page contents

In this episode of “Sex Addictions and Porn Afflictions,” Craig Perra, certified professional coach and Founder of the “Mindful Habit to End Compulsive Behavior,” dives into stories from his addictive past, sharing tips on how to achieve stability in your life despite addiction. If you want success, you need personal infrastructure! He passionately shares client success stories and dishes out the secret to their success — personal infrastructure.

Listen to the Podcast OR Read the Transcription below!

PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION

BREAK A HABIT TO MAKE A HABIT

Hello my friends. My name is Craig Perra and this is Sex Addictions and Porn Afflictions. My goal is to help you use any crisis that you might be having around creating sexual authenticity in your life, your porn addiction or your sex addiction, to create great. And, today I want to talk about creating great.

You need personal infrastructure. This is the most powerful concept that I teach in my one-on-one coaching – Personal Infrastructure. Your thoughts are the result of decades of programming, the fact that your major psychological belief systems were likely wired in you by the time you were 12 years old, is significant.  

It may not be the sexiest. It may not be the most mind-blowing, awakening the “POWS”; But if you want sustainable, continuous improvement and you want to counterbalance your biologically-hardwired triggers,  “not doing the thing”,  is insufficient – because to break a habit you have to make a habit.

So, what the heck is personal infrastructure? Let me share with you a story. Back my lowest of the low. I am so grateful for that low, because it created a powerful awakening, an international business, a new way of life, doing what I love to do, but it started at that low.

So, there I was, back in therapy, talking about mom and dad again, talking about the sexual abuse that I experienced as a child, talking about being adopted, and at the same time I was obsessively researching habits, mindfulness, and I was studying the science of success.

When I looked at people who were successful I saw that, number one thing they had in common was the philosophy: to break a habit you have to make a habit.

“Wait a minute. That’s a scientific fact!” To break a habit, you have to make a habit. I hadn’t spent any time in the past few decades making new habits. So, I started to analyze my life : When I was doing well, when I was able to manage the triggers, when I wasn’t acting out, when I got to the destination and other previous historical points in my life, when I’d been successful – What was going on at that time?

Was I obsessively focusing on not doing the thing? Absolutely not. Absolutely not. To break a habit, you have to make a habit. Obsessively focusing on not doing the thing is only going to produce more of the thing.

When I was doing well, I had goals. I was sleeping well. I was eating well. I was hydrating my body. I was exercising. I was practicing mindfulness, and I realized that those are the new habits that I had to create for myself. I had to build, just like in business, because I’m a systems guy. I’ve been a lawyer professionally. I’ve run a compliance department professionally for billion-dollar companies. Infrastructure.

When I was in therapy there were no goals. There was no structure. There were no objectives. And, here I was simultaneously in a project management role. For the first time, I had stepped out of my legal role and moved into a business role, and I’m learning about process, work flows, infrastructure, success, what gets measured gets done, but I had no structure in my life.

None of my focus in any of the professional work that I was doing was dealing with this critical need to counterbalance all these negative parts of my life. I had no structure. There was no – personal –  infrastructure.

Your personal infrastructure is what do you need to do to maintain and gain the level of success that you wish to achieve today and beyond? What are the policies, processes? What are the things that you need to do to produce the results you seek?

When you’re finally free I absolutely promise you that that freedom will be coupled with you doing something else – with your infrastructure.

So, I elevated my process. I started hydrating. I started carrying a water bottle around with me all the time. I started eating well. I started exercising. I started meditating. Because if healthy is the destination then, “why don’t I start there?” Why am I spending all this time focusing on, “Don’t do the thing. Don’t do the thing. Don’t do the thing. Mom and dad. Trauma. This, that and the other thing. ahhh!” If you want success you need a personal infrastructure.

Again- I know this isn’t the sexiest of topics. I know everybody wants their mind blown -a revelation of, “oh, I know why I do this; because of that. I act this way because of mom. I act this way because of dad. I act this way because of that abuse. I act that way because of this.” That’s that family-of-origin model. And, there’s no question that work is very impactful, but not complete.   

