When you don't feel that you are worth investing in yourself
I've known and counselled many people who often say things such as, "that's too expensive" or "I couldn't possibly afford that!" only to then notice that they've been on an exotic holiday (pre-Covid of course) or bought a luxury motorhome, swimming pools for the garden or upgraded their car to a newer, more expensive one or enrolled on business busting empowering social media course for their business.
There is a similar theme going on here throughout. These people are more than willing to spend their hard-earned cash on items that benefit their family or business, yet when it comes to spending money on themselves with no other benefit that is immediately visible to their family or loved ones, it seems to escape their ability to prioritise those funds on themselves.
It is less about the money and more about their self-worth.
How do I identify with that you ask? Because that was me 11 years ago.
Of course, each and every individual has the right to spend their money how they see fit. That goes without question but what if, by not investing in themselves to resolve their issues, they are anxious, depressed, chronically ill or have physical symptoms as a result of their deep unhappiness? This affects not only them but the people they love and whom they would happily spend time and money on to make happy yet all the time, the biggest investment they could make to provide that happiness lies in resolving their own issues.
So where was I 11 years ago? Chronically ill, having lost my job through ill-health, anxious, depressed, and in pain most of the time. My family suffered as a result of that - not only 11 years ago but probably the preceding 15 years or so as well.
I would happily spend all my earnings on my family, yet wouldn't pay for anything for myself unless it was absolutely necessary to the point I could stand it no longer. I had a history of back pain yet would only visit an Osteopath or Chiropractor when the pain was unbearable and it affected my ability to care for my children. I wouldn't visit the hairdresser if money was tight let alone what I perceived as frivolous activities such as getting your nails done.
In essence, I was not worth spending any money on.
Now re-read that, I was not worth spending any money on.
But I could and would spend money on others.
What I told myself, by these actions, was that everyone else was more important than I was. I didn't mean to, of course, I didn't. It was completely unintentional yet the effects of doing this to myself over decades were that my self-worth was non-existent.
I'm not there now, thankfully, otherwise, I believe that I would still struggle with some mental health issues, mainly depression - I haven't done for 11 years and neither am I likely to.
I was lucky enough to find a partner who believed in me and would encourage me to invest in myself. And I was fortunate to find and learn some tools that helped me turn my life around. The very tools I learnt to change my thoughts, behaviours and emotions are the tools I teach others now.
Self-empowerment by learning how to value self, to know self, and to care for self and to know your true worth.
I started this journey by re-training (I'm not implying that everyone should do this) but by re-training and learning about how our minds and bodies connect, what is important to us as human beings but also individuals and to value that; to challenge beliefs and early childhood programming and having the courage to change beliefs that weren't true or even mine; to change automatic behaviours that were negative and destructive and I began to learn what it is to value self - to be truly self-assured and to know my own worth.
Nowadays, I am equal to those around me. I am worth investing in and I deserve to be as happy as the next person. If I can afford it, and the fancy takes me, I will get my nails done, go on holiday, buy a new car, invest in my personal development (that last one takes priority) because those people around me benefit from having their lives touched by someone who is confident, self-assured, reliable, dependable, grounded, calm, conscientious and above all - healthy, happy and content.
So, if you have read this far, then this resonates with you. What steps do you need to take for you to enhance and enrich your life so that those you love can benefit as well as you?
I'm a coach, a therapist, a mentor and if I need support, development, or help then I know that I am worth investing in and I will seek to find what I need.
It isn't selfish, it's self-care.