Day 6: Tough Love

In my previous post, I uncovered some feelings of never feeling good enough as a child. These feelings were deep rooted in the reactions that my parents gave me throughout my school years. Despite being one of the top students in my classes, it never seemed to be good enough. Now, I know I sounded quite melodramatic, but keep in mind that I was a teenager who took everything very seriously.

Now, back to Grade 9 graduation

Yesterday, I brought this situation up in a conversation with my mom. I asked if she remembered that one year, and she exclaimed “Of course! I was so upset that day! How could I forget!

When I told her how I felt, she insisted that it was because of her tough love, coupled with my own determination, that I worked so hard to achieve not just one—but three (and the most)—awards in my grade.

In a way, I guess she was right.

Although it started out mentally tough and emotionally draining, this ended up as one of my proudest moments. In one year, I proved to myself and my parents that I could turn the situation around and go from zero awards to the most awards. In all honesty, I was fuelled by the immense need to avoid disappointment and embarrassment once again. Junior High in itself was a very defining experience for me in many ways, but this situation instilled in me the ceaseless drive and growth mindset that I still possess today. This situation has also helped me overcome other failures that have come up in my life.

So, is tough love healthy?

This is highly debatable… and contingent on the person and circumstances. Yes, it worked for me in this particular situation, but it’s hard to say why and how the situation sparked my inner determination instead of defeat. Alternatively, this could have led me to the point of giving up and succumbing to the idea that I would forever be a disappointment to my parents… Perhaps this is something a psychologist would have to unravel.

In a future blog post, I’ll go into how my parents’ mindsets took a 180 once I entered high school and university. Stay tuned!

Quote of the Day

We learn faster from pain, than from pleasure.


Thanks for following my #100DayChallenge series… The goal is to blog everyday for 100 days in a row. Through this series, I hope to share more about my personal life to complement the career content that I usually create. I’ll also be exploring more aspects of creative writing!