We all have a friend we seek when we need some tough love.
You know the one who will tell it like it is. More than your partner, mother or sister, the straight-talking friend is a great treasure. This isn’t the negative downer friend we all dread and avoid engaging in any kind of personal conversation; it’s the one who will challenge you while also lifting you up. It’s the most positive and constructive friend.
I’d be quite disappointed with a friend who didn’t tell me the truth. I have a great friend I would describe as a visionary. He’s the cautious, challenging person I need in my life when my optimism and passion for life gets a surge of energy. He reins me in and makes me take off the rose-coloured glasses I wear constantly. It’s sometimes confronting, especially if it’s different to what I’ve been telling myself but it’s also exactly what I need to hear.
This is often the case when people are unhealthy and overweight. They don’t want to see it and friends don’t want to tell them because it’s a personal issue. It’s a vulnerable place to be if you’re struggling with your weight and we blame ourselves so if someone calls us on it, it can be seen as an attack.
A true friend though can help you to see it as an opportunity to live the long life you really deserve or, better still, we can call on our own tough love. The inner knowledge and truth we all know but feel too scared to face and turn a blind eye to time and time again. Sometimes it’s too hard to see and sometimes we need to sharpen up our self-talk.
If that challenging friend notices you’re not looking as healthy and comments on it, your self-talk will either take this as an insult or as guidance, depending on how you feel about yourself. You can react with annoyance, or you can react with gratitude.
If you apply the tough love to yourself and fall into a slump of deep procrastination, feeling worthless and tell yourself you will do something about it soon, that’s negative, nasty self-talk. It’s the self-talk of plans rather than action.
The most successful people on our program don’t wait until Monday to start. They do it now because, well, why not? No more planning or procrastination. It’s not even that tough. It’s just the kindest self-talk of all.