EPISODE 12: Overcoming Porn is 50/50, Learning to Feel both Good and Bad

Dec 09, 2019

Artwork for podcast Overcome Pornography: The Self Mastery Podcast 

Listen to the Full Episode:


Enjoy the Show?

Listen for free


Episode 12

You are listening to the Self-Mastery Podcast, where we break through barriers holding you back from becoming who you wanna be, whether you're struggling with pornography, overeating, social media addiction, or just wanna get better at succeeding at life. This podcast is for you. Now, your host, Zach Spafford.

Welcome to another Mastery Monday on the Self-Mastery Podcast. This is your host z Spafford, and this week we are going to talk about the rule of 50 50. . So I think it's pretty interesting how a lot of the things that I talk about and a lot of the things that I've learned about coaching are pretty close to gospel centric.

And the rule of 50 50 is one of my favorites because it really fits nicely into the idea of opposition in all things. As a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we believe that there is opposition in all things. And what that means to me is that, life is not going to always be perfect.

In fact, no matter how hard we try, our lives are often impacted negatively by how we react to the circumstances that we find in our world. And so it's interesting to me that as a coach, . When I sit down and talk with people, they think, oh, my life should be perfect because I have a good job and I have a good wife.

And I was married in the temple and I served as a missionary. And all the things that we, we check off all the boxes. I read my scriptures, but somehow I just can't stop looking at pornography. One of the reasons why we don't get to a place where we can stop looking at pornography is because we fail to recognize that sometimes we're just gonna feel bad, and that's okay.

What I mean by that is sometimes we forget that feeling bad is part of the human experience, and when we feel bad and then we try to avoid it by buffering, which we've talked about, then what happens is we double down on the negativity. We double down on whatever bad thing is happening by avoiding that pain momentarily.

And creating a situation where not only do we feel bad about what we felt bad about in the first place, but then we feel bad about doing something that doesn't really fit into our sense of who we are and who we want to be. I often talk to clients and they, and I ask them, I say, what percentage of the time do you think you should feel bad?

And they go, I don't know, maybe like 20% of the time, maybe 10% of the time. And the truth is that's a pipe dream that nobody feels. Good 80, 90% of the time, and when you think that you have the right to feel, great or good 80% of the time, then you resist some of the negative feelings that come along in your life, like sadness or loneliness, which those things come along regardless.

And then we try to resist those feelings with buffering. So in the case of a pornography user, it's seeking pornography or seeking arousal through some means. Or in the case of a, of an overeater, it's seeking. To feel the pleasure of eating in the case of someone who's addicted to their phone, instead of just being able to stand there and be bored, or be sad or be lonely, they're gonna, scroll through Facebook or Instagram or Snapchat or TikTok for the next eight hours and, just lose their time.

And when you resist feelings, when you resist your feelings in that way, you're not only denying yourself the negative feelings that may serve you, it's not a. . It's not always a bad thing to feel sad. It's not always a bad thing to feel lonely. But you're also likely to not be able to feel the positive feelings as well as you would like to.

When you resist those negative feelings, you're shoving them down and then the opposite feelings, the positive feelings that come along. We're not feeling those two their fullest because we are not in touch with the opposite of that. So there's this. This rule, I call it the 50 50 rule, but it's really, it's opposition in all things.

And that's that half the time, no matter what you're, no matter how good your life is, no matter who you are, you're probably gonna feel some negative emotions. In the world that I live in the coaching world, we call it the 50 50 rule, but in the gospel, we call it opposition in all things. And what that means is that no matter who you are, no matter how great your life is, no matter what your calling is, no matter.

How amazing you do at work, you're often going to feel negative emotions. You're gonna feel bad about half the time. That's just life. And a lot of times we often feel like there's some external thing that's gonna make us feel like we have arrived, right? Well, when I get this next promotion, I'm gonna be happier.

Or when I get this new job, I'm gonna be happier. Or when we move into the new house, I'm gonna be happier. We just did that this weekend. We moved into our new house and there's that tendency to think, oh, once we get in there, everything will be perfect. And unfortunately, I spent a good amount of time this weekend ripping things out that shouldn't be in there.

Or looking at light fixtures and going, ah, that's just not gonna cut it. And. The reality is that arriving is not really a thing. There's no situation where you get to some external point, some point having a new house or having a new car. I think we see this a lot of times with . We call it the midlife crisis in men, where they go out and they buy that.

Corvette or they buy that sports car or whatever it is, and they're like, yeah, I've arrived finally. And then they're still just as sad. They're still just as lonely and they're not any better than they were before. They're not really happy, but they have created some momentary pleasure. The truth is that the guy who makes a million dollars a year has just as many down dates as a guy who makes $35,000 a year.

