by guest writer, Warren Fowler
How much time do you allocate for self-improvements?
Can you think of a common aspiration that connects all human beings on Earth? No matter who you are and what you do, you strive towards one thing: growth.
We’re not talking about getting a better job, buying a bigger apartment, and meeting more people, although those aspects are part of your growth, too. We’re talking about personal growth. In simpler words, we’re talking about becoming a better, more versed, and more open-minded human being. Whether we acknowledge it or not, that’s a goal that every single one of us starts seeking at one point or another.
When you don’t recognize it, it’s a problem. You feel stuck in a certain situation and you see no way out. You don’t like your job. You’re having issues with your partner. Your home doesn’t feel like home. You don’t want to leave your job, your partner or your home, but you still feel like something is lacking in your life. You see a void and you don’t understand how you can fill it in. This feeling leads to a massive accumulation of stress and anxiety, which will eventually come up to surface.
Do you know why you’re seeing that void? You’ve been investing in all kinds of material things and relationships, but you haven’t been investing in yourself. That’s your problem. The good news is that you can fix it. You only need to focus on self-care and personal growth. Carry on with that, and the feeling of fulfillment will inevitably follow.
There are five main types of self-investment you can make:
- Investment in your psychological health;
- Investment in your physical health;
- Investment in self-love;
- Investment in your knowledge, and
- Investment in your professional development.
Let’s start tackling this issue step by step, shall we?
5 Main Types of Self-Investment that Lead You to Fulfillment
- Investment in Your Mental Health
Your mind is one of the most important assets you have. When you have a physical problem, such as pain in the stomach or a broken ankle, you search for a solution. The problems of the mind and soul are difficult to recognize since they don’t send signals through physical pain. That’s why it’s easy for us to leave them untreated for a very long period of time.
Many people think that only those with a diagnosed mental issue need therapy. That’s a misconception. We’re all deeply disturbed and we need some serious work on our emotional health. That doesn’t have to involve an actual therapist, but it does involve a process of self-care.
- Start believing in yourself!
When you don’t believe in yourself, you get stuck in a negative mindset. You see the success of others and you deem yourself unworthy or unlucky. That pushes you into a downward spiral towards a deteriorating mental health.
It all starts by believing in yourself. As the Angry Therapist says, “What you believe will determine where you will go. Throughout your life, you’ve read and seen what is possible. People can pretty much do anything. But you don’t believe that’s possible for you. Good things only happen to others. That’s because you haven’t experienced them and you haven’t experienced them because you don’t believe you can, and you maybe don’t believe you can because you don’t believe you have worth.”
So why don’t you just try something new? Why don’t you work your way up?
Proper and regular meditation is one of the cleverest investments you could make for the sake of your mental health. It doesn’t cost much! It’s recommended to take a meditation course with a qualified and experienced teacher, since the experiences you’ll come across may be scary. Your subconscious levels hide things you’re not aware of, so you need to know how to deal with them when they start surfacing through meditation. YouTube meditations may not be able to teach you that.
Still, you can continue meditating on your own once you learn how to do it. But you have to turn it into a habit. It only takes 10-20 minutes a day, and that’s an investment you can certainly make. It’s your mental health we’re talking about, so don’t make any excuses!
- Get therapy!
It’s okay to struggle, and it’s okay to ask for help when you need it. Do you know what most people think when they see a therapist for the first time? “What did it take me so long?” Even when you feel like there’s nothing you could talk about, a therapist will find a topic. Slowly, through conversations and proper assistance, they will help you improve your mental health.
That’s the foundation of the self-improvement process.
- Investment in Your Physical Health
You cannot be happy and fulfilled if you’re not healthy enough. Period. No matter what health issues you’re struggling with and no matter how healthy you feel at this moment, there’s always space for improvement.
The return on this investment will be outstanding!
So how exactly can you start investing in your health? There are few general steps that work for everyone:
- Start eating well!
Researchers found that people who eat healthy live longer. That’s no surprise, but it’s surprising to see how many of us know that fact and still carry on eating our burgers and sweets.
The good news is that you don’t have to change your eating habits out of the blue. That would be a great thing to do, but it’s hard. If you want an easier way towards a healthy diet, just start introducing more fresh fruit and veggies into your eating habits. Instead of thinking “I won’t eat chocolate today,” try thinking: “I’ll eat an apple, a banana, and an orange today.” Continue increasing the intake of healthy food, and you’ll slowly progress towards a much healthier diet.
Don’t forget to drink lots of water, too!
