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Why Investing in Yourself is Hard & How to Overcome It

goal setting mindset planning & organisation Apr 19, 2023
Donna Louise Coaching
Why Investing in Yourself is Hard & How to Overcome It

Are you investing in yourself? For many of us, the answer is "not really."

We may know that investing in ourselves is important for our well-being and personal growth, but we still struggle to prioritize it in our busy lives.

But why is that?

While time, money, responsibilities and work are the obvious go-to's.

Another reason is that investing in ourselves often requires us to step outside of our comfort zones.

And that can trigger our subconscious mind's protection mechanisms.

The subconscious mind controls 95% of our behaviour and constantly monitors our environment and processes information to help us make safe decisions and take action.

Like a guard dog that's been trained to protect us from perceived threats. When we encounter a situation that is unfamiliar or challenging, the guard dog may bark and growl, warning us of potential danger.

Similarly, when we attempt to expand our comfort zone and pursue personal growth, our subconscious mind may sound the alarm and trigger our fight-or-flight response, which can manifest as our inner critic, anxiety, excuses or other negative thoughts and feelings.

The subconscious mind also tries to protect us by maintaining the status quo.

It's comfortable with what's familiar and predictable.

For example, if we have a belief that we're not good at public speaking, our subconscious mind will try to protect us from the discomfort of speaking in public by avoiding opportunities to do so again.

While our subconscious mind's protective mechanisms can be helpful in real life-threatening situations, they can also hold us back from reaching our full potential in our day-to-day lives.

By understanding and challenging these protective mechanisms, we can start to break free from limiting beliefs and self-sabotaging behaviours and pursue personal growth with more insight and self-awareness.

Here are 6 practical strategies to help you get started:

  1. Identify your limiting beliefs: Take a moment to reflect on the beliefs that may be holding you back.

    Are you telling yourself that you're not smart enough, not talented enough, too young or old, or not deserving of success?

    These beliefs can be powerful, but they're not necessarily true.

    Challenge them with EFT Tapping using the 'tap and talk' method to release not-serving-you thoughts and feelings and by reminding yourself of your strengths, capabilities, accomplishments and potential.

  2. Practice self-compassion: Investing in yourself can be challenging, and it's important to be kind and supportive to yourself throughout the process.

    Practice self-compassion by speaking to yourself kindly and offering yourself the same care, encouragement, patience and understanding you would offer a close friend.

  3. Have a big vision but set small goals: It's important to have a clear sense of what you want to achieve, but it's equally important to set goals that are realistic and tick-offable.

    Break down larger goals into smaller, manageable steps, and celebrate your progress along the way.

    If you don't know how to do this or haven't had much luck with setting and reaching your goals in the past, watch my free 60-minute Annual Aspirations workshopwhich can be taken at any time of the year.

  4. Seek out support: Investing in yourself can be a lonely process, but it doesn't have to be.

    Whether your goals are for your health, finances, lifestyle, career or creativity.

    Seek out supportive online communities, friends, family members, or a coach or mentor who can offer encouragement and advice and hold you accountable.

  5. Come to terms with failure being a part of your journey to success: In NLP, there is not such thing as failure, only feedback.

    Not meeting your expectations is a completely natural part of the learning process and should be expected. 

    Embrace your mishaps and use those lessons to guide your future efforts.

  6. Visualise: The subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between the past, present and future, only what's familiar and safe or new, unfamiliar and potentially dangerous.

    By spending some time to imagine your goals coming to fruition by thinking about what you'd see, feel, hear, know, have, not have and so forth, you're tricking the subconscious mind into thinking your goals have already happened and, therefore it's familiar, and there's nothing to fear.

Investing in yourself is an ongoing process, but it's one that can pay off in countless ways. So why not start today? Your future self will thank you.

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