When it comes to securing and paying for coaching, many of my clients consider it an investment in themselves. Whilst a simple concept, investing in ourselves isn’t something we women do naturally. There is always something else that is more important. The kids need another pair of ballet shoes or football cleats. A friend from university is approaching a milestone birthday and needs a suitably ‘celebratory’ gift. The kitchen doors need replacing (and preferably the entire kitchen with it). The dog needs another round of flea treatment and yet more worming tablets…and so on.
Somewhere at the bottom of your list of investments might be ‘buy new mascara’. That probably made it to the list because the one you have is about 2 years old and you recently read an article that told you you need to replace your mascara every 6 months otherwise you risk giving yourself a bacterial eye infection that freaked you out. On there might also be ‘replace button on cream blouse’ which has been sitting at the bottom of your laundry basket since it came off last summer and you still haven’t sorted it out because you have neither the time nor inclination to find a matching button. Not to mention you have no idea whether haberdashery shops even exist anymore.
What you probably won’t find on the list is ‘invest in personal development’. Whether it’s down to lack of resources such as time or money (which is invariably not the issue even if you kid yourself it is), lack of inclination or even lack of confidence, investing in yourself is important. Here is why investing in yourself is so important:
- You become a priority for you
- It enriches you and your life
- You develop new skills and create new experiences
- It increases your self-awareness and builds your confidence
- You build your personal brand
- Investing in yourself makes others stand up and notice.
Growth doesn’t just happen.
When it comes to your career, investing in yourself will give you all of the benefits listed above and it will also increase your value both figuratively and literally. The greater and more advanced the skillset, invariably the more you can earn. But I stress as a confidence and personal brand coach most importantly investing in yourself for career purposes will without fail increase your awareness, confidence, and your brand.
So, here are 3 simple ways to invest in yourself, increase your confidence and brand, and level up your career:
- Read something new
Yes I know you’ve heard this before but reading something new is a really effective way to expand your mind. If you aren’t an avid reader or you don’t have a huge amount of time then pick a shorter read that is easily digestible. Also, think laterally if the thought of picking up a book is making you groan internally right now.
For example, as a leader of people during my career I knew it was important to read widely about leadership but there were so many leadership books on the shelves that I felt overwhelmed not to mention they were all a bit gimmicky which put me off. So, rather than pick a traditional ‘text’ book, I had an interest in American politics which I combined with my desire to learn more about leadership. I read books about American presidents and their leadership styles. I was more inclined to read these types of books because they weren’t a theoretical tome on leadership.
Pick something that you wouldn’t usually read but have an interest in but also ties into what you want to learn.
So, get off Instagram and reach for your kindle app instead (other electronic devices for reading materials are available)! Or try audible or something of that ilk or a podcast if you respond better to auditory learning.
2. Take a course, any course
This doesn’t have to be professional degree; it just needs to be something that piques your interest and will broaden your horizons. If your employer offers free courses as part of your development, use them. If your local school or colleges offer some interesting courses, take one of those. If you can, get out of your comfort zone. If doing presentations make you anxious, take a short presentations skills course or better yet take some acting classes! The classes will be in a safe environment and is a good way to overcome your fears and build your resilience. Pick something and just do it.
3. Get a mentor, sponsor, coach or accountability partner!
Any one of these can work very effectively and helping you develop or grow. Working with someone else keeps you honest and accountable. It’s a well-known fact that when you work with a coach, mentor or sponsor you achieve far greater results and far more than if you had tried to go it alone. Added to which, you will learn a lot from them and the process. If you don’t want a mentor, sponsor or coach then pick a friend or trusted person to be your accountability partner. Work out what you want to achieve with this support mechanism, tell the person in question and ask them to hold you accountable. You will be amazed how much you achieve and how much you grow as a result.