I recently had a one-on-one with a brother who brought up a very interesting point I want to cover here today. This brother is in the middle stage of his reboot. He’s doing well in most aspects of his reboot but still struggles to control his behavior with porn and masturbation.
However, he’s so focused on his slips that he can’t see all the progress he’s making in other areas. No matter what positives I pointed out, he couldn’t recognize the improvements in his career, his relationship, and his finances. He firmly believed that unless he was completely and totally free from porn, no other improvements mattered.
As we talked, it came up that in the past he came across Gary Wilson, one of the early greats in the realm of porn addiction. If you aren’t already familiar, he’s the one who developed concepts like “Your Brain on Porn” and “NoFap.” While I have great respect for the work he did to bring awareness to the detriments of porn, he and I differ in a few areas of thought.
One of the primary differences between our views on porn addiction recovery is his abstinence-only approach. His programs focus so heavily on a man’s porn addiction problem that they neglect to see the importance of simultaneously building up other areas of your life. They didn’t talk about things like relationships, social life, financial well-being, physical health, and mental health.
This led our brother, and thousands of others like him, to view his slips as meaning his entire reboot was a failure. It didn’t matter that he wasn’t blowing his paychecks the day they arrived, that he wasn’t neglecting his girlfriend, or that he was finally showing up to work on time. No, the few slips here and there meant the whole reboot was unsuccessful.
I don’t adhere to that thought. I’m not saying that you should continue watching porn, jerking off, and having compulsive sex during your reboot. The whole point of the Porn Reboot program is to rewire your brain so you can separate from these out-of-control behaviors. I am saying that putting all the emphasis on porn and ignoring progress in other areas is a recipe for disaster.
Yes, your reboot needs to be a priority. But when I say your reboot, I mean the whole reboot process. I mean building physical, social, emotional, mental, and spiritual reboot capital. I mean your morning routine, meditation, journaling, and getting to the gym. I mean spending time with your partner, being a good employee, and checking in with your accountability partner.
All of these things are just as important as whether you view porn or not. Do you know why? Because if you only based your success on whether you slipped or relapsed, you would destroy your self-esteem.
You’re here because of your problem with porn, sex, and masturbation, brother. You won’t end those things all at once right away. You spend years developing those habits and it will take at least a few months to end them. As I often talk about, even though I don’t support “counting days”, it takes at least 90 days to reboot and up to two years to fully rewire your brain.
Men with high self-esteem are less likely to act out sexually than men with low self-esteem. If you don’t measure success in these other areas alongside your compulsive behavior, you will feel like you’re a failure. We want to build your self-esteem, not tear it down. And incorporating your reboot capital as a benchmark of success is a crucial way to do that.
There was no Porn Reboot system when I worked to end my out-of-control behavior. My experiences were the original case study for the program. While I couldn’t quit watching porn and jerking off, I knew there had to be other things I could do in the meantime. Trying to measure my success by my time away from porn made me feel worse and worse.
Instead, I first focused on building my physique. I was 21, tall, and lanky. I felt weak. I didn’t feel attractive. But I recognized that there were more resources on building a strong physique than quitting porn, so I started there. I stuck to a meal plan, lifted weights progressively, and within 90 days my body began to change. Within a year I put on some significant size. And the reactions from people boosted my confidence. I still struggled with my out-of-control behavior, but I finally had something to feel proud of.
Then I shifted my focus to my social anxiety. I was so uncomfortable around people in public, both men and women, and knew it was something I needed to overcome. So I began the process by interacting with people at the bar to learn to hold conversations. As I learned to converse, I started asking some of the women I talked with on dates. It was a slow process but my progress was as evident as it was when working on my physique.
I didn’t stop working on controlling my behavior with porn during this time. I still dealt with slips and relapses, but they became less frequent as I gained confidence. I realized that by focusing on things other than porn, porn naturally became less of a problem. This led to my concept for the Porn Reboot system that thousands of men use today.
So again, brother, yes, your reboot needs to be a priority. Your compulsive behavior with porn, sex, and masturbation brought you here. Obviously, things are not going well and you want to control your behavior. But I encourage you to make your entire reboot a priority, not just the aspects that have to do with your porn problem.
I watched the process work for myself and the many men I’ve worked with during the years. You’re far from alone in dealing with this struggle, brother. You’ve landed among a community of men who know exactly what you’re going through. If you haven’t already, I invite you to join our FREE Porn Reboot Facebook group. Start there and read through some experiences. You’ll find others rebuilding their lives, from work to relationships to their physique and more.
Come join us on our Porn Addiction Counseling as we make our reboots a priority in all aspects of our lives.