The bitch that is social media (and how to deal with it)

Isn’t social media a bitch?

Let’s be honest – because I actually love that bitch – we all like to show our highlight reels.

There are a few times a year when I’m shouting to the roof tops how wonderful my life is on social. These times are when I visit home.

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Shoutout to my friend Heather – whom I first met in Chicago – for getting me into FENWAY FREAKING PARK! 

 

I love my Boston roots. I love seeing the people I love whom I can only see a few times a year. I love driving through curvy, hilly, roads that so much more enoyable because you’re sitting shotgun. Follow me on social and you know what to expect during these trips.

This most recent trip? No different. A 26 hour visit that surprised family – and even myself!  It taught me a lot regarding how to best take advantage of the little time you do have on trips like these. In a future post, I’ll share more about that.

Truth be told, I hit a really, really low moment during this most recent trip. And I think it’s worth talking about for those who think I have my shit together during times like this – or at all.

The #notperfect morning

This is the part where I tell you I’ve been paranoid about being sick lately….because I keep getting sick. And that morning I woke up with a sore throat…

I was sick. Again. On vacation. After just having a cold on my last vacation.

The #notperfect process

“Maybe it’s just allergies,” I thought.

I attempted my morning workout….

“NOPE. Not allergies. I’m sick and this is terrible.” And because this had been a recurring theme for me, I wasn’t just upset. I was PISSED. I was frustrated. I was….honestly, a little hopeless. I had a breakdown of tears before my shower. And during my shower. A few more after. I felt broken.

The ultimate negative chatter

Now, I always hear those negative voices in my head telling me I’m not enough. But this time – I was the negative chatter. I was telling every one of my imaginary nice voices to STFU. I didn’t want any positive motivation. I was pissed. Nothing was going to help. I kept thinking….

I don’t care if there’s a lesson in this.

I’m F-ing sick of lessons through setbacks.

I don’t care if this is something I’ll appreciate five years from now

I don’t care that others have it worse than me (even though I know it’s true)

I don’t want to “just be positive”

I’m mad and I’m going to stay that way.

I don’t want to know “that it’s all going to be okay”

Okay fine. I did know deep down that everything was going to be alright. I just didn’t know when. When you don’t have a timeline – it sucks. When you keep having repeating patterns show up in a really short time frame – it really sucks. When you keep having that repeating pattern show up in a short time frame and it keeps showing up during your vacation? Don’t even get me started……

And then….

It was over.

No seriously. The pain was over.

Sure, my throat was still dry. But after taking some ibuprofen? I was literally fine. That headache I felt? Gone a few minutes later. Next thing I knew, I was having lunch with my Dad in his office, meeting his coworkers, and enjoying the largest salad that I’ve ever had. (I might have added a few extra pieces of chicken knowing that Dad was paying…)

The thing was – I wasn’t actually sick!

Now allergies, on the other hand…..that’s a different story. But I wasn’t low in energy. I wasn’t aching all over. And when I ended up going for a long walk in Boston later? I was FINE.

I had freaked out for nothing.

The point?

The point is I didn’t talk about this at all on social media.

Last my friends saw – I was a happy freaking camper using #BostonYoureMyHome hashtags left and right.

I don’t like dumping dirty laundry on social media….

 

Example: Screaming baby on my flight back?! FML….

The truth: You’re on vacation. You’re on a freaking airplane. You’re fine.

 

Example: I JUST GOT TOWED! WTF?!

The truth: You’re about to go through an inconvenient couple of days. You’ll pay a fee. And then – you’ll be fine. In fact, a year from now – you’ll be laughing at this. You’re fine.

 

Example: Why are people so annoying?

The truth:  You are so annoying…..and you’re not fine….)

(Sorry. That last one was just for me. And I’ve been that annoying person, so I’ll stop talking….)

While I don’t love dumping dirty laundry onto others, I also believe in being honest. But when it comes to my health – I’m more private these days. I learned that posting about so much as a head cold can result in your peers thinking you only have three weeks to live…..long story short, I’ve become more quiet about certain things like this.

Again – the point???

The point is don’t believe everything you see.

The point is don’t believe that those awesome, happy, successful people are like that all the time.

Just because someone is happy in one area of their life doesn’t mean they’re happy in all areas.

Just because someone is in love doesn’t mean they’re fulfilled socially.

Just because someone has landed their dream job doesn’t mean they have their finances in order.

Just because someone has a plethora of friends doesn’t mean they’re happy romantically.

Just because your mentors are the “smartest people in the world” doesn’t mean they have all their shit together…..

This isn’t to discourage you. This is to remind you that you’re not alone.

The pros that you emulate? They struggle too.

Guys. We’re all in this together. We’re all part of the huge traffic jam that you see everyday after work. We’re all the people who can be laughing hysterically one minute and crying profusely the next. And we’re people who can flip our emotions in an instant – for better or worse.

