There are a number of very unhelpful mindsets floating around the reboot community. Left unchecked, they are downright streak killers.
These mindsets must be avoided and corrected by anyone who wishes to successfully recover long-term from porn addictin or erectile dysfunction.
The all-or-nothing streak mentality
Almost no-one completes their reboot on the first or even second try. Mad respect for the champs who do. But alas, that is not the destiny of most. Usually there are a few dozen, hundred or thousand false starts.
The common mistake is to assume that unless you reach 90, the time spent rebooting is worthless and all progress made was undone by a single relapse.
This is very unlikely to be true.
When rebooting, the old neural pathways you had developed through regular porn consumption don’t get activated. Because of this they start to slowly fade away. In other words, the old “grooves” in your brain get shallower and shallower.
Little by little this erodes the pull of porn, making it easier to finally get all the way to 90 days and porn-free living.
Focusing too much on 90
90 days is a damn long time. Three whole months. Think back about three months ago to a day you can remember. Seems like a long time ago, doesn’t it?
Rebooter’s days are long and the weeks are even longer. Focusing on 90 will make the road seem ever longer, which makes hopelessness start to creep in.
A better approach is to only ever focus on the NOW.
The current 24 hours at most, and the next hour or even ten minutes at best. Making sure that you keep strong right now will eventually bring you to 90 days, but dreaming about 90 days won’t bring it any closer.
Besides, the 90 days is just a commonly agreed upon reboot length. Your mileage may vary in both directions by quite a lot. That makes the 90 days quite an arbitrary goal to aim for.
Over reliance on willpower
Willpower works like a muscle. It needs time to recover, some things energize it and it can get fatigued. If it gets too tired, it fails.
When you are doing a reboot you are lifting heavy. Damn heavy.
Over-reliance (or just regularly relying on it at all) is the worst mistake a rebooter can make and all too common in the community.
A common misperception is also that it will always be at your disposal. Think back on your life, do you always have the willpower you needed? Or was it there one day, and just gone the next?
If I don’t want to eat sweets, I won’t buy them from the store. I just won’t have them around me at all and I would remove myself from any situation where candy is being served.
At the time of the writing of this post I am dieting to reduce my body fat percentage down to about 8-10%.
Because of this I only buy one days foods at a time.
This means I go to the store every single day. I also never go before the afternoon because I am doing intermittent fasting and that’s when I eat my first meal.
I simply do not trust myself to not eat more food than my calorie limit allows for that day if that food is available.
Could I buy more food at a time and manage to eat only what I’ve planned for that day?
But it’s a useless investment of my willpower and I’m not willing to take that chance.
Rebooting for someone else
Rebooting for someone (whether real or imagined, like potential future children) can be a wonderful motivator.
The danger comes when that’s your only motivation.
People are fickle creatures and may change their minds. Drama can occur and your motivation to do this for that particular person may falter.
The reason to reboot should never be on shaky ground.
If you are doing this for a romantic partner and he/she breaks up with you, it may result to a “fuck it!” effect of binging that can set you back days, weeks or even months.
Rebooting to get benefits
The rebooting process is not linear. Each day won’t be better than the next. In fact, it is not uncommon to experience long periods of difficulties either in the form of a flat-line or strong and frequent urges.
Since your mileage may vary it may potentially take an exceedingly long time to achieve similar benefits as your peers. Especially porn induced erectile dysfunction may take a very long time to heal.
Hard times can seriously undermine your chances of success if your motivation to reboot is to gain the benefits experienced by others.
Rarely does the promise of benefits measure up to the urges of now.
Relying on motivation
Motivation waxes and wanes. By its nature it has ups and downs. One moment it is there and the next, it’s not.
Only rebooting when you “feel like it” or are motivated to do so will certainly lead you to doom. After all, we’re addicts and sooner or later we will feel like watching porn.
If motivation doesn’t happen to be available in those moment, how do we get through them?
Instead the focus should be on following and perfecting a disciplined system that works for you. A system that you follow in the good times and the bad, come hell or high-water.
Edging or porn is acceptable if you don’t orgasm
Pretty much the only reason you need to never edge is the danger of relapse.
In terms of self-control, it’s like waving chocolate cake in front of your mouth without taking a bite. Sooner or later everyone buckles.
Edging is also probably the worst thing you can do to your recovery.
After orgasm your body releases prolactin, which brings the excessive dopamine down to normal levels.
When edging or watching porn without bringing yourself to orgasm, you are creating an endless maelstrom of dopamine within your brain.
Without the natural stopper of orgasm, your brain is overwhelmed by dopamine for extended periods of time, which creates further desensitization.
Wet dreams or sex are relapses
You have no power over wet dreams, they are your bodies’ natural mechanism for releasing pent up sexual energy.
They are not relapses, because they happen outside your control. Take them as a positive sign that you are recovering!
Sex is a healthy expression of your sexuality and should never be demonized.
A healthy fulfilling life involves a satisfying sex-life.
Furthermore, sex involves intimacy and engagement, the two factors missing from porn that make it such an unfulfilling experience.
Even going “monk mode” should have more to do with minimizing urges and focusing fully on rebooting from porn addiction. It might also have to do with recovering from ED before getting back out there in the dating pool.
Sexual abstinence for the sake of abstinence is not an achievement.
So prepare yourself for the chaser effect, then go ahead and enjoy.
Urges and flat-lines are a bad thing
Urges and flat-lines are uncomfortable and annoying for sure, but they are not fundamentally a bad thing.
Quite the opposite in fact. Similarly to wet dreams, they show that you are well on your road to recovering.
Use flat-lines as time to take a breather and reflect on your road so far and consider urges as an opportunity to re-commit to your reboot.
Not taking this seriously enough
A half-assed attempt will always end in demise.
But there’s more to this than that.
Taking your reboot seriously also means learning from your earlier mistakes and adopting a working plan.
It’s about self-reflecting after each relapse to consider what went wrong and what can be done in the future to avoid a similar situation.
Never make the same mistake twice.
If you don’t change at least one thing for your next attempt, you are doing it wrong. After all, the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over, expecting different results.
- Consider which of these mindsets you currently have in your reboot
- Change your mindset and approach to a more productive one