Guys come to me all the time worried that they aren't progressing:
If you are here reading this, progress is probably important to you.
Most of us know how to choose a specific, measurable goal at this point.
Example Goal: Learn to not look at porn for (X amount of time).
If you feel like part of you wants this goal and part of you doesn't, that means your brain is working perfectly.
Even if there is only part of you that wants this goal, it is still coming from you.
It's one thing to have a goal. It's another to have a system.
A system is the process you are using to reach that goal.
Choose one that can get you incremental changes over time.
A coach I like...
Careful, you might have a bit of a brain-gasm with this one. (I heard that term recently, it made me laugh).
When thinking about your goal to stop looking at porn, do you find yourself thinking:
"This might not be possible."
I've thought it at so many points along the way.
I'm guessing you've practiced this one a lot yourself.
So I tell guys it's possible and even show them testimonials of how this process works. Then they say:
"That works for other people, but not for me."
I hear this one from almost every guy that comes to me for help. Does that tell you something?
Did you think you were the only one that things didn't work for? I don't know if you'll be disappointed or relieved to hear this, but you're not.
Because there are loads of people walking around saying the exact same thing to themselves.
I used to be one of them.
What I didn't know at first is that this kind of belief is optional.
Sex is like eating.
There's a way to do it that contributes to your survival and the survival of the human race.
It is pleasurable.
You can do it in a way to just "get the job done". (ie, eating for fuel, or trying for a baby).
You can do it in ways where pleasure is the end goal.
You can get the job done AND experience pleasure at the same time.
Pleasure (dopamine) is meant to motivate us to, at the very least, survive and reproduce.
You can also do sex or eating in ways that are poisonous to your body and brain. In ways that do not contribute to survival. (ie, overeating sugar, porn).
Pleasure also accompanies some poisonous approaches to sex and eating.
Although I don't believe in fear tactics or trying to shame people in to changing, I do believe porn is poisonous to my brain.
And, yes, there is more and more research coming out about this. (Check out the website, Your Brain On Porn, for more information on this)
Feelings (emotions) drive your actions more than you know.
Guilt is a feeling.
In our brains, guilt does not come from the action of looking at porn.
First: you look at porn.
Second: you have a thought like "I did something wrong".
Third: you feel guilty
Some people believe they are "supposed to" feel guilty if they look at porn. I used to be one of them.
I used to be worried that if I don't feel guilty about looking at porn, then it will become a free-for-all and I'll go on a porn-spree, binging and throwing caution to the wind.
This simply is not true.
I used to believe that it will go over better with my wife if I feel guilty in our conversations about it.
Even if this is true in some relationships (some partners look for this/expect it), it doesn't mean it is helpful in attaining your goals.
I thought feeling guilty for not keeping commitments to myself would help.
While the pain of guilt helped me want a change, it didn't help...
What would it be like?
Please message me and let me know what your response is to this question.
If you want to build trust with yourself, let's talk.
I'll show you how.
I've been working on enjoying my life more lately. Enjoying the good and the bad, the positive feelings and the negative.
I got really good at zapping the fun out of things, thinking seriousness was necessary to not only get the job done, but also to do it well.
I was always good at hustling.
Not the kind of hustling where you swindle people out of money. The kind where your basketball coach would say something like "Great hustle Poelman!"
I started thinking that to do a good job, you had to really bring that intense energy. Not just 100% but 110%, right?
But it turns out you can over-hustle.
I sometimes find myself in such a hurry to get the job done that I don't take the time to stop and plan out how to get the job done well. I don't take the time to enjoy the process.
"There's no time for that. I just need to get it done." So I dive in.
I've heard this referred to as Hustle Porn. That term makes me laugh.
I get in such a hurry for the end result...
Lots of guys want to stop looking at porn to become more worthy or lovable.
Well, guess what, you can't. You are 100% lovable just the way you are.
So if your reason for going porn free is to be more worthy, it won't work.
Many guys think they'll be happier by going porn free.
Guess what, it doesn't quite work that way.
Your emotional experience is 50/50 (50% positive and 50% negative) with porn and 50/50 without porn.
This doesn't have to be a bad thing. It's just important to know up front.
If you've white-knuckled your way to weeks or months of sobriety without doing anything to adjust your mindset, you may have spiraled back in to porn because you're thinking:
"What's the use! It doesn't make me feel any better to go without porn."
My life and my clients' lives have much more happiness in them without porn, but it's not because of the lack of porn. It is because of the...
If you want a change, you need to be willing to fail.
All failing really means is that something didn't go as we expected it to go.
Fear of failure is likely to come up when we:
When fear of failure comes up, we get to decide whether we are going to:
Continue to go for what we really want.
just try to keep coasting.
In short, if you want to succeed, you need to fail, a lot.
Fear of failure can make coasting seem very appealing. We naturally think the uncomfortable feelings come from the goal itself.
So we think that moving away from the goal gets rid of those feelings.
Coasting will still be 50% comfortable and 50% uncomfortable. It will be 50/50 before, after, and on the way to reaching your goal.
The discomfort from coasting, in my opinion, is worse than the discomfort from intentional growth.
People who want to want to stop (not a typo) looking at porn are often unsure about what life will be like without it.
What if life without porn is way worse?
What if I can't handle the stresses of life without it?
What if it ends up being a bunch of effort, money, and discomfort for something worse than what I have now?
What if I try and fail? I'll look stupid.
What if it's a waste of time?
Our brains are designed to resist change. And our brains will find and even create evidence that something bad will happen if you make that change.
You have practiced thinking that you "need" porn so many times that it has become a belief.
When your brain thinks/believes something, it finds evidence to support it. Even if that thought is not true/rational/helpful.
What if the idea that you "need" porn is inaccurate?
What if it is just an irrational thought you bought in to one day?
What if you don't "need" porn at all? And never have "needed" it?
Is there a chance...