What happens when you “fail at love”

So I was into this girl. 

I hadn’t been “into” anyone in a long time. I was stressed waiting tables and it felt like the stress never left me. It was also, ironically, during this time that I started eating healthier and following a new workout regiment. Between the two, however, I found myself lacking energy and a zest for life. That longing to be in a relationship again? Gone. Arousal around women? Non existent. Hoping a cute girl would leave me her number at work? …okay I still wanted that. But everything else just seemed to have evaporated. 

So the fact that three years later, I was suddenly interested in this girl and found myself flirting with her, was a big deal, you guys…

Of course, this wouldn’t come without the natural negative self talk (or who I sometimes refer to as “Fred”):

You’re not what she’s looking for. 

She definitely wants a guy with more relationship experience than you. 

Do you even remember how awkward you were during that one time a bunch of you were hanging out? She totally remembers that….

Are you even sure she’s a good fit for you??

I was confused. I let it stress me out. 

And then…a better voice chimed in: 

Fuck it. Let’s just find out if any of that is actually true. 

I gave up trying to figure things out in my head. All I knew for sure was that I really liked this girl. She was really fun to talk to. We texted all the time. I felt a spark I hadn’t felt in a really long time. I didn’t know if she was going to be right for me – or me for her, for that matter. But I decided that I’d rather find out and fail than not find out at all, based on speculation that was in my head – most of which probably wasn’t true. 

And we dated. And it was awesome. 

And then….it ended. 

I finally had gotten my, “Will this even work” answer. (It wasn’t the one I was hoping for.) 

Here’s what else I learned: It was totally fucking worth it. 

This doesn’t mean I’ve been happy and sunshine since the break up. It doesn’t mean the end wasn’t scary and painful. It just means that despite the rocky ending of the crazy and brief roller coaster ride – I can’t wait to get back in line and try again**

Sometimes when you “fail,” you still have a lot of fun trying.

 

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**(Not the same line. The other metaphorical line. Preferable not through Tinder.) 

Let’s go get ‘em, friends. 

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Thanks for reading!

By the way, I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. (Duh.) I’m an actor and blogger living right up the street from Wrigley Field. 

My blog is here to help others take control and live a more authentically positive life on their terms. Since working with a coach and learning more about personal development, I’ve started sharing my learnings with others. (I have a lot…)

If we’ve never meet – shoot me a tweet!  Would love to hear how you found this 🙂 

Wanna see more? Check out my actor website or YouTube channel!

Wanna make sure you never miss a post? Click the “Follow” button in the right corner to enter your email and subscribe! 

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The Biggest Test We Face When Setting Goals

Ah, goals. Don’t you love that feeling when you decide enough is enough and you’re ready to make a change? You think to yourself, “YES. I CAN DO THIS. I AM AWESOME. LIFE IS AWESOME. I AM THE ONE.”

And once the feel good feelings wear off, you suddenly start to remember a few things…

You suck. You realize you weren’t strong enough. You can’t keep up with the pace of everyone else. You fizzle out. You let life get to you. And you realize how much you love things like cheese and chocolate. (Or, you know, whatever throws you off track from your goal.)

But let’s put this in nicer terms, yeah?

What’s really happening here: The Universe is throwing you a curveball. 

I recently set a goal to complete three straight weeks of clean eating and exercise. I picked a workout program that was exactly 21 days. I specifically wanted to send in my results to Beachbody and do the program start to finish – no cheats. (And I kinda wanted the free t shirt.)

I had tried this program once before. I got hurt on day ten and had to stop. But this time was different. This time, I decided, I would win. I even had my day 22 cheat day planned: Red Sox vs White Sox game. It was perfect. 

….and then a free Cubs ticket landed in my lap.

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Those two words: Free. Baseball. They’re kinda a big weakness of mine.

“But Tony. I don’t believe in this whole thing where the Universe is ‘for or against me.’ In fact, I hate anything ‘woo-woo.’ This isn’t for me.” 

I actually totally get it. And I’m someone who, admittedly, can get a little “woo woo” and warm and fuzzy. At the same time, this lesson applies regardless of whether or not you believe in a higher power. Life is always going to test us. As Alexi Panos would say, it’s like “the universe asking whether or not we’re really serious.” But you can call it whatever you want. 

The reason I like this explanation so much is because it stops making the situation so damn personal. It makes us normal human beings and not some awful person for wanting to revert to our old habits. Which, by the way, don’t just bring us comfort. They bring us joy, pleasure, and instant gratification. And it’s a completely natural thing to want to do when you’re having a shit day. 

