Identifying and Understanding Influences
Training ourselves to be aware of feelings, thoughts, and influences that lead us to use pornography takes practice. Rather than just saying we’re going to stop viewing pornography, we can learn to develop plans that identify underlying influences and address them in a healthy manner. In the video above, professionals and others explore the concept of self-awareness and how it helps us understand the complex reasons why we may use pornography.
As we identify the individual biological, psychological, social, and spiritual influences in our lives, we can more effectively address our pornography problems. Influences are things that affect our decisions and behaviors. When we recognize these influences and their impact on our behavioral patterns, we can better understand why we act the way we do. Understanding our influences is key to making plans that lead to sustainable progress.
Some of our influences, like our biological sex drive, are natural and a part of life. Others take work to resolve. Being aware of our influences helps us change our perspective of ourselves and escape the shame that can hinder us from making changes.
Having a clear vision of who we want to become as disciples of Christ and recognizing that healthy sexuality is central to the plan of happiness helps us choose alternate paths and maintain sexual feelings that stay safely within God’s boundaries.
Making Effective Plans
We are all unique, and our reasons for using pornography are different. The plans we make to overcome pornography will be different for each of us. A few things we might do to create successful plans include:
- Writing down our plans and stating our goals clearly, then sharing, evaluating, and adjusting our plans.
- Identifying how we will stay on course, even when we encounter setbacks.
- Inviting a spouse, parent, family member, or other person to evaluate and follow up with us on our plans. It can be helpful to report to someone else regularly on how well our plans are working.
Ideas for Taking Action
Here are some ideas that others have found helpful. Prayerfully consider what actions might be best for you, taking into account that they may or may not be listed here.
Learn more about biological, psychological, social, and spiritual influences.
Consider learning more about what healthy sexuality is. Seeking personal revelation on this topic can be a good place to start. (See “What’s the biggest difference between what the world teaches and what the gospel teaches about sexuality?” and “How do I focus on a gospel view of sexuality?”) What else might help you understand this aspect of the plan of salvation?
List your influences and their type (biological, psychological, social, or spiritual).