Growing up, I watched a lot of porn.
Like, nightly, for over 10 years. And that shit was grrreat.
But 2 years ago, I got honest with myself…
If I was really committed to actualizing my potential, the porn had to go.
So, I committed to going cold-turkey for 3 months. I was smack in the middle of taking my biz to the next level and I wanted every advantage I could have.
3 months turned into over a year of being porn-free, and I’ll spare you the details of my porn dabbling timeline, but for the last 6 months I haven’t watched it ONCE…
Until………………………………… last weekend.
After getting home a little tipsy at 3am, and with no clear commitments in place, I indulged.
I know how this porn pattern works in my system. And watching it just ONCE can send me down a slippery path of high functioning addict-like behavior, until finally weeks later, I recommit to not watching it again.
Not this time. I’m nipping that shit in the bud. And I’m gonna share my personal process for exactly how in a second. But first, let me address something deeper…
Addiction has taboo around it. But we’re all addicted to SOMETHING.
For most people today, that something is their phone. (Don’t think you’re addicted? Try a digital detox!) For other people, the addiction is sweets, booze, drugs, Netflix, CNN, Tinder, victimhood… even exercise.
In my studies of the human operating system, what I’ve found is that 9 times out of 10, what we’re all looking for deep down is to feel whole, worthy of love, and deeply connected.
Our addictions are our attempts to cover up the lack of these feelings.
We numb ourselves with consumption… chasing achievement, money, and validation as paths to worthiness.
But as the saying goes, “you can never get enough of what you don’t really need.”
I’m not an addiction specialist, but this is my very personal process for cutting a behavior out of my life.
#1. Get clear on your WHY.
I imagine my possible future daughter and I make a silent commitment to her… “I am all-in on actualizing my potential so that you can have an amazing, safe, and fulfilled life.” Draining my life-force by watching porn frequently doesn’t support that meaningful vision.
#2. Get clear on your TRIGGERS.
The urge to watch porn pops up most when I’m tired, not acknowledging my feelings, and jonesing for a quick high. The urge to eat something sweet usually comes right before the urge to watch porn.
#3. Get clear on your UNDERLYING NEED.
The craving to watch porn is just a symptom. The real need is to connect with, honor, and process my feelings. That means stepping away from screens, taking a few breaths, and probably rebooting with a power-nap.
#4. Get clear on your COMMITMENT.
I get super fucking specific about what I’m committing to. It’s not just that I won’t watch porn for the rest of the decade… It’s also not looking at Instagram models, no masturbation when the sun is out, and no masturbation more than 2x a week.
#5. Get a friend to hold you ACCOUNTABLE.
My friend who holds me accountable has also struggled with the same thing. But really, anyone who cares about you, doesn’t judge you, and has integrity can hold you accountable. Spell out your commitment super clearly and think of any scenarios where the lines might be blurred. (See my example in #4.)
#6. Get a FAIL-SAFE agreement in place.
My accountability partner and I created an agreement that we’d text each other if we were feeling tempted. At times, I’ve also agreed that if I was going to break the commitment (which I won’t), I would hit him up first and let him know BEFOREHAND. This ninja trick puts another level of security in place.
Removing our crutches can be challenging because we’re confronted with the underlying feelings we’ve been covering up.
But the path to feeling whole is feeling everything.
In order to feel worthy of love and deep connection, you must treat your EMOTIONS as worthy of love and deeply connect with them.
To be clear, this doesn’t mean taking action from an emotionally triggered place. This means going inward and processing your inner experience, instead of looking for your okayness externally.
The external quest for inner peace is the devil’s playground.