How to Better Your Negative Situation

So I wrote this post two years ago. It really resonates with me this week. …

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.

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3 Questions to Ask to Stop Yourself From Worrying

My name is Tony Rossi. And I’m a worry-holic.

 

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Must have been why they gave me the “Are you Robert Pattinson” scene during Waltzing Mechanics XI Edition of “El Stories”

I love the book, “The Big Leap” by Gay Hendrix. There’s a section where he talks about how we get addicted to worrying and how quickly we go into scenario of “The Universe will not function if I don’t worry about this.” I realized I’m very good at worrying myself.

While I’m still working on this, I’ve been able to help some of my friends who are worry-holics themselves. Here are three questions I often ask:

1) What is the worst case scenario here?

Sometimes we find ourselves worrying without even wondering what the repercussions are! Try to figure out what those are now with this question. You may find you’re stressing about something very mundane that doesn’t deserve as much energy as you’re giving it.

Now let’s say this is a serious issue that needs to be address. What is the very worst thing that can happen? Is it as bad as you’re picturing it to be? Is the universe going to end? Is anyone going to die? Even with those situations where someone is depending on us for something we can no longer deliver on, the repercussions often aren’t as bad as we make them out to be in our heads – which sometimes is that worst case scenario J

2) Do I have any control over this?

Do you ever find you’re worrying about the following….

-Public transportation running late

-Traffic

-The weather

-Something bad happening in the world

We love to complain, stress over, and vent about those four topics. Sometimes we realize we have no control over them and think that worrying will help us somehow rectify the situation. As a worry-holic, I can tell you this doesn’t help. If anything, it will drain our mental batteries, cause us to break down, and swear a lot in our apartment. I’m sure my neighbors have plenty of nicknames for me…

I’m always hearing complaints and negativity around these things specifically. Keep in mind that if you choose to worry over them – chances are you can’t do anything about it. If you can – great! But if not? You’re wasting a lot of energy that’s going to drain you. And I’m guessing you want that.

Sometimes it helps realizing we worry because we care. We don’t want to hold others up. We don’t want to see ourselves in future pain. And we don’t want to see others in pain. Great! We’re awesome people! Now let’s keep being awesome by saving up that energy – we’re busy! We need it.

3) If the worst case scenario happens, will I be able to bounce back from this?

This is where I like to play the “Will this matter in five years?” game. Yes, if I’m late and I lose my job it would be very inconvenient. But will I find another one or find a solution to keep me from going homeless in the meantime?  Yes I will. In this case, stop worrying exactly about the HOW and focus on the fact that you WILL make it work.

Finally, when you DO catch yourself worrying again remember this: It’s okay. You’re okay. And you’re not worrying because you’re a bad person. You’re worrying because you’re human.

Which of these three resonate with you the most? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

(Have a friend who worries? Feel free to share or invite them to the blog 🙂 )

Let’s be awesome this week.

Go get ’em.

(Look familiar? This post was written one year ago! Feel free to browse below for previous posts)

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Thanks for reading, friends. 

If you don’t know me – I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. 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…)

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

How to stay positive when you’re skipping a Cubs game – that you were really looking forward to

Have I ever mentioned how much I love baseball?

 

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These are a few of my favorite things

It’s my favorite activity that has nothing to do with my goals. And that’s coming from an entrepreneur/personal development junkie who struggles to make time for any such activities. But I make an exception for baseball.

And I’ve been craving some Cubs baseball. Especially lately.

The context: I had tickets for a game I was really excited about. May or may not have had a hot date (which I was equally excited about.) I had just skipped out on staying late for my Broken Nose Theatre cast party for “At the Table” due to other commitments. And I really, really wanted some baseball and beer…

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My last several facebook photos….all including “At the Table” pictures of cast, understudies, or social outings with said friends. (Yup. Even the one with the puppy.)

 

….and then I got sick.

……..WHY NOW?!

So friends. As I write this post (very deliriously, I might add) the day I’m supposed to go to the game, yet share insight after insight with my peers on how to be more positive and live an authentically positive life – how do you stay positive when this happens?

I got three tips for you:

  1. Get pissed. Seriously. You’re sick when you’re FINALLY free to do something fun. You think airy fairy positive thinking is going to make you feel better? HA! No. This sucks and you deserve to be in a bad mood if you want to be. 
  2. Put things into context. But obviously staying angry forever won’t help. And let’s be honest, other cool life stuff is going to happen. Like my friend’s wedding in a couple weeks. And the Red Sox game I’m going to see two days beforehand. And not to mention there’s another entire month of baseball left in a city with two baseball stadiums. One of which never sells out their games (even with their $10 tickets.) So put things into context: A year from now….are you even going to remember this happened? (Hint: Probably not.) 
  3. Really put things into context: I met a doctor recently who shared she wasn’t allowed to practice in the United States. Despite six intense years of medical school, her papers can’t be transferred here because her country kind of doesn’t like our country. (Not for reasons you might think, but I’m sure those aren’t helping either…) Add on top of this the fact that her family was stuck in her country surrounded by war, having no idea if they made it through the night. After hearing this story, a baseball game didn’t seem to be a big deal. 

(Note: As of a month ago, this doctor’s family is safe and out of the country!!) 

A note about putting things into context….

Your feelings still matter. When I had this insightful conversation with the doctor, she also validated my own feelings (though I didn’t specifically mention the game.)  Just because I’m comparing my situation to hers doesn’t mean I don’t get to feel bad about it. Her words – not mine.

Keep that in mind. The next time you’re feeling guilty that you had a shit day when there’s war and famine going on in another part of the world – that doesn’t mean we don’t get to express our own feelings that humans experience. I bring this up because while putting things into context helps me realistically and positively feel less bad about my own situation, it doesn’t mean I have to feel guilty that I’m feeling feelings. Ya know?? 

So in summary: 

-Be pissed (but don’t stay there) 

-Will this matter a year from now? 

-Put things into context

-Remember that your emotions are valid 

Go get ‘em. 

***   ***   ***

Thanks for reading, friends. 

If you don’t know me – I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. 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…)

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

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

You’re allowed to feel shitty today

Ever find yourself in a mood and beating yourself up for feeling (insert your favorite negative mood here)?

Just yesterday I found myself in one of those moods. Don’t get me wrong – the day had a good start. It was an early morning, but an easy shift with some positive people.

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I don’t usually like gigs like these….but the staff at Bisnow are wonderful. 

The thing is, these shifts make for a very early wake up. Like, a 4:30am wake up. And of course I got to bed late the night previously after my Vagabond School class. Oh, and I just so happened to have a show later that evening.

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Aren’t we cute? Grateful for Broken Nose Theatre this group of people right here

“No worries!” I thought. ” I can totally take my time to rest, nap, and take it easy in between….”

….except I still haven’t figured out this nap thing. ( Like seriously!)

I experienced my normal symptoms of feeling tired, groggy, and cranky following my nap. I wasn’t happy. Which of course led me to get upset about anything and everything for the rest of the afternoon.

And then I said to myself, “You know what – it’s okay to feel shitty today.” And the minute I told myself this, I felt better.

Funny how much pressure we take off ourselves the minute we stop trying to do things right or perfect.

I hope that the next time you’re in a cranky mood, regardless of the reason, you cut yourself some slack and remember, “Hey. I’m human. I’m not a terrible person for being #notperfect.”

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Write it down. Hang it up. I swear it helps.

 

Let’s go get ’em, friends.

***   ***   ***

Thanks for reading, friends. 

If you don’t know me – I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. 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…)

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

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

The difference between being negative and being genuine. (It’s not what you think.) 

…okay maybe it’s what you think. 

Just recently, I came home to my apartment after returning to a visit to the Boston area. 

