What are some values that are important to you?
Could you list 5 or 10 clear values that define how you believe it’s important to live?
Whenever I ask a brother what his value system is, I tend to get vague responses. They fumble around and offer general things like being a good guy and doing the right thing. The problem is that being a good guy and doing the right thing looks different to different people. Not everyone has the same idea of what a “good guy” looks like. Those values are empty and meaningless. They don’t offer any real direction or purpose in your life.
I believe that a man must have clearly defined values to fully recover from his porn addiction and change his self-image. This may sound terrifying if you struggled to define clear values but I promise that I can help. Values are of the utmost importance in your reboot and I want to help you understand how to define those which are important to you.
What Are Values?
Values are generalizations that describe things that are important to you. They help you define what is good or bad, right or wrong. Your values have a massive impact on your actions because they drive behavior and provide motivation for all of your actions.
An easy way to think about values is to see them as buttons that either attract or repel you from things in life. They move you closer towards or further away from an outcome. Values are typically closely connected to your beliefs. These things work together to help you outline how you want to live.
Why Are Values Important?
To put it simply, values are the key to unlocking your mindset. You’re going to feel uncomfortable if you do something that goes against your value system. Understanding your values is a vital part of uncovering mental roadblocks and determining whether you’re moving in the right direction.
For example, I’m very open about my belief that casual sex is just fine once you’re past a certain point in your reboot. Some men in the Porn Reboot program are Christians, though, and don’t want to engage in casual sex. It goes against their value system and doing so would make them feel bad and maybe even put them at risk of a relapse.
Just because I view casual sex as something that isn’t a big deal doesn’t make my Christian brothers’ value systems any less important or valid. This is why you must get clear on what your personal value system is; no one else can define it for you.
Values Determine Your Priorities
It’s easier to prioritize your life once you’re clear on your values. You can organize your life to fit your needs when you know what is most important to you. Let’s say you’re a man with a wife and kids who absolutely loves his family. Your family is one of your greatest values. Understanding the value of family in your life means you may have to sacrifice time for them but it’s worth it because you value them.
Getting clear on my values is what enables me to do all the things that I do. Brothers in the group often ask me how it is that I can meditate for two hours and get to the gym every day while still having time to meet with men in the porn addiction recovery group and interact with my partner.
I don’t have any more time in a single day than you do, brother. There’s no secret behind my daily routine that adds an extra hour or two. It’s simple. I can do all these things because I value them. I value my mental wellbeing, I value my physical health, I value my work, and I value my partner. Each aspect is important to me so I make sure I dedicate time to each of them every single day.
Dissatisfaction Means Unmet Values
If you’re feeling uncomfortable or unfulfilled it likely means that you’re living out of congruence with your values. Let’s say you believe that you value fitness and health. You know you want to eat whole foods and commit to a regular gym routine. When lunchtime comes, though, you swing through a fast food drive thru and pick up a greasy burger and fries.
The more you engage in actions that are out of alignment with your values, the more dissatisfied you become. There’s nothing wrong with admitting your original values may not be your true values, but trying to force yourself into a value system that isn’t your own will leave you feeling discontent.
On the other hand, you’re going to feel satisfied and at peace when you live in congruence with your values. If you say you value fitness and health then spend your time meal prepping and getting to the gym after work, you will feel much more at ease. Even if the actions required to meet your values are tiring, the results make you feel invigorated.
Get Clear on Your Values
You must get clear on your values if you want to be successful in your reboot. Part of the reboot process is understanding truths about yourself and then taking the action required to align with those truths. You will feel much better when you align your behavior with your value system. But you can’t do that until you understand what your value system is.
If you’re having a hard time determining what your values are, I invite you to join us in the Porn Reboot Facebook group. You can reach out to some brothers who have worked through the process and are willing to share their experience. Surrounding yourself with men who have done the work will make it easier for you to do your own work, too.