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Do you ever feel guilty about taking time for yourself, doing something nice for your mental health, or even about being committed to practicing self-care?
Unfortunately, today’s society seems to be torn between two extremes. One only looks at quantifiable forms of success while the other has taken the term “self-love” and turned it into a philosophy bordering on narcissism.
But the truth is, investing in yourself is not something you should shy away from or feel guilty about. Regardless of your life goals – personal, professional, or something entirely different – growth and improvement will always make for essential components of leading a fulfilled life.
So, how can you start being more intentional about investing in yourself? And what benefits can you expect to see?
Leading a Life of Wealth: What It Truly Means
Usually, we associate the term “investing” with money and returns. But in truth, investing isn’t just about pouring finances into a venture that promises to create more financial wealth.
Investing can also refer to putting time and effort into anything that can make our lives richer. This can include our knowledge and skills, our physical and emotional health, and even our relationships.
Because the truth is, every single one of these aspects of our lives takes hard work. Sometimes, it even takes sacrifice. But when we look at what we stand to gain by investing in the right areas of life, the work, the time, and the sacrifice all turn out to be worth it.
How to Start Investing In Yourself
If you’re new to the concept of thinking about your personal (or professional) growth as an investment, the best way to start is to set some goals.
Think about this: what area of your life would you like to make better?
Perhaps you feel like investing in your language skills could land you a coveted promotion? Or you might know that taking good care of your loved ones requires you to be physically fit and healthy, so you’re looking to put effort into your well-being. Even something as simple as making a decision to set apart 30 minutes of your day to address your mental health can be seen as an investment.
When defining these goals, you have to do so in a way that will prepare you for success. One great way is to learn how to set SMART goals, that is, to be realistic about what you expect from your efforts. Moreover, you need to understand that any investing journey takes time.
Make Investing In Yourself a Habit, Not a Gamble
One of the main rules of putting resources into growth (financial or personal) is that there’s no such thing as a quick-returns scheme. There are only long-term investments vs. short-term gambles.
In other words, to see gains, you have to have the patience to wait them out.
For example, think about it this way. If you want to become physically fit, the best way to do so isn’t to change your diet overnight, sign up for an expensive class, and spend a fortune on exercise equipment. Instead, it is to slowly start building habits. Perhaps by committing to two exercise sessions per week. Or by swapping your junk food lunch to something a bit more nutritious.
The same goes for any other kind of self-improvement.
Before you even begin, know that you’ll likely have to wait months, perhaps even years, to see the results you’re after. If you’re OK with that fact, you’re ready to start the journey of investing in yourself.
Redefine Your Idea of Success
Finally, as you embark on your mission of growth and self-improvement, do so with a mindset of self-love and understanding.
Know that putting pressure on yourself to achieve any goal won’t help you get to your destination quicker. It will only expose you to stress and cause you to take on more than you can handle, leading to burnout.
Moreover, allow yourself the freedom to keep your goals flexible.
Sure, you may have decided to invest in your skills to advance at your current job. But if your career path takes you in a different direction, don’t think of all your work as wasted time. Instead, accept it as energy spent on learning something new.
Yes, it may not have a practical use in your life (right now). But know that it has definitely contributed to widening your horizons and exposing you to new ways of addressing challenges that life throws at you.
Embrace a Philosophy of Growth
It might sound like a cliche to say that investing in yourself is the best move you can make to make your life more fulfilled. But the fact is, it’s true.
Regardless of the path you take and the returns you see from your work, you’ll quickly realize that even the most minute example of investing in yourself pays off.
So don’t be scared to put faith in yourself. Know that, in the end, self-love and self-improvement can only lead to a rich and fulfilled life.