Food for thought: the best investment you can make is in yourself. I used to think this was some new age woo woo garbage, or just a marketing concept to get foolish people to spend money on themselves. I used to think it was targeted at people with low self-esteem who didn’t know any better. I now realize I was the fool in the situation. Because after experimenting with investing in myself, I have seen my life blossom.
A few examples of investment in myself are when I stopped dating men and dated myself for a year. After that experiment, I was so much more in tune with myself and ended up meeting my husband. I paid (well, am still paying for) my own college education, and the pride that comes from taking a chance on myself has paid off big time. I invest in good food, time cultivating good relationships, in several trainings and education, travel and exploration, sleep, baths, and a lot in coaching and support. These are investments that have fortified me and served both myself and those around me. I’m quite aware that I could have gotten by or survived without them. And I’ve been able to grow, make big strides, and make a big impact because of these investments. Plus, I’m happier. I’m living at my fullest potential because I invest in me. And that is, in turn, positively affecting the world – those directly around me (my friends and loved ones) and people across the globe.
This is true for you, by the way. The thing is, the world needs you to show up and shine to your fullest capacity. We don’t want to just get by. We want to thrive. And when you invest in yourself, you can show up fully. You are fueled up from within and more capable to show up for others, inspire others, and serve others. An investment in yourself is an investment in our global future. I truly believe this is true.
And – even if not a single other person benefits from an investment in yourself (which is rare), believe me, you are worth the investment. You are worthy. Breathe that in for a minute. Because not only is it true, it’s important to really feel in your bones before ever stepping into an investment in yourself. Your investments in yourself – whether it’s a bubble bath or a down payment on a house – should never come from a place of should or shame. Ever. Forgive yourself for any misunderstandings around what you do and do not deserve, and start with a fresh and worthy heart.
So, you may be wondering, “how do I choose where to invest in myself?” or “how can I tell if I’m making a good investment?” I’m glad you asked. Because there are MANY things in the world begging for your investment, I’m sharing a few tips on how to invest in yourself. Think of these as a starting place for your contemplation and mediation. These can provide a step on your journey to say hurray inside, outside, and underneath. And I’m here to help you if you need additional help or want a deeper experience around this very topic.
What will you invest?
There are many different types of investments that you can make. And when it comes down to it, investment always requires a form of energy. Common currencies of energy include: Time, Money, Effort, Attention, Love. Sometimes an investment requires more than one of these forms of energy.
My best investment, as clichéd as this sounds, is the money I’ve spent developing myself, via books, workshops and coaching. Leadership begins within, and to have a better career, start by building a better you. – Robin S. Sharma
Know your “energy” budget.
A budget is not just for your finances. Get comfortable acknowledging your energy limit or budget. For example, you may only have so much time, energy, or love to budget for different things. Make sure you are not overspending any of these and then ending up depleted. Also remember that not every investment has to be huge. Can you afford to buy and have the time to maintain a yacht, plus the investment of learning how to sail it? Great. If not, perhaps you can afford to pay a crew to take you out to sea for an afternoon. That’s what I do! Keep in mind that some investments will also increase your budget for other things. For example, if you invest in some time alone to refuel, you’ll have more energy to invest in your job or with your kids. This, friends, is very important.
Align your Investments. Make investments that support your values, your desired feelings, and your goals. Make the top vales and goals priorities when it comes to your energy spending and where you make your investments. This will help inform you when or if an investment is “worth it”. Because worth comes down to the value for you, and that value is often based on your values.
“So many of us invest a fortune making ourselves look good to the world, yet inside we are falling apart. It’s time to invest on the inside.” -Iyanla Vanzant
Balance your investments.
Making sure that your investment match up with your values and goals is key to saying hurray, for sure. And. I encourage you to check in with yourself that they are also balanced across several areas of your life. For example, I like to balance mine between Inside, Outside, and Underneath. Inside means what you put into your body and what’s going on inside of you, in your inner life. Outside means what you wear on you body, your hair and makeup, and how you show up to the outside world, as well as your relationship with things outside of you – people, your environment and home, your job, etc. And underneath means your physical body and the garments you wear that others may or may not see. Ask yourself how can you support and invest in yourself from the inside, outside, and underneath. In the end, make sure you are supporting yourself in all areas and finding a balance that makes you say hurray!
A lot of times, in our culture and our society, we put romantic love somehow on a higher plane than self-love and friendship love. You can’t do that. You have to honor and really fully invest in all these different loving relationships. -Delilah
What’s the return?
Just like an investment in business has an “ROI”, or Return on Investment, so do other investments. It’s quite possible that a large investment may return a lot back to you. Or, it may return very little. Of course efficiency is ideal (investing a little to get back a lot), but is rare. Don’t kid yourself. If you want back things like “a loving relationship with myself”, or “peace of mind”, or “a job that fulfills my heart and my financial goals” … these are BIG returns. They will often require some kind of investment, or several investments on your part. It’s up to you to decide if the ROI is worth it. In my experience, it is. It’s why I invested big bucks and a lot of time and tons of effort to work with a coach and go through the process of changing the way I talk to myself and relate to others. Even if I did or did not get back an exact financial return on my investment (I believe I did), I can also count other areas in my life that are so much richer. Plus, coaching has had dividends for me, because it’s positively affected many other people in my life – including you.
Keep in mind that some investments may provide a return on one level, but most likely they can support you on several. When deciding where to invest, ask yourself how and if it will support you on all levels of my life – inside, outside, and underneath. For example, I believe a bra fitting and bras that fit well are a great investment because they will support you on the inside (how you feel about and see yourself, plus clearing your heart from discomfort or confusion), underneath (supporting your physical body, and the way you related to it), and outside (helping your clothes look their best, giving you confidence). A well-rounded investment is a great investment.
