I thought I had to prove myself.
If I go (X amount of time) without porn, then I'll know I can do it.
What I wanted was to feel confident and capable.
Most things we do are because of how we think it will make us feel.
I'm going to prove that I can do it!
But hiding in this thought is the idea that maybe I'm not sure I can do it yet.
The brain is an evidence-finding machine. So what kind of fuel am I going to put in it?
Last year, we put unleaded gas in our diesel European rental car. The car didn't make it further than a block or two before shutting down.
It matters even more what kind of gas you put in your brain.
The gas is your thoughts.
Beliefs are just thoughts we repeat over and over.
If I give my brain the idea: maybe I can't do it. Even if it's packaged so nicely in a thought like I'm going to prove that I can do it! My brain will look for evidence that maybe I can't do it.
This thought creates feelings: doubt, incapable.
Then I'd feel in a hurry to reach my goal so I could say "See? I could do it!"
Because I wanted to feel capable.
Feeling capable and confident does not come from reaching your goal.
Feeling capable and confident is what takes you to your goal.
My son, Marcus, knew he could make a shot on a 10-foot basketball hoop well before he actually did it.
Even when the highest point in the arc of his shot was 4 or 5 feet below the rim, he would stand there and keep throwing the ball up. Again and again.
He was confident.
Some people who think they "know better" or are "being realistic" or have the "adult perspective" might have said he shouldn't have been as confident as he was.
People also used to think you couldn't run a mile in 4 minutes.
People thought you might explode if you drove faster than 30 mph.
This confidence drove Marcus to take all the actions that would get him to his goal.
Because he had already decided he was going to do it.
It's like he already knew he could do it.
Now THAT is a thought that will get me where I'm going:
I already know I can do it.
I also like:
Just because I haven't done it before, doesn't mean I can't do it.
I want to put that fuel in my brain today.
It is more useful to feel capable and confident right now then to wait till I've "proven myself."
I'll figure out the HOW as I go.
The HOW comes quite naturally if I've already decided I can do it.
Put that evidence-finding machine to work on something actually useful.
Need help learning the users' manual for your brain?
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And, as always, feel free to email me at [email protected] with any questions or just to connect.