Invest in Yourself
“The best investment you can make is when you invest in yourself.”
I was part of a conversation last week where an individual explained willingness to use financial resources on vacations and things that would bring his family joy. What was excluded was any type of investment into himself. When I inquired why, he told me it would be selfish. Sound familiar?
So here was my question, “If you were to make an investment in yourself and as a result grew to be a better husband, father and friend wouldn’t everyone benefit? Why the disconnect? The definition of selfishness is; devoted or to caring only for oneself, concerned primarily with one’s own interests with no regard for others. Here lies the confusion, when we are talking about an investment into self we are referring to personal growth where everyone benefits.
Growth is described as the development from one stage to another. For many that suffer from a history of trauma, depression, and anxiety moving from one stage to another can be extremely difficult. The natural tendency to avoid psychological pain can limit one’s ability prevent the negative effects of the past from influencing their present. We see this result in self-destructive and sabotaging behavior that may include poor choices surrounding substance use, relationships and impairments in daily functioning.
To foster personal growth and engage in self-improvement that benefits others consider the following:
- Acknowledge what you find troubling and explore any connection to the past. Ask yourself, “Have I felt this way before and what contributed to me feeling this way?
- Work toward understanding so that you can make sense of things. This is not acceptance of bad things in the past, it is an acknowledgement of the complexity of things and awareness of the impact they have. Acknowledgement and acceptance are often needed for resolution.
- Commit to yourself and goals. Resolution of negative things in the past allows attention to be focused on growth. When you are focused on what you want to be and how you want to feel it is difficult for depression and anxiety to control your mood.
Jerry Grosso, PsyD., LMFT – Dr. Gerald “Jerry” Grosso is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 20 years of experience assisting individuals and families struggling with addiction, depression and trauma.