Why You Should Invest In Yourself
Many years ago, I had big dreams. I was not happy where I was in life and I knew there was so much more in store for me. This may sound familiar to you. I would talk vaguely about where I wanted to go and discuss loosely the dreams that were brewing in my head. There was something missing at the time that prevented me from taking even the first step toward the future that I wanted for myself. Actually, there were a few things missing.
Lack Of Confidence
Let's face it, we all have head trash that interferes with our success. You know the things that we tell ourselves to create a barrier between our current state and our future state? For me, it was always resources, money, education and experience. I was always comparing myself to other people and that did not help boost my confidence either. I always saw myself as less than and incapable of achieving what those around me had achieved.
It took me a long time to let go of the notion that being the class clown or the kid who was always in trouble was not how I wanted to be recognized. I did not surround myself with people who would challenge me, encourage me and, quite frankly, who believed in me. Instead, I had people around me who were satisfied with the current me.
If I am honest, I had tons of resources around me — I just was too afraid and too unsure of myself to take advantage of them. As I progressed in my career, I saw others tapping into resources such as mentors, personal development books and leadership conferences. I just sat on the sidelines, quietly hoping that I could learn from something they shared about their experiences.
What changed? It boils down to is something that my friend and first mentor, Millie Chase said: "Growth doesn't just happen".
In hindsight, I believed that with time and experience, I would grow and get better and that I would maybe, just maybe, achieve some success in my life. I thought that it would just happen. I later realized that I had to be intentional. I needed a plan. But how?
The biggest barrier of all for me was that I was afraid to invest in myself because I did not know if I was worth it. Now, when I say invest in myself, I mean that in two different ways. First, I had to be committed. I had come from a world where all I knew was taking care of everyone else and investing in their growth. It was never acceptable to invest in myself. I had to believe that I was indeed worth investing in. I had to not just say I was worth it, but I needed to believe it in my heart. Part of that involved a process where I looked at what would happen if I did not invest in me. After journaling the possibilities for my future, one thing was crystal clear and virtually screaming at me from the pages: I cannot do this on my own.
The second part is I think hard for everyone, not just me. That is the monetary investment in yourself. It's a big step and I simply could not have imagined spending money on myself, specifically on my personal and professional growth. There were days in my younger years that I would get so excited about food going on sale and I would buy 10 of something to make sure it would last me a month or two. When I started looking into investing in myself, I did not have a lot of money, so it was a risk. I questioned whether I should take the money that I was going to spend on investing in myself and instead save up. I thought it was too much to spend on me and worried where I would be if it didn't work. Nevertheless, I decided to take the leap.
The first real investment in myself was a business coach. At the time, I did not even believe I was qualified enough to have one. That decision paid huge dividends for my life. After a year of being coached, I had so much more clarity on the areas where I was doing well as a entrepreneur and I left with a list of "leadership things to do." I also realized that I was not alone in some of the struggles I had as a business owner and learned that I could improve if I put forth the effort on my business and personal growth.
Today, I am so grateful that I took that first step.
I want to encourage everyone who is reading this, to make the decision to invest in yourself. Get a coach. Read some books. Go to conferences.
Yes, it will cost you time, effort, money and commitment. But in my experience, it will be the best investment you ever make. To help you make the decision, here are three questions you should ask yourself:
1. What will happen if I don't invest in myself?
2. Where will I be in five years if I just wait for growth to happen?
3. How will I get where I want to go if I choose not to invest in myself?
My hope is that the answers to these questions will help point you in the direction of starting to invest in yourself. But don't stop there. Over the years, I have continued to invest in myself. It's an ongoing process, but it starts with just doing something, even if it's small. In my experience, you will not regret it.
Need professional help leveraging your investment in yourself to empower and influence positive changes in your life? Elements of Empowerment™ can certainly help! Call us today on 416-728-9500 or email and get started on creating a better future for you and life!
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