In doing THIS work, over the course of the past five years, I have never had a client come to me with a slip, when they had a personal infrastructure in place. When they had identified the why, and moved forward in making themselves healthy, by breaking habits because they were making new ones.  In fact, I’ve never had a client come to me who was slipping in a dark place or anybody even call me in the beginning who was honoring what I call their fundamental five.

So, I want to give you some tips on how to create infrastructure. Remember this falls under the heading of “To break a habit you have to make a habit.” That means your success in not doing the thing is a function of you doing something else.

Let’s start with the basics. We have a tendency to overcomplicate things, but stop fooling yourself in thinking that you want to be successful, if you’re not taking care of these Five Fundamental things: Eating well, sleeping well, hydrating well, exercising well and meditating.

I’m going to say that again.

Eating, sleeping, drinking, exercising and practicing mindfulness.

Now, let me tell you about hydrating for a second. For me, my water bottle is never more than 10 feet away from me. The simple act of hydrating is keystone habit and when performed, increases the chances that other habits will be performed. Keep your water bottle nearby. If you go day without it, two days without it, you’ll find that you start slipping. The triggers started acting up. You’re not sleeping as well. Your eating starts to fall off. You run late for appointments, you’re not exercising, certainly not meditating – certainly not practicing any form of mindfulness.

So, the Fundamental Five are the basics, and please do not underestimate their power. I am literally begging you, because everybody’s looking for the magic solution, and I want you, right now, to close your eyes and visualize you being successful.

What actions are you performing? When you are successful in not doing the thing, it’s fair to say that you’re eating well, you’re sleeping well, you’re hydrating well, you’re exercising and you’re meditating. These are the basics. But, don’t underestimate the power of the basics.

I’ve got guys who call me with an understanding of the dopamine release of watching porn in the brain. For me, that’s a red herring. That means that that’s not something that I may be able to produce some results. But, the actions you take is the life you make. If that knowledge motivates you to do something else, then great. But, how do I get people to do this?

I want to introduce a concept for you because there are times when these simple acts are too much. Mini habits and Micro goals. These goals are goals that are ridiculously easy to attain.  I also want to take an incredible amount of pride in these. I love saying this because the results are so impactful.

If you’re not accomplishing your goals that you want to achieve for yourself, I don’t want you to make those goals more aggressive or give you a motivational speech that’s going to inspire you to accomplish them. Motivation is a lot like porn in that it’s short lived. It doesn’t last. I take such incredible pride in driving sustainable results, so I want you to lower the bar. Yeah. Yeah. I said it. Lower the bar.

You’re in a mental place. You’re depressed, lonely, scared, barely able to even function. You’re not eating well. You’re sleeping terribly. There’s no hydrating. Your pee is always very, very yellow. There’s no exercise. Getting out of bed is the only exercise that maybe you’re getting, and no mindfulness. Nothing is happening. Create Mini habits and Micro goals.

I want to tell you about a client who was morbidly obese-let’s call him Tom. I had a client who a month into our work I find out –Tom is 350 pounds. Listen, I’m talking about porn to this guy and he’s 350 pounds.

Now I’m thinking, I’ve got to expand the scope of the discussion. Here he is. This guy had means. He had a chef at one point. He had the personal trainer. He had all the workbooks, the videos. You name it, he invested in it. Nothing he did produced the results he seeked. In fact, he often put on more weight.

I gave him a mini habit and a micro goal, a ridiculously attainable goal. The goal that I set for him was to stand outside his house for 60 seconds a day wearing his running shoes and his shorts. That’s it. I wanted him to stand outside his house wearing his running shoes and his shorts. His reaction might be the same one that you’re thinking right now.

“That is ridiculous. That is absolutely foolish. What am I going to accomplish by doing that?”

