• mbkastleman

What Got You Into Your Porn Addiction, Can Help Get You Out!



Whether you realize it or not, a lot of persistent and consistent behavior has built your porn addiction. You can learn how to take that same persistent, consistent ability and use it to begin breaking free.

Persistent and Consistent


As I help people all over the world get on the path to overcoming their unwanted sexual behaviors, one of the things I often teach is the fact that “the same kind of process that got you into your unwanted behaviors and addictions can get you out." I want to talk about that a little bit today. There are two virtually interchangeable words that help illustrate this principle. These word embody the things that I think are the special ingredients in the recipe for change. The two words are persistent and consistent.


Without these two, all of the therapy, tools, techniques, training and technology within the Reclaim Intensive Recovery program wouldn’t be very effective. They must be persistently and consistently applied. Now when I say the same kind of process that gets us into our addictions can get us out, if you think about it, being persistent and consistent really applies. The way we develop these entrenched habits and addictions is we consistently and persistently pursue them in our lives until they become automatic, the brain goes on autopilot. It really is that consistent and persistent process that gets us into porn addiction and makes it so hard to break free.



The Most Difficult Part of Breaking Free From Porn Addiction


Let’s talk about persistency and consistency. These are simple ideas—we pretty much understand what they are. But unfortunately they’re some of the most difficult parts of the process of change. If you look at these words and their definitions they simply mean “the act of repeating a behavior over and over again, over time.” And the synonyms that go along with these words would be things like tenacity, doggedness, determination, perseverance. And of course you can see that the definition and the synonyms really do apply to how we build unwanted behaviors and addictions over time, and why they’re so strong, so set and so entrenched.


The key lies in how to apply persistency inconsistency to the process of breaking free to a recovery process. Sounds easy and simple right? If I apply the same process that got me into this mess, I should be able to apply it to get out. Well, there are a couple of things about the human brain and behavior that make that process difficult. First, we have a hard time understanding that there is a difference between what we call initial brain activation and long-term brain restructuring. Whenever we have a desire to change—we read a book, listen to a seminar, or come onto this website listen to a podcast, read an article, we think, ” I really want to do this, I’m going to start changing right now.”


Are You a "Racehorse" or "Workhorse"?


And so, like a racehorse we burst out of the gate and speed down the track filled with energy and enthusiasm. Fueled by the novelty, the newness, the excitement and anticipation of the information, we can actually make some initial short-term changes. The problem is, as that racehorse charges down the track, after a while it’s going to tire, slow down and eventually collapse on the track. It runs out of that initial energy and excitement. This is the same thing that happens with the human brain and behavior change. Initial enthusiasm and excitement are enough to get us out of the gate, and around the track a couple of times, but it isn’t enough to help us continue long term and being persistent and consistent in the change process.


So rather than a racehorse, we need to think of ourselves as a workhorse that comes out of the gate slow and steady, and plods down the track one step at a time, doing the hard work of change day after day, and can go for as long as it takes to build the long-term brain restructuring. Remember, you didn’t form your unwanted behaviors or addiction overnight. It took a lot of repetition, consistency and persistency over time. It only makes sense that it’s going to take time to break out. Now there are a lot of things I've put into the Reclaim program so that you can accelerate the process of change. It isn’t going to take the same amount of years that were required to form your addiction, to break free. But it is going to take a significant amount of time and effort.



How Long Does it Take to Break Out of Porn Addiction?


How long is different for everybody. It depends on how long you’ve been in your addiction, how severe it is, your background and personality, your motivation level, and many other factors.

Now, when I say that it takes time to change it doesn’t mean that you can’t begin experiencing some really positive changes immediately, right now, upfront—you can. I find that through the tools, techniques and support in the Reclaim program, many of my clients start having success pretty quickly. But the real key is to maintain that success once you begin experiencing it.


My greatest challenge is not helping individuals start breaking free of unwanted behaviors. The greatest challenge is once they begin having that success, to help them stay on track and remain on that path of success and continue to use what they’re learning and continue to evolve and develop in the process. They need to do it long enough so that they can achieve the long-term brain structuring while actually shrinking the addiction circuitry, and establishing and expanding new healthy circuitry. And that takes consistent effort and practice over time.



Creating a "Superhighway" in Your Brain


Let me give you another example of how this works. Let’s say you’re standing on the edge of a really thick jungle and you can see clear over to the other side that there’s a destination you want to get to. So what do you do? You pull out your machete and start hacking your way through the jungle clearing a path to your goal. The work is hard, laborious and you’re sweating and straining to hack your way through the jungle to make that initial pathway. The next time you travel that same pathway it’s a little bit easier and soon you’re able to put your machete away. Soon you begin walking down the path, and the vegetation is gradually pressed down and the dirt begins to appear. And as you consistently and persistently practice and travel that pathway over time the hard dirt begins to appear and you can begin jogging and even running on the pathway. Eventually with enough repetition you actually form a superhighway.


This is exactly how circuitry in the brain works. Whenever we try to overcome an unwanted behavior or addiction we have to start hacking a new pathway in the brain and as we repeat those new behaviors, as we practice over and over again each day consistently, the path becomes more traveled, more smooth until it becomes a superhighway. Now, what happens if you stop traveling that pathway? Well, the vegetation will start to grow over again and eventually will become a thick jungle again. The same thing happens with your addiction circuitry. Each time you choose healthy behaviors in place of your addiction, the addiction circuitry in your brain shrinks—the vegetation begins to grow over the pathway, until it becomes a thick jungle. So in the brain, it really is a matter of “use it or lose it.”



Your Brain is a "Muscle"—Constantly Shrinking and Expanding


It’s like a muscle – if you exercise it, it expands and strengthens and if you stop using it, it atrophies and shrinks. And that’s how behavior change works in the brain—it’s why consistency and persistency are so critical. Of course that addiction circuitry is still there even though it’s dormant and shriveled. But if you return to your addictive behaviors the circuitry is more than happy to expand and turn back into a superhighway. So circuitry in the brain is shrinking and expanding based on our choices—based on what we practice each day.


It’s great to think of being consistent and persistent each day, but you have to practice the right behaviors and techniques and use the right tools in order to create long-term brain restructuring and permanent change. And that’s what the Reclaim program is all about. I want to make sure that what you’re doing each day consistently is the most effective way for you to change your unwanted behaviors. So I’ve spent many years working with people all over the world to perfect these tools, training and resources so that as you are consistent and persistent at doing the things that are the most effective for change. If you have a desire to break out of unwanted sexual behaviors, I invite you to get involved with the Reclaim program. I’ve designed it to help you use many of the same processes that got you into your unwanted behaviors and now harness those to get you out.

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