Here are some of the most serious false beliefs that kept me trapped in my addiction.
I was able to identify my negative beliefs through Journaling, by looking at the A-B-C-D model. I then re-wrote my negative belief with a statement of truth, as you can see in the examples below.
Belief #1: “Uncontrolled erection is a sign that I have an uncontrollable animal inside of me.”
I think an erection was one of my earliest sexual experiences. Nobody told me that this was supposed to happen, and I really wanted to make it go away. I tried to use my will power to make it stop, but couldn’t get it to work. Eventually, my erections began to serve as an indicator that there was a part of me – my sexuality – that was stronger than my willpower and that there was no way for me to control it.
…is that erections are not bad at all; they are one of the greatest gifts of life. They are signs that I have the power to use my love to create another life. They are signs that I can have a family of my own. This truly is a beautiful and wonderful gift, and I am thankful for it.
Belief #2: “Every man has secret sexual desires that cause them to cheat on their wives; they just don’t talk to anyone about it. All men are born this way.”
… is that all men do have sexual desires. This is part of the great gift of sexuality. However, this does not mean that men have to cheat and that all men will cheat. Many men do, but many men do not. It is my life, and I was given a power to make the choices of what I want to do with my life. I can choose to disperse my sexuality onto thousands of women, or I can choose to save it for the special woman in my life. The choice is always mine and mine only.
Belief #3: “If somebody knew about my dirty secrets, they would have lost all respect for me.”
…is that sharing my experience with others is the only way for me to be whole again. For most of my life, I thought that I could not ever be happy if I were to tell somebody about my secrets.
Now I realize that the only way for me to be happy is through sharing my experience with others. There are plenty of supportive and understanding people out there who have had similar experiences, and who would not judge me and will support me on my journey towards become the best man that I can be.
Belief #4: “Pornography is a safe and healthy way to explore my sexuality; it is just a tool that I can use to keep my animal instincts at bay.”
…is that pornography is the worst way to explore my sexuality. Through intensive pornography use over many years, I completely redefined my definition of sexuality, and what I considered to be acceptable. I went from looking at models when I was a teenager, dreaming of one day meeting my true love, to looking at hardcore pornography.
Eventually even this was no longer enough for me, so I kept on looking for harder and harder stuff. Pornography, acting as a drug, was tapping directly into the pleasure centers of my brain. That is why I was able to spend hours watching pornography, while it felt like I could not concentrate on any other task for longer than 5 to 10 minutes.
Belief #5: “Pornography is the only thing that I have to cope with life; without it, I have nothing.”
…is that pornography was the only response that I’d learned for coping with the stresses of life, but it is not the only response available to me. I am learning to develop a new healthy outlook on life, proper time management skills, meditation, and other techniques that would allow me to go through life without having to rely on pornography.
Belief #6: “I don’t know if I really want to quit, maybe it is OK to look.”
The truth …
… is that there is so much more to life than pornography. I only get one chance on this planet, and while it might have felt that pornography was the only thing that I truly enjoyed, in actuality it simply kept me trapped. When I look back at my life, all I can see are years of acting out. By no longer allowing pornography to dominate my life, I am able to follow my true dreams for myself.
Belief #7: “This is not my fault that I turned out this way; it is a result of what others have done to me.”
…is that I do not have control over what other people do in my life, but I always have control over how I choose to react to it. I accept full responsibility for everything that takes place in my life.
These are just 7 out of hundreds of negative beliefs that I was able to identify in the recent years.
These 7, however, were very powerful for me. I followed recommendations from Candeo Can and created an audio file of me reading out loud my statements of truth. I then uploaded this audio file into my iPod and continued to listen to it daily for the next 30 days.
I encourage you to identify 7 most powerful negative beliefs that keep you trapped.
I also encourage you to create an audio file with the positive statements of truth, and listen to them daily for the
next 30 days, in addition to your ERP practice and other healthy behaviors.
It sounds like a lot of work, but it takes about two hours of initial set up, and only 2-3 minutes per day to listen to the statements.
You can use Sound Recorder on your PC or Garage Band on your Mac. If neither of these options works on your computer, you can download audacity – free audio-recording software.
I apologize for overloading you with information over the past couple of weeks.
Let’s take a couple of days off, so you will have enough time to identify some of your false beliefs and make your audio recording. Also please make sure to keep up with your ERP practices, as well as other healthy activities that you chose for yourself.
In two days, we are going to take a look at a technique that I call mini-ERP. This technique is very useful in dealing with triggers when a full ERP practice is not available.