I stopped for a year and half so I thought I'd share a few of my tips with you that I think will really help your journey.

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Hey NoFappers, I stopped fapping for a year and half so I thought I'd share a few of my tips with you that I think will really help your journey. 

by slickspidey367 days

Hi everyone,

I have to first say that this subreddit is such an excellent idea to have and such a help for those of us who want to improve in our self-control and discipline. I would advise that you use this subreddit as much as possible through your journey, and not only when you relapse. I've actually stayed away from fapping for a year and a half, it was so empowering knowing that I can and will achieve much greater than that. I know I just recently relapsed and I responded by telling myself that I was just gonna keep doing the same but just try harder this time. That's when I remembered a quote that says "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result". While this may or may not be true in some circumstances, when it comes to discipline and self-control we have to see what went wrong the last time we did relapse, and work on that mistake. Which brings me to why I'm writing this, I thought you all could use a few pointers that has helped me stay away from fapping:

*If you've relapsed, report it to NoFap or to a close friend, find out the reason why you did then state what you're going to do differently this time in order to avoid that mistake in the future*

This is to help you keep accountable to what you're doing. Humans have a natural tendency to be irresponsible if they're not held accountable. By reporting it to someone it also helps you gain encouragement and an outside perspective when you do discuss it with people or a person. Those who think they can handle it and do it all on their own are usually the ones who fall the hardest, it takes a lot of strength in character to be able to admit you have a problem or that you've messed something up, I look up to people who can and are willing to admit their problems. Keeping it to yourself is the easy route. However, after you've done this, you want to make sure you talk about what you're going to do differently this time. Make sure you state what you've learned from that mistake so you won't repeat it again. This helps give room for a productive and forward thinking conversation, instead of just basking in regret of your mistake. You'll start to think like a winner, and a determined person. We're all not perfect and we all experience problems and shortcomings, but I think the real winners are the one's who accept their mistakes, identify what went wrong, and proceed to fix it. It's how we learn, build, and perfect anything. So in sum accept and identify that you did relapse, find out why you did relapse (in other words, what happened/preceded before you relapsed), and state a solution for that problem if you come across it again in the future.

*Most of the battle in this journey will have to be won in your mind first*

Now this point is probably the biggest of all and has been the factor behind most of my successes in life period! You have to come to a decision about what kind of thoughts you want to think, and those thoughts will make you who you are. They become a part of your personality and behaviour. These thoughts eventually expand and form the type of person who you are or who you want to be. I'm not just saying this because it sounds nice, it's backed up by scientific evidence summed up in Amy Cuddy's TED talk. It's a bit of a lengthy video but trust me, it's totally worth it! That talk can help you in more ways than one, and is a gold mine for becoming and achieving anything you want to. This is basically done if you "fake it, til you make it". When you change your thoughts, your behaviour basically cannot help but become what you think. Don't feel confident? don't feel encouraged? don't feel like you'll last long? Forget all those thoughts! Fake your confidence, determination, and self-disciplin until you become it! Watch the TED talk, she sums it up way better.

This brings me to my reason as to why you have to win the battle in your mind first is because you are driven to act like you think. This is also based in the psychological concept of cognitive dissonance, which is basically a psychological discomfort you experience when your thoughts/cognition don't align with your behavior. So for example when you keep thinking about pornography/sex/masturbating, and at the same time trying to convince yourself that won't do it. You're straight up lieing to your self, your being dishonest. When you experience this, you have two options: change your thoughts or change your behavior. You can see more explanations or examples from this video. In simple terms, you're trying to take away the discomfort of your conflicting thoughts and behavior by changing one of two things: your thoughts or your behavior.

This is the major battle with masturbating, you have to win this battle in your mind, and not just through good intentions alone. Don't deceive yourself and think you're just watching something NSFW and that you won't do anything, you're just deceiving yourself. And you don't wanna be a deceptive person, especially not to yourself. So conclude that the situation is bad for you period! Get that straight in your mind and don't get caught up in it, because human behavior doesn't work like that way. Decide from now on, that once a situation has pornography/nudity/your fetish/arousing conversations and thoughts, etc, it WILL lead you to relapse. If you don't take the time to figure this out, you'll be convincing yourself to act in a way that doesn't align with your behavior. You will then experience the cognitive dissonance, and will be compelled to change your behavior, to masturbate, in order to align with the arousing thoughts. So make the journey easy for you, don't make this harder than it needs to be. Take the path of least resistance and use that time to build up your strength, self-control, and discipline.

*Change your reward system when you accomplish no fapping in a day, week, and month*

Here you have to change how you reward yourself, because maybe some of us tend think that "since I've gotten this far i deserve a reward so I should fap/watch porn/look at some girls/boys online". This is another fall into deception, because your body is going to try all kinds of ways to get back into the old routine of things. Instead, what you can do is change how you reward yourself. For example, you can go watch a movie/ eat at your favorite restaurant/ go shopping/ tell someone to hold your ps3/xbox until you've achieved a month without fapping. Whatever it is make sure the reward applies to you and your life, it has to be something that you consider valuable or a treat to yourself. You have to change the way you celebrate successes, and what you celebrate with. So you not only are controlling you're thoughts and what you say to yourself now, your also controlling what you're rewarding yourself with too. Wow, your actually REALLY taking control of your life now!