So I asked him, “Well, how much exercise have you gotten over the course of the past two months?”

“Zero.”

“How many times have you been outside with your running shoes on or your shorts that would really create the capacity for you to be successful?”

“Zero.”

“Okay. Well, trust me,” and he did.

He stood outside his house. First, he couldn’t find his running shoes. He barely knew where his shorts were, so that was an impediment, but an easy one. That was an easy one. He was able to put that stuff together, and there he is outside, standing there, and he’s sending me messages.

He’s flipping me off, kind of busting my chops. We had gotten pretty close, obviously, by a month in, but really, really thought that this exercise was so stupid, and I loved it because I had a pretty good idea of where it was going. So, I enjoyed him making fun, and we had a good laugh.

So, day two he does the same thing. Day three he walks to the end of the driveway. Day four he starts stretching. Day five he barely made it out there; 11:55 at night he’s standing out there again, another middle finger for Coach Craig. This is the dumbest exercise I’ve ever done. He goes around the block. Day seven he’s around two blocks.

I am proud to report, he just finished a half marathon. He lost over 100 pounds. Because, mini habits and micro goals created the capacity for him to be successful. And, I do this same technique with mindfulness. This is such a tricky one.

And, guys, I’ve got story after story of people who start hydrating, people who start standing outside with their shorts and their T-shirts. Three clients have lost over 100 pounds. Five have lost over 50. A whole bunch have lost over 25. What’s the secret? Tell me, what’s the magic potion, right? What’s the infomercial?

Each one of these clients who achieved those radical, transformative results, if I wasn’t working in the sex and porn field, would be screaming off the rooftops, “Oh, my god. Look. I lost 100 pounds. How did it happen?” You know how it happened? They stood outside in their shorts and their shoes for 60 seconds a day, because mini habits create the capacity for you to be successful.

One of the common exercises that I prescribe is meditating, counting your breaths for 60 seconds a day. That’s easy. You can do that, right? How much mindfulness have you practiced here to for over the course of the past two weeks, three weeks, month? Probably not very much. So, meditate for 60 seconds a day, 60 seconds a day.

So, I want you, over the course of the next few days, to evaluate your performance in these five areas. How are you performing in regards to your diet, in regard to your sleeping, your hydrating, your exercise and your practice of mindfulness? And I encourage you – I beg you, please, create one mini habit and micro goal for each one of those five points that I just referenced.

Focus on that. Celebrate that. Each step that you take in that journey, pat yourself on the back. Throw yourself a party. Celebrate. Put on some tunes. Live. And, I know there’s going to be a voice inside your head saying, “Guess what? You’re not good enough. You didn’t do enough. You didn’t do enough.”

But, here’s the problem with that belief system. That belief system produces more self-deprecation, more self-loathing and, guess what, keeps you stuck.

Let them be ridiculously easy and attainable goals, because mini habits and micro goals and your personal infrastructure, because that’s what we’re building here – you do this, you’re not doing that. If you want long-term sustainable success you absolutely, unequivocally must embrace the concept of personal infrastructure.

I want to thank you guys for listening. My name is Craig Perra at www.themindfulhabit.com, and this is Sex Addictions and Porn Afflictions, helping you embrace your power.

Christians and Porn Addiction: Interview with Porn Free Radio’s Matt Dobschuetz

In this episode of “Sex Addictions and Porn Afflictions,” Craig Perra, certified professional coach and Founder of the “Mindful Habit System to End Compulsive Behavior,” talks to Matt Dobschuetz, coach and host of Pornfree Radio, a weekly podcast for motivated Christian men who want to align their sexuality with their spiritual beliefs.

Goal Setting For Addicts In 2017

Life is full of challenges and in order to succeed we must embrace them. In this episode of “Sex Addictions and Porn Afflictions,” Craig Perra, certified professional coach and Founder of the “Mindful Habit System to End Compulsive Behavior, talks you through how to set realistic goals for your 6 major life areas.