We live in a society that throws many things in our face that demand a response: “Obey your thirst!” in the words of one commercial.
So maybe it’s not surprising that many of us end up getting swept away with lots of different habits. Self-control isn’t easy in a society serving up a hundred quick and immediate ways to feel better now. Even if these things make us feel way worse later—well, we’ll think about that when we get there, right?
That’s pretty much why we’re here—to help you regain power over an area where you’ve been mesmerized by some short-term stimulation. Compared to the promise of a quick fix, however, we’re exploring long-lasting solutions—ways to feel better tomorrow and every day after that.
Why Self-Control Matters
So why would self-control matter for this? If you can’t direct your own life, then you’ve given that control over to someone or something else. And who wants that? Self-control is a crucial part of a healthy, happy life. Those who don’t have it end up hurting themselves and those they love immensely. That’s because relationships and love require sacrifice.
If you don’t have the ability to let go of some of the immediate gratifications in life, then you won’t be reliable and constant in a relationship. Rather than being guided by the needs of others, you’ll be driven by whatever feeling you’re having in a given moment.
Many Fighters have also found that one area of addictive struggle can feed into another. For instance, if you binge on a ton of doughnuts or television or video games, in the hours afterward, you’re probably going to be more likely to turn to pornography or other unwanted sexual behaviors.
Why is this? It’s actually pretty simple. These compulsive habits are exercising the same brain pathways, sparking the same kind of chemical rush that is seen with pornography and other compulsive sexual behaviors. In this way, when you engage in other addictive habits, you may be priming the brain, “greasing the wheels” in a sense, to want more pornography.
Many kinds of harmful habits can even set someone up for a pornography struggle. Some who struggle with their temper, for instance, by getting angry easily and regularly, are also more likely to have a pornography problem. If you struggle with any addictive behavior—such as gambling, excessive shopping, alcohol, drugs, anger, self-harm, overeating, binge eating, under-eating, etc.—it’s probably feeding into and fueling your pornography problem as well.
This Does Not Define You
When several negative habits exist together, it can be especially discouraging. You may hear from others, “You’re just an impulsive person,” or, “Maybe you’ve got an addictive personality.”
Don’t believe them. Remember, it’s common for several addictions to exist at once. And even more to the point: this isn’t who you are. This struggle does not define you. We’ve said that before, and we’ll say it again, and we’ll say it to you personally if you want to call us on the phone!
The good news is that as you regain control in one area, it can start to multiply freedom in other areas.
Some believe that e struggling with multiple negative habits, they may all be reflecting the same basic problem—namely, turning to something as a “fix” to escape from the uncomfortable parts of life. That’s the definition of any addictive behavior.
What Can You Do Today?
So think about your life. What other addictions, bad habits, or compulsive behaviors do you see? Are there other ways you try to escape from uncomfortable feelings or situations, besides pornography? We bet you’ve never considered that those other behaviors could be linked to your pornography habit, have you? But they are!
OK, so now you’re thinking, Now what? How can I get rid of my unwanted behaviors? Wait, didn’t we talk about something like that in the last week? That’s right. In fact, nearly everything that we have discussed can help with pretty much any other unwanted habit.
So next time you want to turn to a quick fix, try using STAR or leveraging one of the other strategies against whatever compulsion you are facing.