EPISODE 6: How to stop Buffering and quit porn for goodOct 28, 2019
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Welcome to the Self-Mastery Podcast with your host, Zach Spafford. Episode number six, how to Stop buffering. Welcome to the Self-Mastery Podcast. This is your host z Spafford. It's another Mastery Monday. This is exciting. So this week we are gonna follow up on something that we talked about last week, which was buffering everybody's doing it.
This week we're gonna talk about. How to stop buffering, how buffering impacts us and why buffering is something that you absolutely can begin to control. So the first thing that I wanna talk about is, okay, so what really is buffering, we talked about this last week, but I wanted to give you a really succinct idea of what it ends up being and go into the, to the reasons that buffering is such an attractive option.
So buffering is always trying to be happy all of the time. It's giving into urges, and it is an effort to eliminate those urges by giving into them, which sounds pretty easy, right? So an urge comes along and now I just give into it, and then it goes away for a while. And I think we've all experienced this with cravings, right?
Especially pregnant women, they get a craving for a pickle and peanut butter sandwich. They eat the pickle and peanut butter sandwich, now their urge is gone. . The problem with that is that you are reacting to an urge rather than responding to an urge, right? So if a woman who is pregnant gets an urge for a pickle and peanut butter sandwich, yet she's allergic to peanut butter, she's going to respond to that urge very differently.
That urge is gonna be something that could actually be detrimental to her health and detrimental to her long-term being right. . Now urges are part of our primitive brain, right? Our lower brain says, Hey, excuse me. This is something I think that we should do because it's gonna be really rewarding. Which is a totally natural situation, right?
We have had urges forever. Urges are something that come along when you're a human. All humans have urges. So the question then becomes, so how do we treat our urges so they don't end up controlling us? And one of the keys here is responding versus reacting. Okay, so let me quick define what I mean by responding or reacting.
Let's take responding first. Responding is what happens when you have a measured thought out approach to whatever's going on. So in other words, in concert with your higher brain and your moral compass, you choose the path that you want to take. In whatever circumstances you find yourself reacting is what occurs when you have not made a path and you've not made a plan, and you probably have a habit about the issue already, and you allow your lower brain to drive your actions regardless of what your moral compass would do.
This is how our fight or flight response works. It. It automatically chooses our decisions without us engaging in any cognitive thought process. So that's responding versus reacting. Responding is your higher brain or your cognitive brain looking at the situation and deciding what to do. Reacting is simply your lower brain going.
Now we go, right? It's an automatic response, whatever it looks like. And it happens a lot of times in an instance, and that's why you can find addicts who get to a point where, at the end of a binge, let's say they go, I don't know how I got here. They have arrived at the end without making any discernible decisions in each step along the way.
However, they had built that path through many previous decisions, creating essentially a habit. This is the same sort of thing that happens to us when we, we drive to work, right? You drive to work the first time and you have to do a lot of thinking. You have to figure out, okay, how do I get there?
The 50th time or the 500th time, it doesn't. , it doesn't even register. You arrive at work. And you know how I know you arrive at work without thinking about it, is because when you set out that day and you say, before I get to work, I'm gonna stop and I'm gonna get this, or I'm gonna get that. I'm gonna stop at the grocery store, or I'm gonna stop by and I'm gonna get, a breakfast sandwich.
And then you arrive at work and you're like, oh man, I totally forgot to go get the breakfast sandwich, because your brain is on autopilot. Your brain is automatically getting there. Same thing's happening in a reaction. Your brain is on autopilot. It's automatically arriving at the end. Without you thinking about it, because you've already put that process into place and reinforced it countless times and that's what's happening when we buffer.
We've already put. That process into place. And now it's time to figure out, okay, how do I interrupt that process? How do I bring that process that I've created, that I've turned into an automatic response, that buffer, so for pornography users, it's going through pornography for overeaters, it's.
Arriving at the end of the chocolate cake and going, what the heck happened? How did I get here? How do I take that buffer and interrupt it? And the very first thing that you've got to be able to do is you've gotta step back from the urge and allow it, which means that you are watching the urge with your higher brain.
You're consciously watching the urge and saying, yes, you exist. No, I'm not gonna do anything about it. And more than not, no, I'm not gonna do anything about it. It's a proactive, I am going to watch you and I'm gonna watch you exist. And it's not a, it's not a proactive, I'm gonna stop you because that's suppressing or trying to eliminate the urge.
