It’s Okay To Not Feel Okay

Every Sunday I do a video on Facebook live. I call them #SundayVideos. (Clever. I know.)

This week I shared how I’ve been going through some challenges and had to remind myself that in the thick of things – it’s actually okay to not “be okay.”

I also talked about how this doesn’t make you “unhappy” and how to differentiate it from being sad and miserable.

For the full video (three minutes) – click the screenshot below!

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So just remember friends – it’s okay to not feel okay sometimes. There’s nothing wrong with you. And we cant wait to see your best version of you again – when you’re ready.

Let’s go get ’em.

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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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There’s nothing wrong with you. You don’t need fixing. But this might help…

I saw another friend yesterday post about how they were struggling with self esteem.

Automatically, I found myself furiously typing. “Here’s how I used to feel. Here’s how I feel now. Here are three things I recommend. And here are some ways to flip your perspective….”

I stopped.

Will this even matter? Will they actually listen to me? Who the hell am I to help this person? And how can I share this with them so that they take my advice, rather than dismiss it? 

I have this inner dialogue every time I see a friend share that they’re in pain. I hope someday to have a better way of helping them.

If I could share a message today for anyone – friend or other – who might be struggling with self esteem, this is what it would say:

At the risk of sounding like a broken record….

There’s nothing wrong with you. You don’t need fixing. You are not broken. You just suffer with incessant negative chatter. You’ve bought into one of the bullshit beliefs, like that other people’s opinions of you get to dictate your self confidence. Or that your resume dictates your self worth. 

I know the feeling. I’ve suffered it a lot. In fact, I still do. 

I don’t want you to suffer anymore. I hope you take the time to start reading personal development books, working with a life coach, and finding more positive people to spend time with that already have the confidence you desire. Do it. You can’t afford not to. And if you can’t do it for you – do it for someone you love. Someone you can’t bear to be in pain. You can help them by starting with yourself. 

Finally….stop taking yourself so damn seriously 🙂 Most of our problems go away in a day, a week, or a couple months. We find new problems. Don’t worry. This problem will go away and that future one will too. 

And when you forget all of this because you’re a normal human being who forgets stuff – no sweat. Just hit the reset button. Being perfect is s waste of time and energy, anyway.

I love you guys. 

 

I really do.

 

Let’s go get ’em.

 

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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! 

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! 

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.

NEWS: You can find me Backstage…

A few months ago, I applied to be a writer at Backstage.com.

Mind you, I didn’t think I actually deserved to do it.

Here’s a list of things the negative voice in my head was telling me….

 

-I can’t write for them. Only successful people do that. 

-Have you seen the credentials of the actors who write for them? 

-You still work day jobs and don’t have your dream agent. You’re not going to be considered. 

-Your hair sucks today. Don’t submit. 

 

(That last one is always my ego’s final attempt to stop me from doing things.)

I had a plethora of reasons not to submit. Yet, there was one good reason to submit that was strong enough to silence the rest: No one is writing about the thing I want to write about. 

Take a look at any successful company or entrepreneur and you’ll see they used their passion to solve a problem that needed solving. Examples include Uber, Stubhub, and even Grubhub. (Hellooooo tacos!)

I realized I love helping my peers recognize their worth before they’ve achieved success. And there wasn’t anyone (that I saw) who was a “beginner” and was doing this.

So I submitted….and got no reply. (Insert “See? I told you!” voice here.)

I almost gave up. Until I realized, “Oh wait. I never heard the word “no.”

So I resubmitted. Got a reply right away 🙂

And here, my friends, is a link to my first article for Backstage.com.

 

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Don’t let anyone – including imaginary negative voices – try to talk you out of something you should be doing.

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! 

How you’re feeling is perfect

Hey friends!

Quick blog post while I visit friends and family back in New England.

(I was up late last night. I was at a Red Sox game.)

Many of you know I do #SundayVideos. They’re all on FB Live and share Tony nuggets of wisdom….so they’re like this. Except in video. And live.

A couple weeks ago I posted this thought, “What if how you’re feeling now is perfect?” 

Let me know what you think. I’d love to hear your thoughts and if you struggle with how you’re feeling in the present moment as well – either right now, or down the road.

Let’s 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

Stop Apologizing For Being You

#tbt – post was originally written by yours truly three years ago! 

What’s one of your embarrassing qualities you wish you could change?

Before I share mine, a story! Well, not a real story. More of a comment. If you’re reading this, you know I enjoy writing. The cool thing about writing is you can go back and fix your words as many times as you want before sharing them with others. Unfortunately, this isn’t how things work in “real life” when you’re having, you know, a real conversation.

I love talking to others. I don’t mind being in front of large groups of people.  Yet I have this incredible tendency to stutter and stumble over my words. This is quite the embarrassing quality to have, especially when you’re a creative artist. I often find myself wishing I was more articulate and less socially awkward. There are even times when I fear that I’ve bothered others with my stuttering and stumbling.

