5-part plan of action.
I come to you today with the biggest gift I could possibly give anyone, I am giving it away for free because I feel unworthy of its wisdom, even though it was through heavy introspection that I uncovered it.
First, consider the following; You want to stop fapping, yet somehow you just 'give-in' and fap. Alcoholics want to stop drinking, yet they somehow just 'give-in'. Drug Addicts want to stop taking drugs, yet they somehow just 'give-in'. Unsuccessful people want to become successful, yet they keep doing things they 'know' to be counter-productive to achieving that success.
I focused on these and many other similar scenarios and combined it with some other unusual knowledge that was floating around my head to come to the solid conclusion that...
"YOU ARE NOT YOUR BODY"
Thats right, you are not. You are a passenger in a vessel whose main programming is to seek out 'comfort at all costs. It does not give two shits about your 'higher aspirations'. If you do not have the body under control, you will NEVER achieve the goals you have in your head. Many, many addicts were killed by their addictions despite their desire to stop.
Really let that settle in. You are not your body, you are a passenger.
We know this too be true from a scientific perspective due to all the research done on the reptilian part of the brain (the survival mechanism) that ultimately dictates our responses.
However, as demoralising and as existentially harrowing as this news is, it provides a realistic and actionable hope. You are not failing because you are cursed. You don't keep relapsing because you are weak. You are losing this battle, the battle for life because you are not in-control of the vessel you are 'riding'.
If you have ever rode a horse you will understand that if you are gentle and soft with the horse in the beginning it will take advantage and just eat grass and chill out despite what demands you may have. However, if you are a firm rider, with clear instructions and use the right prompts at the right time you will have the horse under complete control.
The human body is like that metaphor only slightly more complicated. The body you ride seeks one thing primarily, security (/comfort). If you are not providing it with security via clear instructions and solid planning, you will be ignored. This is fine in survival situations, the body will find ways to keep itself alive if it is possible. However, modern society is more complex that just satisfying base needs. You need to be organised, controlled and successful, otherwise your quality of life can be a bit shit.
To re-gain control Obviously it is not as simple as just planning your days better... if you have severe addictions you are going to have to re-build form the ground up, re-gaining control day-by-day. I used to be a massive addict, anything and everything was my game, now it is has been whittled down to two key addictions, fapping and novelty clicking. The following is how I have come to this 'final show-down', I am not perfect, however I am damn close. This is what works, I have tried every self-help book under the sun and have refined through practice and experience the following plan of action, for you.
The plan of action:
1) Find out what your aspirations are first. Just sit and day dream, do it before bed when the body is in its most relaxed state. Use a voice recorder. Be as ridiculous as you want to be, realism is just another way to put yourself down. You want to go to space, fine. You want to create the next big MMO, fine. You want to own an asteroid, fine. You want to live in a cave in the mountains, fine. Whatever is true to you, is true to you, go with it. Do not have small dreams, your passion for life comes from your aspirations. The bigger and more obscene the better!
2) Understand that it is YOUR HABITS that define you. It is great to read something motivational and be like, "Now im going to achieve everything i want!" only to find yourself back to square 1 the next day, with added regret. This happens because motivation just like porn, or drugs is a high. You feel great when you read something inspiring/motivational because it floods you with endorphins and dopamine. Good to get the engine started but nothing more, it is a body high. To make sure you actually achieve your goals, you need good habits that will carry you there despite your 'emotions' or 'state'. This is hard, takes time and willpower but good habits are the difference between millionaires and failures. Simple as that.
3) REMOVE ALL OBSTACLES! Seriously! This is the big one, this is why you have to delete all your porn, put up your k9 security blocker, make sure you stay out of your fap zone etc... The body is a creature of habits, if you current environment promotes certain habits you have to radically change that environment just to give yourself a chance not to fall into old habits. For example, I haven't drank in two years. I used to be a raving alcoholic and a drug addict with basically no limits, now everyone who meets me is shocked that I am able to not drink and be so young, I get constant compliments and 'wish I could be more like you' comments all the time. What is my secret? I am some will power god. Nope! I just stayed the fuck out of any environment wherein I would be tempted to drink or encouraged to drink until I was solid enough in myself to know I am not going to drink. Even my body doesn't pipe up as much anymore, it has come to the realisation that it doesn't drink. However, I am arrogant in my sobriety, hell no, I know that enough of the wrong triggers at the wrong time in the wrong place and I could be seriously tempted to drink again. However, I manage all the externalities to make sure that never happens!
4) Listen to your body! You have to become a master in understanding the signals, needs and patterns of your body. I typically have streaks for a number of days, then everything crumbles like a house of cards. When I heavily reflect on this it is because I let 'one' variable slip, when I had the chance to fix it. That one small variable started the domino effect that ruined everything. Now it is incredibly hard to be on top of every personal variable however you have time, and you have a choice. Put in the daily work of bringing your awareness to every little request that comes into your mind THAT IS NOT PART OF YOUR HIGHER ASPIRATIONS and pen these down to the 'body's needs'. For example, I do not want to sleep in on weekdays, so when I wake in the morning and say to myself, "urghhh, ill wake up in another 15 minutes" I know straight away that the body is in control. Sleeping in is not my will yet I seem to be doing it. Again, this is because your wants and the body's wants are two different and sometimes opposing things. First learn the difference, then make sure you build your life around achieving your higher aspirations.