And that's not very helpful because what happens is when you try to suppress an urge long enough, you end up binging. And it's not indulging the urge either, because when you indulge the urge, it simply tries to. Come back, but it's never enough. When you indulge urges, you find that it's never enough meaning, no matter how many times you binge on whatever it is that you bingeing on, whether it's chocolate cake or or brownies or porn or video games, or whatever it is on your phone, on Netflix, no matter what it is, it's never enough.
It has a characteristic of being unsatisfying when you achieve. The end result, whereas allowing the urge and seeing the urge is, it's not satisfying by any stretch, but. It is putting you in a position to where it's no longer something that you have to answer. So what I mean by that is you're essentially telling your primitive brain, Hey, it's okay that this urges there.
We'll be fine. And people do this all the time, right? We get urges all the time that we don't try to eliminate and that we don't try to indulge, like to punch someone or to steal something, or to have sex, or to eat something. and they're not something that you choose. They just happen. And it's okay to have them happen, right?
They come and you're not necessarily trying to eliminate them because you're like of course I'm not gonna punch this guy in the face. I'm gonna go to jail. Or of course I'm not gonna eat off of that guy's plate. He might have a disease, right? Or of course I'm not gonna have sex with that woman.
She's not my wife. So we get these urges that just happen and they are just what they are, but we don't try to. suppress them, and we also don't try to indulge them. That's the same thing that we're ending up working on here, is you are taking that automatic process that you've built over probably a number of years and simply stepping back from it and saying, okay, I'm gonna watch this and I'm not going to try and do anything.
I'm simply going to, I'm simply going to observe it, and I'm going to withhold action, which is a different kind of feeling. and we withhold action all the time when we, get an urge that we've never had before, especially a new urge. That's a process that you have to literally think about. You have to go, okay, do I really wanna do this?
And usually we make a decision based on our moral compass, on what it is that we want to achieve and who we are as a person. What's happened is that with pornography or food or other. Highly addictive substances and issues that can be presented as urges. We find that one, the urge has come up an awful lot, and so eventually, curiosity, which is an important human trait, has gotten the better of us and we've tried it and so now we know the pathway to take, so it's easier to go down that pathway.
That's why, prophets and apostles have often admonished us to never try these things because it's just easier, but, We also sometimes blame ourselves and we think, why am I still having this urge? Why is this coming up? Why am I not free of this? And the truth is that all humans get all kinds of urges, and the better we deal with them, The less likely they are to come up in the future.
But if we shame ourselves, then our brain starts to look with what's wrong with us and why shouldn't we try that? And it starts to try and prove itself in a way that's not very helpful when we do try to make a decision that more closely matches our moral compass. And it's okay for the urge to be there, and it's okay to have these feelings.
A lot of people ask, why is it okay for me to have an urge to look at pornography? Or Why is it okay for me to have an urge to eat an entire chocolate cake? And the answer is because that urge is gonna exist. No matter whether you try to get rid of it, eliminate it, or answer it or not. The urge will always exist.
Urges come and urges go, and there's nothing you can do about it. The fact that it's there doesn't mean anything about you. , and that's part of the reason why people turn to buffers is because they make these urges mean something about them. In the long run, it brings shame and when we double down on our behavior and we make a behavior go from bad to worse because we feel like it means something about us it creates this shame cycle and shame is your worst enemy.
Shame is the one thing that the one. Feeling that never really is helpful to anybody because it doesn't provide any real catalyst to drive you in the right direction. It simply says you're just a bad person and that's the end of it. So allowing the urge, so allowing an urge to exist is a lot like ripping off a bandaid.
Just as there, it's gonna happen. It's gonna feel bad no matter what. No matter, it's gonna feel bad whether you do it slowly or quickly, just let it be there and it'll actually dissipate by itself. But if and you try to suppress it, you try to, Make it go away, or you say, okay, I'm just gonna indulge it this one time, so it'll be done.
It actually compounds the situation. It compounds the urge. And the question that a lot of people have is, why do we feel such intense urges? What they're dealing with is false pleasures create false desires. Anything that's been concentrated to trick our brain into thinking it is essential. , anything that's been concentrated to trick our brain into thinking it's essential for our survival creates dopamine on demand, at least in the short term, and dopamine on demand is not really great for us.
