Have you been struggling with your reboot? Are the withdrawals too difficult to manage? Thousands of other Rebooters are also in the same boat.
The waves of relapse are tough to paddle out of once you get entangled.
The feelings of shame, guilt, and regret that follow are tough to handle, so you spiral into more binging on porn.
I have been there countless times too.
But, there is hope.
I have outlined a 7 step process that anyone should follow to successfully recover from porn addiction in 90 days.
Note that these steps have to be done thoroughly for you to achieve success.
1. Get Crystal Clear Goals
In order to make forward progress, you need to know with crystal clarity what you are advancing toward:
What are the negative effects porn has had in your life?
What positive effects do you hope to gain by quitting?
How strict are you going to be with your reboot?
(We recommend total abstinence, AKA “hard-mode,” as well as cutting out the viewing of any sexual material for enjoyment – even if it’s not technically porn for at least a period of 90 days. If you are doing something different than this, then you need to know exactly where the line is).
Take a moment and actually answer these questions – either by answering out loud or by writing the answers down.
If you have to think really hard about these answers or you struggle to articulate them, then you’ve got some work to do here. You need to have these answers easily accessible in your mind
2. Have A Plan for Habit Replacement
You can’t just cut porn out of your life without putting anything in.
What are the specific things that you are going to be doing instead of watching porn?
You need to focus on doing those things rather than just focusing on NOT watching porn.
Examples of things to incorporate into your life:
- Greater discipline with work/school
- Physical Fitness
- Personal Organization
- Eating Healthier
- Pursuing a passion/hobby
The trick is incorporating these things in a sustainable manner (hint: trying to start all of these things at once is NOT a good idea).
Pick one easy thing and do it until it is second nature. Then, think about adding something else easy and then do THAT until it is second nature.
Someone who takes a year to build their habits is likely going to keep those habits around much longer than someone who tries to do it in a week.
An example of a habit that I’ve had the best success with might look like this: Do 5 minutes of walking a day. Notice that it’s super easy and that it’s also daily.
While this isn’t as exciting as going on some hardcore or trendy workout program, it could mark a major lifestyle change and form a lasting foundation for bigger changes down the road.
Do this every day for a month and you’ll find it MUCH easier to build a much more structured fitness program on top of it.
Every time you practice doing a habit like this, you are building the master habit of doing what is good and uncomfortable rather than what is easy and limiting.
The development of this master habit in other areas is what essentially translates into you being able to do something else better for you than watch porn.
3. Have a Plan for when You are Triggered
What are you going to do when you get filled with the urge to watch porn?
Your plan needs to cover two key components: What to do externally and what to do internally.
Externally, it’s ideal to have some sort of specific behavior set up as your go-to “panic button.”
I personally think watching one of our Reboot Camp videos is the best choice, but other good options include reading a book, listening to music, playing with your pet etc.
Whatever you choose, make it extremely easy to do – the goal is to simply occupy yourself while the urge passes.
Internally, things get slightly more complex. How you handle this really depends on how you experience urges.
Do you tend to rationalize? You need to know what those rationalizations are and be able to talk them down.
Do you tend to use porn to escape from negative emotions? You need to know what those emotions are and address them in healthier ways.
Your ability to do this inner work is going to be limited by the next two points:
4. Increase your Self-Awareness
Here’s a hard truth – if you ever find yourself reaching for porn and watching it without even stopping to think (what we call “autopilot”), you will NOT quit porn until you raise your level of self-awareness.
The easiest way to raise your self-awareness is to have some internal practice such as meditation or prayer.
This enhances your “general” self awareness by increasing your internal perceptiveness.
However, there’s more to it than that. You must also gain situational and emotional awareness.
This is about understanding the flow of your emotions as they relate to your experiences.
For example, if every time your boss yells at you it leads to a porn relapse, you need to become aware of that pattern so that you can do something about it. What are the emotions that come from your boss yelling at you that leads you to want to escape?
Understanding these emotions leads us into the next point:
5. Untangle Your Belief System
At the root of all this inner stuff is your belief system.
If you believe that without a romantic partner you are worthless, then every time you experience romantic rejection that is going to cause you great emotional pain.
This emotional pain is then likely to spiral and cause you to reach for an escape like porn.
The belief system can seem like an impossibly tangled knot of different issues.
The key is learning how to separate the “gremlin” beliefs out from the good ones.
The gremlin is that self-sabotaging aspect of ourselves that creates resistance to showing ourselves love.
Once you begin to get an understanding of your gremlin (and have enough self-awareness), you can begin choosing to reject the limitations of the gremlin rather than letting him trap you in a life you don’t want to live.
6. Fail Forward
Mistakes are the biggest opportunities for progress if you know how to embrace them and learn from them.
However, often people either just blow their mistakes off like they didn’t happen, or they beat themselves up so badly over them that they can’t even think rationally.
Learning from a relapse is very simple: You basically just need to look at what happened, and then create a plan for how to do things differently next time you are in a similar situation.
So if you relapse, you want to look at everything that happened in your life, in your emotions, and in your thought process leading up to it .
Then you want to identify where things started to go south.
Once you identify that, ask yourself,”What could I have done differently there?”
The trick here is actually implementing this realization the next time a similar situation occurs.
7. Get the Help you Need
We’ve covered a lot of ground in this newsletter, so it’s totally understandable if you don’t have all these points nailed down.
Each of these components is extremely important, but you don’t need to worry about getting each aspect perfect at once.
The key is to set yourself up for success. If you can handle all these pieces on your own, then that’s awesome.
But there’s no shame in admitting you might need a little help. If the thought of working through all this on your own sounds daunting, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered here at Reboot Camp.