You know exercise is important, but do you know how much? Think about preventing back pain, obesity-related issues, high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease, osteoporosis, and all sorts of health problems. You can do all that if you exercise!
If you’ve been physically passive for a very long time, activity is hard. You’ll try twenty minutes of cardio fitness and you’ll feel exhausted. It’s important not to exhaust yourself right away since that will lead to a burnout. Start by walking longer distances, and turn your walk into a faster pace. Day by day, you’ll start running and you won’t even notice. At one point or another, you’ll feel ready to progress towards a more challenging physical activity.
- Investment in Self-Love
One of the main factors that prevent self-improvement is negativity. Your negative mindset makes you feel unworthy of success, and we already talk about that in the first point of our article. But the negative thoughts have another type of negative effect: they make you feel unworthy of love. That’s a huge problem, and its foundation is in the lack of self-love.
You’re dealing with harsh judgments all the time, aren’t you? When you have a discussion with your parents or your partner, you feel like they are unhappy with what you’ve become. When you write a comment on social media, an army of people starts attacking you for having a different point of view. At work, your supervisors and colleagues are constantly commenting on your mistakes and they remain cold when you do something well.
The greatest judgments, however, come from yourself.
Yes; you need constructive feedback from others and from yourself. But feedback can still be kind and loving, although it will feel like tough love.
- Start recognizing your worth
You’re good. You’re good enough.
Think of all the good you’ve done and all the good you can do from now on. Think of the person you are and the person you can become. There’s always space for improvement, but that improvement starts when you recognize the good in yourself and you let yourself grow through love and self-support.
- Continue doing things for other people, but don’t neglect your own needs
You feel like a more lovable person when you help someone else. That’s natural. However, you should never forget that you have your own needs and you’re the only one who can meet them.
If you need a day off, take it. If you want to buy yourself something nice, do it. If you really feel like buying a bottle of expensive wine and spending a nice evening on your own, reward yourself with such an experience! There’s nothing selfish about self-love as long as you’re not hurting anyone else.
- Investment in Your Knowledge
No; this doesn’t mean you should invest thousands of dollars into an MA or PhD degree. If you don’t want to go or return to school, that’s your own decision to make. The process of learning is not inseparable from standardized education.
Julie Sonan, a writer from BestEssays, shares her experience: “My life practically changed when I started investing time in learning. There are online courses for any interest I have, so it’s easy to find a good, systemized course. Sometimes I get a certificate and that helps with my career growth, but most of the time I do it for my all pleasure and fulfillment. I’m a happier person because of that!”
- Take online courses!
What should you start learning? Whatever you like. If you were always interested in literature, why not take an online course that guides you through the history of the written word? Just explore your interests and take the online course you prefer. The most important thing is to stay focused and learn a small portion of the material every single day.
- Keep reading
Yes; you get most of the information you need through Google, but that doesn’t mean you should abandon books as a major source of knowledge. Sign up for membership at your local library; that will add to the magic.
- Investment in Your Professional Development
You shouldn’t limit yourself to free online courses if you want to progress in your career. The least you could do is get certificates. And you won’t stop there!
The process of career development also involves mentors and coaches, as well as professional connections that help you build a strong network.
- Don’t neglect the power of LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a powerful way to create an online resume, connect with people, search for jobs, and find a mentor. Don’t forget to take advantage of Career Resume’s LinkedIn Makeover Services.
The following articles provide great information on how to get the most out of using LinkedIn.
- Attend events and conferences
It’s not just about the theme of the conference and the things you’ll learn there. It’s mostly about the relationships you’ll form during the event. Get informed about conferences and various types of events from your industry, and try to attend as many of them as possible. Once you’re there, you’ll just have to shine with your mingling skills.
The more you invest in your resume, the easier the journey towards personal growth will be. Identifying personal growth solely with abstract things is a misconception. It’s important to think about the material aspect of life, too. The part of having a job is necessary, and you cannot be happy if your work makes you miserable. That’s why you should pick a job you love and do your best to progress in that career.
Self-Investments Come With a Great ROI
How valuable are you?
The right answer would be this one: “To me, I’m the most valuable person I have. I’m the closest person I have. I’m worthy of an investment. I’m worthy of self-appreciation.”
Repeat that several times! Believe it!
Yes; you have many people you love, but you’re the most important person to love first. When you love yourself enough to invest in your self-accomplishment, you’ll be able to love others much more and much better.
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Warren is a marketing enthusiast and a blogger at Best Essays, who loves music. If he doesn’t have a guitar in his hands, he’s probably embracing new technologies and marketing techniques online! You can meet him on Twitter and Facebook.