You must trust yourself more than you trust others. Pay attention to your inner voice – it will tell you if how and in what you are investing is right for you. -Suze Orman
Ask what love requires of you.
For me, a big value in my life is love, and it’s one that I encourage you to hold as a driving force in many of the decisions and investments that you make. A question I often ask and have shared on this blog many times is: What does LOVE require of me? Love can be the universal love of a divine being, or the simple human act of kindness to oneself or others. But overall, its guiding intention will bring you to a decision that – even if it’s hard or difficult or uncomfortable – leads to hurray. Invest in love and invest in the things that love requires you to do. And keep in mind that sometimes inaction, or stopping something is the requirement. It’s not always about doing.
From Hurray Kimmay Readers & Friends
Want a few examples of how some Hurray Kimmay readers decide where to make an investment in themselves? Read some of their ideas and let me know if it helps you decide for yourself, and where you invest your energy!
I invest in manicures and pedicures – it’s ultimate self care for me. I justify it because it always makes me more presentable to prospective clients and a fresh mani always looks good when creating my photo content. It also makes me more confident and reminds me that I love myself every time I look at my hand.
Angie Hilem, Content Creator, age 34
Running & healthy food make me very happy, they both feel really amazing. Running awakens the body and makes it feel more alive. Healthy food tastes delicious and – to me – has a short as well as long-term effect on physical and spiritual well-being. The very basic essentials for a good life.
Britta Uschkamp, Lingerie Expert and Runner
Non-negotiable: working out, eating well, the initial discomfort that sometimes comes from saying “no”. Saying “no” allows me to manage stress and overwhelm. Coming from a much quieter city, I find NYC draining if I let it. Saying no to things that don’t feel good, (or even sometimes to ones that do,) because it will put me over the edge in terms of stress, lets me be a better person for myself and to loved ones and clients. So, despite saying no being difficult and uncomfortable, it is an investment in myself because it means I’m respecting my needs..and able to give more to the areas that are important to me. I’ve only started doing it more over the last 2 years (burnout was a kick in the butt to start it) and I definitely believe it’s one of the best lessons I’ve learned. Then it’s books, and classes and learning, like The Conquer Club (this was a huge investment for me but omg it feels so right).
Rachael Lancaster, Naturopath, age 43
Going to LIVE events where I can learn new information, make a plan to take action when I return home, and network with others in the field. Sometimes it’s tough to choose when to make the investment, but my new motto of “If it’s not a ‘hell yeah’ it’s a NO” is helping. I wasn’t going to attend our annual ABA conference this year but then when one of my friends asked me to present with her on a topic to move my mission forward, I said yes and put in an application (which was accepted) to present a pre-conference workshop, too. I’m going and I’m excited about it. Because my son has autism and needs round the clock supervision, I can’t travel as much as I want to, though, so I do have to choose just a few a year.
Dr. Mary Barbera, autism mom and behavior analyst, age 53
I suppose this might sound like a cop-out answer, but as an entrepreneur, my time is my money.
It has taken until the 5th year of my business to truly see AND believe AND take action on the fact that taking a day off (not making money) is actually an investment in my future. Honestly – what made me realize this was a firm talking to by my boyfriend. Sometimes it takes someone on the outside looking in. The chaos we create for ourselves, along with the legitimate chaos that can come with running a business takes up a lot (if not all) of our bandwidth at times. I needed someone else to tell me that 24 hours of non-work related activity would make up for itself in the long run. He was right. I’m gonna keep him around.
Malia Tippets, Marketer, age 32
I started seeing a kinesiologist and it has been amazing and so worth it. I have noticed many positive changes. It is amazing because by tapping into your body, your body speaks to the therapist and reveals blockages to work on. I highly recommend it!
Tina Doueihi Founder & Creator Red Fern Lingerie, age 47
Coaching! I decided to make the investment because it was meeting a need I had or area of growth. I had experience with the coach’s free content first and liked their approach/style. If the free content is valuable it’s usually a good indication of value for paid content. I’ve worked with a few coaches. I’ve developed new skills I needed for success and had chances to apply them and grow. I was already able to do that with what I got from the free content, but this went into greater depth and allowed me more access to their brain, to ask questions and get direct answers.
Krista Purnell, Lifestyle and Business coach
It can be risky and exciting and scary to invest in yourself, I get it. I have often felt selfish or self centered when considering investment in me. But the truth is that self care and investing in yourself is not selfish. It’s a way to help the whole world and those you love say hurray. Be good to you.
Your Turn: Where are you currently investing your energy? Where can you update and where can you continue your investments? What investments line up with your goals and values? How do you choose where to invest your energy? What comes up for you when you contemplate investing in yourself? Do you feel worth the investment? Where can you forgive yourself or let go of a story around investing in yourself? Journal, share with a friend, or share with us here!
Credits: The images in this blog post were taken by Becky Yee during the #HurrayVacay in Hawaii. I am wearing gifts from Mia Marcelle (the gorgeous bathing suit and cover up dress from Napa Valley, CA) and La Font (dazzling sunglasses from Paris!). Thanks, friends! I’m aboard the Kepokikai just off of Waikiki Beach, a boat for which I invested in the trip out to sea myself!
As always, zero airbrushing or editing my body and face. These images are the real me in the real Hawaii. (I just cropped out the several other people sharing the boat – ha!)