Why You’re Having a Bad Day

I was having a bad day. And it didn’t seem like I could improve it.

One of the benefits of being a #MyBigYear2017 member is the monthly calls with Courtney Rioux. (You can also sign up on her website to receive info for her free calls if this concept intrigues you.) A question Courtney sometimes asks us is, “Are you willing to see things differently?” I remember the first time I heard her ask this. I realized that each time I posted in our group or shared thoughts on a call, I was sharing them to vent. Not to hear an answer. In order to get that answer that deep down I ultimately wanted, I needed to see things differently. And to see things differently, I needed to be okay with being “wrong” about the way I was currently seeing things. 

A thought Courtney shares is, “You can choose to be happy or you can choose to be right.” I constantly need this reminder because, well….I like be right! 🙂 And the funny thing is, I think that by being right, I’ll automatically be happy. Usually it works the opposite. 

Back to my bad day: I wasn’t in a good mood and I had a lot of things I wanted to get done. Yet with the mood I was in, I wasn’t just unmotivated. But I grew more frustrated every time I started a new task. I quickly realized that this wasn’t the state I wanted to be in when doing things like answering emails and submitting to different theatre companies. 

I took a walk. (Okay, I went to Walgreens. I needed toilet paper.) 

I got home. I listened to Ross Grant do his bi-weekly #ActOnThisTV periscope.

And slowly, I started to feel better. (Cubs rallying in the 9th for a day game at Wrigley? Bonus points.)

It wasn’t until after all of these things that I started to be willing to see things differently. And once I was willing to see things differently, I was able to do the things that made me happy. 

Next time you’re in a bad mood ask yourself: Are you willing to see things differently? Or do you want to complain? If you want to complain, chances are you just want to be right. (Trust me, I get it.) And if you want to be right, perhaps right now is not the thing to solve your problem.

Take a break from the problem. In fact, watch this

I know, right? Cubs will do that to you.

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Thanks Cubbie Instagram for the pic. You make my blog look good. (Also – follow the Cubbies on instagram.)

Let’s go get ‘em friends. 

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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 😉 

Are you a critic like me?

Did I ever tell you guys I used to be a critic? I was a damn good one…

Despite my commitment to personal growth and development, I was very good at critiquing those that I could best learn from. This happened a lot in acting classes. When the teacher was talking, I could always find something I didn’t like about their tone of voice. Sometimes I didn’t like that they always laughed at things I didn’t find funny. Other times I’d get upset when a student asked a particular question or sounded over confident.

This also happened anytime I was listening to a training call or attending an event related to my job helping others with their health. I would get bothered when the person hosting the call continued to say something similar each week.  I found myself annoyed if the presenter didn’t take into consideration how long the day had been or how tired I was. (I could always find a reason even if I slept well…)

This especially happened anytime I watched a video that was supposed to help me with my personal growth. “Did that speaker really just fumble over that part?” “Oh sure, that’s easy for him to say now that he’s successful…” “Great, now he’s going to tell us all the reasons why we should buy something from him….”

It’s a shame I wasn’t getting paid to be a critic. I could have made a lot of money.

I’m embarrassed to admit that I was doing this silent critiquing up until very recently. Somehow and somewhere, in between all that reading and audio listening, a question popped into my head:

“Is this person actually trying to bother me? Or are they trying to help?”

(Someone tweet that….I always wanted a blog with a link for people to tweet my words of wisdom…)

More often than not, the people we get bothered by aren’t trying to hurt us. In all of the examples I just shared, most of these people were trying to help me. While I heard their words, I wasn’t actually absorbing the lesson as well as I could have because I was too busy critiquing and getting upset by mundane things.

Do you ever find yourself doing the same thing? If you do, consider the following:

This person really wants to help. This especially applies if it’s a teacher, instructor, or anyone in a field where their job is based on the success of others.

Let the anger go.  When you start to recognize that anger? Acknowledge it, then let it go. Try silently thanking the person in your head. They’re doing you a favor right now whether you like their tone or not.

Successful people care about helping others. The money they ask for is helping them create more materials and content to continue helping – not just so they can take a cruise. Also consider the very successful ones – the big guys like Tony Robbins, Darren Hardy, or Michael McCracken – don’t need more money. They could retire. They ask for money because they want to continue helping.

 

 

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Okay….Michael just had a second baby….maybe consider throwing in an extra dollar in the coffee jar next time you use the Keurig at Vagabond School of the Arts 

 

Do any of these thoughts resonate with you? I’d love to hear which ones in the comments below. (And I won’t even charge you 😉 )

Now, if this does happen with you a lot…don’t kick yourself. You’re not doing it because you’re a bad person. You’re doing it because you’re human. When we’re human, we have a tendency to mess up every now and then. Doesn’t make us bad people. And we can always change.

Let’s go get ‘em, friends.

 

 

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PS – Like the photo of me and Michael? It was taken by Gretchen Kelley from Gretchen Kelley Photography. She also did my headshots. I kind of like them. Check out her website if you’re looking for new ones yourself 🙂 

The Worst Case Scenario Is….

Funny how we stress out, isn’t it?

If you don’t find stress funny, allow me to share a story.

I was having a good day. A really good day. Nothing crazy. Just a productive day with lots of positives to focus on. I love days like this. What could go wrong?

I checked my bank account really quick before dinner.

*SOUND OF RECORD SCREECHING*

And that, my friends, ended my buzz.

There wasn’t anything abnormal. Just a wake up call. I realized how I didn’t have as much coming in as I hoped. Next month? Not looking much better. What was I going to do?

When we stress about things that haven’t happened yet, we often assume the worst. The negatives are magnified. All we can focus on is how gloomy the future looks. Funny thing is, we could just as easily think about what could go right.

When this happened with me, I wasn’t thinking about what could go right. I wasn’t thinking about how much I’ve saved over the past two months. How it’s more than I’ve saved in a long while. I didn’t think about all the last minute jobs that tend to show up. And I wasn’t thinking how every single time I’ve had a money setback, I’ve made it work. Yes, there was sometimes stress. But I made it work.

It’s tough to visualize how something will work out when you don’t know how it’s going to work out. On the other hand, we sure know how to visualize how bad things will go, don’t we?

The Worst Case Scenario Routine

We’ll use me as an example. If I don’t pick up the work I need in order to pay my bills, what will happen? I could ask my family for money. I’d be embarrassed and it would affect my confidence. But I could do it. Although, this is the worst case scenario, right? So we’ll say that’s not an option. A medical emergency happened there aren’t any Tony Rossi funds available. Now what? I’d apply for a fulltime job? I’d probably hate it (this is the worst case scenario after all), but it would get me rent money. But wait! There’s no jobs to be had in Chicago. All the other struggling actors snagged ‘em. Looks like I won’t be renewing my lease as planned. Time to go back to roommates….and since it is the worst case scenario, they’re probably going to be murders, infected with disease. There’s a 90% chance I’m going to die in this apartment…

Translation: If I don’t make it work out financially next month, I’m going to get murdered. (Or die from infectious diseases.)

We have a tendency to do this. We jump to the worst case scenario thinking about how awful things are going to go. Yet, if we take a step back and observe what’s going on, we realize how irrational we’re being.

So let’s try this together:

This will go right.

I’ve done this before. I’ll do it again.

I f***ing deserve this.

And…c’mon….I’m not going to die.

You with me?

Let’s go get em, friends.

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.