Do you have a habit in your life that is holding you back from unleashing your Alpha? Maybe you’ve been overdrinking, overeating, or overspending lately. Maybe you’ve been clocking too many hours watching pornography or playing video games?
Join me in this episode and discover how a true Alpha Male identifies the urges that are not serving him, and how he then leaves these compulsions behind without withdrawing from the real world at all! Willpower alone will not get you over some of these issues, but approaching this using the tools I’m sharing today will change your life forever.
Welcome to The Alpha Male Coach Podcast, the only podcast that teaches men the cognitive mastery and alpha-mindset that it takes to become an influential and irresistible man of confidence. Here’s your host, certified life coach and international man of mystery, Kevin Aillaud.
What’s up, my brothers. Welcome back to The Alpha Male Coach Podcast. I am Kevin Aillaud, The Alpha Male Coach, and today, we are talking about urges. So check this out; we went through the Model and we finished talking about results, and I want to talk about urges today because urges are a big part, not just of my coaching, but a big part of what it means to be an alpha male.
We all deal – all men, all women, all human beings, anybody with a brain really is going to deal with urges. And it’s so important to understand what these are – and not just understand what they are, but how to essentially not be a slave to them.
So an urge and a desire are kind of the same thing. Like, I use the words interchangeably. You could say that a desire is simply what motivates us to act and an urge is almost like this compulsion, like it’s almost out of our control. But really, the two words are synonymous.
And what they mean is a strong want for something. And it is, it’s like a compulsion. It’s almost like you can’t not do it. You have this thought, this emotion, this strong emotional, chemical, almost hormonal drive to act and it kind of takes over you. That’s why I call it a compulsion, or an urge.
Now, desires are what motivates us to act. We might have a desire to make money, we might have a desire to talk to a pretty girl, we might have a desire to get the job we want or travel the world. And it’s that desire that’s going to create action in us.
Essentially, our life is a stream of desire, because as long as we’re acting, we’re acting based on our desire. But I want you to know, guys, and this is very important, this is really like one of the foundational tenets of being an alpha male. And it’s that an alpha male is not a slave to desire, not a slave to urges.
Remember, the alpha male is a master of his cognition, a master of his mind, his thinking, and completely responsible for his emotions. So by definition, if you look at that definition, you understand that, by definition, he is not a slave of his mind. He is not a slave of his chemical emotions, of those neurotransmitters. He is not a slave of his desires, his urges, or his compulsions.
To control your desires is literally to control your life. Understand that, because if we’re constantly living in a stream of desire, if that’s all life is, acting on our wants, acting on our desires, then to be on control of your life, then that is what determines the difference between being an alpha male and being a beta male.
The alpha male determines his results based on his cognition. Remember, that’s the universal truth, that what you think creates your emotions and your emotions drive your actions and your actions determine your results. So by being a master of your cognition, you are a master of your results, you are a master of your life.
And it is well within the definition of being and the training of becoming an alpha male to understand and harness your desires so that they are deliberate and not out of your control. They are not urges, they are not compulsive actions, but they are deliberate choices that you make. And you will know if you have a desire or an urge that is not serving you based on the results that you are getting from those actions.
So, understand that, you will know when you are acting out of your control based on the results you get. So you basically look backwards, guys. Take a look at your life; take a look at your results. We talked about this in the last podcast.
Take a look at the results in your life. Take a look at how much money you have. Take a look at how much money you don’t have. Take a look at the job you have, or the job you don’t have. If you have a job that you want and you’re working in a job that you don’t want, pay attention to that.
Pay attention to the car you drive. Pay attention to the women that you’re dating. Pay attention to the friends that you have. Pay attention to all the aspects of your life, all the external results that you’ve created in your life, and then ask yourself, are these the results that you want?
And if they’re not, then it’s because the actions that you’re taking are not getting the results you want. Are those actions serving you? Are they in your control? Are you making those decisions or are they out of your control?
Now, a few of these actions include, but they’re not limited to – these are just a few of the actions that could be considered desires, they could be considered urges, compulsive behavior, almost like bad habits that you may or may not want to change depending on the results you’re getting from participating in this behavior.
