Investing In Yourself (sometimes starts with a good bra)
I will start this with a somewhat humiliating story.
Truth be told, I had a bra that looked like I’d had it for 100 years. Ladies, I’m sure you know the ones I’m talking about. I told myself I couldn’t afford new bras, that I was saving my money for a “rainy day.” But that really meant every day was rainy because I didn’t feel good about buying them for myself.
Until one day when we were changing our clothes at a Health Club, a friend of mine happened to notice my bra had zero support.
She asked me, “How the hell do your girls stay in?”
I realized my poor excuse for a bra was offering me no support. And in that moment of humiliation, I realized that by not investing in new bras, I wasn’t supporting myself (at all!). She told me I had to, “honor the girls.” I couldn’t really justify spending that kind of money on such a small piece of fabric that frankly, at that time, nobody was seeing anyway. But I realized that I might be a little on the cheap side, and not really understanding investing in myself. So, with the gentle encouragement of my good friend, she took me over and got me measured for a proper bra fitting. I finally realized that making cheap investments in myself was doing little to help my shape, affecting my mind and my attitude. I can tell you, after getting fitted properly for a good bra, I felt the lift and support on a lot of levels.
Now this may seem kind of dumb, I’m sure any men reading this don’t give a shit, but they should listen up too:
Investing in yourself leads you to look differently at yourself.
So, investing in me (which in this case was buying new bras) led me to look differently at myself. I no longer looked like an old lady with boobs hanging to my naval. I also realized I wasn’t investing in myself anywhere in my life. If I took moments to speak kindly to myself, to see everything I did as an investment in me, I’d feel better about myself and my life, would reflect in my self-confidence and attitude. Once I have a better attitude, I’m able to fully invest in my world and those around me.
One person noticing an embarrassing moment was a small step towards changing. And that small investment led to another investment. Shortly after my new bra purchase I decided, with the help of that same friend, that it was time to find a reliable car.
She asked me, “Have you ever thought of buying a new car?”
Of course not! I didn’t think my credit was any good. I wasn’t good enough to own a brand new car. I wasn’t sure I could do it, but slowly I started taking steps to get myself a more reliable car. I fell in love with one in the new car parking lot. I was nervous as I sat across the desk from the car salesman. He leaned forward and said, “Well, I’ve got some good news, and I’ve got some bad news.” My mind only heard him say, “bad news,” and my heart sank.
He said, “The bad news is, I can’t give you zero percent interest.”
Of course, my mind instantly went to, “Oh, great—it’s probably going to be like 12% interest or I’ll need a co-signer.”
I looked over at my friend who I could tell was holding hope and mentally reassured myself, “No, no, no! It’s all good.”
The salesman said, “No cosigner, no money down, but I could only get you .09% interest.” Now, my math is not the best and I’m dyslexic, so I got scared by the numbers. I thought he meant 9%. He must have seen the fear on my face, for he smiled and said, “That’s less than 1%, and that’s a really great interest rate!”
My new Jeep Liberty became the car that liberated me.
Driving around in my new car (while wearing my new bras) gave me even more confidence. I noticed that it was becoming easier and easier to honor myself. Whether buying a pair of running shoes to help me affirm exercise as a priority, or finding creative ways to make money, I was becoming more aware of where my money was really going. I was learning to take what I had and move forward making changes in my life, one at a time.
So let’s think about investing in yourself: buying a bra, buying a car, a pair of tennis shoes. It’s all monetary. But what if it’s as simple as putting words of encouragement on your bathroom mirror to remind you every day, or telling someone that you love them (and accepting when someone says they love you!) It could even be as simple as taking a walk with a friend, or signing up for some free classes to continue learning and growing. When you finally decide you’re worth every moment and every penny, the Universe has a miraculous and amazing way of providing for us.
Here are three easy ways to affirm with the Universe that you’re investing in yourself (without breaking the bank):
Take a fake $100 bill (I have a ten million dollar bill) and carry it in your wallet. I’ve learned that the universe doesn’t see counterfeit, it just sees money. That is why being careful with your words is so important. The Universe doesn’t see a little fear, it just sees fear. By filling my wallet with money, even fake money, it affirms that my wallet is full of money.
When you don’t feel your best, force yourself to dress like you do. Get up, take a shower, fix your hair, and put on something that makes you feel better. When you look in the mirror and don’t like what you see, the Universe is going to repeat that you don’t like what you see. My best advice is to get up and shake it off. Ladies, put on your makeup —men, shave your face. Do the proper self-care for yourself. It makes a difference in what you project.
If you find yourself needing to go out and do something, or go out on a date, find free things to do in your local magazines, and free publications. There’s usually something going on somewhere, like music in the park, or a new art gallery opening. It can even be something as simple as going for a nature walk. And when you go out and do something for yourself, the Universe doesn’t see it as free. It just sees that you are doing something that will make you feel better. Do something that inspires you to keep moving forward. That’s an investment in yourself.
Now that you have three easy things to try, There’s no simpler way to say it.
Sometimes things are easy, and sometimes things are hard. But what you choose to do in each moment will determine how far you get. Any movement forward is better than stagnation on your couch.
Change doesn’t come to you. You have to move it.
It’s better to rise up, meet the day with a positive attitude, and see it all as an investment in your growth, transformation, and expansion. However you choose to look at it is what you’re going to get back.
Your life. Your world. Your self. Invest wisely.