Are you absolutely confused about where you are in the process of ending your behavior with pornography? Are you perhaps a little bit jaded or angry at pornography, at your therapist, at the world, or maybe even at me because you seem to be stuck with this thing? Perhaps you feel like you’ve tried so many things yet nothing has worked; your behavior is still not under control.
I have guys who read this blog, watch our YouTube videos, or listen to the podcast and still find themselves at a loss. Some have even been around the Porn Reboot for months yet can’t manage to make progress at ending their out-of-control behavior. They feel frustrated, dejected, and broken down, left wondering whether they’ll ever find their way out.
I was thinking about this recently because I care deeply about these brothers. I care about them because that was a position I spent years in myself before developing the Porn Reboot system. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t get my behavior under control despite wanting it more than anything in the world. It was the most important thing to me yet I relapsed time after time, feeling worse about myself with each slip.
Firstly, brother, I want you to remember you’re a human being. Many men who participate in the early phases of the Porn Addiction Recovery – Reboot program are focused on tactics. They take notes while reading blogs or listening to podcasts and outline different ways they should be tackling their problem head-on. But remember, you’re a human being, not a human doing.
Piling on too many tactics or approaches too quickly leaves you feeling overwhelmed. I’m not saying that the tools and strategies implemented in the Porn Reboot system aren’t important. I’m saying that you can’t take on all of them at once during your first week or two in the program.
It’s sort of like the old saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none.” Stretching your focus across too many directions leaves you unable to develop strength in one particular area. But it would be best if you had that single pillar of strength to lean on before you can build another. You’ll find yourself relapsing over and over if you aren’t willing to narrow your focus to one thing at a time.
Even then, anyone can learn tactics. Anyone can pick up a book off the shelf or watch a YouTube video and learn some tips for developing control over their behavior. You could speak to a therapist or a coach who will also outline plenty of tactics for you to employ that could potentially help you end your out-of-control behavior. And chances are you’ve probably done some of these things, too, yet you still find yourself trapped in a slipped cycle.
Why? Why do you continue to struggle?
Principles, brother. Tactics and strategies without principles are null and void. You must understand why you are rebooting before your reboot can be successful. However, at the same time, your “why” can’t be for anyone but yourself. You can’t end your out-of-control behavior for your wife, your kids, your church, your family, or your career.
You must end your out-of-control behavior for yourself and yourself alone.
You have to want this so badly that nothing will distract or derail you from your reboot. At the beginning of the process, your reboot must come before everything else in your life; you will lose whatever you put ahead of it. After all, you’ve spent years neglecting the things you insist are important; if you truly want them back then you need to focus on building yourself back up first.
The Porn Reboot system offers some simple, universal principles that help with the reboot process. For example, one of the principles of the program is that we view slips and relapses as data. We do not attach emotions to them, we simply acknowledge the fact that they happened and use them to ensure they’re less likely to happen again.
Another example is accepting the truth that all sexual urges pass. It doesn’t matter how intense or pressing the urge feels, it will not last forever. I know this from experience and you’ll learn it with time in the program. No matter how strong or overwhelming, no matter how many hours or days it seems to last, the urge will eventually go away. It may come back another time but it will end then, too. All urges eventually go away.
Principles contain patterns and patterns allow for the predictability. Establishing as much predictability as possible is an important part of a reboot. Slips and relapses lie in the unknown; developing consistency and predictability helps ensure your success in the beginning. This means there is power in predictability, something you probably feel you’ve lost over the years. Developing power over your out-of-control behavior is the ultimate goal of the Porn Reboot program.
But again, you must define why you are rebooting. You have to have a reason or every attempt at regaining control will eventually fail. How are you going to reboot? What is it going to look like? Why are you doing it? Without solid answers to these questions, you’ll find yourself spinning in circles week after week, month after month, and year after year.
Get serious about your reboot, brother, because your quality of life is on the line. You have everything to lose and nothing to gain by continuing down the path you’re on. On the other hand, you have everything to gain and nothing to lose by learning more about the Porn Reboot system and applying it to your life. What are you waiting for?