The ONE Reason You Lack Self-Control, Feel Stuck And Cannot Stop Scrolling And Bingeing (You Have Two Competing Wants)
Picture yourself stuck in doomscrolling.
You tell yourself you need to get off your phone. Yet you continue as nothing is happening. You feel trapped and stuck on what is coming next after the swipe, looking after that shiny magic pill that will solve all your problems.
The same happens when you simply CANNOT break free from the tentacles of Youtube, watching four hours a day on videos that you innermost do not want to watch.
Let’s take another analogy: getting out of bed. You want to start the day fresh with maximum intention. Simultaneously, another part of you immensely enjoys being there all day.
In the meantime, nothing happens, and you become increasingly frustrated. “Why can’t I get up?”
Your Two Competing Wants
We need to go beyond website blockers and dopamine detoxes to understand the core problem. If we truly do not like doomscrolling, Youtube-bingeing, and being stuck in bed, we would not do them. Yet there is one part of ourselves who wants more and more of it.
I call your two parts the executive mind and the intuitive mind.
The executive mind is the high-level you, the rational you. You have everything planned out are motivated by goals, aspirations, and dreams. Brain-wise, I refer to the frontal lobe, an area uniquely advanced for us humans.
Then we have the intuitive mind. It is the more automatic, spontaneous, impulsive, and emotional you. The intuitive mind is more primal and shared across almost all animals, being the ganglia of the brain. You have to respect the intuitive mind since modern research shows it is mostly in control of you. In addition, the intuitive mind is also responsible for intuition and gut feeling.
When you lose self-control, there is a conflict between your executive and intuitive mind
Your executive mind is the one terrified of the doomscrolling, Youtube-watching and being stuck in bed. However, your intuitive mind is enjoying these activities to the fullest.
The long term solution is negotiating between them. More on this tomorrow.