90 day report - Three years of trying to get here.
This post was originally a response to a question that somebody asked me on 'Lift' (an amazing goal-tracking app if you don't have it already). My response went over the character count so posting here instead. The question came after checking in for day 90: "Wow - did it feel easy? Helpful? Worth extending the streak?"
Everything below is what I wrote. Hope it's helpful.
I wouldn't say it was 'easy' but it became a lot more manageable as I made progress...
I think I discovered NoFap about three years ago and I've tried every summer since to reach the full 90 days. My longest streak previously was 64 days.
There were a few things that contributed to doing it this time round:
-Telling myself that I had no choice: I know it sounds dramatic, but I didn't want to die one day without having succeeded to develop the mental discipline required for this challenge. I put today's date in my schedule and used it as a lodestar.
-Telling other people what I was doing: Not everybody I met, obviously, but people that I trusted and respected to keep me accountable. Most people seemed to 'get it' it once I explained my motivations and I felt that letting them down was letting myself down also. Tbh, I wasn't really worried about negative reactions when letting people into my plans. This was something I'd decided on and people could like it or lump it.
-Urge mantra: Whenever I felt an urge (which was fairly frequent except in flatline) I'd make the distinction between wanting to cum and wanting to fap. With the former there are far more options (including holding onto it until the right time). This was one of the most helpful devices for maintaining control, IMO. Options make you feel less restricted so the temptation somehow seems more manageable.
Really, I think most if this stuff is about knowing what you want and why. Get in touch with your values and look at why Nofap is in alignment with them. Values motivate, in my opinion, and give you the mental stamina and reassurance to keep going.
The whole experience was definitely helpful. I'm more confident socially and also get a lot more done. I think the controversial 'superpowers' everybody talks about are less to do with not whacking it and more to do with taking action in other areas of your life. Action is confidence in my view and when those actions compound day after day confidence compounds also.
This, combined with the testosterone boost, and the increased positive self-image account for Nofap's benefits (there are many in my experience - some biological, most rooted in how you deal with and control yourself and your environment). It's about using your time for positive action instead of just keeping yourself in stasis. We are designed to grow and move forwards and flapping just leaves you in the same place.
My plan at present is to keep the streak going but come out of hard mode. I feel the same way about PMO as I do the cigarettes I gave up. If I see people smoking I can resist because I know what's better for me in the long-term. Be honest with yourself about who you are and what you want to be and use the gap between the two states to create a tension that drives you onwards.
I definitely recommend sticking with it if you can. There were many many times where I decided it wasn't what I needed or that I couldn't do it, but once I found the motivation to commit (looking at values, also setting goals around the things I want to BE/DO/HAVE) I managed to reach a place I once thought I never would.
Don't be interested in getting it done, be committed. All the times I failed before were because I was merely interested in doing it, not truly committed. Nothing new being said here, but most of this is a mental game and if you win that it will carry through to other areas of your life. Fulfilment is a process in my view and it's the same basic process that success in NoFap or anywhere else requires. Know who you are, know what you want, and commit to getting there. It can 100% be done even if you don't feel like it now.
All the best and good luck.