Is it me burning out and looking at porn? Or my relationship with porn that is burning me out?

Okay. I know I just looked at porn, but that’s my last time. I just got so burnt out. But I’m finally stopping, once and for all.

OR

I can go for a certain amount of time without looking at porn, but what if I get burnt out again?

Some time passes, and we feel pretty motivated for a while. Then we get “burnt out” again and look at porn.

So many of us have experienced this.

And maybe we think that it is somehow the power of porn that is overcoming us and burning us out.

What does burning out even mean?

Most of us only focus on using willpower when those urges come. And our willpower inevitably runs out with this approach because we have a limited supply available in our brains. See my post on Willpower.

Then we try to explain these repeated failures. And usually our explanation gives porn all sorts of power (in our minds) that it doesn’t even have.

The point is, it is not the porn that has the power to burn us out and succumb to its will. It is our thought patterns related to porn.

If you have repeated the pattern enough, you will not be consciously aware of all the thought patterns that lead you to viewing porn.

Because your lower brain wants to be efficient, it skips over acknowledging emotional pain, or even physical pain, and goes straight to an urge for porn.

Or your lower brain does whatever it can to set the stage for looking at porn. It is doing what you have trained it to do.

Part of our brain wants us to burn out

If “burning out” leads to getting that big dopamine release from viewing porn, then the lower part of your brain will have some automatic systems in place that helps lead you to burning out and eventually to porn.

This may look like skipping self-care. See my post: Real Self-care is different than what you think it is.

If working long hours without hydrating or exercising makes it more likely to get porn, part of your brain wants you to do this.

If not sleeping enough makes it more likely to get porn, part of your brain wants you to do this.

If avoiding/resisting/reacting to negative emotions instead of processing them in a healthy way makes it more likely to get porn, part of your brain wants you to do this.

If putting yourself down with negative self-talk and shame makes it more likely for you to get porn, part of your brain wants you to do this.

If trying the same approach over and over makes it more likely for you to get porn, part of your brain wants you to do this.

Brain Working by Design Can Kill Me Sometimes?

Your brain is designed to go for things that get you dopamine. The lower part of your brain doesn’t know the difference between the source of dopamine. It just thinks, more dopamine means better for survival and improving my status in life.

Porn is a setup for your brain where it thinks it is getting something beneficial that actually has a net negative affect on your well-being. The lower brain is not evolved to handle porn well.

If you have all of these incentives in place to not take care of yourself, might it be possible that, each time you choose porn, it is rewarding a thought process that is killing you just a little?

Also remember, you have a prefrontal cortex that can take control of this entire process. You can increase your awareness of what’s going on and plan for success. You can retrain that automatic part of your brain in a way that serves you.

Porn Has No Power Over You

Porn just sits there. Always available to anyone who wants to access it.

If porn had power over you, you would look at it any time you had access to it, which is literally every moment of every day. But you don’t look at porn every moment of every day. Why is that?

Because porn doesn’t have any power.

It is the way you think toward porn that makes you perceive porn as powerful.

This is why porn does not burn us out. Our relationship with porn is what actually burns us out.

A relationship with X is just all of the thoughts you have about X.

Some people want to believe that porn has all the power over them. Maybe they don’t want responsibility for all the times they have looked at porn.

But it is a very good thing that every time you have looked at porn it was you using your power to do so. Why? Because that means you have the power to stop.

If you want to change, believe me, you want to claim that power.

Take a Different Approach

Learning to stop may take an approach that you are not familiar with yet. It may not be what you expected. And that’s okay.

Start by noticing that part of your brain that wants you to remain stuck. It is looking for evidence that it will never work, it is impossible, and you are powerless. When your brain is looking for evidence of something, it will find it.

You can continue trying again and again the same things that haven’t worked.

Or you can learn from what you have already tried that has or hasn’t worked, and move on to a new approach that works even better.

Hire a Coach or Not?

Hiring a coach isn’t for everyone. Some people can do this on their own without a coach.

Hiring a coach isn’t hiring someone to come up with the answers for you.

I do teach concepts about how the brain works so that you can come up with a strategy that works in line with natural brain processes.

I do provide a proven framework for you to shift from thought patterns that don’t serve you to thought patterns that get you the results you want. Practicing this with a coach is powerful.

I do give you valuable tools to practice with and troubleshoot with someone who has been through it themselves.

All of these skills/tools/concepts translate into a meta skill that will help you achieve other types of successes in your life.

But ultimately, you are Luke Skywalker. I’m just your Yoda.

I help show you how to access the answers from your own brain. Overthrowing the emperor is up to you.


Need help knowing where to start to level up?
Check out my How to Stop Looking at Porn Program by scheduling a free mini-session with me. Find out more about a mini-session: click here.

And, as always, feel free to email me at danny@dannypoelman.com with any questions or just to connect.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close