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Not wanting to break routine, I proceeded to through my usual vacation withdrawals at first. “What? Back to reality? Back to day jobs? Ugh…” I decided I needed something Boston related to get me through the next few days. And since nothing makes me happier than the Red Sox, I figured listening to some baseball would do the trick. 

Good news: I have a membership that allows me to listen to any baseball game I want! 

Bad news: …it wasn’t working. 

Three phone calls and multiple conversations with both Google Play and MLB At Bat reps resulted in….no answers. 

The follow day, I called again. This time I got a rep named Cara from Oklahoma. 

Truthfully, Cara didn’t sound particularly enthusiastic to talk to me. And I couldn’t say I blamed her – I was calling to get help with something that really didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. I love baseball – but I don’t need baseball. (Playoffs excluded. Obviously.) Yet I was surprised when apologized to me for not sounding more energetic. “I’m really not feeling well,” she admitted.

Her honesty allowed us to have an awesome conversation. She wasn’t being fake, pretending like she was thrilled to be at work (even though I’m sure her boss wouldn’t approve.) She was honest and I even got to learn more about her. She loves baseball, hockey, and was looking to get back into a career in singing! I loved everything about this. 

She also scored extra points when she solved my problem and got Tony Rossi some baseball back into his life. 

Now had Cara gone on to vent to me about how much she hated her job, hated being sick, etc. this would have been a different blog post. But I personally love when I get a sense of honesty from someone who is on the clock and serving me. 

In a nutshell, I can’t stand fake. I blame the corporate environment for this, and not their employees – who are most likely not getting paid enough to even be there in the first place. 

The way to be genuine is to be yourself without venting. I love getting a sense of the person behind the mandatory smile. But let’s also not confuse this with getting a free pass to bitch and moan that we’re on the clock in the first place. 

So friends, be on the lookout for more ways to be yourself without going into a tailspin of “this sucks and here’s why.” 

And if all else fails – tweet broadcaster Tim Neverett and let him know where you’re listening from. He likes when you do this. 

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Don’t worry, I wasn’t being negative. They were broadcasting an extra inning game. And doing it wonderfully. 

 

Let’s go get ‘em, friends. 


***   ***   ***

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! 

 

When Being Right Doesn’t Work

Post originally written for parlepost.com. 

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My name is Tony. And I’m extremely stubborn.

Despite being stubborn, I love to make people feel happier, more confident, and have a better understanding of themselves. In order to have this understanding, it helps to understand others. Which means, if I want to help people in this area, I must do the same. So I’m working on this whole “stubborn” thing and focusing on how to listen better – particularly when I don’t want to…

Click to read the full post! 

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“Tony. Why do I have to click links now?” 

So glad you asked. Last week I shared that I’m a contributing writer to parlepost.com. In the hopes that I can stay on the team, I’ve asked readers to check out my content on their page.

“So like, is this content any different?” 

Nope! Still me talking in my own voice about taking control and being a happier person.

“Does this mean you’re done posting original content here?” 

Nope! But for now, I’m linking the post that are up.

“Okay fine. I kind of like your content regardless…so…are you available for hire?”

You bet. Shoot me an email at tony.rossi@gmail.com to discuss what I can do for you. Or check out my very official posting here.

I Broke The Rules

My name is Tony Rossi. Sometimes I break the rules. 

I do this every now and then. As other artists and entrepreneurs can attest to, there are periods where you’re not quite making as much money as you’d like. Which may or may not (but definitely will) cause you to do things that you probably shouldn’t be doing. 

There was a time where I did this and it really stuck out. 

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I won’t say where I was or what I was doing because it was highly illegal…okay that’s a stretch. It really wasn’t. I just found a loop hole that allowed me to steal wifi from an establishment that prefers you to give them money for doing so. Seeing as how I had been able to get away with this in the past, I figured…why not try again? So I did. And sure enough, I was recognized “Hey! Good to see you! When you get a chance, can you (actually do that thing where you pay us money because those are clearly part of the rules for being here)?” 

“Yeah! Definitely!” 

