ACCOUNTABILITY


For the first time in a long time, welcome to the Professional 3 Blog.

In the past few months, in my mind, I’ve really taken a step back with actually blogging anything of substance. Although I have been working on the Sheik Tugboat Story, which is a pro wrestling poetry series I’m incredibly proud of thus far, as well as podcasting, I’ve felt as if I’ve taken a step back or two with content and creativity. I’ve felt like I’ve been more lethargic lately and unmotivated to take grander steps with things.

And it’s because I haven’t been happy.

Over the past 18 months, I’ve really started to take charge of my personal life a lot more. When a serious, life-altering relationship ends, you tend to take a step back and hide in solitude and reflect on things. Life, relationships, love, professional goals, and the New York Mets are just some of the topics you think about alone. I started to look back and genuinely think about why I wasn’t in a good place mentally.

The answer was easy: a lack of accountability. Up until 2018, I truly had a mentality of blaming everyone else for my problems. It was a victim mentality. And I finally had enough. I had to acknowledge that I was the cause of my own issues in my life. I had to start being accountable for my actions.

It is honestly the toughest thing I’ve ever had to do. Accountability is the most humbling trait a human can acquire. It took a little over 33 years, but I finally reached that point. It simultaneously sucked and ruled at the same time. I finally took the reins and started doing things for ME and not anyone else.

And it hasn’t been easy. Not one solitary bit. I’ve had my good days and definitely my bad days during the past year and a half. But more often than not, I’ve become, for lack of a better word, stronger.

Around 2017, I started going to therapy. Originally, I started on that journey for grief counseling due to the death of my father. I blamed myself for it, even though there were a million other reasons for his passing. Once I moved past that stage, I thought I was “cured”.

Almost instantly, I fell into a deep despair again. Almost instantly, I knew my problems were deeper than just my father’s death. I knew I needed to rebuild myself from the inside out. In late 2018, I started cognitive behavioral therapy, and thanks to my therapists and my want and will to become mentally healthy, I began the journey to a better life.

This isn’t easy to admit, but therapy has saved my life. There were so many times during this process that I wanted to give up and just lay down and blame everyone for my problems. However, that’s not how true growth is done. Accountability is the number one thing I needed to consistently utilize every day. EVERY SINGLE DAY. And thankfully, through therapy, I was able to use that and every day unravel the issues that had made me who I had allowed myself to become.

Working hard to maintain a positive mental state of mind has allowed me to learn, to grow, and to slowly eradicate negative traits from my life. 2019 was solely dedicated to healing my mind and my heart. And in the beginning of 2020, it seemed that life could only get better. In many respects, it has. Professionally, I’ve never been happier and, at least for the first few months of 2020, the road had started to build things to a new direction. It felt good.

Then, the Coronavirus hit. And it hit hard.

From the middle of March to the middle of April, I felt defeated. Absolutely waylaid with grief that so many things had just STOPPED. The XFL, in particular, was something I had looked forward to for two years. When the season had stopped and ultimately went bankrupt, an absolute feeling of deflation had come along. Not to mention, restaurants, bars, and stores were closed, other live events were outright cancelled, and people were getting sick at a rapid pace. It sucked.

However, unlike before, it didn’t crush me. I am an essential worker at my day job, so I continued to make money and collect a paycheck. Those funds had helped me continue podcasting, even though I was down in the dumps. My friends were still in constant contact with me, so I was blessed for their friendship. Most of all, everyone in my life has been healthy throughout this pandemic, so I was incredibly thankful.

I knew from the start that it wasn’t just me going through this rough time, so I was able to do my best to keep a positive vibe going. But going into May, I noticed my mood had started to change. I started to have a little more of a short fuse. Although I had started to allow myself to feel my emotions in a healthy manner, small slip-ins of passive aggressiveness began to surface. I knew I was losing my inner frame a tad. What was playing into my mind?

SOCIAL MEDIA.

Social media, when used properly, could be a total blessing. Stories of inspiration move me deeply, like overcoming limitations and illnesses. Seeing young men and women come together to help inspire others with their stories and lessons to become stronger individuals make me smile. I know I’ve been inspired to be better by various self-help coaches. Most of all, incredibly creative projects and outside-the-box thinking have helped motivate me to try different concepts. When done right, the various apps can be used for good.

Social media, when used negatively, can be downright demoralizing. People complaining, insulting, and spewing anger influences a tailspin of unhappy emotions. Emotional responses online lead to arguments and animosity within one another. Writing idiotic comments and saying impulsive lines are unhealthy to the soul. It’s borderline attention seeking.

I’ve been guilty of it over the years. I’ve commented on things that have made me look like an asshole and instantly regretted and apologized for it. It hasn’t been easy to admit, but when you don’t use logic in your comments online, you tend to make mistakes more often. Thankfully, more often than not, I’ve been able to bite my tongue and keep my cool. But in turn, I’ve internalized a lot of frustration over the back and forth of the viewing of anger towards one another. That is not a healthy way to deal with things.

The past two weeks put it over the top for me.

The bottom line is simple. A man was murdered on camera. Justice needed to be, and thankfully has begun to be, served. Peacefully protesting to start building towards a better nation and understanding various viewpoints from different races and creeds has been awe-inspiring. In that sense, watching communities come together to build to a better America has been nothing short of incredible.

However, I became enthralled with reading social media from friends, acquaintances, and the internet community in general. So much anger. So much hurt. So much emotion. It weighs on you after a while. Seeing arguments ensue, ignorant emotional outbursts pop out, and videos of people act in violence completely demoralized me. It was devastating. It completely burned me out physically and, more importantly, mentally.

Sometimes, you just need to take a step back. You need to remove the negativity from your life. Social media has seemingly created a divide with countless people. It borders on toxic. When is enough enough?

June 5, 2020 was that day. I finally decided to step away for the foreseeable future from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram on my personal accounts. As a guy who is addicted to social media, I had to remove that figurative disease from my life. I took accountability for my negative vibes and decided to focus on a positive, healthy mindset. It’s the only way that I feel that I can further my life in a better direction.

I’ve also decided to bring a lot more into HardwayHQ.com. It’s my platform to be creative and have fun. Podcasting and writing bring me great joy, and I’ve let it slip away over the past few months. And I hope that by taking accountability and getting back on my purpose, things in HQ will be a lot more fun.

I hope this blog can show you that you can step away and get a breather from the social media landscape from time to time. Focus on yourself and take accountability for your direction in your life. Most of all, I hope you can find the strength to continue being positive and grow into what you want out of life.

Be safe, guys and gals.

Jon Harder

Jon@HardwayHQ.com

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