So, some of these include too much television, like watching too much TV or too much Netflix, working out too much – believe it or not, too much exercise can lead to unwanted results – too much work, if you’re working too much, if you’re spending too much, overspending, overeating, overdrinking, or overuse of drugs. These can all be considered compulsive urges or behavior – too much pornography, too much social media, spending too much time scrolling through Facebook or spending time on Instagram, too much videogames. I have friends that play three or four hours of videogames a day.
Now, again, I want you to understand that these are only behaviors you would want to change if you don’t have the results you have in your life. Like, if playing three or four hours of videogames is not harming you, like if you have the life you want and you’re spending that amount of time with videogames, then by all means, it’s not something you want to change.
But if there is something in your life you want to change and you could be doing something else with that time, then you just want to take a look at that behavior and see if it’s serving your long-term goals, see if it’s serving your higher purpose, see if it’s serving the best version of yourself.
Now, if you do want to change your behavior, if you want to take control over some of these desires, there are a couple of ways of handling it. I want to quickly take you guys to the Model. Remember, we’ve got circumstances, thoughts, emotions, actions, and results.
And the two ways to change your behavior or to remove your desire – actually, it’s to change your behavior, is to start with the circumstance or start with the thought. Because these two, separating thought from circumstance is really where we separate the facts from what the facts mean to us.
So if we remove the circumstance in order to change our behavior, in order to break a habit, then what we’re doing is we’re removing the access. Now, when we remove our access to a behavior or to an urge, then we have to deal with certain repercussions. We have to deal with the lower quality of life, we have to deal with a behavior relapse, and we have to deal with constantly having the urge or the desire come up.
So let me explain this to you and let me give you an example. Let’s say you’re overdrinking. Let’s say you want to take control of the amount of alcohol you drink. So you’re drinking like a bottle of wine a night, and you want to cut that back to a glass of wine a night. Or let’s say you just want to stop drinking for like 30 days.
You want to stop drinking for 30 days and you just want to remove the access. You don’t want to worry about your desire for alcohol, you just don’t want to have access to the alcohol, so you remove the circumstance. You take all the wine out of your house, you don’t go into restaurants that serve wine, you don’t go over to parties where you know there’s going to be wine served, you don’t go to friends’ houses, you don’t do that social engagement thing.
So that changing of behavior is going to lower your quality of life, right, because you’re not going to be able to engage with friends, you’re not going to be able to go out to the wine bars, you’re not going to be able to hang out with your friends. You’re going to have to make sure that when you do hang out with friends, there can’t be any wine around.
Now, the other thing is that there’s a behavior relapse. Maybe some of you have gone on like a 30-day no alcohol, or a 30-day no sugar, you want to clean up your diet. But once that 30 days ends, what happens? You just go right back. You go right back to drinking or you go right back to eating. And the reason is because you’re not removing the desire.
You’re not changing the thought or the emotion that you have around the behavior. You’re just removing your access to the behavior. And so as long as you still have those thoughts and those emotions around the behavior, you’re just using willpower. You’re basically white-knuckling.
I don’t know if you guys have heard this before; you’re white-knuckling your way through your duration, whether it’s a one-week duration or a one-month duration, a 30-day duration. You’re using willpower and white-knuckling so as soon as that 30 days is over, what happens? Boom, right back to the old behavior. So there’s a behavior relapse.
And finally, if you just remove access and you don’t remove your thoughts around it, you don’t kind of change your cognition and emotion around the action, around the urge, then you’re always dealing with that urge. Like, throughout the day, this is going to come up. You get home at night and you’re like, oh man, I really would love a glass of wine, like I’d really like to go to that wine.
Or if you’re doing a diet, it’s like, I’d really love to have some sugar, I really just would love to do my thing, because you’re breaking the habit, but you’re breaking the habit based on removing the circumstance, instead of how you think around the circumstance.
