There are a lot of misconceptions out there in regards to the porn addiction recovery process, and today I hope to discuss one of the more common misconceptions that people have.
Essentially, I hope to address the misconception that motivation can be an effective driving force for change.
In actual fact, I believe this pursuit for motivation is one of the most common reasons why people end up struggling with their recovery so unnecessarily for so long.
So let’s try and understand why.
The primary problem with motivation is that it fluctuates.
You can have motivation one moment, only to feel completely demotivated the next.
This is especially true if you’re relatively new to recovery, and you haven’t yet developed the fundamental skills to not take your emotions personally etc.
Put simply, motivation is not a solid principle to live your life by.
It is not a fundamental truth which will always be there to guide you, and is no different to placing your faith in your emotions or your feelings.
Emotions change. Feelings disappear. And ultimately, what we are trying to learn with NeverFap Deluxe is to put all these things aside and instead focus on the fundamentals of recovery.
In our particular case, this means focusing our attention on the process of recovery. Our daily meditation. Our commitment to consistent practice. Our commitment to remaining calm.
And when you do this you guarantee results, and furthermore, you guarantee consistent change.
Arguably what makes the process so powerful is that it doesn’t change, and it always remains the same no matter whether you’re happy, sad or downright depressed.
If you stick to the process, if you commit to the practices and you commit to your mental health, then your outcomes will always work in your favour.
I suppose the reason why motivation has become such a popular idea is because it's logically attractive on multiple levels.
A lot of people develop this idea that if they can build up enough motivation, and furthermore maintain that motivation, then they’ll be able to succeed with their goals.
And they wouldn’t be wrong.
The problem is that it’s literally impossible to sustain consistent motivation, especially when also dealing with something like porn addiction (not to mention other mental health issues) which is why everyone who pursues motivation as a driving force for change always ends up relapsing.
But of course, that isn’t enough to deter people.
Instead, it merely reinforces their belief that motivation is the answer and in addition, reinforces this idea that they’re simply too “dumb” or “stupid” to make it work.
And that they simply need to be more motivated next time, inspite of the fact that this is precisely what they were trying to do originally to no avail.
In a sense, I think it would be fair to describe motivation as a poor man’s process.
Not only because your process is now conditional based on how you’re currently feeling, but because it also doesn’t guarantee anything.
It’s a very indirect way of saying “I need to be motivated so I don’t relapse” as opposed to saying “I won’t relapse inspite of how I feel”.
Because the reality of life is that things don't always go how you want it to.
Sometimes you have days that are completely out of your control, and there’s no reason why that should affect your recovery and development as a human being.
I suppose the question I pose to people who value motivation so much is: “Why give this one aspect so much power over your outcome?”
And of course, you shouldn’t. No one should.
As it’s this kind of thinking which traps people into cycles of helplessness, where they question why they ended up relapsing, inspite of all the effort they spent trying not to.
Oh, and that’s another thing to mention. Constantly trying to keep yourself motivated and trying to manipulate your emotions is tiring.
No different to consistent self-criticism, all it takes is one slip up to have it all go to waste and when you’re constantly exhausted all the time, then you can imagine how unreliable this system of change really is.
Listen, there’s nothing wrong with feeling motivated. It’s a great feeling. But relying on it is only going to end in disaster.
Instead, we’re all about developing self-control so that we can be effective regardless of how we feel.
The other problem with motivation on a fundamental level is that it largely conflicting with one of the Fundamental Principles of NeverFap Deluxe, Struggle Over None, which states that anything which makes our recovery more difficult cannot fundamentally help us.
Pursuing motivation is one of those things that makes us struggle inspite of it's perceived benefits, which means it cannot effectively help us compared to other strategies.
Instead, we’re all about making it easier, which means mastering and sticking to the basics first.
What this means is learning to develop self-control inspite of how motivated you feel, and this is why NeverFap Deluxe places such a strong emphasis on process.
Only through a process of practice and consistency can we develop resilience, as well as look beyond our feelings which are constantly fluctuating and changing.
Where a lot of people go wrong is that they assume the recovery process is all about feeling happy and motivated - which isn’t true at all.
Being happy and motivated is what the end result of all our hard work will be, but the actual process itself is about following principle, so that we can understand how to achieve this goal.
Ultimately, the process is about learning to be resilient and mentally balanced, which is to say that being happy and motivated is not a substitute for balance itself.
Yes, you are those things when you are balanced, but they are not balance itself, especially when you’re starting out.
So stick to the fundamentals, don’t forget your duty to the process, and you’ll always come out ahead.