Motivation to change doesn’t come from feeling bad.
Not real change any way.
I have been ashamed of my behavior.
You have probably felt shame when you have done something that you feel you shouldn’t have.
We all know someone who has been ashamed of their behavior, but doesn’t change it.
On the other hand, we all know someone who does something that we find a little hard, just because they like doing it.
Those people who enjoy waking up before six AM come to mind for me.
They do it because their internal motivation is driving a behavior that makes them feel good.
We need to understand the reasoning behind our behavior and believe the reasoning for change.
So what do we need to do in order to actually change our behavior so we begin to become the person that we want to be?
Here are the three steps required to properly access the motivation you need to begin changing your life.
1. Why do I want to do this?
When you ask why, you have to keep asking why until you feel the answer.
What that means is that, in the beginning your answers will all be about other people or external factors.
When you keep digging, when you truly see why, it will be about how you want to feel.
When you feel the answer your mind clarifies the priorities of your life.
For instance, I can look at pornography, but I choose not to, because I feel happy when I avoid it.
Contrast that with, I can’t look at pornography because I’m not supposed to and my wife will get mad at me.
This needs to be about you, choosing for you. Doing it for someone else will lead to failure in the long run.
2. Recognize that you can feel how you want to feel without changing behavior
Observe your thoughts about your current habit, are you adding shame to the action?
Ask yourself, how can I feel good about what I am doing right now?
Celebrate the wins of your behavior, if today was a sober day, take a victory lap.
Stop shaming yourself for the setbacks, if you buffered with pornography for a few minutes, make sure you reach out to someone who will love and support you without judgement and discuss the episode.
View your actions as learning experiences, be the narrator of your life.
Watch your behavior like you are watching a wildlife documentary.
See what is happening and view it as a curious third party.
You will learn so much about what is going on inside your head that you will begin to see patterns and paths that you can not only continue down, but also change.
3. Make small changes
Read my post on micro habits, it talks about this in more depth.
In part it talks about how the chances of success go up when you add small things to already formed habits.
This also works in reverse.
Seeing an already formed habit of pornography use as many steps in a process by observing yourself like we talked about in step two, gives you the key to removing a few key steps that will empower you to stop using.
Becoming the person you want to be is a matter of creating that person.
You will never just stumble into being a world class athlete just like you will never stumble into becoming an amazing spouse, employee, or disciple of Christ.
You have to earn it by laying out the key steps, understanding the motivations you put behind them and then executing on that path you have created.
Once you have those keys in place, your motivations will pull you through and up.
You can do this.