Investing in Yourself — Lionesses of Africa

by Thembe Khumalo 

What comes to mind when you think about investing in yourself?  Is it items that require serious expenditure, like an additional tertiary qualification, a new computer or a trip to an out-of-town conference? Or do you think about simpler things like a scented hand cream, a series of therapy sessions or a short online course? Whichever category your idea of investment is in, investing in ourself means you are foregoing other things to create value for yourself – and usually in a way that will enable you to learn, grow and improve your output. 

Investing in yourself means you have to believe that you can do better, that you are capable of producing more with the right stimulus, skills or knowledge, and that you are worth the investment. This idea of worthiness is an important one for us to understand because we spend a lot of time and effort investing in others. We invest in our jobs, families and friends. But when it comes to putting the same level of effort into ourselves we sometime see it as a “waste” of time. 

Consider the time you spend with family and friends – cocktail parties, family lunches, networking events, birthday celebrations… you make time for all these. Apart from time, you also invest money and effort – think about what it costs to raise a child from infancy to adulthood, or the amount you spend on bachelor parties, kitchen teas, birthday presents for people who are close to you. Consider the effort you make resolving family disputes, counselling friends through loss, heartbreak, business difficulties… But when you are asked to take 15 minutes a day to meditate, or write in your journal, suddenly the time seems so scarce!

Here’s my message to you today:  You are worthy. 

You are worthy of an investment in time, money and effort. You are worthy of foregoing other people and things to pour into yourself, to replenish your own stores of energy, wisdom, and peace. Don’t be afraid to put yourself first from time to time – it’s the only way you can continue to add value to others. 

You may not have thought about it this way before, but starting a business is one way of investing in yourself. Instead of spending your most productive years, your best ideas and your valuable skills in building someone else’s legacy, you take those valuable tools and build something for yourself. Like all investments, there is risk involved – but working for others also carries the risk of being let go at some point. 

As women grow older, many of us think of investing in ourselves by investing in our future  – buying property, shares, creating a pension plan. But investment planning has to include more than just financial security. 

We often underestimate what our work life really brings to fulfill us – more than a salary, it also give us a sense of purpose, a ready-made family of friends and colleagues, an easy and available pool of knowledge and advice, a wide range of experiences and points of view to learn and glean from and above all a feeling of being needed. 

Many executives fall into depression after retirement, not because they are financially hard up, but because suddenly, and possibly for the first time in their adult lives, no one really needs them. There are no urgent meetings they must attend, no confidential matters that they are privy to, no pressing calls that need to be made, no delicious tension that comes from juggling the demands of multiple stakeholders. There is just time, loneliness and a huge sense of loss.  If you have not made a habit of reflection and introspection, you may fail to recognize what is happening and end up in a very bad place. 

As we plan for the future, let’s also think about what we will do and who we will be when we have stopped working full time. And how we will continue to make an impact in the world. 

Source link

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *