lots and lots of men and women, LDS men and women specifically believe, which is, I can't look at pornography.

That was a thought that kind of pervaded my day-to-day. And there are a few versions of this, right? There's, you can't look at pornography. There's, my husband can't look at pornography, my wife can't look at pornography. And these thoughts there are very well intentioned. But they aren't really true, are they?

Not in the sense that I wasn't able to look at pornography. You know how I know because I did. I looked at pornography, so I knew that I can't look at pornography was not a true statement. It was not a true thought. And you know how Oh, I know it's not true for you either because I. I find it, and it may, there might be somebody out there that can prove me wrong on this, but I believe this, that I can't look at pornography as not a true statement for anyone because it is highly unlikely in the day and age that we live in now, that, and I'd say it's nearly impossible that you or I or anyone out there has never looked at an image or a video that has some pornographic.

connotation to it. And I, so I had to start to look at that thought and seek a new thought something that I could believe more than I could believe. The thought. I can't look at pornography. The first thought that came to mind, the first thought that I came up with, that I could believe was I can look at pornography and I will.

f So for those of you who are struggling with pornography in your life, and those of you who are sad or upset because someone you love is struggling with pornography in their life, that thought might seem really counterintuitive to really the progress that you're looking for them to make or that you're looking for you to make.

I promise you it's not. And the reason it's not is the simple as the reason that the thought, I can't look af. at pornography is not true. The reason it's not counterintuitive is I can look at pornography and I will is true. , it is true for me, and it is almost certainly true for the person that you hope is able to overcome their own struggle with pornography.

If you look at it objectively, not thinking of your loved one or yourself, just pick a random person and think that thought of them, you'll find that it is more true and more honest than the thought. I can't look at pornography. and really being honest with yourself is hard sometimes because we think we should be different than we are in our times of indulgent indulgence.

In my own experience, I found the thought I can look at pornography and I will pretty empowering. It was me taking my agency back. It was me owning my decisions and. , however how many of us blame what we are doing on someone else or on something else, and then we feel disempowered, weak, small.

The truth is, each of us make our own decisions within the framework and guidance of principles we hold dear and then we judge ourselves for how well we have done. And. Too often that judgment creates roadblocks that keep us from being honest with our true feelings and even with the reality that we have created.

And the reality is for people who buffer with whatever their favorite escape is, that we choose what we are doing. There are many reasons. There are many circumstances. There are many influences that have brought us to a point. where we believe our choices are set in stone and we can't turn away from the path that we're on, but we create our lives by believing what we choose to believe, by thinking what we choose to think.

By feeling the feelings our thoughts create, and by acting the way our feelings make us act. So when someone says, I can't, they've created a reality where that is very likely true for them. Just like when someone says, I can. , they are creating a reality where that is just as likely true. The difference is what is the most honest version of the reality that they have created.

I didn't stay with, I can look at pornography and I will for very long. I moved to, I can look at pornography and I will later, and then I moved to, I can look at pornography and I don't want to right now. It took a few more steps, a few more believable thoughts, and eventually I got to a thought that when would've been very hard for me to believe in the beginning of my journey it was.

I was sitting in those meetings and saying out loud as an attestation of my inability to stop looking at pornography. Hi, my name is Zach and I am a pornography addict. I reached a thought. I came to a thought that I believe is true, and that I believe fulfills my moral compass as well as maintains my agency.

It is a thought that I think we all need to reach. In order to be fully aware of ourselves in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in. It's the same thought that, many of us, LDS members of the Church of Jesus Christ, of Latter Day Saints have about things that we don't want to use or ingest.

Think of drugs, coffee, alcohol, the name of a couple of them. And the thought is, I can, but I choose not to. When I finally was able to believe that thought, I can look at pornography, but I choose not to, was when I was able to completely free myself from its grip. I was no longer addicted. When we choose to look at our thoughts and beliefs objectively and critically, we can find out if they are indeed empowering us the way Christ teaches us that they do.

If thou cans believe, , all things are possible to him that believe it. So whether you want to believe that you can be 120 pounds, or that you can choose to not look at your phone a hundred times a day, or that you can choose to not look at pornography, you can but just like me, you are probably gonna have to start with a thought that is closer to where you are right now.

It is usually pretty hard for someone to immediately jump to the thought that is where they want to be. Let me help you out. I would love to be your coach. I'd love to be your mentor in this. I'd love to help you stop looking at pornography or whatever your addictive behavior is. Feel free to go to my website and sign up for a free mini session.

It's totally free. It's something that I love to do with people. It gives them an idea of where they are and it helps them understand what coaching looks like. So if you've never been coached before, this is a great opportunity. It's totally free. I would love to be your coach. All right have a great day and we'll see you next time.

Hey, thanks for listening to the Self-Mastery Podcast. Every day I get requests from people who are looking to change something in their life. If that is you, if you need help overcoming your addictive behavior like pornography use, sign up for a free mini slash. Work with me. That's zack

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