EPISODE 26: How to Stop Being a Victim to Pornography

Mar 16, 2020

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Zach Spafford: 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.

Hey everybody. Welcome to another beautiful Mastery Monday here on the Self-Mastery Podcast. I'm your host, Zach Spafford, and I have a special guest here today. My favorite wife, Darcy. Hi guys. How's it going? It's amazing. Thanks for coming to do this with me. Today we are gonna talk about victimhood and the blame game.

Not too many people think of themselves or express themselves in the, in terms of I'm a victim. That's not a standard way of, Expressing yourself. Like nobody ever goes, I'm just a victim

Darcy Spafford: in life. I can say we can very easily point out those in our lives who were like, oh yeah, they're always the victim of their story.

Yeah. But I think it's a lot harder for us to see in ourselves when we are operating from a victim main mentality.

Zach Spafford: Yeah, I think you're exactly right. Not very many of us have the capacity. It takes practice to have the capacity. to view yourself from a place of, oh, I, I understand that I'm actually acting like a victim here.

And that's not a weakness. That's actually just your brain justifying your behavior, which is totally normal and totally a regular occurrence for most people. And I think

Darcy Spafford: it takes a lot of self-awareness to get to a place where you can see yourself as a victim. and that that's the way you're operating.

Zach Spafford: Yeah, you definitely have to take a step back and look at yourself objectively. So, on that note, let's look at the three main indicators that I think you could probably look at to understand what, whether or not you're living in a victim mentality. And the reason why this is important is because if you live in a victim mentality, that is a, that's a place where you kind of get stuck.

You, you're not moving forward. If you're a victim, you're in a place where, You can't, we're making change. Is not gonna be readily available to you. You're not gonna be able to just move on or create a different life or whatever it is that you want to create because you are doing these victim mentality behaviors so you can feel good.

People do this because they wanna feel good

Darcy Spafford: and you're justifying your

Zach Spafford: behaviors. We like to be right. So justifying your behavior is exactly what that is, right? Like I, I did that because it. , I'm supposed to do that. Well, maybe. And if

Darcy Spafford: you're not getting the results in your life and you can't figure out why you're not getting there, if you can blame someone else, it's way easier than having to look at yourself and Oh, yeah.

Zach Spafford: And make the change for sure. So blame. Blame is the very first one of them. And blame often sounds like this. If my spouse would just meet my needs better. If you came to this podcast to talk about pornography, this is probably the number one thing that I hear from my clients about pornography, will my, I want my spouse to meet my needs better, and because they're not meeting my needs, I turn to pornography.

It's almost cliche to hear that out of somebody's mouth. Not because they don't feel that it's true, but because we all want it to be true to the point that we can just change that. The next one I also hear is if I just hadn't looked at pornography for that first time, this is the one where you feel trapped by your circumstance because you can't go back and change that first time you ever looked at pornography.

It just doesn't exist. And if you keep going over that story of if I just hadn't looked for the first time, , you're gonna be stuck. You're not gonna be looking for answers as to how to change. You're gonna keep looking back in the past and saying, gosh, I just wish I could change the past. And that is not possible.

No, it's not. It's . If only you can't go back to the past or change that moment when you looked at pornography, or even go back to the moment when you yelled at your kids or whatever it is. You. You have to live with what circumstances are and make choices based on what you want the future to look like.

And if you're in this blame game, you're always looking to say something else is the problem.

Darcy Spafford: I think in mine and Zach's relationship, I'm definitely the one who operates in the attitude of blame. I am not very good at taking personal responsibility for whatever's going on. I am very good at finding an excuse of why it's not me that's the problem, that it's somebody else's fault.

I think oftentimes when it comes to our financial situation, I am always very quick to blame Zach for any financial struggles that we're having. I was working with my coach and we were talking about this really, I could take control, right? I could go get a job, I could, stop homeschooling and put the kids in school and I could earn money to help financially.

Zach Spafford: I always keep telling you to go back to school and be a nurse.

Darcy Spafford: Yes, he does. Like I have lots of time for that. She

Zach Spafford: loves to be a nurse. She lots of time that she would be an extraordinary nurse and that's like. a life goal. I think when I grow up, I'm gonna be a nurse , when you grow up, she's always friends with the coolest nurses in the ward.

Every time she finds a nurse and she's like, we're friends.

Darcy Spafford: Yes. Anyway, so I can either sit here and complain about the fact that I wish we had more money if I'm really looking at my story. , and I'm not trying to be the victim of my story. I would have a lot more empowering feelings about it because I've chosen to be a stay-at-home mom.

I've chosen to homeschool our children, and I've chosen to rely on Zach to take care of the financial aspect of our family. I've had to just get to a place where, I'm comfortable with the money that's coming in. I'm comfortable with how Zach is providing and that this is what I'm choosing to do. That it, I'm not a victim of the circumstance of being a stay-at-home mom and that I'm the one that's choosing this, that this is, this is my story, this is what I want and I'm grateful for what we have.

