The Problems With Willpower and Shame as Motivators

Discussion in 'Rebooting - Porn Addiction Recovery' started by pavx92, May 19, 2019.

  1. pavx92

    pavx92 Fapstronaut

    I'm not going to limit this to PMO or even addiction in general, because it's actually much grander and therefore basic than that.

    Basically, it's the problem that willpower and shame are not what I would refer to as SELF SUSTAINING MOTIVATORS.

    Willpower is a muscle and shame is a temporary feeling/condition that dopamine/desire can easily overcome given (infinite) time.

    Now, for a select few, willpower is actually enough of a force that they can sustain an activity for an entire lifetime. I'd imagine this is due to a rare ability to sacrifice happiness for a sense of duty, which was either genetic or developed at an early age.

    We will put these people aside for the sake of this argument. I'd imagine that most of the people on here with 500+ days without porn are of this group and for them "Rebooting" in it's classic sense "works."

    Now this is the central point of this argument--what is the definition of "works." Does work mean that it will alleviate symptoms and even "rewire" the things that cause the addiction to some extent? It does to many and THAT is the problem. Instead, I'd say that the true definition of something that's "worked" is that it is a motivator/process that can generate itself even stronger over time. Willpower, conversely, weakens, in most people especially young people who tend to prioritize their happiness over their sense of discipline.

    Let's take attaining a great body as an example. It requires both attention to nutrition and exercise. It's not something that hasn't been figured out and the majority of people are capable of achieving, but only a select few actually do. This should hopefully be sounding familiar to the above point that willpower only works for a select few. But what if there was a way for the majority to achieve something "great" and not just a minority?

    So, continuing with the example, if you take pockets of Los Angeles or even college campuses you'll notice everyone in the group would be considered in possession of "great bodies." Do they all have exceptional willpower and discipline to forgo happiness in order to reach a goal? Do any of them? Probably not. How then are so many able to achieve this?

    It's because looking good has become such a huge part of their subculture that the activities that generate it become themselves pleasurable. Thus, these men and women actually ENJOY working out and paying attention to their nutrition. It's actually fun for them and the "reward" of a great body is simply a confirmation bonus that what their doing is healthy and beneficial.

    But overcoming addiction is different right becuase it's about abstaining and not doing something per say. Well, I'm not sure. Consider that desire to fap when seeing a pornographic image weakens but never fully goes away. Ever. In life. We can assert then that desire never goes away but attachment to it does. This seems like a minute point, but to me it has heavy-weighing consequences. See, for something to be a SELF GENERATING MOTIVATOR it has to be able create and build upon itself but if we will always desire porn then it inevitably occurs to us rebooters that we are basically choosing between happiness and discipline on a permanent basis. This means that there is really no way that we can WANT to give up porn. Yes, we can see great benefits but we still wish that we could have it both ways and wonder how some are able to have it both ways. Our goal then becomes less and less desirable as time goes on and not more in the sense not that it becomes harder to obtain but that we question why we really should obtain it. This leads to "well screw it I'm horny and I don't mind restarting" thinking which traps so many of us in a certain day cycle be it 5 days, 30 days, or even a year.

    So then finally the "new method" should become clear for the majority of rebooters that fail over and over and over and over again with willpower that tried tried super hard at it...and it's JUST NOT WORKING.

    The new method I'm proposing is:

    -constant (and I mean constant) rewards for rebooting
    -reframing challenges as simply that -- if you succeed you get to guilty free fap to porn again and as we all know its wayyyyy better when you dont do it everyday.
    -babying yourself during a reboot. whenever stress arrives you know that whatever it thats causing it just isnt worth it since youre in a process that requires you to live a life of low stress. this could mean temporarily not gunning for that promotion you want or not dating that girl who's hot but a bitch.
    -accepting yourself as someone who loves porn and always will. Shame is a double edged sword--on teh one hand you want to avoid the pain of the label so you dont do it but on the other hand the fear of the label creates anxiety which causes you to do it. Your decision to watch porn did not mess you up. the decision to make it a lifestyle messed you up.
    -becoming really into this fake theory of "God Mode" which appeals to so many men. The fact that you don't do it makes you better than other guys and have an edge and all that.
    -letting go of this dumb shame that's come with the dumb idea that fapping after three months of not fapping is somehow putting you right back to where you started three months ago. No. Youve weakened the addiction and believing you haven't is why you decide to binge instead of get right back on that horse so still maintain some pride for the work you've done. It will make you feel great about yourself which will make you WANT to keep going and not have to make yourself keep going.

    Again all of this is the idea of making this process very fun so that you love abstaining from porn rather than suffer through it. The reason for all this being the majority of us can't keep it up for their entire lives. You'll never reach a point where you truly do not want it anymore. This has been proven. And yet so many of us are trying to reach that fake goal.

    You'll never hear the mainstream talking about these ideas for obvious reasons. However, I'm taking a lot of this from eastern philosophy and meditation that encourages a better relationship with your emotions so that instead of fighting them you and your emotions are fighting together towards a common purpose which is peace and self-acceptance. I wish I could tell this you from the authority of someone who has gone thousands of days without porn but that would miss the point. Even the idea of guys who have 0 days being shameful is a problem. Getting a better life is a circle not a line...
  2. Reborn_

    Reborn_ Fapstronaut

    Thanks, interesting post

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