So that’s one way to do things, and again, it works for short periods of time. You just remove the circumstance and it works for a short period of time. But when you change your thought – let’s go back to the Model. Let’s say the circumstance doesn’t change and we just work on how you think about the circumstance – the fact remains, there is alcohol in the house, but you change the way you think about it, you can work on changing and breaking habits this way; breaking habits, removing urges, removing desires.
And it’s much more effective, because first of all, you’re not a slave to your desire anymore, you’re not a slave to your urge. Your behavior change, your habit, your braking of the habit is permanent because you’re actually rewiring your brain around it instead of just removing your access to it.
So, you can enjoy the behavior without relapse. Let’s say you are going to say, I’m going to quit drinking, I’m going to change the way I think about alcohol. And when you change the way you think about alcohol, then you no longer desire it. Instead of drinking a bottle of wine a night, you just change the way you think about it so then you can go to a bar and you can enjoy a glass of wine without having to have a whole bottle, or coming back and going back into relapse, like because I had a glass tonight, I’m now going to have multiple bottles moving forward.
But finally, guys, the best part about it is there is no restriction in living. You don’t have to change your lifestyle. You just change the way you think and the way you feel around that particular desire and so you could still go to parties where friends are serving wine.
You can still go to bars where wine is being served. And if you choose not to drink, then you have sparkling water, you have some kind of soda, you have maybe some other beverage. If you choose to drink, then you know that you can have control over not drinking an entire bottle because you’ve changed your urge, you’ve changed the way you think about that particular circumstance, around that particular desire.
So it’s kind of like this – I want you to think about it this way; when you remove the circumstance and you live with the desire, then you always have this urge. You always have this compulsion for whatever behavior that is. And it’s kind of like you’re tagging yourself. You’re kind of saying, like, this is how I am, I’m always going to be this way, and therefore, I have to change my life around this constraint.
It’s like saying I am an alcoholic, so I’m going to change my life around alcohol and I’m just not going to be around it. But when you change your thinking, when you change your cognition and your emotions, then you don’t have to label yourself as an alcoholic, because you essentially aren’t an alcoholic anymore. Because you are in control of that urge, you can actually have a drink without overdrinking.
And like I say, it’s a much more permanent type of behavior. It’s almost like shoplifting, guys. If you think about it like – I don’t know, I might have a few people in the audience that enjoy shoplifting. I don’t know, maybe you guys enjoy shoplifting, maybe that’s your urge. But for my guys out there that are overdrinking, let’s say you’re overdrinking, let’s say you’re watching too much pornography, let’s use that one.
So you’re watching a lot of pornography. If you’re not a shoplifter but you watch a lot of pornography and you want to stop watching pornography, would you rather just restrict your access to pornography – get rid of all the DVDs, get rid of all the magazines, put up a block on your computer so you can’t go to certain websites. Would you rather do that – and then also, you’ve got to remove all the triggers, so any movies where there might be nudity involved, or if you go to beaches and you see women in bikinis, you can’t go there because it might be a trigger for you to want to watch pornography.
So rather than restricting all that access and changing your lifestyle, wouldn’t you rather think about pornography the way you think about shoplifting. Because I’m assuming you don’t go into a store and have, like, an urge to steal things. There are people that do. There are people that have an urge to steal things when they go into a store. That’s a compulsive action for them.
But it’s not for you, even though pornography may be. So if pornography is an urge for you, wouldn’t you rather think about it the same way you think about shoplifting, which is to say not at all? Like, the same way you’re not a person who would steal something from a store, you’re also not a person that would watch pornography. It’s just not an urge, it’s not a desire you have.
That’s what happens when you change your cognition. That’s what happens when you change your thinking and your emotions around a behavior, rather than just changing your circumstance, which is to remove your access.
So that’s the big difference, guys. And that’s a very important difference. But let me tell you something; it is not easy to remove a desire. Here’s what happens; when you remove a desire, you’re basically dealing with three things.
Number one, you’re dealing with the removal of the behavior. You remove that habit and you’re left with time. You have an open amount of time in your life. So that can be a positive thing, like having more time, might actually be a reason why you want to change your behavior. But understand that by having that time, you’re going to need to fill it with something because you’re going to start thinking in that time. And that’s where those urges are going to come up.