The woman. Who weighs 125 pounds has just as many down days as a woman who weighs 250 pounds. And if we can recognize that and feel that and say, you know what, it's okay to be sad. It's okay to feel lonely. It's okay to, feel this emotion, whether it's positive or negative to its fullest, then. We begin to bring our life really closer to 50 50 rather than 80 20 in the wrong direction, 80 20 in a direction that is 80% negative and 20% positive.

And by the way, that means you're a human having a human experience. We wanna think about, we want to think that we are not gonna, a lot of us, we wanna think that we're not gonna have negative emotions because negative emotions in our mind are bad. And that means there's something wrong with us.

Our primitive brain thinks, if I feel sad or if I feel lonely, then I have to change something dramatically because I'm gonna die here on the, on the Savannah, that's what your primitive brain thinks. But the reality is that feeling sad or feeling lonely? If you can just lean into that feeling for 90 seconds, it's probably gonna go away.

One and two, and I'm not talking about chronic depression or anything like that, but I'm talking about just, average everyday loneliness. Average everyday sadness. You lean into it for 90 seconds and it's probably gonna go away, but two. Then when you go and you experience joy or you experience love, or you experience whatever other feelings that you experience, you're gonna be able to lean into those more fully as well and experience them to their fullest.

I want everyone out there to recognize that it's a lie that other people don't have negative emotion. Is, people who live in a big house or people who have the better paying job, or people who are skinnier or people who don't look at pornography. All of those people have negative emotions just like you do.

We all have these negative emotions and negative emotions are really part of a package in the world of opposition, of in all things negative emotions. Are you experiencing life? So the question that I would pose to you and the question that you need to be able to answer for yourself is, what negative emotions are you trying to avoid?

when you're buffering with pornography or other things, right? Whenever you buffer, whatever buffering activity that you engage in, whatever thing it is that's not letting you live your life to the fullest being the master of self that we talk about here on the Self Mastery Podcast. Ask yourself, what negative emotion am I trying to avoid when I buffer with whatever it is?

And then what additional negative emotions are you creating when you buffer with pornography or with other things? The primary example for me has been loneliness, right? There's been a couple of times when Darcy would take the kids and she would go, visit her family and visit. With other people while I had to stay and work or spend time down at the beach while I stayed in work.

Being lonely is bad enough. And then you go and you then I would go and I would use pornography. So on top of loneliness, I have this guilt and I have this shame, and I have this, all these compounding. Things. When you're an overeater, what are you compounding, right? So you know, if you're lonely like I was, and you decide, okay, I'm going to eat to feel good right now, but over time, what that may create is a feeling of dissatisfaction with your body, or maybe that creates a feeling of discomfort in your clothing.

Or some shame or guilt or unwillingness to go and sit at the pool. So we gotta, you've gotta recognize, everybody needs to recognize, I had to recognize, and you'll have to learn that understanding that you can either face your negative emotion now or. , you can face it again later and cuz. Cuz what you're doing when you buffer is you're really just postponing it.

You can face it now, head on, or you can postpone it for a moment with buffering. Then you'll face it again later and you'll face the consequences of your buffering. Once you do that, you start to look at your buffer and you start to say, Ugh, is that really worth it? Does it make sense to do that? And can I just look at loneliness straight in the face?

and say, you know what, I may be lonely and that's okay, but I can sit with loneliness until I, until it goes away, whatever it looks like, until that loneliness dissipates as a feeling and I can move on with the rest of my day. And then the other part of that 50 50 life, that looking for the end point, looking for that arrival moment is asking yourself, what positive feelings are you reserving?

What positive feelings are you waiting for? when you overcome your pornography use. And why can't you begin feeling those feelings now, right? Why can't you begin setting yourself up to be successful as a non pornography user or as a non overeater, as someone who chooses to feel their feelings rather than buffer and feel the feelings that you want to feel in the future right now?

So here's the thing that I would ask you to do. Take a few minutes this week. As you go about your day, if you're dealing with a pornography addiction, if you're dealing with overeating, and watch your thoughts, observe what's going on in your brain and see what feelings you are not being, what feelings you are avoiding by using pornography and.

ask yourself, are those feelings worse than dealing with those feelings? Plus the added guilt, shame, self-hatred that you're dealing with right now as a compound of what you are feeling when you're feeling lonely. Guys, I really appreciate you listening. I really appreciate you sharing this with others because this is not just about pornography, but this is about total self mastery, and I would love for you to shoot this out to anybody that you feel could.

Benefit. Thanks for listening this week. Next week's podcast is gonna be about intentionality, meaning what are you setting yourself up for this coming year, and how are you setting yourself up for this coming year so that you can be the best version of you going forward? All right. Have a great week.

We'll talk to you soon. 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 session at

That's I'll put a link in show notes for you to follow. Also, it would mean the world to me if you were to leave a review for us. Wherever you get your podcast, it'll go a long way to helping others find us. Thanks again.

Stay connected with news and updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.