You’re not alone. There’s nothing wrong with you. It’s okay to not feel okay all the time.

You are enough. Especially if you have flaws and quirks.

Let’s go get ‘em, my friends.

 

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Got questions? Want to me to give an empowerment talk to your group or school? Email me: tony.rossi@gmail.com. 

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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 🙂You can also find me on instagramYouTube, or check out my actor website

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I started the day with an ugly cry. Here’s how it ended

Ever gotten sick when it’s a really, really inconvenient time to get sick?

…I did. This week.

If you’ve been following my blog, you know that this has been a common theme for me lately. Being sick is my “happiness kryptonite.” And when it just keeps happening, it’s easy to get more and more frustrated.

This week, however, was a really bad week to get sick. I was going to be working long days, early mornings, and only had one day off amongst it all. To top it all off, I had woken up on day two of said sickness and barely slept all night. 

I’d say “insert grumpy Tony here,” but that wouldn’t even cut it. I was frustrated, sad, angry, and all of the negative emotions all at once. I even had the thought, “What if I just called off today? I know it’s the busiest day for me to do that, and I’d probably lose this job, but I really don’t think I can handle this…..”

The following #SundayVideo, which I do every week on Facebook, shares how I felt by the end of that day. (It’s about three minutes!)

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(I might have spent the first 20 seconds talking about the ridiculously high ceilings….Click the screenshot to watch!) 

This isn’t to say you’re going to experience the same thing after having a shit morning. It’s to say that sometimes things work out for the better when there’s no evidence to support it.

Hang in there if you’re going through a struggle of your own. Embrace that it’s okay to not have it figured out. You’ll be okay – even if it’s not that day.

Let’s go get ’em, friends.

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Want to me to give an empowerment talk to your group or school? Email me! tony.rossi@gmail.com. 

***   ***   ***

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 🙂You can also find me on instagramYouTube, or check out my actor website

Why I Do Personal Development (with a story of my not-so-good morning)

My morning was going freaking fantastic. And then, it just wasn’t. 

Some context:

It was my first day back to my “Tony’s morning routine.” This is where I wake up early somewhere between 5-7am, listen to my morning meditation from Wendy Braun as I shower and change, write in my gratitude journal, and then eat my (healthy) chocolate oatmeal while I read a personal development book. (Right now I’m reading “Awaken the Giant Within” by Tony Robbins. Love it.) I do all of this before checking my phone, email, Facebook, or anything that might have something or someone wanting my attention. I want to be in a positive state before checking any of that. 

It. Was. Great. 

I had been working a day job the previous few days and didn’t get this routine. I was excited to be back. I proceeded then to catch up on emails and messages, drink my coffee, and put in some work towards my Beachbody coaching for a couple hours. I was having FUN! I felt a rush of adrenaline that I hadn’t felt in a few days. 

And then…..I worked out. 

Usually this is another part of my morning that I enjoy. Lately however I haven’t been able to workout without experiencing some symptoms after. It’s frustrating. And being a Beachbody coach, I like to share what I’m doing – which includes setbacks. That day I learned after that I still couldn’t finish a workout without experiencing symptoms after.

(Side note: No it’s not serious. Yes I’m okay. Yes, I will repeat this again and still get questions from friends and family asking if I’m okay…) 

I’m sharing this part because then….I got pissed. 

I’d share all the thoughts I said to myself that hour, but instead just pretend you see Tony Rossi doing the opposite of what he posts on social media when it comes to positivity….it’s not pretty. 

I was about to mindlessly scroll and throw a pity party until it was time to leave for work. Instead, realizing that this hasn’t helped at all in the past, I decided to check my folder in my Gmail titled “Personal Development” – filled with blogs and videos from my favorite people that help me be my happiest self. I found found a video from Andrea Schulman from Raise Your Vibration Today that I had yet to check out…..

STOP FEELING SORRY FOR YOURSELF  

…oh my. Okay then. 

It was a slap in the face that I needed. It gave me reminders THAT I HAD HEARD EARLIER THAT MORNING IN MY MORNING ROUTINE that I had completely forgotten about. (Sorry for shouting. We’ll get back to that). Then…I started to feel a little better. 

Personal development, positive reading, and self care isn’t this “one and done” thing. It’s like working out – you have to keep doing it if you want to keep the results you earned. 

So as you go about your day and wonder why it is you’re not feeling happier, more motivated, energized about life, etc ask yourself when the last time you read a positive book or listened to a positive audio. I don’t share this stuff because it’s cute (though some of my blog are pretty adorable.) I do it because I need it for myself. 

I hope you take advantage too, my friends. 

Let’s go get ‘em, yeah? 

Being authentically positive: How I really felt yesterday

Whenever a big, popular event happens, I often keep silent. I assume that I’ll just be echoing things that everyone else has heard.

