Episode 235 - Empowerment and The Art of Reframing

Mar 04, 2024


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Episode 235

Hey, everybody, and welcome to Thrive Beyond Pornography, where we dive deep into the tools and strategies that help you lead a more productive, empowered life and start putting pornography behind you. Today, we're going to explore two powerful concepts: empowerment and the art of reframing. How can shifting our perspective change our experience in the world? Let's find out.

First, let's understand what empowerment means. For this discussion, it's about discovering and embracing your ability to make choices and affect change in your own life. Empowerment is your capacity to own, be responsible for, and choose the way you want to operate. It's an internal capacity that nobody can give you or take from you; it's something you must grow, create, and embrace internally.

Part of empowerment comes from recognizing your own value and capabilities. If you feel devalued because of your choices, such as using pornography, or incapable because you identify as an addict, we need to learn how to create value for ourselves. Empowerment involves learning new skills and practicing them regularly to operate according to the value structure you want to live by.

I often talk about "game time" with my clients, which is when you need to automatically and habitually respond to challenges. If you lack an automatic response to temptations like pornography, it's a skill you need to acquire and practice outside of game time.

Previously, I believed I was addicted and that external factors determined my actions. I placed my power and responsibility onto others, such as my partner or my church. When I began taking back control, I became empowered to make choices based on my desires, not on expectations. This is a crucial step in re-empowering ourselves.

Next, we need to understand how to reframe our problems, difficulties, and struggles. Reframing isn't about denying reality but about adjusting our lens to see possibilities and solutions. For example, instead of viewing pornography use as a moral failing, we can ask, "Why am I choosing this?" This shifts the focus from judgment to understanding the underlying reasons for our choices.

The "detour cycle" I've discussed previously on the podcast includes a narrative onset, an emotional catalyst, an escape offer, rationalized bargaining, and finally, a value breach. By reframing our approach from self-judgment to viewing our actions as data, we can analyze our choices more objectively.

To apply these concepts in your daily life, start by identifying thoughts or situations causing distress. If you struggle to pinpoint the thoughts, focus on where you feel bad and trace back to the narrative in your brain. Get curious about what's true and what may not be, challenging and addressing your initial perspective.

After examining your narrative, see how you feel when you restate the story. If your perspective changes and you feel less burdened, you're on the right track. Practice this daily by pulling up stories that make you feel bad and walking through them to see if they're true or if they may not be as dire as you think.

In summary, empowering yourself and reframing the stories your brain offers that make you feel bad are key to creating a self-reinforcing cycle that can step in automatically when faced with temptation. We don't always control what our brain offers us, but we always have control over how we respond.

Feel free to share your experiences with me. You can share them on social media and tag @ThriveBeyondPornography or just talk about how these frameworks are changing your life with your friends.

Thank you for listening. If you need help, set up an appointment at GetToThrive.Com. Darcy and I love helping individuals and couples put pornography behind them so their lives can thrive beyond it. See you next week.


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