“Improving My Reality” is the story of how John Priore, Content Marketer at KazSource, dug deep and realized that in order to truly start living his life, he needed to make some changes.
I’m not a very open person. I rarely get that deep with myself, let alone with an audience, but a while ago I had a conversation with Jake Newton that got me thinking.
Jake is a former hockey player and a mental health coach. He’s also one of our collaborators here at SportsEpreneur—he hosts the podcast series, Raw, Authentic, and Vulnerable. This conversation, though, was before that. What really struck me then was how open he was about his mental health journey. He really let me into his struggles with addiction, relationships, and mental health. It was an incredible conversation, and somewhere inside I noticed it wasn’t the kind of conversation I normally had.
Then, just recently, I was listening to Jake’s recent episode about improving your reality and how you have to do some reflecting internally before you can truly start living life. He was talking about “stepping out of your comfort zone” and other concepts I understand because I went through the exact same process a couple of years ago—I was not happy with my reality, and I had to make some changes. I did indeed have to step out of my comfort zone to do that. And listening to that podcast, I realized maybe it’s time I step out of my comfort zone again and share more of my own journey with others.
It was just after college. I could feel myself growing professionally and personally, but something still wasn’t right. I was going through the motions, but I wasn’t living life.
I’d been dating someone for six years, and the relationship was comfortable for both of us. It felt like we were supposed to be together, but we weren’t happy. I had an active social life, but I spent a lot of time going to places I didn’t want to go with people I didn’t want to be around just because my friends were going and I thought I was supposed to go too. I was physically fit because I went to the gym six days a week and stuck to a strict diet, but I didn’t enjoy any of that anymore—I’d gotten to the point where I despised working out and despised eating nothing but chicken and broccoli and rice every day.
See the pattern? After some valuable self-reflection, I did, too; I was spending so much time doing what I was supposed to be doing that I wasn’t doing what I wanted to do.
I had to dig deep and realize that in order to improve my reality, I had to make some changes.
So I did. But it wasn’t easy.
Breaking up with the woman I was “supposed to be with” was tough, but I think we both felt relieved afterwards. We’d been mentally done for a long time without realizing it. Saying no to my friends took some practice because I wasn’t used to even thinking about what I wanted to do for myself, and I didn’t want to disappoint or anger anyone, but my friends understood and everything went a lot more smoothly than I expected. I thought that if I let up on my fitness routine I’d physically fall apart, like it was all or nothing, so cutting back felt like a big risk, but I found I could cut my gym days down to four per week and let my diet be a little more flexible and still do alright. I’m still healthy, but now I appreciate being healthy. And I see my physical health as part of my mental health—my mind and my body are both part of my life.
I started really living my life.
What made the difference was starting to do things for me, but at the end of the day, the better I am for myself, the better I am for my family, my co-workers, my clients, and my friends.
Did I change my reality, like Jake explained how to do on his podcast? I did—and I love the result.