…I didn’t do it. 

The next couple hours were fear filled. “Are they going to say something? They’ll probably say something. I should probably leave. Or hide. This is terrible. I’m terrible. I’m a terrible human being. Is there someone behind me? I bet that’s them…

Which of course, only led to more negative thoughts….

“The staff must hate me. They must think I’m a scammer. They probably think I do this in every area of life. I bet they’ll go home tonight, think about how I’m a scammer, and text each other about what a dick I am….”

I should note that my whole reason for coming here in the first place was to feel positive, inspired, and excited to do work which can help me with my goals. Instead, I found myself furiously typing away at a post that I couldn’t wait to upload. (To my free blog.) 

Between my obsession for self help books and learning more about both myself and what others are thinking about, I’ve learned a few things that resonated that day: 

  1. We all could do better with checking in with ourselves. If the point of doing something, going somewhere, or being with somebody are supposed to make you feel good, do yourself a favor and ask if these things actually are helping you feel good. 
  2. Guys. No one cares about you as much as you think they do. I know, I know. This is a harsh truth. But think about a job you’ve worked in the past where you had an encounter with a coworker or customer. It didn’t go well. It pissed you off. You might have thought about them all the way home, complained about them to your significant other over dinner…..and then needed to unwind. With netflix. Or wine. Or both. The point is, we reach a point where we stop caring because we care way more about ourselves. We only care about the thoughts of others because it relates to ourselves. So do yourself a favor and just let it go. 
  3. This isn’t going to fucking matter a year from now. (Or maybe even tomorrow.) If anything, your trial and tribulation from today is going to make for an incredible story down the road. Because down the road, it’ll be just like your netflix and wine night – you’re going to stop caring about it. 

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Gotta love the quotes at Next Door Chicago!

So put things into perspective. Check in with yourself and see how you’re feeling. Realize that no one is thinking about you as much as you think they are. And realize that in the grand scheme of things – this incident really, really isn’t that big of a deal. 

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 😉 

What happens when you trust uncertainty in your life

Don’t drink too much caffeine. Don’t put product in your hair. If you don’t show up early, you might not get paid.

The things we do as creative artists to pay the bills….

I signed up for a research study. I signed a confidentiality agreement and am not allowed to reveal details. I can say that I arrived after a #notperfect day. Add on top of that my continuous work on becoming more happy while working random gigs like these, and you have one unique, lanky, long nosed and quite troubled fellow coming into your office to take said study.

I’ve been working hard on myself. I want to believe that “everything always works out for me” whether I’m having a good day or not. Yet today, I was struggling. And it didn’t help that I was running late. I finally arrived to read the details of my consent form. The Tony-Rossi thoughts went as follow…

“I could be here two hours? And I’m going to be subject to a set of potential emotional experiences in order to give them a particular response? Don’t even tell me I might have to taste something on Day 2 of my new nutrition plan…Ugh. Why didn’t I just cancel? This can’t be worth my time…”

Right before I signed the form, figuring I was already there and have backed out of too many things I shouldn’t have in the past year, I had a new thought: Maybe this will be fun. Maybe I’ll get paired with someone nice. Maybe we’ll get out early. Or perhaps this will just be a great story or experience of yet another random side job I worked to get to success….

A voice interrupted my positive thoughts. It came from the nice lady behind the front desk. She was telling me that they’ve already begun the study. Something about the participants. And then concluding with, “…and we’re going to just pay you anyway.,

I’m sorry….what?

I’m getting paid to leave right now?

I. Was. Elated.

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Note to self: Make sure to crop out the full gift card number before posting….

Lessons from yours truly (who, upon writing this, is currently celebrating with a tall dark Christmas blend from Starbucks):

1) You are doing yourself a disservice if you freak out about uncertainty. While evolution has lead us to be on alert for uncertainty as a previous mode of survival, we’re no longer (hopefully) subject to attacks from wild animals who might kill us. Furthermore, you’re closing yourself off to the abundance of surprises and positives that are waiting to flow your way.

