What happened when I invested in myself

When was the last time you invested in your personal development? The term ‘investment’ here doesn’t have to refer to spending money, it can relate to time and energy as well. This could mean buying a course to develop some skills, hiring a coach to help you navigate change or simply carving out time to tune into a self-help podcast. 

Whatever investing in yourself looks like, for some, the very idea of it can lead to guilt. You may feel as if spending this time and money on yourself is ‘selfish’ or even frivolous. Pushing personal development to the bottom of our list of priorities is therefore pretty common, especially when life gets busy.

But have you stopped to consider the ripple effect of investing in yourself? Have you thought about what changes could come about off the back of this work and how this could impact not only you, but those around you, too?

Here, four people share their stories of investing in themselves and how it’s shaped their lives, from huge career changes and travelling to managing chronic illness and dreaming bigger. 

Celia’s story

Celia Gaze is the founder and director of The Wellbeing Farm who left her high-flying career in the NHS due to burnout. Here she tells us more about her passion for learning and how a gift-wrapping workshop inspired her career change.

If I added up the amount I’ve spent on personal development it would reach the thousands. I dedicate around seven hours minimum each week to it and I also have a mentor. But personal development doesn’t have to cost so much. I now listen to podcasts while walking my dog, do lots of reading and online courses (most of which are free). 

This personal development work has given me more confidence, self-awareness, inspiration, career opportunities and a determination to make the most of my life. 

When you invest in yourself you take responsibility for your life, your happiness and your circumstances.

Nothing is guaranteed in life but when you invest in yourself with the aim of becoming the best possible version of yourself – you can protect yourself for the future.

To give you an example, while I was on a one-day gift wrapping course I overheard two ladies talking about the courses they were running from their house that weekend. I was trying to wrap my gift while leaning over to earwig on their conversation and feeling envious about how excited they were about the courses they were going to run. 

It suddenly dawned on me, ‘Why don’t I set up my own courses?’ I absolutely love doing courses, so why couldn’t I do that with a neglected family farm we had? I could transform it into something really special. I couldn’t get home quickly enough. 

That moment led to me having a complete career change from NHS Director to the owner of a wedding venue and I’ve never looked back or been happier. This is what personal development can do for you.

Lee’s story

Lee Chambers is an environmental psychologist and well-being consultant. Here, he explains how building self-awareness has helped him improve his relationships and how investing in his physical health allowed him to come off medication for chronic illness.

I have made significant investments in my own personal development over the past five years. From investing in a life coach, who has helped me to become more self-aware and consistent, to investing in additional qualifications to increase my knowledge in my fields of psychology and leadership. There have also been many other investments, including the time and energy to build a morning routine and the time and finance required to purchase and read books.

Through this process, I have become more self-aware and built my emotional intelligence, which has been vital as an adult with Asperger’s. Being more aware of my blind spots has helped me grow as a husband, father and son. And being more self-aware has been powerful in my work as a psychologist and consultant. 

Taking the time to build a morning routine has been life-changing, as I now start every day with reflection and self-care, in my own world of positive inputs. This has led me to start every day with momentum and clarity on what I want to achieve and the impact I want to make.

My focus on improving my health outcomes has been essential, as I lost the ability to walk in 2014 due to illness, and spent a year relearning. By continually investing in optimising my health, in June 2020 I was able to come off my medication for my chronic illness and control it through lifestyle alone.

We so often seek permission to invest in ourselves, but the only person who needs to give you permission is yourself.

See the opportunities in the future that will present themselves if you keep growing, and how much easier it is to climb life’s obstacles when you are in the motion of continually developing yourself. 

Jay’s story

Jay Morjaria is a new business development executive here at Life Coach Directory and here explains how the neuro linguistic programming (NLP) practitioner course he did lead to a life-changing decision. 

I really enjoyed learning new ways of thinking on this course and I have carried forward a lot of the techniques into my daily life. I remember after returning to work, I was telling anyone and everyone about what I had learned, the experiential learning by doing a live course really helps the learning to stick with you, too.

It was actually life-changing in more ways than one. A practical exercise during the course led me to make the decision of going travelling with my wife for three months around South East Asia.

This was the best decision I made in my twenties and I had absolute clarity about choosing to do that because of the course, so I will always be grateful for that.

Aishah’s story

Aishah Iqbal is a paediatric doctor, personal trainer and weight loss coach who shares the impact reading has on her life and why removing limiting beliefs has helped her dream bigger than she ever thought possible. 

The biggest investments I have made are: taking a gap year from working full-time (to gain some breathing space to think and develop), briefly working with a coach to think about what my dream life would look like and… lots and lots of books! I think the books have consistently helped me to work towards improving my life on a daily basis which is really needed when life takes over.

I have made some changes in my life that I don’t think I could otherwise have made.

I’ve moved to a different city and started my own business all because I removed my limiting beliefs. I have even bigger dreams now than I ever had and have no doubt that I can reach them. I feel like I have more freedom in my thoughts and actions because of all the work I’ve done.

There is nothing more important than investing in yourself. We often give so much time to being the best spouse, employee, mother, friend, etc. But, in order to be the best in all the other roles we have, we need to be the best towards ourselves. Ultimately, this is going to make us better at all of those jobs and will help us enjoy life so much more.

We hope these stories have inspired you to think differently when it comes to investing in yourself. There are so many ways to do this, from looking into self-help tools to working with a professional like a coach. Whichever route you go down, know that personal development will only ever take you in one direction – towards your full potential. 

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Written by Kat Nicholls
Kat is a Senior Writer for Life Coach Directory and Happiful magazine.
Written by Kat Nicholls
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