We don’t think twice about investing in our retirement accounts or investing in that vacation that we have been dreaming about for months. But why is it that we are so hesitant to invest in the most worthwhile investment - ourselves?
I’ve asked myself this question often throughout my life. And while I still don’t have a perfect answer, I am learning that when you take the time to invest in yourself, you will learn that the returns far exceed the initial cost of the investment. Because by investing in yourself, you will create a sense of well-being and fortitude that you can carry with you throughout your life.
In this article, I will teach you ways to invest in yourself so that you can reap the rewards for years to come.
Why you should invest in yourself
It would seem that the answer to this question should be straightforward. But because so few of us actually take the time to invest in ourselves, it’s obvious that we could use a little science to persuade us to take action.
A study in 2019 found that individuals who participated in interventions emphasizing personal growth experienced increased levels of confidence. And when we feel confident in ourselves, we are more likely to feel fulfilled in both our work and our personal lives.
Another study found that individuals who participated in personal growth groups were more likely to speak positively about themselves. And people who speak positively about themselves are more likely to have healthier relationships and feel greater levels of content.
As someone who has a tendency to speak poorly to herself in her head 24/7 and suffers from a lack of confidence frequently, the evidence is clear that I need to invest in myself and my growth.
What happens if you ignore personal growth
If you ignore your own personal growth, it’s obvious that you will not grow. But the effects of avoiding self-growth could impact many areas of your life.
Research indicates that individuals who participate in self-growth measures are less likely to experience burnout at work. And not only were they less likely to burn out, they also reported greater levels of emotional and spiritual well-being.
Another study found that individuals who did not focus on personal growth were at a greater risk for developing depression and low levels of self-esteem.
So if you want to experience happiness and feel good about yourself, the pathway to do so is to invest in yourself and your growth based on the evidence.
5 ways to invest in yourself
So if you’re ready to invest in your most valuable asset, let’s dive into five steps you can start taking today.
1. Keep learning
One of the best ways to invest in yourself is to commit yourself to continuous learning throughout your life. This is because as you learn you will expand your horizons and open yourself up to new experiences.
When we have conversations with others day in and day out where we say something along the lines of, “You know, I’d love to learn how to x, y, or z.” There is no better time to learn about that thing than today.
A few years ago, I took the plunge and learned how to rock climb. I had always had an interest in learning to climb but felt I was getting too old or that I wouldn’t be strong enough to monkey my way up the wall.
Investing in myself and learning this skill has brought me joy not only in the form of self-growth, but it has also helped me form and develop new relationships that I would have never had if I had not taken a chance to learn something new.
2. Take care of your physical body
I have never met someone who regretted taking the time to invest in their physical well-being.
Our physical bodies play such a powerful role in how we feel every single day. So doesn’t it make sense that we should invest in our physical well-being if we want to experience life to its fullest?
Now I know you are assuming that I mean you should exercise when I say take care of your physical body. And while I one thousand percent endorse and encourage everyone to do some form of physical activity, I also think we need to take time to rest our physical bodies.
We are so good at burning our physical bodies into the ground with our daily demands. This is why I’d argue that if you can invest in your physical health by making a regular sleep schedule that could be the best health investment you can make.
Turns out I’m a more pleasant human when I get my beauty sleep, or at least, that’s what my husband says.
3. Nourish your mental health
You could invest all the time in the world to learn new skills and improve your physical health, but all of this means nothing if you do have a sense of mental well-being.
Inner peace and mental fortitude are the foundation from which you can create a meaningful life.
Yet, for me, my mental health seems to be the last thing I want to invest in at the end of a busy day. Netflix sounds far more appealing than diving into my feelings and emotions.
That’s why I have had to find simple ways to take care of the beast that lies deep in my noggin.
Taking time to nourish your mental health doesn’t have to be complex and could look like doing one of the following:
- Taking time to list things you are grateful for.
- Taking a hot bath and reflecting on the day and your emotions.
- Seeking out a professional counselor.
4. Become aware of your finances
Yep, I’m going there. I’m bringing up the dreaded five-letter word: money.
But if you are going to invest in yourself and your well-being, the reality is you need to have a grip on your finances.
I used to be the gal who would frivolously spend and not bat an eye. But all this ever did was increase my anxiety and leave me binge eating Ramen at the end of the month.
Money is intended to be a tool that you can use to help you experience life. If you want to grow, invest time and effort into understanding what is coming in and out of your pockets.
Make money a tool that works for you instead of against you.
5. Get a coach
There are literally coaches in everything you can imagine these days.
Do you want to learn how to deep fry your ice cream? I bet you there is a coach for that.
But on a serious note, sometimes in order to really invest in ourselves in a way that gets us to level up in life we need a little push.
This is where a coach comes in. My life coach has been instrumental in helping me develop into who I want to be and has saved me more times than I can count from my own self-harming patterns.
And I find that because I am literally investing money into my coach, I take her advice seriously instead of blowing it off like half of the self-help books I’ve read.
Of all the tips listed, this is the one that has really turned the dial for me over the past year when it comes to achieving my goals and experiencing greater levels of joy in my life.
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At the end of the day, you’re stuck with yourself for life. So why not take the time to become the best possible version of yourself. If you take action and invest in yourself with the tips in this article, you will reap rewards in the form of self-confidence and contentment. And I can guarantee you, investing in yourself is the one investment that is sure to outlast any market trends.
What has been your biggest and best investment you've made in yourself in your life? I'd love to hear about your experiences in the comments below!