Fight it like a Navy Seal
Right up front I stole some of parts of my post from this article by Bakari Akil II Ph.D.
I have recently been communicating with several men about their struggle with porn and getting free. A lot of them express a desire to get through the day without getting caught up in their addiction. From what I have seen in my own life and experience we follow our routines to the point of unawareness. Have you ever gotten to work, and thought “I am not totally sure how I got here”. Ok, maybe it is just me.
If I go through my day unaware there is more of a tendency to do things which are unproductive or unhealthy. I am going with the flow. I don’t have a real plan, I am just going through the motions.
Then BAM, something new happens and I am caught in a bad situation. I am not ready for a change in the flow and I wasn’t paying attention to the events leading me to this point. Now I have to react quickly or I am in deep trouble.
Years of addiction proved that my reactions were not enough to keep me sober. When it comes to my addiction, I needed more preparation to react well, so I didn’t fall into my routine (or rut). Now, like a good boy scout my motto is “Be Prepared”. Because porn in all of its subtle forms shows up everywhere in the US society. TV. Billboards. Even the soap dispenser in our kitchen has a woman in a bikini on it.
To withstand this kind of bombardment throughout your day you have to have a plan.
“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower
OK, so you need to do some planning.
“Is that better Gen. Eisenhower?” “Yes, continue.”
Your planning needs to happen before you get to the crucial moment. So, before you go to bed, plan out your next day. Always knowing some things may change, but at least you have a starting point.
BUD/s – Navy Seals
Here is the Navy Seal part. If you didn’t read the article up front here is the gist: to graduate from the Seal program you have to stay underwater for twenty minutes in your dive gear. No problem, right? Except you are under constant harassment by the instructor who is cutting off your air and ability to see. A lot of the guys freak out and leave the program, about 25% of all Seal students graduate. This test knocks most of them out, even though they get four attempts.
Disciplined, motivated, and tough-as-nails sailors struggle to survive the school.
Here is how the training changed to get more guys through the program. They started planning for the event before they got into the pool. There are four steps in the planning: goal setting, mental rehearsal, self-talk (the voice in your head), and arousal control (it’s like they know me or something).
Now back to your nightly planning.
Set your goals for the next day. Not to watch porn, connect with your wife, get a project done; real tangible goals.
Next rehearse in your mind what you will do to meet your goals: exercise, use FANOS when talking to my wife, and don’t pick up my phone or computer first thing in the morning …
Then monitor your self-talk. The voice in your head can “speak” to you at about 300 – 1000 words per minute. It is a tidal wave of talk. You will have to capture your self-talk and direct it to a successful outcome. Speak to yourself either out loud or in your head about how you have prepared and how you are succeeding.
Finally, arousal control is about your breathing. Our breathing changes when we get frightened or turned-on, this can diminish the oxygen in our blood stream and cause certain parts of our brain to shut down. So breathe – relax – breathe. Just the process of breathing will help you reframe the event in your mind so you can respond better.
Follow this same process when you get up in the morning. Don’t pick up your phone or laptop; take control of your day.
When you are fighting like a Navy Seal you are not just gliding through life, you are on your guard. You have been planning what to do as you go through your day. You are encouraging yourself through self-talk. You are ready for anything. When the situation changes breathe, refocus.
Your enemy is trying to take you out with the next little slip. Don’t let him.