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I’m going to start referring to those off days as “days where I get to be treated as a princess.” I think it has a better ring to it. 

So be aware that this test is coming. And if you slip – that’s fine. You’ll be ready for it the next time. Whatever you do – please don’t stop. Because there’s people you love who are going to benefit from the “you” who wins.

Let’s go get ’em.

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Tony is a theatre and film actor living in Chicago, just up the street from Wrigley Field 🙂 He loves helping others to become the happiest version of themselves so that they can live more fun, fulfilled lives on their own terms.

He also loves to blog on how to do this. 

Contact him for a free one-on-one to see if he can help you with your own mindset and happiness in life, or to inquire if he can do some writing for you!  You can reach him at tony.rossi@gmail.com

PS – Rumor has it that he loves when you hit that “share” button for friends and family to see 😉 

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Wanna see more? Check out my actor website! 

I also have a YouTube Channel with weekly #SundayVideos where I share how to take control over our thoughts and feelings on facebook live! 

The Facebook Status That was Far Too Long to Post

How am I feeling, Facebook? You know…I’m not quite sure. 

You see Facebook….

*Facebook IMMEDIATELY begins grumbling about how “most people just make a status and then leave without making a big deal out of it”

Oh Facebook….you’re cute. And you clearly don’t know me. I don’t do anything without making a big deal. And come now…I could be talking politics….

You see Facebook…

I’ve been having this rough stretch since I found myself getting sick. It was just a nagging cold, but eventually it passed. However, I kept getting lingering symptoms every time I worked out. As you’re undoubtedly aware from my plethora of selfies, you know that my workouts are important to me. For whatever reason, appearance has been a big deal to me. I grew up being a skinny guy, not really caring about how I looked. I figured, it is what it is. Having muscles? That’d be nice. But at least I’m not overweight…

You know how you have those nightmares and suddenly something is TERRIBLY wrong? You wake up and your head is half shaven, or one of your eye brows has fallen off, or half of your teeth aren’t there anymore? For me, it was waking up and suddently I’m 100 lbs heavier. (And sometimes the teeth thing.) I always had this fear about looking different than the guy whom I’m used to seeing in the mirror. I don’t know WHY I have this fear because – honestly? Whenever people I know DO gain weight, I think about it for a minute…and then go back to thinking about myself and my own “flaws.” We all do it. I know I don’t need to impress anyone. Hell, if I let lose a little more, had more fun, and didn’t pay so much darn attention to my amaaaazing nutrition….I think I’d be a little more appealing to others. I’d be more relatable for one. And I’d also be happier because I’d be loser and more confident….ahhhh confidence…

 THAT’S thing, Facebook: I’m not confident when I deviate from my nutrition plan. I notice those teeny, tiny, incremental gains in my face and stomach and it bugs the hell out of me. I can’t stand it. Does anyone else notice? Oh hell no. Please, I came back from a vacation three years ago and practically couldn’t put on my jeans (this was a first for me) and no one noticed. Those quedillas I had last night? No one is going to care. 

But I do. And I’m figuring that out. 

So I guess what I’m trying to say, Facebook, is that there’s a LOT right now I’m trying to figure out. I’m trying to figure out how to be happy. I want to be able to not be so strict with food, with goals, with money, and with life. I want to be able to fuck up and not give a damn. I want to be able to have TWO cheat nights in a row, not be able to do my “perfect” workouts, and then go on to know for 100% certain that I’ll be able to get back on track.

Sounds pretty lofty, huh? 

Lightbulb: I just realized – it’s incredibly possible. I just need to make the decision. 

Wow. What the hell did we do before you, Facebook? 

*Facebook expresses that while it actually tends to cause more people stress than happiness and wishes people would, in fact, learn to moderate its usage more* 

Ah. Fair enough. In any case….thank you. I really appreciate having a place to share all this. 

Let’s go get ‘em, yeah? (Sorry. That’s a thing I do on my blog. And in fact…that’s where I’m gonna post this, but will totally share a link I swear.) 

PS – Oh, and you know the whole showing me football scores when it’s clearly still baseball season? Like I said….you really don’t know me

I’m Baaaaack!…and still #notperfect

 

So I took a month off of writing to refresh. I wanted new energy and a better system to updating once or twice a week.  I wanted to better share how we can all be our happiest and best versions of ourselves. Naturally, I thought, this would be a KILLER post that would be the spark that both myself and my friends needed for this page.