When I share a message, I prefer to share something that’s unique and personal. My favorite content is from friends who do the same. On the other hand, I can’t stand when I see the opposite….yes, we’re going down that route today…

A small example of this is on birthdays: I see friends saying, “Happy birthday! Hope all is well” or “Happy birthday! Hope it’s a good one.” It’s a message that could literally be copied and pasted from one wall to the next. A bigger example was on Tuesday on Election Day. “Don’t forget to vote and do your civic duty!” We’ll ignore the fact that this was the biggest topic trending that day, but more so, there was nothing personal in this. It’s bland…. I don’t like bland.

I bring this up because the day after the election results have shown, I have a lot to say. But per usual, I see a lot of it already – except this case I’m actually not referring to what most of my friends are talking about. I’m not interesting in what they’re saying, because most of my friends are liberal and are mostly sharing content that makes me sad or upset….I don’t want to feel that way today. Or tomorrow.

The ones I’m referring to are my mentors sharing messages of hope and love. My favorites are even offering how to best focus your energy. I love these messages 🙂 Yet, because I’ve heard them multiple times….I assume that my voice is just going to be echoing what they’ve already said.

And maybe it will. But this week we’re doing things different. I’m writing in case there’s one person – maybe one of my many subscribers whom I’ve never met before (thanks guys 🙂 ) – to share a message dear to my heart:

Sometimes in life, things don’t go our way. We can spend all the time we want being upset and angry. We can post away to our hearts content about how “bad” things are. All this is doing is preventing us from doing the work we need to do in this world to be our best selves – both for us and those we love.

I’ll end with a story: I went to the post office yesterday at Irving and Southport. I met a nice worker named Janet and asked how her day was going. She said it was going well, but that everyone coming in was upset about the election results. She said there were even people coming in crying! I quickly learned that while Janet and I had both hoped for a different outcome, we agreed that “What’s done is done, and we’re all going to be okay.” I left the office with a big smile on my face.

Where your attention goes, energy flows. We can focus all we want on the bad that happens in life. That’s our choice. But what if instead we choose to focus how to make it awesome – regardless of the roadblocks?

I’m going to make the rest of 2016 awesome. I hope you’ll join me, friends.

Let’s go get ’em.

How To Better Your Negative Situation

This is for anyone in a dark situation. We’ll call it a tunnel.

Dark Tunnel

When we’re in the tunnel, we can’t always see the other side. This happens when we’re looking for work, short on money, or in an unpleasant living environment. As more and more negatives start to pile on, we tend do a couple of things:

We focus on more negatives: It’s the easy and comfortable thing to do. Yet it tends to make our situation worse, not better.

We seek out instant gratification: While having a short break is sometimes necessary, it’s important we don’t stay there too long. Many of us go on this break, then stay there. This is nothing more than just an extended vacation in our dark tunnel. Unless we start making an effort to get out, we’re just setting ourselves up to be unhappy in the long run.

So how do we get out?

After you’ve taken your (short) break to ease your mind, here are a few steps I recommend:

1) Accept responsibility for your circumstances

The easy thing to do is to play the victim mentality and blame someone or something other than ourselves. Regardless of any crazy and unexpected circumstances that may have occurred, it’s important to realize that you are the reason for where you are today. Accept responsibility for what’s happened. Don’t kick yourself. Just stop making excuses and blaming others. Once you own up to your situation, you’ll realize you have the power to change things and get yourself back on track.

2) Make an action plan

This is going to vary based on what’s going on. Keep in mind you might be digging yourself out of a deep hole. This could take time. Don’t worry about making it perfect. If you do, you’ll just keep putting it off. Just start. You can try starting from the finish line and then working backwards if that helps. Just make sure it gives you some specific steps to get to your final destination.

If necessary, ask a friend for help. Or hire someone . Whatever you do, do not blame them if they are unresponsive or unavailable. Doing this releases our power to control our circumstances. The goal is to get out. The more we blame, the longer we’re stuck in the tunnel.

3) Stay consistent

It’s easy to belittle those tiny steps starting out, such as making an action plan. “What difference does it make? I’ll still be in my same situation tomorrow.” Making the plan actually puts you further ahead than you think. It ignites a flame of hope. Hope is a very powerful tool. It’s contagious and will reveal both confidence and answers – which are hard to see when it’s dark out.

This only works if you’re consistent. If you’re not, you won’t see any progress. Then you’ll really get frustrated and want to quit. Which keeps us in the tunnel. We don’t want that.

As you go about this, keep finding ways for to keep yourself motivated and sane. Just make sure it doesn’t turn into that extended vacation in instant gratification land. You need to be prepped and ready to go as soon as the break is over.

If you’re in that tunnel now, get up off the couch.  Make that plan right. Then….relax. You’ve just taken your first step. You can sleep tonight knowing that you took a moved forward towards the other end of the tunnel.

Light Tunnel

Best part: Doing this helps the tunnel seem a little bit brighter.

Go get ’em.