Are you

Zach Spafford: grateful for what we have? Yes. Okay, good. I'm glad. Let's talk about defensiveness. Cause I think the money talk is actually a perfect lead into that because I wanted to say, Hey, we've always made plenty of money, which is defensiveness, right? So Byron Katie talks about defensiveness as the first act of war.

And what I think she means there is. This is me defending who I am and my space. And now I can't be vulnerable with that person who I have to defend my space from. You wall yourself off in a war-like act saying, you, we can't be as friendly as you. I might have once thought we could because I'm being defensive.

Darcy Spafford: So we recently had a good example of this on what day was it? Friday we got a phone call from a friend that kind of filled us in on some stuff that was going on with. One of our sons, when I heard all of it, I immediately, I knew that my kid was in the wrong, I for sure knew my kid was in the wrong, but the mama baron me also wanted to come out and start justifying his actions and defending and kind of, sticking up for my son and trying to make him look a little bit better in light of kind of crappy situation.

And then

Zach Spafford: in light of his actions, really? Yeah, yeah. In light of what he had done. . I wanted to make him look better, which I think is exactly what this defensiveness is.

Darcy Spafford: Yeah. And then going back to Byron Katie and how, then you kind of build a wall and then you retreat. And so I'm struggling right now because I'm like, oh, I love this person.

Like she's my friend. I wanna stay friends with her. But I'm like, I gotta bring down this wall of defensiveness that I feel like is surrounding me. If the friendship's gonna continue the same way that it has in the past. . And I think that really brings up just being vulnerable, right? Letting someone else see your child's weaknesses and then also see your weaknesses as a parent, right?

Because part of you is going, oh, well maybe if I parented different then my kid wouldn't have done this. Or, all the stuff that our brain likes to offer us. So I think I'm in a place now where I'm trying to work through and process, okay, how do I stay vulnerable in this situation and not build up

Zach Spafford: a wall?

so that you can still be friends with this person. Yeah, because that's really the hard part. It's like, oh, they've brought this thing to us and now our brains go, well, they're gonna look at us differently and they're gonna treat us differently, and they're gonna think that we're terrible people because this is what happened.

And all of that going on in your brain, and yet it's not all of that. It's learning. It's growing. It's your kid, trying to figure out the world and. and yet we have to put ourselves back out there and say, Hey, we still want to have, a friendly relationship with you.

Right. Yeah. And that's for sure, that's not simple and that's not easy, but it is. It's taking away the defensiveness and like Byron and Katie's talking about.

Darcy Spafford: Yeah. And it's interesting because I have just chosen to say, Hey, you know, I talked to my son about it. , I, I pointed out, where he went wrong.

So he, understands for future instances how he might be able to handle the situation differently. But it was really hard for me not to try to stick up and defend his actions to this way

Zach Spafford: to go back and say, Hey, maybe this was going on, or, he didn't really mean that, or, all of those little defensiveness that we

Darcy Spafford: put on and just own it.

Just own okay, yeah, my kid screwed up and it's okay. And he's human. And I'm human and let's

Zach Spafford: move forward. Yeah. And that's a good way to keep friends, right? for sure. I love it. You know that being defensive sounds a lot like that person doesn't know my situation or my life is different, or no one else can understand what I'm going through.

No and really I. For me, this has kind of been that space of, no matter what I do, it's never good enough and that's my, so my personal victimhood space is defensiveness. In fact, this happens more regular than I'd like it to happen. Where I we're driving, you know, we do a lot of, my wife and I, we like to drive all kinds of places and when we drive I usually am the driver.

And quite regularly, Darcy has something to say about how I'm driving. One night in particular, we were driving back from Salt Lake City down to St. George where we used to live. Darcy was asking me to slow down and all the things that she does when she stop weaving in,

Darcy Spafford: in and outta traffic so fast, ,

Zach Spafford: right?

All the things that she does, all the things that she says when she starts to feel uncomfortable with my driving and, I'm just anxious to get home, but the way I'm taking it is, You don't like my driving and the way that she's taking it is I just want to feel safe. And so I've had to get to it.

I've had to take a step back and I've had to get to a place where I'm like, all she really wants is to feel safe. And so this isn't about me. It's about what she, when she says something about my driving, it's about how she would like to feel and it has nothing to do with me. It has to do with how she would like to become more comfortable.

I've had to figure out, okay, I need to be able to separate my ego and my own personal thought that I'm a great driver from the reality of what my wife would like when I'm driving. And this is really a place of defending your actions even though you might want to change them, right? And, but you think, you may not know how when it comes to driving.

I'm like, I'm just driving yet. I'm clearly driving in a way that makes her uncomfortable. Being able to ask yourself, is there something that I can do to change and be a better me rather than defend the position that I'm in now, back to blame. One of the questions that you can ask yourself when you take a step back is, , am I blaming someone else for the things that I don't like about myself or about my behavior, or about my C circumstances?