So number one, you’re going to be left with more time. You’re going to remove the behavior. Number two, you’re going to have a reduction in dopamine, because whatever the behavior is, it’s giving you pleasure. That’s the reason why we have the desire. The desire is actually for the pleasure. It’s actually for the dopamine.
It’s not for the action; understand that. It’s not for what you’re doing. It’s for what the brain gets when you do it, and that is the dopamine. So when you remove that desire, you’re going to have a reduction in dopamine and you’re going to be left with withdrawal. And being left with withdrawal is a legit feeling. It is a depressive feeling.
It’s the same as coming down off of any other drug, so you have to deal with that. You have to know that you’re going to have more time and you’re going to have to go through a period of withdrawal.
The third piece is that you’re going to have a resurgence of avoidant emotion. Whatever emotion you’re avoiding feeling that’s leading you to partake in this habit, you’re going to have an increase of that.
So if you’re avoiding being bored, if boredom is your trigger to go watch pornography, then when you stop watching pornography, guess what you’re going to have more of? You’re going to have more boredom, right? You’re going to have more of that uncomfortable emotion.
If going and drinking is to alleviate stress form a long day of work, drinking a bottle of wine, then guess what’s going to happen when you don’t drink that bottle of wine – you’re going to have a lot more stress, right? You’re going to have to deal with that uncomfortable emotion. So you’re going to have more time, you’re going to have to deal with withdrawal, but you’re also going to have to deal with that uncomfortable emotion.
But here’s the best part. This is the best part; when you get through that withdrawal and when you process those uncomfortable emotions, not only are you living a higher quality of life, but you’re actually opening up your life for growth.
It is through discomfort that we grow and that we become a better version of ourselves. We’re kind of like in that place where what we do when we have these habits, these desires, these urges, we’re actually stunting our growth because what we’re doing is we’re not allowing ourselves to feel that discomfort.
We’re not being aware of that discomfort and allowing our body to process it, be aware of it, and grow from it. So that’s the best news. Like, it’s not easy. It’s uncomfortable, but it’s good news because it allows you to move into that next level, that better version of who you are. It’s how you grow as a person.
Now, check this out, guys; I want to leave you with this. I want to leave you with this because this is what needs to happen if you want to remove a desire. If you want to change a habit, not from a level of circumstance – because the level of circumstance is restricting action, and you can do that, there’s a lot of different ways to do that.
You want to restrict access with your diet, very easy; get rid of all the flour and sugar in your house. You want to restrict access to your alcohol, very easy; get all the beer out, get all the wine out. You want to restrict access to your pornography; same thing. It’s very simple, just get rid of it, not have it around you.
Removing a desire, actually changing an urge is quite a bit different. It’s that next level. It’s like peeling back the next layer of the onion. So there is more involved. It’s a deeper process. And I’m not going to tell the story of Pavlov’s Dogs here. I’m going to tell that story in another episode of the podcast, because I think it’s a very important story for you guys to understand how we condition ourselves to behavior, like how we learn behavior.
All behavior is learned, whatever it is; overdrinking, overeating, over-pornography, over-television, overworking, overspending, it’s all learned behavior. We weren’t born to overspend. We weren’t born to overdrink. It’s just something that we learn over time. And we learn it through a process called classical conditioning. And I’m going to tell that story of Pavlov’s Dogs another time.
But to remove that desire, remove that urge, it’s essentially a three-part process. The first part is understanding why the brain loves desire. Whatever that desire is, it’s understanding the process of the brain. It’s understanding how the brain works. The brain loves desire. It loves to work efficiently. It loves to work in a habit. It loves to work in a routine.
And when you understand your brain, when you really get it and know how this powerful tool that you have works, then it starts to remove some of that blame and some of the shame that you might feel around your behavior, because then you realize, there’s nothing wrong with you, bro. There’s nothing wrong with you at all.
That’s the beautiful piece, like your brain is just functioning properly. When you know that your brain is just doing what the brain does, then you start to remove some of that blame, some of those negative emotions around the behavior itself.
Number two, you have to accept how difficult it is to remove a desire, that it’s not an easy process. You have to be willing to take the challenge. You have to be willing to go through what I mentioned before, you have to be willing to go through having the extra time, finding a new hobby, dealing with the boredom. You have to be willing to go through the withdrawal of the dopamine, go through that chemical withdrawal of pleasurable emotion, pleasurable neurochemical that’s happening in your body.
And you have to be willing to feel whatever discomfort you need to feel to grow. And when you know and accept that it’s going to be a difficult process, then you can take the challenge. If you’re unwilling to accept that it’s difficult and you find out, hey, this is difficult, it’s going to be a lot easier to quit, right?
You’re like, “I didn’t know it was going to be this hard. Maybe it’s better to remove the circumstance.” But when you know that it’s going to be more difficult, you’re like, “Okay, I can do this. I’m down with this. I’m in for this. I know it’s going to be tough, but I’m going to take it head-on.” You know you can handle it.
And that’s confidence. Confidence is knowing you can handle any situation, no matter what it is. So accepting how difficult it is going to be to remove the desire and having the confidence to bring it on, say loon, bring it on, I want this challenge because I want to be a better version of who I am, that is step two.
And then step three is the actual how-to. It’s the actual process of breaking a desire. It’s actually going through the day to day motions of changing your thoughts, of changing your chemicals in your brain, you know, changing those neurotransmitters, allowing the dopamine to basically go through the withdrawal of the dopamine and feeling, processing the emotion of discomfort; the uncomfortable emotion both that comes from the lack of dopamine, the depleted amount of dopamine, but also whatever emotion it is that’s going to come up based on the lack of the action, based on the lack of whatever urge was satisfying to cover up that uncomfortable emotion.
So that’s the process. That’s the day to day stuff. So the first piece, understand it. Understand your brain, guys. Understand that you are normal, you are a human being, completely normal, there’s nothing wrong with you at all. Number two, build that confidence. Get the bring it on attitude. Say, are you in for this? Are you ready for this?
It’s almost like you are going to do this. You are going to accept this is going to be a challenge and you can handle anything. You’re the man, you can do it. And then, number three, going through the process, going through the day to day.
And you know, for some people, it might take – depending on the desire, depending on the urge, depending on how long you’ve lived with it and how strong the compulsion is, you could break a desire, you could change your neuropathways and you could get through the withdrawal of dopamine in a months, two months, three months, it could take six months, it could take longer. It could even take weeks, depending on, again, your own makeup, how you are.
But that process has to happen. It’s not just about saying, okay, I’m done with this, and quitting and you’re good to go. There will be a process of breaking that desire. And that’s part three.
Alright, guys, that’s what I’ve got for you today. Look, I really appreciate you being with me here today. This has been a talk on urges, on desires. It is very, very key that you understand how important it is to have your desires under control as an alpha male.
It’s a part of the definition and it’s a part of the training to be an alpha male, have your actions – desires are actions. Desires are what motivate us to act. So having your desires under control is purely a matter of cognitive mastery and emotional responsibility. That is the definition of an alpha male.
Check this out, guys, if you loved the podcast today, do me a huge big one and go to iTunes, leave me a rating – five stars. If you can leave six, do it, but I think iTunes only allows five stars, and five stars is perfect. I would love five stars and a review. Leave me a review as well because when you leave me a review you are entered into a drawing to win two free coaching sessions, which I will be doing in January.
So you basically have two or three weeks left, and then I’m going to be drawing for one of my reviewers to get two free coaching sessions. So go to iTunes, check that out, leave me a rating, leave me a review, and as always, guys, unleash your alpha. I will see you next week.
Thank you for listening to this episode of The Alpha Male Coach Podcast. If you enjoy what you’ve heard and want even more, sign up for Unleash Your Alpha – your guide to shifting to the alpha mindset – at thealphamalecoach.com/unleash.