…..it wasn’t. A few confessions:

-I am writing this post at 8:31pm on Wednesday night. I always schedule them the night before they post at Thursday morning. (In other words, this post is still being written last minute).

-I spent last month working on some different goals. Truth be told, any thinking about my blog was more of an “Oh yeah, I need to get to that….”

-My first draft of this “I’m baaaack!” post was far different. I wrote it quick and wanted to get it out of the way. Fortunately for us all…..my computer froze and it never saved. (So please save your work….and don’t use a laptop that freezes a lot!)

I realize this doesn’t exactly show me in a flattering light. It’s not going to get me 1,000 followers. It’s not going to be the post that shows how I’m the best person to hold you accountable and help you reach your health goals. And it’s definitely not going to land me on stage at Steppenwolf.

When I was at Coach Summit in Nashville last weekend, Chalene Johnson shared with us that people can’t relate to your “after” photo if they don’t relate to your “before.” I couldn’t agree more. Before and After weight loss photos don’t do anything for me because it shows a transformation that I can’t relate to. I’ve never had a before and after photo that brings me joy and I have never had the abs that those people have. But when I hear from them in person about how hard the journey was and how many times they failed? Oh, I can relate to that….besides, I’ve failed plenty of times!

I use the hashtag #notperfect a lot because honestly, that’s me: Someone who messes up a lot. But here’s the best part: It’s okay to mess up.

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A quote from the wonderful Dallas Travers

I’ll admit I spent a lot of last month kicking myself for my “failures.” I’m probably going to catch myself doing that again. But you know what? I can be flawed and still move forward.

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Having other like minded people around you doesn’t hurt either. Photo stolen lovingly from Nadia Torres! (She’s in the white) 

Be #notperfect with me, friends.

Let’s go get ‘em.

I’m taking a BREAK! You should too.

Recently Darren Hardy hosted a call titled SUMMER SURGE: 10 Strategies to Beat the “Summer Slump” and Keep Your Productive Momentum. A bulk of the call was geared towards taking non negotiable time for rest and relaxation. Darren emphasized this wasn’t about “finding our bliss.” It’s about the necessity to unplug completely from our work so that we can recharge our batteries. When we don’t do this (and many of us don’t), we fail to be able to operate at full capacity.

If you’re a big TonyinChicago fan (which you are, right?) you may have noticed there wasn’t a #ShoutOutTuesday post this week. It marked the first time I had missed a consistent post since first starting thie section three months ago. And I’ll be honest – I tried writing a shout out. About three different times. After several failed attempts and a lot of frustration, I gave in.

My batteries were drained.

Lately my schedule has consisted of five days in a row of internships and work. In between there are my beachbody coaching hours, auditions, and other projects I take on either from home or on the go. It’s a lot. And you know when my first day “off” is after that? Tuesday.

And guess who struggles to come up with all of these positive, awesome, inspiring and AMAZING blogs on a Tuesday after all of this?

“Tony….did you really just call you blogs amazing?”

I mean, I think they’re alright….

Here’s the thing: I don’t have a boss. I don’t get paid for this. But I want to someday. So I treat it like a job.And it’s been feeling like a job….except not a fun one….and the whole reason I started doing this was because it was fun! So I’m taking a page out of Darren Hardy’s book and taking a break.

One month off from updating my blog. After that? We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled Thursday posts. We’ll also have a #ShoutOutTuesday….though it may not be on Tuesday….which means I need a new hashtag…

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Not that this blog keeps me from sleeping….but I plan on doing some sleeping next month

There’s a misconception that working long hours and late nights will get us success. In reality, there’s a point where we hit a wall and stop being our most productive selves. This leads to operating at less than 100%. Whereas, if we have time to charge our batteries, we can get back up and refill our creative tanks.

Take time for you before you burn out, friends. I’ll see you in August 🙂

“BUT TONY. What if I really actually think your blog is awesome. What can I do in the meantime?

Great question. I’ll still be doing my periscopes and Sunday videos! Follow me @_tonyrossi and get a notification every time I do a periscope. Alternatively, you can catch up on my previous videos on youtube channel.

Also, sometimes it’s nice to get a fresh perspective from someone else. I recommend checking out blogs from my own life coach, Courtney Rioux, who offers help to both artists and entrepreneurs.