The most satisfying things that we can do in our lives take effort and they take time and they are very rarely instant. If you want to be an accomplished pianist, You've got to take the time to do it. It's not gonna happen overnight. If you want to be an amazing boss, it takes time to execute and learn the trade and become the person that people look up to.
It's not gonna happen overnight, and that's when satisfaction is true and when it's not an over indulgence, whereas, things like sugar and video games and pornography. They are concentrated hits of dopamine that give us instant satisfaction without long-term gratification. So this is where your higher brain needs to decide, is this valid or is it excessive?
Am I reacting? Am I going down the path that my lower brain wants, or am I responding, which is deciding on a path that makes sense for my overall long-term benefit? , and that's really the process that I teach people so that they can become pornography free, or so that they can become binge eating freer so that they can stop overeating.
It's the process of simply taking a step back, observing your brain, watching your brain, and learning what it's doing, and then making a decision that is different than the path that you've built. It's stepping back and owning. that dopamine process, that dopamine receptor process, instead of allowing your lower brain to run the show as it has been up to this point.
So the thing that you're gonna do, if you choose to reduce buffering the, really, the important thing that you're gonna do is you're gonna allow versus eliminate. So you're gonna allow and urge. rather than trying to suppress it, you're gonna allow an urge versus indulge, which means that you're gonna let you know, just observe an urge, let it be there, and don't do anything about it.
Rather than saying, oh yeah, I'm just gonna engage in. , viewing pornography, or I'm just going to eat this cake, and that urge will go away because the urges will come no matter what. The second thing you're gonna do to reduce buffering is to make all of your decisions involving your usual buffer with your higher brain.
So what does that mean? That means planning it. That means scheduling it. That means maybe discussing it with someone else. So you know, if your usual buffer is to eat an entire chocolate cake. Plan that out. Oh, the buffer is here. Oh, I'm gonna see that urge. I'm gonna, I'm gonna move this to my higher brain.
I'm gonna plan it. Okay. Next Tuesday at five o'clock is when I can eat this entire cake. Right now I have planned it and scheduled it. Now I'm gonna go and discuss it with someone who, by the way, is not gonna judge me. You need to find someone who is gonna be willing to listen without standing there and going, no, you can't do that.
You and I think you'll find, and maybe the person that you discuss it with is just your heavenly father, or you discuss it with yourself, but make it a topic that comes into your higher brain and becomes something that you begin to be cerebral about rather than just. Leaving it in your lower brain and trying to suppress it or indulge it, right?
And those two things are the process that I use. And I, we go into more depth on each of them when I teach, when I coach my clients. But that's essentially it. You've got now two. Pieces of equipment in your tool bag that you can now reach in and say, okay, here's the urge. Now what do we do with it?
And this will take practice. This will take time, it will take effort, it will take energy, but you can do it. Everyone can do it, because everyone does it to a certain extent on a number of different fronts. It's just now you've gotta do it with something that you have allowed to run your life for a little while.
So if you know somebody who's dealing with a buffering behavior and you're just not sure what to tell them, feel free to just point 'em at the direction of my podcast, or better yet, have them sign up for a free mini session. I would love to have a conversation with them, see if there isn't some way that they can benefit from the coaching that I provide, and give them an opportunity to overcome the habit that they're, that they continue to deal with.
It continues to plague them. All right guys. Thank you so much for listening. I honestly, I truly, really appreciate it. Please do me a favor, review me on iTunes, review me on Spotify. Share me with your friends. It would be a great blessing to me. I would really appreciate it if you put me out there so that I can help anybody that you might know that is dealing with pornography or any other buffering habit that's holding them back in their lives.
If you would like to be on the podcast, if you have a story, if it's something that you know you've overcome through the process of learning about your brain. Please send me a message on Facebook. I would love to hear from you, or you can send me an email or you can message me from my website, zachspafford.com.
All right, folks. Have a great week and I will talk to you next week. Hey, thanks for listening to the Self Mastery Podcast. Every day I get requests from people who are looking to change something in their life. If that is you, if you need help overcoming your addictive behavior like pornography use, sign up for a free mini session at zachspafford.com/workwithme.
That's zachspafford.com/workwithme. I'll put a link in show notes for you to follow. Also, it would mean the world to me if you were to leave a review for us wherever you get your podcast. It'll go a long way to helping others find us. Thanks again.
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