How many of us really invest in ourselves?
How many of us spend time on, or with, ourselves? And how many of us, push ourselves aside, saying, “I don’t have time to paint, or to sit and read a book, or to have a bath, or to exercise or go out for a walk”? And yet, if someone else asks something of us and for our time, how many of us quickly say “yes” and make the time for them?
How many of us shy away from spending money on ourselves because something is expensive or we can use that money towards something else? And then, how many of us do not hesitate to spend money on our children, our partners, or other family and friends?
Really investing in ourselves is what so few of us do, yet is something we all REALLY need to do.
Last year, my husband and I decided to enrol our oldest son into a weekly sporting class. We discussed that it was quite costly, but that we would make it work as it would be great for him. I laughed to myself, and made comments to my hubby and the family, that here we were, not hesitating to enrol our son into a weekly class, yet in the past I had put aside my own interests in Pilates and yoga classes because of such costs. In the same vein, my husband and I (okay, mostly me) had been looking at a new bed for months and months, but money was tight and so we kept pushing our desire aside. Six months down the track, we decided, with my sister-in-law and her husband, that we would surprise my in-laws with some home improvements whilst they were away on a holiday, and as part of this my husband and I, without much hesitation, bought them a new bed, saying ‘we’ll make it work’. Then in January of this year, my husband surprised me for my birthday and booked me a holiday to spend some time with my beautiful friend. Before going, my friend told me of this painting workshop that she really wanted us to do together. As she mentioned the cost, I was a little hesitant, because 1, I had not painted in a very long time, and 2, “I couldn’t possibly spend that money on myself” (especially on top of the cost of the trip).
How often does this happen? How often do we think we are not worthy of investing in, or we make excuses for why we can’t invest in ourselves, or we put others needs and wants before our own?
It definitely happens all-to-often for me, like giving yummy leftovers to the kids for lunch and not saving any for myself, or giving the last of the cold water from the fridge to my hubby because there wasn’t enough for 2 glasses, or holding off going to the bathroom until I’m busting because I need to do something else for the kids or around the house… Well, I’m happy to say I have been making changes. A few months after buying my in-laws a new bed, I saw our dream bed on sale again, and I came to the realisation that if we could make it work and buy our loved ones a new bed, then we could make it work for us too. I attended the painting workshop, and had such an amazing experience, which has been the catalyst to me finding a hidden passion of mine in painting. Whilst I didn’t invest the money to attend, as I was so lucky my friend had wanted to gift me the workshop for my birthday, it was another realisation that if I had said no to investing in myself, I wouldn’t be painting like I am today, knowing now that I would have paid double the cost of the workshop for what I received from it.
Investing in ourselves doesn’t have to mean spending money. It could be as simple as taking time for ourselves to read, paint, relax in a bath, eat a decent meal, watch a movie, do a puzzle, go for a walk on the beach, play a board game, or anything else that you enjoy doing (this might just be a list of things I enjoy :)). It could be making that doctors appointment, or physio appointment, or dentist appointment (although money will be necessary here…) that you’ve been putting off, or saying “no” to something because we have enough on our plate or we just need a day or night at home.
Investing in ourselves is anything where we are putting our needs and wants first, and making our whole health and wellbeing a priority.
The next time you have the opportunity to invest in yourself, instead of thinking “I don’t have time”, or “I couldn’t possibly spend that money on myself”, think about what the investment could really mean, and what doors it could open for you. See any investment you make in yourself as a powerful message that you are sending to the universe, showing how much you are worth and how much you value yourself. Not only will this have positive effects on you, but it will also show those around you your value, and what is possible if they invest in themselves too, including the wonderful little children we have that look up to us as their role models.
What investment will you make today?