If you are like I was: sometimes you might think: I want porn and that’s just the way it is. I’m a guy. I’ll always have this problem. Or some version of this.
If you think thoughts like these, you’ll probably go one of these directions. 1) feel hopeless/powerless or 2) become apathetic to avoid the pain of continually disappointing yourself. So part of you says I’ll just give up fighting this because it’s no use anyway.
Can You? Or Can’t You?
What this ultimately boils down to is: can your brain change or not? In other words, can you learn new things or not? Can you change the neural pathways in your brain or not?
If you struggle with pornography (or anything for that matter), this is THE most important question you can ask yourself. And your answer is crucial. Pivotal.
It’s pretty straight forward.
Your brain can either change or it cannot. Let’s explore these two scenarios.
If your brain CAN change, then all this effort to change is worth it.
If your brain can’t change, you may as well give up now because it’s useless. Your brain becomes the Borg and “Resistance is futile” (for all you fellow Trekkies out there).
The truth is…
YOUR BRAIN CAN CHANGE. It is called neuroplasticity, my friends. You can learn. This has been true since the time you learned to open your eyes. To walk. Just because you never walked before, did that stop you from learning how? No. Humans are built to learn new things.
Is it always easy? No. But I want you to notice how much difficulty you create for yourself just by resisting the reality of the situation. We want things to be easy. Fast. What if easy or fast doesn’t matter? That’s why I like to think of not looking at porn as a skill that you just haven’t learned yet. There is a process to retraining your brain and you just need to learn how that process works. Let me explain.
Watch a kid learn how to walk. How much time do they spend crying on the floor whining that it should be easier to learn how? Maybe they have a hard fall here and there and they cry from the pain. Maybe they get frustrated here and there. But overall, it seems like kids accept where they are at and just keep getting up and trying. And they practice it until they get it.
When you make a mistake and look at porn, do you tell yourself I shouldn’t have made that mistake. In fact, I shouldn’t make any mistakes while I learn this. If you are, just notice that you are rejecting reality. When you argue with reality, you lose 100% of the time. The reality is you did look at porn and masturbate. If you reject it you have no chance to learn from it.
What if you put yourself in kid-learning-how-to-walk mode. You would accept that it happened. Falls are part of the process. You would learn from it and be better prepared for next time. You would flex new muscles (strengthen new neural pathways) that will help you be that much more capable next time. You can learn and gain so much from your falls.
Does the kid say This is too much work. I want the process to be different. It needs to be easier and faster or I will not do it. No. The kid just works with what he/she can do in the present moment. Because that is all they have. They can’t change the past. And the only real power they have over the future is what they choose to do in this moment, right now.
Wouldn’t you rather be in kid-learning-how-to-walk mode and accept the process for what it is? How do you want to use your “Right Now”? Because that’s where all of your power is.
Can you imagine a kid and the adults around him giving up? Kids don’t decide, Well, I guess it’s not going to happen. I’ve fallen too many times; I don’t deserve to learn how to walk at this point. Walking is just for other people. Walking is not for me. When it comes to pornography, what if you put yourself in kid-learning-how-to-walk-mode again.
Kids learning how to walk see no other option than learning how to walk. They have decided they can and will do it long before they actually do it. What if you decide that right now for yourself? I can and will figure this out. I will learn how to stop looking at porn. I know that I can. It is going to happen. It is not a question of if but when? I don’t know how long it will take me but I will go until I get it.
What is the downside to believing these things?
Also, there is no age limit on learning (you should see the number of guys in recovery groups who are in their 50s, 60s, 70s). It is never too late to change.
What You Believe is a Choice
Right or wrong. True or not true. Makes sense or doesn’t. What you believe or don’t believe is a choice.
I encourage you to decide right now what you want to believe. Do you believe you can change or not?
You may have to remake this decision along the way. Either practice believing what you want to believe consciously and intentionally OR get better at the unintentional, unconscious belief by default.
It is Not Other People’s Job to Believe in You. That’s YOUR Job and Nobody Else’s.
That’s all I have to say about that.
To get going learning the skill of not looking at porn check out my free guide “How to Stop Looking at Porn.”
If you want to stop looking at porn and need help learning how, check out my 12 week How to Stop Looking at Porn Program by scheduling a free mini-session with me. Click here.