WORK WITH ZACH

Episode 157: Re-Focus, Re-Habit, Re-think to Overcome Porn Forever

Sep 03, 2022

 Episode 157: Re-Focus, Re-Habit, Re-think to Overcome Porn Forever

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Here is a story that we are all familiar with, that we all believe is true, and that we inflict on ourselves when we think about our pornography struggle.  

The story begins with us seeing the hero of the story at their lowest point.  They are being crushed by the world and see no light, no end to their suffering, and no way to rise above the challenges that are before them.  

In this struggle, they come across a single truth, weapon, or skill that opens possibilities to them, creates a path forward, and allows them to triumph. 

While I struggled with pornography, I found that this is how I thought of what I needed to overcome pornography forever. 

I thought, if Heavenly Father can just give me that one tool, that one skill, or just take this one thing away from me, then I would be immediately successful and clearly win this fight. 

I don’t know if you have thought of your porn struggle in this same way, but this was my mindset for a very long time when it came to pornography. 

I’m sure, that like Saul who saw Jesus on his travels and was renamed Paul, there are people for whom extraordinary shifts occur in moments and then, forevermore, that newly minted being of awesomeness is plagued no more by their trials. 

I know, for me, that this wasn’t the case.  

I found that really overcoming pornography forever was about three things. 

Regularly refocusing, habits around my urges, and experimenting with totally new ways of thinking. 

In the process of overcoming pornography, I found myself regularly discouraged when a setback occurred or a process that I had put in place seemed to fail. For a long time, this lead to an out-of-control spiral and frustrating despair. 

Each time made mistakes, I had to dig out of that hole and refocus and redouble my efforts.  

The clear lesson for me around this is, that you don’t have to wait until you make a mistake to refocus.  

If you are working to overcome pornography, setting regular checkpoints, working with a coach, or regularly evaluating your progress, process, and potential is something you can set up before you make mistakes. Adding key touchpoints to help you evaluate and adjust will yield high levels of self-awareness and pivot points that allow you to move toward your values.   

These regular refocus sessions, whether you are doing them on your own or with a coach can help you clarify where you stand, what you are doing well, and if there is an area that you might want to improve.  

If you are thinking about overcoming pornography forever from a strategic perspective, checking in with what’s working and setting time to evaluate it is a perfect start to getting you where you want to go. 

You might have a daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly refocus session set on your calendar where you celebrate your wins and see how you want to focus your energy for the next period. 

Speaking of how to focus your energy, one of the key components that you’ll need to focus on is how you are habitually dealing with urges.  

Willpower is a regular go-to when we engage with our brain around urges.  

But if you’ve been listening to the podcast, you know that willpower fades and is never enough to totally eliminate pornography from your life. 

Creating and practicing new ways to deal with urges seems really simple, I know.  When it comes to the things you are most effective at in your life, you have created habitual ways to engage with them. 

I’m reminded of Phil Mickelson and Michael Jordan and Tom Brady.  

Each of them has risen to the height of their sport.  But how?

By doing the same things, over and over and over and over until it was habitual, not reactionary. 

My favorite example of this is the well know “Flu Game” during which Michael Jordan, struggling with what he speculates was food poisoning from the pizza that he ate the night before, put up an astounding 38 of the 90 points his team scored that night. 

Michael performed as well as he did because he was able to engage habits that he had built through countless hours of practice.  

When urges confront us in our day-to-day life, the way we react to them makes all the difference.  

If the way we react to them comes from a place of habitual performance, honed through dedicated practice, our urges become less about a struggle and more about just letting our habits take over and guide us to success. 

You can learn all the right habits in the Self Mastery Membership or through individual coaching.  Just sign up for a free consult at https://www.zachspafford.com/workwithzach  

Figuring out the right habits and how to practice them the way Jordan did free throws or Mickelson does putts isn’t something you have to do alone.  

Lastly, experiment with totally new ways of thinking. 

This is really experimenting with totally new ways of thinking and doing.  But you have to think it before you do it.  

A lot of us are doing the same things, over and over but not getting the results that we want.  So, like the idea before, we are letting a habit take over our process.  The question you need to be asking is, is this process actually resolving my issue, or does it keep leading me back to results I don’t want?

Let me point out that there is a difference between not being successful because of ineffective habits, skills, ideas, or actions and not being successful because you have not yet integrated the right habit fully enough to be effective.  

A good way to know if you haven’t yet integrated the right habit is to see what the conventional wisdom is on that habit and ask if that technique is working for others.  You can also ask yourself, does this process make sense in the totality of my understanding and has it yielded any sort of value?  

When I worked through the 12 steps, there were some things that just didn’t make sense to me.  One really big one was how you are asked to admit that you are powerless.  

That idea really struck me as not terribly helpful in the totality of what I was trying to accomplish.  How could I take responsibility for my actions and start making different decisions if I was powerless against an external force? That’s the way I thought of it, but that may not be the way you think about it. 

And really this step is about that very thing, experimenting with new ways of thinking and see if they make sense to you. 

See if the idea, the process, or the mechanics of what you have been thinking make more or less sense. See if a new, different, or off-the-wall idea that you hadn’t considered can fill a gap in your process.  

Also, see if someone else is being successful with new ideas.  Try them.  See if you can become more successful than you have been up to this point with those ideas. 

When I worked through my own struggle, I often had to throw out old ways of thinking and create new ones. 

The old adage that if you want different results, you have to try different things is also true of the way we think and feel.  

Putting our thoughts, feelings, and actions together differently than we ever have before will yield different results. 

As you work through your own struggle and start down the path of Regularly refocusing, creating new habits around your urges, and experimenting with totally new ways of thinking you don’t have to do it alone or ask people who have never done the work.  You can work with a coach who has traveled that path himself and helped hundreds of men and women do the same. 

I’m here for you.  

When you’re ready, make an appointment at zachspafford.com/workwithzach and I’ll walk you through this process personally. 

 

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