As we continue discussing accountability this month, receiving tough love is a critical aspect to help us grow and change.
Challenge: Receiving Tough Love
REALity: Let’s be honest – receiving tough love can be hard. We don’t want to hear about our flaws and weaknesses from others, but it can be very helpful in making positive changes in our life. With receiving tough love, we have to be willing to hear the truth about ourselves and not become bitter against the person speaking the truth.
Inspiration: Last week, I received some tough love that I was not expecting. It came from my workout trainer about my attitude with training sessions. In February, I officially began training for the summer triathlon season. I’ll be participating in 5 sprint triathlons from May to September then a half-marathon in November. In order to be race-ready and build endurance, a consistent training routine is a must. However, physical training is just as important as mental training. What the mind says, the body will follow.
Since starting workouts, my trainer had been noticing that my mental focus was ‘off’. I was taking my training too serious and not enjoying the journey like I had in the past. Also, my expectations were too high and I was super critical of myself and my performance. I had become hyper focused on quick results and not the journey itself.
Even other people at the gym had noticed the changes in me and inquired if everything was alright. Normally at the gym, I like to speak with people, laugh with them, encourage them and spread joy. I had stopped doing that and people noticed. I was still friendly with people but my focus was only on me and not others.
When we become too self-involved, it can lead to much negativity and isolation. Thankfully, I received much needed tough love from my trainer who told me that I needed to reevaluate why I’m training in the first place. He asked me where my joy was. He reminded me that if I don’t enjoy the process of training then I’ll never appreciate the results. He helped me remember that I enjoy spreading joy at the gym and encouraging others. He firmly told me that I had become way too serious and needed to adjust my expectations.
God will certainly give us tough love when needed. He may speak directly to us or use other people to speak His truth. The important thing is how we receive it. Do we accept the tough love with grace and humility or bitterness and denial? Tough love / Tough truth is not meant to hurt us but help us.
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
Is there an area of your life that you have ignored receiving tough love? We all need tough love at certain times in our life. By embracing it, we are open to make great improvements in our life. The goal is always to be better not bitter.
For help on finding the right accountability partner, download the free resource:
Accountability Partnership Checklist
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