The most recent time this happened was yesterday. (We’ll skip the more recent stuttering incident which took place talking to myself in the shower this morning.) Again, I became concerned that I was being a nuisance. For whatever reason, I quickly found myself asking these questions:

1) Am I actually offending anyone?

2) If I am, am I doing this on purpose?

It’s okay to be embarrassed by our habits. Just as long as it’s not causing us stress or pain. In fact, I want to encourage everyone to stop apologizing for doing things that make you the awesome person you are. As long as you’re not doing them to offend anyone, you have no reason to apologize. You’re being you! Even if this entails some silly qualities, why apologize?

Wanna know the best part? I’m willing to bet a lot of our friends enjoy our flaws.

 

Slurve Crew
I can’t promise that this group enjoys my flaws. But I’ve been friends with them for such a long time, they at least have a high tolerance of them

Think of a quality or habit that you may be embarrassed by. Are you purposefully doing it to offend someone? I doubt it. Go ahead and stop apologizing for it. Today.

 

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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! 

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

3 Things I Learned From Having Maggots

So I woke up ready to start my day the usual way: Journaling. Stretching. Workout. Breakfast. Shower. Do responsible adult things and get back to people who have been waiting for you to finish your routine. 

I got as far as journaling. Then I found maggots. 

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While this was taken much later at my first day of interning at Compass Casting – that was pretty much the same expression on yours truly…

I got maggots twice last year. It wasn’t fun. This year I was determined to decrease that number. By 100%. So when I did find them, it was rather upsetting. Insert Tony-Tantrum consisting of cursing and a plethora of “Why me?! Why now?!” questions here.

And then…I realized the problem wasn’t as bad as I thought. 

Not only did I find that there weren’t very many, but I also remembered that of all days I could find maggots – it was also the day where Ernesto’s Pesticides was coming to the building! And while my unit wasn’t scheduled for a spraying, I found my building manager…right as I was taking out the trash! 

Long story short – I have no more maggots. 

Things I learned: 

  1. Freaking out about problems as soon as we identify them doesn’t serve us. It robs us of taking time to reflect and see if the problem is as big of a deal as we’re making it out to be.
  2. Even knowing that – it’s very easy to get caught up in our emotions that stem from the problem. 
  3. I’ve learned this before. I’ll likely need to hear it again. And again. And again. 

Here’s to having a maggot free week 😉 

Let’s go get ‘em.

Disclaimer: Tony had a lovely first day of interning at Compass Casting. Please do not mistake his Beaker face for any negative feelings towards actors, his fellow interns, Sarah Clark, or her dog Tucker. 

Other disclaimer: Tucker is still feeling me out. But we have a good thing going. So he gets smiles before any of the others so far. 

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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! 

-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.

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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! 

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

3 Things to Try When You Don’t Want To Be Productive

Sometimes we don’t feel like doing the “very important” things we need to do. 

And it’s okay when it happens. 

Like when it happened to me. Yesterday. 

The context: I had plans to go to a coffee shop to do some important work. I specifically picked the location because of how close it was. (And I had a free coffee coupon.) 

What happened: I didn’t make it. I was practically there, but unfortunately I arrived to find the Chicago Police Department blocking off the area before I could get closer. 

What I did from there: I went back home. 

Great story. I know. (Minus the police part. Except I still don’t know what they were protecting me from…) 

What happened next: I got home. I settled in. Made some coffee, and got to work. 

…except I didn’t work. 

In fact, I kept procrastinating. I was checking things I didn’t need to check, then getting upset at myself for not being “better and productive.” Which certainly didn’t help. 

While I tend to get a lot done in the mornings, this just wasn’t happening yesterday. Fortunately I eventually got out of my rut, but it took some time – time that I would have rather spent – well….being productive 😉 

Here are a few things I did that can also help you, should you find yourself in this situation: 

  • Forgive yourself. You’re not a terrible person for not wanting to get things done. You’re human and you’re just not feeling it. You can spend time analyzing why, or researching how to be better. Or….you can just forgive yourself and instead accept however it is that you’re feeling. 

 

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Another gem of a mantra card I got from the wonderful Dallas Travers

 

  • Give yourself permission to “do it wrong.” I was at an awesome workshop last week. We got tips on how to be a more productive entrepreneur. We were specifically told “not to work from our bed”….so guess where I worked from? (Hey. It worked.)  

 

  • Let it go. I ditched my running order of how the day was going to go. I even removed some things from my list for the day. I picked out the non negotiable and went from there. 

Do any of my entrepreneur friends out there like to switch things up? How has this worked for you in the past? Please share below – we got other readers who would love to hear 🙂 

Have a kick ass rest of your week. 

Let’s go get ‘em.

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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! 

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