2) Believe that good things are supposed to happen to you. As speaker Les Brown says, “A lot of us think bad things are supposed to happen to us.” Start to ingrain a new belief into your brain that good things happen to you and that you deserve them. See what happens.

3) If all else fails… copy and paste this part somewhere so that you have it ready:

“Dear Universe (or whatever it is you choose to believe in – God, higher being, Tony Rossi, etc): Please forgive me for doubting you. You clearly want good things to happen for me. Thanks for that. I’m #notperfect. But I’m making progress everyday. With a little bit more practice…this will be second nature. Until then – thanks for your patience with me.”

Life is going to be as good or bad as we expect it to be. I’m expecting it to be awesome. Care to join me?

Let’s go get ’em.

3 quick reasons why you’re awesome

It’s my last blog post of 2016…..this shit better be good, huh? 

Per usual, I have a million thoughts on my mind. I’ve had a couple dozen aha moments since my end of the year vacation began. I’ve written down countless messages, notes, and thoughts that I can’t wait to share with the world – inspiring minds with the thoughts of Tony Rossi. 

We’ll save those for another day. 

Instead, here are three thoughts with no further explanation, of things on my mind that I think need to be shared: 

  1. You are awesome, exactly as you are
  2. You can screw up and still be just as awesome
  3. If you’re worried that you’re not awesome, chances are you have high standards for yourself. Which means you’re not going to let yourself be less awesome. 

…did I say I wasn’t going to give a further explanation? Oh. I lied. 

I love you guys. I am grateful for your likes, shares, and comments. I am grateful that so many of you watch my Sunday Facebook live videos. I am grateful for the mentors who teach me these lessons. 

And I’m grateful that I’m awesome enough to get over myself and share them. (Oh yes. This shit applies to me too.) 

Bring it on 2017. 

Let’s go get ‘em. 

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Beautiful shot of a water show at Longwood Gardens earlier this week 

“Because that’s life”

Hello! And welcome to TonyinChicago.

I update every Thursday. (You should subscribe. They’re pretty great….though I suppose I’m biased).

I write because one of my favorite things in the world is to share with others how to become a more authentically positive version of ourselves so that we can do the things we really want to do with our lives. I want others to discover they have control over their thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and patterns.

I want people to start realizing, “Oh wow….I used to feel (insert negative emotion here). But now I don’t. And my previous self would have never considered this a possibility!”

It’s a pretty awesome feeling once we realize how much control we actually have in life.

Sadly most people don’t accept this. They go with the, “It is what it is,” mentality. Oh! That reminds me…

There’s a guy who always visits one of my day jobs. I recall a conversation wit him where he shared with me -within minutes -about a health problem he had, then followed with how the red-hot Cubs would likely lose in the playoffs. “Because that’s life!” he told me.

Funny thing about life….
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…it doesn’t actually suck. It only sucks if you allow it to suck and allow yourself to be pulled by the current of “it is what it is.” It’s a herd mentality. I’d advise you not to follow it.

My hope to everyone is that you start reading more than just this blog from a guy in Chicago. Read authors such as Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn, Darren Hardy, and John Maxwell. Subscribe to Marie Forleo, Eric Thomas, and Preston Smiles on their youtube channels. Spend just a little bit of time everyday reading and watching these materials so that they eventually compound into these powerful thoughts that you never realized you were capable of having.

 

me

 

I hope you do this so that you can have your own transformation…and yes, I might be a bit more trim in the “after” photo. It’s more than just an “I eat better and exercise” photo. It’s an “I’m a happier person” photo. I hope you can be happier too.

And I hope you realize just how amazing life can be, my friends.

Let’s go get ’em.

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Tony Rossi (that’s me!) is an actor, motivator and Beachbody coach helping others to become the most authentically positive version of themselves. If you’d like to speak with Tony, learn about his services, or tell him how much you like his hair, feel free to email him at tony.rossi@gmail.com.