As we turn the corner towards yet another month (can you believe it?) on this last Monday Morning Huddle in February, the “month of love,” I want to give you a final thought before turning the calendar.
Today, we are going to circle back to our Morning Huddle about tough love from a couple weeks ago that stimulated such great discussions. I led the charge that time around – this time, it’s your turn to deliver some tough love to yourself.
First, let’s dive deeper into the significance and importance of this.
For me, tough love is the best kind. Anyone can say things to make someone feel better. Anyone can comfort or give the warm and fuzzy feelings to someone (which sometimes is all that’s needed). It takes the truest of all concern and care in someone’s well being to want to deliver the truth, the love that really matters, that cuts through and really gets to the heart of the matter.
Tough love is transformative to a person who is open minded and willing to accept it because you simply can’t see outside yourself in many instances. When you have someone who cares enough about you to be willing to risk offending you or hurting your feelings all for the long term benefit of you and your life – it’s real love.
However, I have an even better one for you.
It’s when you are able to give yourself some tough love. The problem is most people are either way too hard on themselves in a destructive way or they are totally soft on themselves in a delusional way.
You really want to find a balance with this and be able to be tough on yourself when you need it – because it will push you through any human tendencies you have to either settle, to give up, to stop short of your goals, or to tolerate things that you just don’t want to confront.
You can. You are capable. You deserve better. You owe yourself tough love because it will enable you to reach your truest potential (whether that’s work related with patients when you lose focus or personally with your health or interpersonally your relationships).
Think about this for a moment… in what ways could you use some tough love to help you overcome obstacles standing in your way or relieve the burden of something weighing on your mind?
This is a rarely discussed key to success and happiness that allows people to stay in balance and live life to the fullest.
It’s not about being indifferent (which is the easy solution). Instead, it’s willing to caring enough. Care enough to do what’s hard whether that’s a difficult conversation or a challenging task – by first giving yourself the tough love that is necessary.
Finally, as a team, you can discuss where you need some tough love right now based on whatever is holding you back or getting in your way.
Then you’ll get to strengthen your abilities at one of the most difficult aspect of caring for your patients…
By practicing on yourself and each other, you will become more confident and comfortable with delivering tough love to your patients (always for their best interest, of course). At the end of the day, tough love may be necessary to move your patients forward with their pathway to health. It’s not about doing what’s easy (for them or you), but about doing what’s best. And that’s truest definition of tough love.