Photo from pixels.com
If you have a big goal you may inevitably face a dilemma: is it worth investing so much in yourself to achieve your goals? The investment I am talking about in this case is both a time, a financial and an emotional investment in ourselves that we need to make in order to achieve the goal. After all, you need to spend an insane amount of time both searching and educating yourself, and probably some financial resources given the opportunities available. So the question is, is it worth it? After all, you don’t even know if all this investment will pay off, and if it pays off, it is not clear when and whether it will bring the desired benefits.
I will start with a real story that led me to write on this topic. Kate is currently working at an unlikeable job and from time to time complains to her friend Elizabeth how she doesn’t like it and that she feels invisible and underappreciated in it (names are fictional). One summer at noon, Kate calls Elizabeth to console that she even has to go to work when she is sick, because there is no one to replace her and that after talking to her employer she feels guilty that she got sick untimely. After listening to her, Elizabeth really understood how uncomfortable she felt now and how undeserved guilt overwhelmed her, so she shared her experiences of when she felt guilty for not being able to work when her daughter was sick.
The conversation provoked Elizabeth to share that this is one of the reasons that made her think about developing her projects and ideas and gave a hint that Kate can also think about what she could do to change the current situation. Not necessarily choosing the same path as Elizabeth, just thinking about the future of what she would like to do and where she could realize herself and possibly find a more friendly work environment. After all, we can’t change other people’s attitudes, but we can choose our work environment, but to do that we have to work hard, because just as money doesn’t grow on trees, so does our situation not change by itself if we don’t put in the effort.
Kate, knowing that Elizabeth is currently working on a really big project that is unclear whether it will bring success, and that she often faces really big challenges, shared her doubts about the project. Kate: But let’s look at you. You devote so much time and effort to your project. There are so many things to learn and in doing all this you don’t even know what will come of it and how you will benefit from it.
Why investing in yourself is necessary to achieving your goals
You will probably agree that being where you already know everything and everything is clear is much easier, because we already feel the benefits of what we get from it, but still if we are not satisfied with the situation we have to make appropriate decisions and take risks and dive into the unknown. Unfortunately there is no other way. So if we want to achieve our goals, we will inevitably have to invest in ourselves.
Everyone probably understands the basic truth that achieving each goal requires knowledge of how to do it. And that means you have to pay close attention to the purpose. A lot of time is needed for analysis, self-education, idea generation, goal setting, tool finding, and so on. And it’s perfectly normal to need to invest in yourself to put these things into one big picture without expecting a tangible return right away. Here’s a simple example: after going to a few singing lessons, a world-famous star has not yet been born. She has invested in herself for many years, not knowing if it will pay off. She composed songs, sang in unfrequented bars and listened to all the “experts” who said that nothing would come of it. And still invested in herself because there is simply no other way. You can’t expect to get something if you’re not determined to do something about it.
Investing in yourself is essential because you need to gather the necessary knowledge to know where to start and what to do to achieve what you want. Your knowledge is your tool for achieving your goals. What are the difficulties? Why can it be so hard to invest in yourself? The biggest challenge becomes the delayed returns, i.e we do not see significant benefits immediately. We work a lot, we invest a lot, and we do not see the benefits for a long time – this is the biggest challenge, and this is why it is so difficult to invest in ourselves to achieve big goals.
And do you find it difficult to invest in yourself knowing that it is necessary to achieve a goal?