Am I blaming others or am I blaming people around me for how I feel? That's a really important question to ask yourself when you're trying to figure out blame, when you're trying to figure out defensiveness, is there something in my life? Is there someone in my life that is causing my pain? And if that's the case, then.

You want to say, okay, am I giving away my power? Am I giving away my ability to choose how I wanna live my life and how my life turns out? Really, that brings me to the final indicator of the victimhood mentality, which is complaining and for this one, it really sounds a lot like I just can't catch a break.

And when you're, when people say these things, they believe them to be true, right? , I just can't catch a break. This is never going to work. Nothing I do works. You feel sorry for yourself and you feel trapped. And I think all of us know somebody like this in our lives. Anytime you engage in a conversation with them, they literally just sound negative all of the time.

And this for me in business has been a really ch challenging. Component of my life, because as I have built this business, you get those thoughts, you get, oh, this isn't gonna work. This isn't gonna, this isn't going to drive the result that I'm looking for. This isn't gonna bring in enough clients.

All of those things that you hear when you're, creating, this is too much work. It's too hard. Yes. Right. And all of those complaining thoughts, those negative thoughts that come into your mind and for me, . I've really just had to ignore a lot of those thoughts and move forward with my best plans and say, I'm gonna figure this out no matter what.

I don't think this is either of us. For the most part. I mean, I'm definitely defensive and you're definitely in blame land, but I don't really see us complaining a whole lot. We are the kind of people that just are like, let's move forward. Let's get this done. Let's create something.

Rather than saying, oh, the, the sky is falling and , there's nothing we can do about it. So,

Darcy Spafford: We like to say, when people ask us how you're doing, we're always like, we're living the dream man.

Zach Spafford: And we are for sure living the dream. No question about it When it comes to being a victim, I think the real issue here is that none of us really gets very far when we live in victimhood and we blame and we are defensive and we complain about the world around us.

And the question really that I ask myself is this going to further my goals? Is this going to. Create the result that I'm looking for, or is it gonna hold me back? And that's really, for me, been a huge component of how I have gotten away from being a victim. When it comes to my, my pornography, use that idea that, I'm not good enough or I am not lovable, or whatever it is that I would have, that would take me down the path of using pornography.

Being able to give that up, being able to stay away from that, broadly speaking, has really been a huge component of overcoming pornography use.

Darcy Spafford: And for me, when it comes to getting out of the victimhood and the blame situation, I. . I've really had to just step back and take personal responsibility for what's going on in my life.

This is a area that I talk a lot to my kids about is if we could just stop blaming someone else for what's going on. You know, like the second I'm like, Hey, can you empty the trash? Can I immediately get, well, so-and-so's just sitting on the couch. Why can't they do it? Right? There's always this idea of why me?

Why not somebody else? They're automatically. making themselves be the victim in, in the chore that you're giving them. But I'm always like, who better to do it than you? And so trying to just operate from that idea versus, if I'm the victim, then. , then somebody else has to be the villain and obviously sometimes that the villain is also me.

Zach Spafford: Yeah. I think that our kids, well, and kids in general and people in general are good at making somebody else the villain, the government or my wife or my sibling or my bishop boss. My bishop. My bishop, yeah. So there's always somebody out there that we think we can blame for all of our problems.

But the truth is that when you take. Full responsibility for your decisions and full responsibility for your own emotions. The circumstance gets back to neutral where it belongs, and you then have the capacity to create the reality that you're looking for, rather than feel like this just happened to me and I can't control it.

Which is a, I'm stuck. Yeah, which is a terrible place to be. Awesome. Hey. . It's as usual. It is a wonderful thing to talk to you guys every single week. Thanks, Darcy, for coming on and talking about victimhood with me. This is always perfect when you come on. I love it. He just doesn't

Darcy Spafford: love editing. It takes a lot longer to edit when I'm on the podcast.

Thanks for letting me come on and talk with you. It's always fun.

Zach Spafford: Yeah, you're awesome. Okay, so this week big announcement, we are going to open up a group coaching program. I have been thinking about this for a long time and one of the things that I really enjoyed when I went to the 12 step groups was this sense of community that you get, even though maybe the, the methodology and the process that they use isn't really statistically effective.

But the community and the friendships that I gained through that group were invaluable to me. So we thought that creating a group coaching program would make a great deal of sense by creating a community, but also pairing it with the techniques and the strategies that we use in coaching that really do allow you to change your mind and change your strategy and change your life through the process of using the tools and using the model to really change what you're thinking.

And get the results you desire. Awesome. Really enjoy talking to you guys every single week. I really enjoy putting this podcast together. If you have a review or if you can share this with somebody, I. That would go a long way to making this podcast more available to more people so that they can get the help that they need so that they can become the person that they want to become.

Thanks again. Enjoy your Mastery Monday. We'll talk to you next week. 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.

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