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Episode 158: How to Never Fail Again at Overcoming Pornography Forever

Sep 11, 2022

Episode 158 ; How to never fail again at overcoming pornography forever

One of the biggest issues that every person who works to overcome pornography has is that they often feel like they are failing if they have any sort of setback or make any sort of mistake in the way that they are handling themselves. 

So today we are going to talk about two ways to ensure that you never fail again when it comes to overcoming pornography. 

A guy that I was working with told me the story of when he was doing a physical challenge of some sort, I think it was a multi-day race, and he stopped at a home that was part of the race support.  I heard this story a long time ago, so the details are a little fuzzy for me, but the message is clear.  

He goes into the house, they point him to a bedroom and since it’s the end of the day and he’s been racing all day, he goes in, faceplants into the bed and goes to sleep. 

Fast forward to the next morning and his wife, who, for some reason didn’t sleep in the room with him, comes in to wake him up.  As she does this, she notices that the wall above my friend’s head is a mural of a naked woman. 

I imagine some of you are right now thinking of your partner or yourself and wondering how much trouble that guy was in.  

Turns out he was in quite a bit of trouble. 

His wife was quite furious with him that he had slept in that room and let him have it. 

So my friend defends himself by saying that he had no idea, he had just come into the room, it was dark, he hadn’t even gotten undressed, that he had just slept in the room without even looking around because he was so tired from the race he had been running. 

This is key number one making your journey to overcoming pornography forever fail-proof:

Learn to recognize what is problematic and what is incidental. 

Too often, we become hyper-sensitive and hyper-focused on the ways in which pornography intersects our life and this intense management of the thing we want so badly to avoid creates a reality where we are more likely to notice it, and often, we beat ourselves up over it reinforcing a negative reality. 

Just the same way you notice every car on the road that looks like the one you just bought, your brain is constantly looking for ways to reinforce itself.  This happens in ways that are positive and valuable and it also happens in ways that reinforce negativity in our lives.  

In the case of my friend, the fact that there was a mural of a naked woman on the wall above his head was a non-issue until his wife made it into a big deal, reinforcing a number of negativities that seem inescapable.  

I don’t know what her thoughts were, but I imagine she felt like we can never get away from this, that no matter what, we always have to be diligent, and maybe any trauma that she experienced was being dredged up and relived in that moment.  

For him, it might have been that he will never be able to do enough to stay away from this, that even when he isn’t doing anything, he still gets in trouble because of his past behavior, and maybe even that his wife will never get over this and that it is a hopeless issue. 

Think about what you’ve felt over the time you’ve struggled, what would you have thought or felt.  I know that I would certainly have felt attacked for something I didn’t do and that I had no control over.  

If you want to overcome pornography forever, you need to be able to triage what has happened in order to understand if there is something more to do. 

In this case, there really wasn’t anything to be done.  My friend had no idea the mural existed, and as such, nothing happened and there was nothing to learn from the experience.  

This, in a lot of ways, could be summed up as stuff happens, and making it into a bigger deal than it needs to be won’t make it better. 

The second thing that you can do to never fail again as you overcome pornography forever is to learn from each time you choose pornography. 

I know that seems simple, but it’s not and I’ll tell you why. 

First, people do not like, in fact, they hate, confronting when they act incongruously to their values. 

Second, we like to move on quickly and put it behind us. 

Let’s talk about those two reasons why we don’t like learning from our mistakes really quickly.  

You’ve probably noticed that when you go all in on something and everyone disagrees with you that it is really hard to back down.  Well, the reason that is tough for most of us is that it makes us feel like we’ve been wrong and no one likes to be wrong.  When we don’t live our values, we see it as wrong and we don’t like admitting we’re wrong. Not to others and not to ourselves.  So that is what is going on when we work really hard not to confront our behaviors that don’t align with our values. 

The second reason I mentioned there, we like to move on quickly has to do with the first as well, but there is a nuance there.  Running away is a standard move in keeping yourself safe in unpleasant situations.  The move on from my own mistakes move is a lot like running away, but in a mental version. 

One of the key modules I have in the membership and in my individual coaching is called Learn Something, Move Forward. 

In there, I give you a step-by-step process, to help you focus in on what happened, why, and how to create a game plan that you can practice and execute the next time you are faced with the same or similar challenge. 

In fact, If you write me a review for the podcast and email me when you’ve done it, with a picture of the review, I’ll send you the video and workbook so you can use it for yourself.

Learning from our mistakes means that we never fail because we never give up and we got something of value out of the moment. 

Saying that you’ve failed is like telling a baby that is learning to walk that if they fall down, they are a failure.  

You wouldn’t do that.  You’d be a monster if you did that.  Just imagine standing over a baby and shouting at them that they are a horrible failure for falling down when they are trying to learn to walk. 

Now some of you might be listening and saying, “but my husband or I am not learning to walk, we’re making choices and choosing poorly.” 

To which I say, ok, you might be choosing poorly, but, based on your track record, does it look like you have all the necessary skills, tools, habits, and processes to make the choices that most closely align with your values in this space?  If you’re listening to the podcast, the answer might be yes, but only because you’ve been listening to this podcast and doing what I’ve taught you. 

More likely, especially if you are new, the answer is no.  This means, that much like a baby learning to walk, you are in the process of getting together the requisite skills, tools, habits, and processes to be successful.  

So, do yourself a favor, stop standing over yourself and yelling at your unskilled mind, telling it that it's a failure, and actually start learning from these interactions.  It will make your life much more successful.  

Learn to see what is problematic and what is incidental and learn from your mistakes.  

That is how you never fail ever again.  

At anything, by the way.

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