***** Take a breather *****
5) The final piece of the jigsaw. This point I have saved to last, because its complicated and not based on solid science but from what I understand from the many, many books I have read on addiction, willpower, success etc... this is the most important but most difficult part of the personal equation.
Your body can get high off itself.
Dopamine, is your worst fucking enemy! It is an essential part of our survival mechanism yet is over-stimulated in modern society. Especially via porn. Let me list a few things that spike dopamine that for me put the body firmly in the driving seat, despite all my objections. Nicotine, Caffeine, Fatty Foods, Sugar, Novelty, Sex, Heavy Socialising.
Once your body gets a taste for dopamine, as has been shown in numerous experiments, it will just spiral into dopamine oblivion until you either fall asleep, are interrupted or have to break the cycle due to work etc. There was a famous experiment that studied rats, in this experiment rats had electrodes hooked up to their dopamine receptors. These rats had a choice. To hit a lever that will stimulate their dopamine receptors or hit a lever that will give them food. It was an either/or experiment. The outcome, lots of starved rats. These rats would literally hit this lever rather than eat, to the point where they would end up killing themselves. Think of the number of addicts that do such a similar thing but on a human level.
Now under normal circumstances this is not typically a huge problem. You can live a pretty decent life with dopamine addictions. However, if you are choosing to do something special with your life you have to put a huge plug in any dopamine triggers before you can begin to wrestle control of the body. This means complete conscious abstinence from them at all times. I fap when my body is high on dopamine, I know when it is high on dopamine because the excuses come a million a minute 'oh, just one look'. 'We will just edge for five minutes'. etc... When I am on top of my meditation and I haven't excessively triggered my dopamine on a set day, fapping isnt a problem, the urges barely even bother me. However if I have done something, like drink too much coffee or flirt with a stranger I am not doing anything productive for the next few hours. My mind is seeking the next dopamine hit. It is up to me at that point to regain control and calm the body back down to a centred, focused state.
It is up to you to prevent ever coming close to that mindset by preventing at all times the behaviours with cause the dopamine spikes.
This is your responsibility.
LINK - The Final Realisation
90 Days Report
Officially did the 'NoFap Challenge'... it took me 2 years of constant failings and endless disappointment but persistence finally paid off and I can safely say I have added to my character I feel like a 'bigger man' - go me.
As this community has been a massive factor in my success I am going to attempt to give my 'secret sauce' back to the community hopefully helping others. I could write a really long post explaining all my tips and tricks but honestly I'd feel like I was wasting my time and yours, so I will leave with the principle that resulted in my success...
DEVELOP STRONG CONTINUITY OF BEING
What do I mean by that? Well, there is a part of you that wants to stop fapping, typically for everyone that comes on here that is their 'true self' or their 'ideal self'... essentially its the version of you that doesnt put your knob into socks... It badass, self-directed, self-controlled, higher level conscious being that isn't just a slightly hairless ape in a suit. Its the version of you that you want to be.
Yet, you aren't always able to be this badass next level conscious being - why?
Essentially, for me and for a high number of people that suffer with addictive behavioural patterns (always to do with your childhood) it boiled down to not having a strong sense of self. Meaning that when my body would encounter some emotional or physical discomfort and suggest fap as a solution I wouldn't be able to remember clearly and emotionally (RAGING CLUE) as to why I decided to not fap anymore. This lack of solidity over 'Who I Am' led to numerous excuses from my mind that ultimately led to my body getting its own way, time and time again (2 years of trying nofap, every day, the disappointment was real son).
I managed to break these endless relapses by building up continuity of being by constantly listening to a short audio note about my values, my wants, my fears and most importantly my self-worth... The audio note was geared around raising and building the emotional memory of who I wanted to be... Eventually as I got good enough at building emotional memory regarding why I commit to nofap when my body would suggest fapping as a way to handle its stress I would be able to clearly recall why that was a 'terrible fucking idea'... The real key is to have an emotional memory so powerful it can over-ride any body generated emotional 'want' - this takes time and effort and constant refinement, nobody will do this for you.
("The emotional memory stuff gets very very deep and is exactly the reason I dont want to go into my 'tips and tricks' as we are all so completely unique to explain this in detail to help your specific case would take about 3 books and a udemy course, non of which will be as helpful to you as sitting down with a pad and pen and thinking about why you are going to be better than everyone you know... Essentially you are the pilot of 'Space Ship You' and its your responsibility to figure out the Instruction Manual through reverse engineering your behavioural patterns. It can take a very long time but once you learn how to fly you are essentially unstoppable.")
I still have a long journey ahead of me but I have officially got myself a blue star and whilst that maybe meaningless to some, to the younger me that would sit and read this site feeling hopeless after relapsing, after edging for 4-5 hours (true story, too many true stories) the fact that I have achieved something I once thought impossible has added to my character, added new strings to my bow... it truly feels like I have grown, my little blue star proves that too me... this place of self-pride, of self-worth I now experience regularly is totally worth the constant struggling and disappointment. You NEED to join me up here, the fapping is pointless and beneath any great individual dont waste your time with it.
Peace and Love...