5 Mistakes Men Make When Trying To Quit Porn (Rebuilt Recovery)

5 nofap mistakes quitting porn
What would a porn-free year, and a porn-free life mean for you?

I’m not big on new year’s resolutions. If I think of an area I need to improve on three days before January 1, then that’s the day I’m going to resolve to make it better. However, for a lot of people the new year represents an opportunity for change. The new year, for one, can prompt us to get organized about our goals. It an also create fresh momentum to propel us forward alongside other like-minded people. The challenge, of course, is to sustain change year-round when change is no longer fashionable and the world around us is business-as-usual.

Many people have resolved to quit pornography in 2022. That’s a wonderful aspiration that has the potential to be transformative. Today, in support of that goal, I’ve transcribed a YouTube clip by Frank Rich at Rebuilt Recovery that addresses 5 common mistakes people make in this effort. I have found these to be accurate in my personal pursuit of sexual integrity.

The five mistakes people make are 1-) focusing on too short of a window of recovery; 2-) focusing too much on quitting porn and not enough on becoming the kind of man who can live porn-free; 3-) allowing slip-ups, relapses, and mistakes to define them; 4-) related to point #2, not playing offense, by doing things like going off the grid, spending time outside, developing a spiritual life, and establishing a vision for one’s life; and 5-) trying to go alone, which is a bad idea because addiction thrives in isolation.

This year, we want to put the effort in, but we also want to be smart about it. Sometimes an hour with a snow-blower is worth 6 hours with a shovel. Check out the video and transcript below! Can you think of any other mistakes people make when trying to quit pornography, common or otherwise?

But what you have to realize is a part of who you believe you are, a part of your identity is attached to your compulsive and addictive behavior with pornography. So if you don’t change yourself first—if you don’t start from the bottom up and change who you are and who you are becoming, then the quitting aspect is never going to be sustainable.

Frank at ReBuild Your Life

For more, see the complete archive of articles on integrity.

Transcript:

The first mistake that I see men making all the time is that they’re focused on too short of a window of recovery. I saw a lot of videos back in November, because November obviously comes with NoFap November, NoNut November, NoPorn November–all these kind of catchy phrases that are tied to maybe a movement, maybe a mission. But setting our eyes on a short window or time phrase is the biggest mistake that I see men making all the time. Thinking that if I can go 30 days without pornography–I don’t have to change anything about myself. Or even thinking that I need to go 90 days. . .

Quitting porn. Rebooting/rewiring your brain is a verb. It requires active execution. It requires an active gameplan in waking up every single day. But, more importantly, when you’ve reached the point of full reboot, that doesn’t mean that the process stops. Here I am coming up on 3 years 100% porn-free, and I still live today with the single goal in mind of not returning back to my old previous self. It wasn’t a 30-day window. It wasn’t a 90-day window. It wasn’t even a one-year window for me. For me, it’s something I am going to be intentionally living and thinking about for the rest of my life. So, I think the first mistake men make—and you may have made this—is thinking that it’s going to happen in a very short window of time.

The second biggest mistake that I see men making all the time is they’re focused too much on quitting porn, not on becoming the man that can live a life porn-free. I’m going to repeat that one again. The second biggest mistake that I see men making all the time is they’re too focused on quitting porn, not on becoming the man that can live a porn-free life. It’s a very subtle shift. It’s a very significant change in how we look at our ourselves, and how we look at our responsibility in this process. It was as simple as quitting porn. Make a decision today to never go back and look at it.

But what you have to realize is a part of who you believe you are, a part of your identity is attached to your compulsive and addictive behavior with pornography. So if you don’t change yourself first—if you don’t start from the bottom up and change who you are and who you are becoming, then the quitting aspect is never going to be sustainable. If you change who you are, change who you are becoming, and set your intention on becoming a man who can live a porn-free life, the quitting part takes care of itself, because you set your aim on a porn-free life, so a porn-free life doesn’t include viewing and consuming pornography. So the second biggest make that I see men making all the time is they’re too focused on the quitting-of-porn aspect and not focused on becoming the man that can live a porn-free life.

The third mistake that I see men making all the time is that they allow their slips, relapses, and mistakes to define them. Number one is they allow a slight lapse of judgment to lead them down the path of overconsuming for days on end. But, more importantly, when you make a mistake, that mistake does not define who you are. It was a choice, one small, insignificant choice in time. But it isn’t who you are. This is one of the biggest push-backs that I have, and you guys may have heard me talk about this with the 12-steps approach. I love 12-steps. I think that the work they have done in the addiction community is incredible. But the biggest knock that I have with them is that every single day—I don’t want my men raising their hand. I don’t want you to identify every single day with being an addict.

Take us back to the second step here—the second mistake. Focus on who you need to become, so when you make a slip, when you relapse, when you make a small lapse in judgment over the course of your journey of removing pornography from your life, do not allow that to define you. That moment of decision, that single choice is not who you are. If you continue to allow it to be, then brother you’ll never live a life 100% free of pornography.

Now the fourth biggest mistake that I see men making all the time is they are not playing offense in their reboot. Here’s what I mean. Once again, quitting is a verb. It requires work and execution. If all we did was thought about all the ways we can keep pornography out of our lives, but we don’t play offense in rebooting and rewiring our brain–we have to look at this through the lens of neuroscience. There are neural pathways. There are certain behaviors that have been hard-wired into your day, hard-wired into your unconscious way of thinking and being. So we have to be proactive in rebooting and rewiring.

A lot of the strategies I’ve shared with you guys here. Having a plan for your life. Living in a state of gratitude. Spending time in prayer and meditation every morning. Getting unplugged for 60 minutes every single day. Getting outside. Finding new creative endeavors to work through. But you got to start rebooting and rewiring your brain and playing offense in that neuroplasticity games. So the fourth biggest mistake I see men making all the time. Once again, they’re focused too much on the quitting aspect, and not focused on who they are becoming.

The fifth mistake I see men making all the time, and this may be where you are right now, they try to go about this alone. Addiction feeds itself in isolation. The opposite is human connection is addiction. So, if you’re struggling right now with a compulsive behavior that is feeding you is leading you down a path of isolation, then the path out of it is going to be to get into a community, to get into a support group. Hire a coach. Hire a mentor. Find some accountability. Work with a therapist. But brother, the chances of you breaking this addiction by yourself are slim to none. And I see too many men reach out to me at the point, “I’ve been trying this for three years, and I never had a conversation with anyone.”

One of the quickest ways to get over the guilt and shame associated with your behavior is just openly admit what you’re doing to somebody else. Obviously, in a safe, trusted, and intimate setting. Don’t go on the local radio station—you just openly discuss it—unless you feel that’s what you’ve been called to do. That’s kind of the path that we followed here with launching our podcast and now creating all this work and all this content for you guys here. But if you think you’re going to break this addiction by yourself, brother, that is a false belief. So the biggest mistake that I see men making all the time is going about this all by themselves.

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