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Photo stolen lovingly from Gretchen Kelley Photography

And if you’re really looking to switch things up….head over to hulu and see her as paramedic Courtney on Chicago Med 😉

Have a great month, my friends. Go get ‘em.

How I Won My Tuesday

Wanna hear about a time I kept failing, but still “won” for the day?

“Not really. You kind of talk about that a lot.”

Excellent. Allow me to share.

“Wait. Please don’t…”

It all began on a Tuesday evening…….

(beautiful music can be heard, as readers step into the world of Tony Rossi)

I was enjoying a planned cheat night, like I do. I came up with a couple of ideas of how I could spend my evening. My goals included the following:

-Get out of the apartment

-Spend as little money as possible

-Enjoy some drinks

-Make sure to leave the apartment

-Maybe get some work done

-Try and actually be around other human beings (preferably friends)

-Eat unhealthy food

-Did I say the thing about the apartment?

I had my intentions. I knew what I wanted. I even researched (via facbeook events) some fun things to do. I packed my bag and headed out. Here’s how the evening went down:

-I texted a friend who wasn’t available (Evening: 1; Tony: 0)

-I went to destination number one. It was more pricey than I thought. I left without purchasing (Evening: 2; Tony: 0)

-The second place had dollar beers AND dollar tacos. Unfortunately seemed to know this. It was crowded. I left without purchasing (Evening: 3; Tony; 0)

At this point, I was ready to throw in the towel. It was supposed to be a cheat night and I wasn’t happy. Furthermore, that negative voice decided to check in and say hi. He’d say things like how stupid I was for being a loner, not having enough money, not checking out places beforehand, etc. But I trudged on….I’m a little stubborn

I was biking towards home and approached a bar that I hadn’t been to in ages. I always wondering how it was since they underwent new management. From the outside, I couldn’t really tell. But I sure liked their sign saying, “$2 Sam Adams.”

Evening: 3; Tony: WINNER

We can be failing on our path to winning. Often those failures are telling us what not to do, so that we can get quickly find what we’re actually supposed to do. If you’re anything like me, you might find yourself getting discouraged by failure. The more we learn about them the quicker we can get to the success we’re seeking.

My story is obviously a small example of how you can fail your way to success for other areas of your life: relationships, jobs, etc. So my question to you is this: What are you going to do so that you can embrace failure, find success, and live a happier life?

“That’s an excellent question, Tony. I’m glad you asked.”

Right?

Go get ‘em, my friends.

Redefining Failure

Guess who fell off track again? (Hint: He’s awesome. But he’s also #notperfect).

I’ve been writing a lot about health and nutrition. It’s important to both who I am as a person plus helps me achieve my non fitness goals. I take pride in saving up for cheat days and saying no to chocolate (…not always a fun area to be proud of).

That said, when cheat night does come around, it sometimes spirals out of control. I had to give myself an extra cheat night each week to control myself better. I figured this change made me Tony-freaking-Rossi: Cheat Night Conquistador.

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This is the expression that Tony-freaking-Rossi has, as he tends to think he’s invincible. 

…Of course I was wrong. (Which sucks because I really like the word conquistador.)

A couple nights ago I treated myself to wine, pizza, and a movie. At home. Obviously. Heaven forbid I actually do something fun outside of my studio apartment….

….the thing is though, I hadn’t actually sat through a full movie in a very long time. (Disclaimer: If you work for a Chicago talent agency and stumbled upon my page, please know that I film. In fact, we should hangout and watch film together…yes?) Since I’ve began monitoring how I spend my time, I tend to watch my shows in smaller increments.  I had almost “forgot” how to enjoy myself during a two hour movie.

And I really wish I had cleaned out my cabinets prior to starting.

The following morning, I woke up bloated and guilty. I had ate far too many snacks right up until bed. So much for being Tony-freaking-Rossi.

I had failed again…..but was it a bad thing?

“There is no failure. Only feedback.” –Robert Allen

Each time we “fail,” it teaches us what not to do. Of course there are those who ignore the feedback and keep trying the same thing over and over with the expectation of change. We all know how that works out. Our struggles teach us what not to do. We just have to be willing to accept failure as feedback and avoid beating ourselves up.

As we head into the weekend, remember that there is no failure. There’s only feedback. If you fall off track with your goals – nutrition or not – think of it as a lesson that’s preparing you for awesomeness.

Oh yeah. I said awesomeness.

Go get ‘em, friends.