Set goals for yourself by the day, week, month...........no I'm serious, right them down right now!!! Get creative with yourself and put it in a calendar, mark off the dates, count down to the week/month/months/year. Get as involved into setting these goals for yourself as you can. Put it in your reminders.

*Be realistic about the challenges, create "avoidance routines" routines*

When your making out this plan for yourself, be realistic and list all the possible obstacles and temptations you think you will face and that you've faced in the past. The point here is so that you won't be surprised when something doesn't go the way you expected. One thing in this journey is that you don't ever wanna be surprised, do you ever see army men surprised when they go into battle? No! Because they train for every possible situation, so when they actually experience the battlefield, they have all the set routines for situations they may face. You know why secret agents, army men, police, etc train for so long?? It's because the training is to help them come up with possible routines about possible problems they can face in their line of work. So sit down and come up with an action plan, training or "avoidance routine" just like them, listing each problem you can and WILL face, then come up with methods or routines of how you will escape or avoid these problems.

*The first part is always the hardest, but once you can get over that you can make it the rest of the way!*

When people start any task, learn a new skill or topic, or make life changes, it almost always goes good for the first period they commit. This is totally normal, and that's why you hear a lot people going so hard at first and ready to take on the world. That's the nice part about making these changes! but sadly this part will fade with time and that's when your body will begin to say "alright, I've been out of my comfort zone for too long, it's time to go back to my normal routine". This is when you'll start feeling all the urges and all the mental/physical strings tugging you get back to your old habits. I want you to know that this is totally natural and you will experience it like any normal human being. It's happening because your starving your body of something, so it's gonna fight back, it's not gonna go away without a fight in you. But it's not about size of the dog in this fight, it's about the size of the fight in the dog. In other words, how determined are you to fight for this self-discipline and to gain your trust back? if you really want it you'll have to implement some mindhacks called "self talk" and you'll have to keep your mind mentally focused on your goal and nothing else. Wikipedia has an article on self talk here, it's basically what kind of conversation you have with yourself inside your head. People in some social psychology experiments who have talked to themselves leaning to one point of view, have been seen to make decisions based on what they were thinking about. So learn this skill and you can get past this tough part combined with reducing cognitive dissonance.

*It will take a while until you can trust yourself again, but for now you can't*

One thing you'll have to come to terms with is that you cannot trust yourself right now, because each time you convince yourself that you can be trusted not to fap, you relapse again.... again.... and maybe sometimes for numerous occasions. Don't make this cycle in your life, I'm sure you don't want that, you want to live life to the fullest and not just be in this repetitive cycle of relapses. So you have to also admit that you cannot trust yourself for now because of what has happened. It's nothing bad, it's just the reality of things. Trust is one of those things that is broken easily, but takes a while to build back up again. That's because it's a very valuable thing, and anything worth having in life, is worth fighting for. So fight for it, fight for this trust back and stop at nothing to build it back up again! I want you to be able to trust yourself, so take time with this, take it one day at a time. You'll see your confidence in yourself grow day by day, and week by week. This confidence is key to help you keep going.

One of the downfalls of accomplishment is that when we achieve something or get over a milestone we tend to get cocky and pride seeps in. DON'T DO THIS, it's like the start of your path back to relapse practically. If you achieve let's say a week, reward yourself, but focus on the next prize and keep going. That's why it's good to set many goals and not just one ultimate goal. So in short, don't get all cocky once you start going stay humble and keep setting goals.

*Hold yourself accountable by emailing your future self*

This is not something you necessarily need to do, but I think it's good to help you put most of your resources into helping yourself gain confidence, trust, and self-discipline. You can email your self through this site called futureme.org and it lets you write an email to your self but you get to set the date you'll receive the email. So you can write a letter to yourself asking yourself and encouraging yourself in your journey hoping that your journey is going good and hoping that you accomplished a lot by that date. Make yourself accountable in the email, and put expectations that you hoped to have achieved by then.

These are some of my tips that i used to success, sorry it's a bit lengthy but i really hope they work for you. Leave me a comment below if you have questions. All the best in this journey, I know you'll make it, you have it in you! If nobody believed in you in this life, I do, and I'm here along with everyone else to support you through this journey.

TLDR; A summary of the main points:

  • Admit that masturbating/pornography/lust,etc. is a problem you have, identify why it occurs (what happens that causes you to do it), and say what you'll do in order not to repeat that mistake. This creates a productive and "forward thinking" conversation instead of just complaining and living in regret.
  • The battle you have to win is mostly in your mind. Who cares if you don't feel like how you should, "fake it til you make it" and reduce that cognitive dissonance.
  • Change your reward system, and how you define rewards. Set rewards for a certain amount of days, weeks, months, and even for a year!
  • Be realistic about the challenges you'll face and create "avoidance routines". All people in fields/sports/services that require discipline do it, so you should too ;)
  • The first part is always the hardest, but once you can get over that you can make it the rest of the way!
  • It will take a while until you can trust yourself again, but for now you can't. Trust, most importantly with yourself, takes time to build back.
  • Hold yourself accountable by emailing your future self! This will help you reflect on the kind of person you want to become at a later date, and be sure to state some expectations for yourself. This way you can't blame anybody or anything for not living up to the expectations, because these are your own expectations.

Here's to you!!! Get started!