Written by: Latasha Teamer, MS, LPC, LMFT
When many people think about the term investment, it is often linked to business and financial related matters. Stocks, bonds, IRA’s, and real estate are words that commonly pop up with the term investment. Seldom do you hear or think about the importance of investment on a personal level.
It’s no secret that the greatest investment that you can make is yourself. Self-investment, although the one that yields the greatest return, is often the lowest on a list of priorities. Typically, self is what is sacrificed before anything else, leaving you to place greater emphasis on getting more money, planning for future success or retirement, or on your child’s development and achievement. While the aforementioned are all good things to achieve, you are your best yes.
When you invest in yourselves, you open yourself up to your maximum potential. You increase your confidence, creativity, and productivity. You enhance your well-being and benefit the world and people around you. Self-investment will help you create a life that’s more satisfying and balanced, and unlike financial investments, even your failures give you positive insight and provide an opportunity for growth.
With all the benefits of self-investment, why are we so willing to invest in other places first? To some, self-investment can be tied to thoughts and ideas of selfishness. You begin to believe lies that tell you that loving yourself first is in some way neglectful of all the other important things and people in life. Self-investment is not selfish. Self-investment is one of the greatest acts of self-love. It’s also one of the greatest ways to benefit society. Investing in yourself can also seem intimidating. Self-doubt begins to creep in and makes you wonder if you have what it takes to achieve the dreams you set forth. It will even make you wonder if you are worth the investment. Challenge those negative thoughts and replace them with truth. You are the only one who can and will invest in yourself fully. You are worth it.
The consistent effort you put into investing in yourself aids in determining the quality of your life now and in the future. Many know what you want but don’t know where to start, so together let’s look at 3 ways to begin your investment today:
1. Prioritize your health and wellness.
Make your physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and intellectual health a priority by checking in with yourself regularly. Do you honor yourself in the same way that you would maintance your car or clean and declutter your home? Reflect on ways to manage daily stressors effectively to prevent burnout and health concerns related to stress. Eliminating unnecessary busyness, chaos, and clutter decreases stress and anxiety levels while increasing productivity and motivation. Give yourself permission to engage in self-care, eat healthy, exercise regularly, and set boundaries. Prioritizing your health and wellness is the best way to ensure that your other investments can be maintained and ultimately thrive.
2. Set challenging, yet realistic and achievable goals.
Without clear goals or direction, life can feel chaotic or meaningless. It’s important to invest time into thinking about things you’d like to have or achieve and take action to achieve them. More importantly, take time to envision a better you. What would you be doing differently when happiness is achieved? How would life change if you took more time pursue things that really matter to you? What really matters to you? Research shows that when we move outside of our comfort zones and set goals, we achieve more. Therefore, set SMART goals. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time bound. Use our Goal Setting Worksheet to begin the process of setting SMART goals. Always remember to celebrate yourself and your accomplishments (both big and small) throughout your journey. This will give you motivation and the desire to press on, even as challenges arise.
3. Develop new positive habits/skills.
You cannot expect to get different results while continuing to do the same things. Develop new habits or skills that focus on you and your interests. These new habits and skills will get you out of mundane and unhelpful rhythms. It challenges your desire to remain in your comfort zone and continue to do what’s common. You then tap into unused but valuable parts of your brain and your abilities. This is the catalyst for real change and increase life satisfaction. Also, consider strengthening existing skills and habits that align with your goals. These foster creativity and confidence in your abilities, while opening you up to new opportunities. Creativity also allows you to view problems and solutions in different ways, which increases your problem-solving abilities.
When you invest in yourself by making small, incremental yet continual improvements in your life, you are able to do more, grow more, serve more, be more, and love more.
Additional ideas for self-investment can be discussed further with a member of our Clinical Team. Contact us to see how we can help.