by Malini Saba
You are your most precious asset.
You are the most precious thing in your world.
You must invest in yourself everyday.
Never cheap out on yourself.
You are worth it!
Everything you are and everything you will be.
Is the result of how you use your mind.
– Brian Tracy
When we come across the word ‘investment’ our mind tends to think of our bank balance. For heaven’s sake, don’t limit yourself to such a small part of what investing in yourself means! To invest in yourself means to believe in you, to learn about you, to take the time to step back from routine and love yourself enough to set yourself a challenging yet attainable goal. By giving it your all, you will soon watch yourself perform better in every situation, be it at work or in your personal life. For this, it’s imperative to set aside a few minutes to invest resources into yourself as well as your well-being. I can guarantee you that through this, you will come out a more confident woman who adds value to her organisation, family, friends, and anybody else who may have the fortune of encountering you.
Our personal and professional lives are interconnected with each other more than we think. This is why it’s important to focus on investing in both areas whenever possible. Here are some of the easy ways to invest in yourself both inside and outside of the office.
Set yourself S.M.A.R.T. goals
Take the initiative to set yourself a list of personal and professional goals. If you’re not taking the time to set goals, it’s like driving a car through heavy rain with its wipers turned off. Without clearly-defined goals, you will lack clarity in vision to move forward. And we all know that when in the car, it would result in an accident.
Be sure to set time frames for achieving them. The goals set should be SMART: Significant, Momentous, Achievable, Related and Timely.
Invest in Creativity
Our creativity doesn’t have to diminish as we get older. We can carve out some time to create something new every day. Spend an hour a day to build on a business idea, improve a specific aspect of your work life or your relationships, and over time your creativity will be at its all-time peak.
We usually experience blocks in our creativity when we stagnate and lead sedentary lives- so go out, invest in traveling, try to learn more about your colleagues’ cultures, meet new people and make friends different from yourself. Before a seed can develop it must first break open. It cannot produce a plant until it’s been buried, placed out of sight, and begins to crack. In other words, people who truly want to grow, must re-evaluate their tolerance for ambiguity, for risk, and for experimentation.
Honour your intuition
“I knew what was really going on, but I didn’t say anything.”
“I wanted it so badly but I still walked away.”
Do these statements sound familiar to you?
You can show yourself some self-love by trusting your intuition, and honouring the message that it’s sending you. By paying attention to how you feel about certain things, you can make quicker decisions with healthier consequences. Learn to always trust your intuitions and that will lead to growth in life: personally and professionally.
Invest in building your confidence & knowledge
Somehow, in the professional world, our confidence either diminishes as we make mistakes or grows as we accomplish tasks and get appreciation. Often, the difference in our confidence level comes down to how we react to criticism and seek validation. Confidence equals positive emotions and a sense of secureness, which equals better performance. One needs to habitually invest time and energy into structuring a bulletproof sense of confidence in oneself and one’s abilities. You can invest in yourself at the workplace by taking your personal grooming seriously, celebrating your victories, investing time in acquiring knowledge and then making use of it.
Attend seminars and workshops, read books, listen to podcasts, and watch videos that will expand your knowledge and skills professionally as well as personally. This is what will make you stand out in the crowd
Invest in your health and nurture supportive relationships:
We can work towards achieving all our dreams, but there is no point in getting them if we don’t live enough to enjoy them or have nobody to celebrate life’s victories with.
So, eat right. Fuel your body with nutrients to boost your mind, do some basic desk exercises, and build personal as well as professional relations. The benefits earned from building our relationships is visible in every aspect of our life. The more our relationships grow, the more valuable the benefits, both personally as well as professionally.
Create your bucket list
If you have still not thought of creating a bucket list, then this is the time to create one! This list might have everything you want to do, see, feel, and experience in your life. Your list may be ongoing, but you can start by writing 10 things down. Then each month or so, make sure you’re knocking out at least one of the items off it.
Be happy for this moment, for it is your life right now
Happiness is to simply live, find gratitude and satisfaction in the moment that you have now. Make it a practice to express gratitude for everything that you have and often. Give second chances to everyone in your life including yourself. Try including ‘Thank you’s in your daily life and be genuine when you use it. Make sure to treat yourself to the little things in life. Take a quick walk around the block especially if it’s sunny outside, lend a helping hand to a co-worker, and remember the value you bring to the organisation.
Why are women not investing in themselves?
They check with someone else: When it comes to personal and professional development, women need to appoint themselves the highest authority. Your spouse, bosses, siblings or partner can have a say, but make sure to give yourself and your wants the highest priority.You need to be very clear about what you want and what you deserve, before you go out and get it.
They’re not sure when it is the “right” time. So here’s a harsh reality in life: we’re all over-the-top busy and over-committed, and it’s never going to feel like the “right time” to work on yourself. . But if you want to be successful don’t get lost in all the reasons why later would be better.
Fear that money should be used for their family or others. We don’t invest in ourselves because as a woman, we are taught to sacrifice our needs for others. For instance, to take care of our children, be a better wife by being at home, be a better daughter-in-law and so on.
But what happens if our husband gets hit by a bus on his way home from work or die on us from heart disease or maybe leave us for a younger woman? What if your husband gets into financial trouble? These are some questions that have plagued me throughout my life. We have to survive and make sure we can keep up the quality of life. Our kids have to stay in the same schools they have always gone to. Don’t bet on tragedy to strike. Invest in yourselves in ways so that you do not have to be dependent on anyone.
Whatever we do for a living, whether it is cleaning our houses, or managing companies, we must invest in our future and focus on creating a better, interesting one than the present. We should have a Plan B to fall back on, in case life brings us any surprises. Don’t let your focus on work define you as a bad woman. In fact, it is just the opposite. Think of this as an investment for you and your family because we are making sure we can always keep up the with the needs of our family, and if God forbid, life changes for the worse in a split second.
So, I would conclude by telling you to not give up if somebody tells you NO. Demand for non-monetary perks: flexi-time, a new title, pay revaluation the following quarter, or mentorship by or a project with a senior exec. They’re valuable in themselves, but they also get your boss into the habit of saying yes to you, and that will help you get that raise next time. Remember, this is a lifetime gap you’re working to close!
Never take no for an answer and give up on hope. If you don’t invest in yourself no one else will. When you invest in yourself, it’s the best return on investment you can give to your workplace.
Malini Saba is the founder of Saba Family Foundations and Saba Industries.