10 Pieces of Tough Love I Wish I'd Heard a Year Ago
Getting better is uncomfortable.
I’ve changed a lot in the last year or so.
Today, I’m happier, more fulfilled, and more motivated than I’ve ever been in my entire life, but this isn’t from “self-love”, being gentle with myself, or writing affirmations on my wall.
The bulk of my transformation has come from writing out the things I sucked at (like relationships, business, and not breaking all of my joints), and making deliberate efforts to improve at them. Calling yourself out is the best way to guarantee action that will change your life.
Tough love works, it’s just kind of uncomfortable.
Here are 10 pieces of tough love I’ve realized in the last year, along with links to each article I used to identify them in myself.
Hopefully, it doesn’t make you uncomfortable.
You’re probably being too nice.
It wasn’t because I was weak, it was because I was afraid. I had the strength to deal with confrontation, but I didn’t do it because I was afraid I didn’t have the strength to deal with confrontation.
The fear of the problem was worse than the problem.
The problem created by constantly avoiding confrontation is that you lose control of the flow of your life. Confronting things is the best way to ensure that actual change happens. Passivity leads to inaction, and eventually resentment.
If you don’t confront things you’re unhappy with, I can guarantee that they won’t change.
Your self-worth impacts your net worth, not the other way around.
I know plenty of wealthy people with low self-esteem. I also know plenty of not-so-wealthy people with low self-esteem.
On the other hand, if you have high self-worth, you’ll find it easier to make money and improve your status.
You’re not afraid of rejection, you’re afraid of vulnerability.
Failing makes you vulnerable.
Failure exposes your limits.
But the fear we feel when we might fail isn’t really a fear of failure, it is a fear of looking like someone who isn’t capable of doing everything. This is a bit silly though, because all humans fail. Failure is a part of the human experience.
Social media is probably making you dumber.
I used to wake up every morning, and the first thing I’d do was turn my alarm off.
The second thing I’d do is open Instagram and check my direct messages. The third I’d do would to be checking my Instagram story viewers to see if the girl I had a crush on viewed the story.
It took me a while to realize it, but starting your day with a cheap dopamine rush is never a good idea.
Social media is very easy to consume, and frequent consumption of social media will make difficult things (like reading books, for example) more difficult.
There’s not a ton of scholarly research the directly asserts this yet, but I’ll say it anyway: social media probably makes you dumber.
Everyone says they work hard. Not everyone works hard.
In competitive fields, everyone says that they work hard.
Saying “I work hard” is a way of fitting in.
Some people do work hard and still fail, but there are a lot of people who work moderately hard and say that they’re giving “everything they have” when in actuality, they’re holding back.
“Everything I have” is self-fulfilling. Most people are holding back.
Just because you took the time to make something doesn’t mean anyone will care about it.
I put out an ebook in January, and in the first 3 months, I sold like 11 copies.
I put a lot of time into the book and poured my heart into writing it, but because of a variety of factors (primarily a lack of commitment to marketing on my part), the book didn’t sell well.
What I learned from this is just because you make something doesn’t mean anyone will care about it. You have to make them care. You have to create value to sell products and ideas.
Dumb habits make a smart person stupid.
Ignoring nutrition and not prioritizing your sleep will break you down very quickly. The older you are, the faster negative habits will catch up with you.
Checking your phone first thing in the morning isn’t awesome for your mind. Not reading will stagnate your learning. Eating like crap will make you fat.
Eventually, all these will make you stupid.
Sorry for being blunt.
People who care about you will show you that they care about you.
I used to think that the word “love” meant something. I’m not so sure anymore.
We throw around the word love so much that for most of us, the word doesn’t have any meaning anymore.
One easy way to see who really loves you is to see who helps you out when you’re struggling. Who still supports you when you’re down? Who goes out of their way to make you happy?
You shouldn’t have to ask people to show you that they love you.
You don’t have money because you don’t have time, not the other way around.
Running around like a lunatic without planning, strategizing, and thinking about ways to genuinely improve your life is a fast track to finding yourself caught in the same behavior patterns over and over again without even realizing it.
Use your time wisely. Use your time to develop wisdom.
You can have almost anything you want, but not everything you want.
The second most important thing was realizing that I could do things without trying to be the best in the world at them (these are called “hobbies” apparently — I’m new to them).
In Jiu-Jitsu, choosing to focus on no-gi competition sent me from a decent level brown belt to one of the top 15 ranked grapplers in the world in just 9 months.
By trying to do everything at a high level, I was limiting my potential in everything. I was also more stressed and strung out.
Learning how to quit effectively will change your life.
I like tough love.
It’s “tough”, as the title suggests, but it also gets the job done. It works.
You can have tough love without bullying or being a jerk. You can have tough love without toxicity. Most people are just afraid of looking in the mirror.
The secret to getting ahead is learning to accept the power of tough love.
Don’t knock it until you try it. Don’t knock it until you knock yourself a bit.
Want to learn more about my approach to training and improving in Jiu-Jitsu? Check out this article from my premium newsletter: