When it comes to our life, do we want to be in the game or riding the bench?
The words, “put me in coach,” are so inspiring.
Rudy, after all, just wouldn’t have been as good of a movie if at the end, with the teammates and the crowd chanting “Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!” and his coach finally saying he can go in, and Rudy says “I’m good on the bench. Sorry everybody.”
What if, after all that training, Rocky didn’t even show up to fight Apollo? There wouldn’t be 7 sequels, I’ll tell you that much!
We do this in our own lives. Usually the crowd is little to none. Maybe it’s just you. And usually nobody is chanting your name.
But maybe these are the most important times to show up and get in the game.
I don’t know about you but sometimes I just want to disappear.
So I made myself a list of the upsides and downsides of disappearing vs. staying in the game and put them in this table.
If you were wondering, porn and masturbation is one of many ways to “disappear” from your life momentarily.
Table: Should I Disappear or Not?
|Upside to Disappearing||Downside to Disappearing||Upside to Staying in the Game||Downside to Staying in the Game|
|Temporary relief: momentarily avoid pain.||Pain won't go away. It comes back just as strong. Except in case of suicide? Can't even really be sure that suicide would make pain go away.||Feel alive.||Have to feel pain (disappointment unworthiness, fear, shame, loneliness, anxiety, sadness, scarcity, etc.)|
|The less I show people what I can do the less they will expect of me.||Withdraw from loved ones. This affects relationships negatively.||Get to learn and progress from a willingness to make mistakes.||More of a chance my mistakes will affect others.|
|Satisfy my less-evolved animal brain (avoid pain, seek pleasure, save energy). Get to be "safe in the cave."||Don't follow through on commitments to self or others.||Contribute what I uniquely have to offer to the world.||Doesn't seem as safe.|
|Momentary pleasure||Don't live with purpose.||Live with purpose.||Seems like not as much control.|
|The less I put myself out there, the less likely it is that my mistakes will affect others.||Feel numb.||Access power to change.||Requires more energy.|
|It seems safe.||Inability to change. Remain stuck.||Opportunity to influence others and be influenced by them.|
|Less chance of other peoples' mistakes affecting me.||Zombie state: it's like I am alive, but just barely enough to make my body go through certain motions. Whatever it is, it's not really living.||Deeper, more connected relationships.||Less spontaneity.|
|Illusion of control||I may be risking more than I think even though it seems safe.||Greater success.||More of a chance other peoples' mistakes will affect me.|
|Don't take responsibility.||Greater overall freedom.||Not as much pleasure now.|
|Freedom now||Less freedom later.||Get to be a real man and take responsibility for my life/thoughts/actions/emotions/results.|
|If use porn or other false pleasures, it throws off dopamine receptors/balance for a period of time. This makes other natural, day to day activities less enjoyable.||I show up and follow through for myself and others.|
|Better utilize highly evolved human brain (imagination, creativity, problem-solving, wisdom, planning/preparation).|
|Live consciously and intentionally.|
Next, ask what do you want most in life?
Which of these lists will help you get what you most want?
Although I can see the appeal of disappearing, the upside of staying in the game (even though it’s scarier) lines up with what I want most in life.
What Costs More?
Sometimes I worry that I will screw up my kids.
Or that it’s better to keep to myself so my mistakes won’t be too costly to the world.
It is not always a good idea to believe the first thing coming out of a brain. So I’m questioning the validity of these statements. Maybe, just maybe, they’re not true at all.
Here’s my counteroffer, Brain!
What if the cost to the world will be far greater if I stay quiet and keep to myself?
What if withholding what only I can offer the world, imperfect as it may be, would be the greatest mistake of all? What if the same is true for all of us?
So what’s it going to be for you today?
When things get tough? When you haven’t scored in a while? When you lose? When an unexpected challenge comes up?
Ride the bench?
Or “Put me in coach!”
Learn how to get in the game and check out my How to Stop Looking at Porn Program by scheduling a free mini-session with me. What are you waiting for? Click here.
For a free jumpstart on learning the skill of not looking at porn check out my guide: “How to Stop Looking at Porn.”