I can literally hear you… What the heck is she talking about?! If I can’t afford something, I can’t spend any money. Right or wrong?
Before we answer, let’s discuss this.
If you SPEND money or time on yourself, what do you do? You most likely buy a Latte Macchiato or Cappuccino on the way to work. Or have a dinner with your loved one(s) at Burger King or restaurant. Or get that expensive ticket for a game or theater you wanted for ages. It’s nice, it tastes lovely, it feels great. Dopamine, a reward and “feel-good” hormone, kicks in and you feel good and even happy. For the moment. Then the level of dopamine drops again and you even might start to feel guilty.
Yup, this is spending. A short-term glimpse of happiness and satisfaction.
If you INVEST in yourself, you might be starting something pretty huge. It still might be a purchase, but it feels differently. It changes stuff. It changes your perception of yourself and the world. It changes how your neurons are wired. How the hormones in your body are produced and in what amount. (Check some background info on this in my BLOG.)
The impact of INVESTING in yourself might be so enormous, that it can scare the heck out of you first. It’s a long-lasting change inside of you that opens eyes, heart and soul. And you might find yourself living the life you have always dreamed of.
Yeah, Mirka, sound lovely. I’d rather buy that ice-cream, enjoy it, feel happy for a moment and go on with my life.
No problem with me. You absolutely can do it. I did it for a long time. Going from one happy moment to another one. Until I realized that it is nice, but…. Yes, but. In between there were emptiness, grayness, never-ending everyday tasks. I was craving overall satisfaction and purpose.
So I went on the journey to myself. I invested in myself. It didn’t happen in one day. Not in a month. But it was worth every single cent and every single minute.
INVESTING in yourself is not easy. Why? Because you might have good and logical reasons why not to.
They might be these. How do I know? I had exactly these in my head 😉:
I don’t have money.
This might be actually true. It’s very possible that you don’t have money to spend on yourself. I don’t. But I have money to INVEST in myself.
You might have bills to pay, mortgage, your kids’ school fees, have to put the food on the table and all of these are important, even vital and eat up your money.
However, I can tell you one thing. If you make decisions based on “I don’t have money” rather than on “I truly wish, desire and dream of this and will find the way how to make it work”, you let your limiting beliefs win. You let basically yourself down.
- Do I live just to work and pay my bills? To feed the family? To go through the life because I am here and I have to somehow? To function and wait for the retirement or the end?
- Is there really no way I can save or find some extra $$? Think hard.
- What is at stake if I don’t invest money in myself?
Maybe nothing changes. But… Are you willing to be exactly where you are now in 10 years? Same status quo, same relationships, same job, same FEARS, unfulfilled dreams, same LIMITING BELIEFS?
I don’t have time.
Nobody has. You don’t own the time. Time is actually just a mankind’s invention. But, without going to be too philosophical…. you can manage yourself to make the best out of the hours and minutes you have at disposal.
Yes, you should take care of your loved ones. You should go to work, cook, do the household. You are not living in a rainbow bubble on an abandoned island.
- Is there honestly no space, no time window, when I could do something for myself only?
- What can I do to find such space, time window every day? Less social media? Less TV? No overtime at work?
- Can I actually afford NOT to take time for myself?
I don’t think I should spend the money and time I do have/find on myself.
Aka: I don’t value myself enough.
- Who is the most important person in my life? (Think twice!)
- How long can I go taking care of the wishes and needs of everybody around me?
- How do I feel about it?
- Can I take care of others and my everyday life if my own cup (mind, body, soul) is empty? Can I pour water from an empty cup?
As money and time might be a (felt real) excuse, not to value yourself enough can be a real problem. The main brake on your way of growing and evolving. And actually the BEST reason to INVEST in YOURSELF.
Because you don’t value yourself enough.
Because you let others to have such impact on your self-worth and the way you live.
We all have our limiting beliefs. That is nothing new and nothing to be ashamed of. It’s what we do (or NOT do) about them, what makes all the difference. Check my BLOG on this topic.
You are the artist of your life. Don’t give the paintbrush to anyone else. (Unknown)
Ok, maybe I was persuasive enough and now you are quite sure that you want to invest in yourself. Somehow. But how?! What shall you invest in? Good question.
Let’s start with the following:
- What makes you smile?
- What makes your heart jump with joy and dance around the fireplace?
- What gives you inner satisfaction and peace?
- Where do you see yourself in 1, 5, 10 years?
- How would you want to feel in 1, 5, 10 years?
- What would you like to know in 1, 5, 10 years?
- What are you truly willing to do to get there?
- Are you ready to invest your time and/or money to get there?
- How much time and/or money are you prepared to invest to get there (in yourself)?
- Who/what can help you/support you on your way there where you want to be, how you want to be, what you want to know?
Is an idea starting to crystalize in your head? Or two or three?
Which one gives you butterflies? That special gut-feeling?
Which one has been in your head actually for years but you always postponed it, forgot about it?
Which one is a HELL YES?
You might sense by now… it is a hard work. Well yeah… it doesn’t happen while you sit on your sofa and dream about it.
It does need a DECISION, some RESOURCES, WORK and DISCIPLINE.
Discipline? Yes. You might get distracted (again) and be pulled in all possible directions.
Question. What would you do, if you get a box of cherries, just picked straight from the tree? Probably you go through it, throw away some leaves that found their way in the box too, sort out the cherries that are not ripe yet and then wash them thoroughly to get rid of the dirt and bugs.
What did you just do there? You’ve discarded everything that is useless for you in order to have nice clean tasty cherries ready to eat. You went step by step to reach your goal.
And in the same way you should discard everything that is useless on your way to your shiny rocking colorful yourself you dream about. I am not going to tell you what it is. You know it already.
Any idea already what you would like to invest in?
There are tons of options. Generally speaking, it can be your health, relationships, career, self-development… Basically anything.
- Nurture your body and mind.
- Develop your skills, advance your education, expand your knowledge.
- Explore your creativity.
You either walk inside your story and own it, or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness.” (Brené Brown)
Ok. Let’s say you have now a pretty good idea what you want to invest in. Now the question is HOW to do it.
You can read books about it.
You can Google it.
You can enroll in a course.
You can hire a coach.
Aha. But why should you enroll in a course or even hire a coach, if you can Google the information? It’s all out there, right? And it doesn’t cost a thing, right?
– Are there tons of information about everything possible for free on the internet? Yup.
– Will it tell you what you, at the place where you are, with the knowledge and resources that you have, in the situation you are at, could do to get where you want to be? Nope.
In reality you might search for weeks or months. You might try to meditate, to follow all the possible freebies you’ve downloaded in the world wide web. You might buy those scented candles, aromatherapy oils, yoga mat and equipment, paintbrushes, colors and canvas, dictionaries and books on language learning.
So you SPEND time and money (not really for free then, I would say) and possibly nothing changes. Or you just give up before there is a chance for any change.
WHY is that?
- You did all of these from the security of your comfort zone.
- You have no plan about what and how.
- You don’t have any unconditional support without judgement.
- Nobody is out there to kick your b*tt if you are giving up.
- Nobody is out there to cheer you on and tell you that you can do it.
You’ve got the point.
You are the most important person in your life.
You are the most important investment you will ever make.
So do it with diligence, intention and purpose.
But most importantly – do it.
One day you will tell your story of how you overcame what you went through. And it will be someone else’s survival guide. (Unknown)
P.S. Check this out (click to open):