Updated: Apr 17, 2019
I never understood what betting on yourself meant -- for the longest time I judged people who would say anything like this (I can be OD critical). I thought investing in yourself was an easy way to get out of responsibilities, for the people who didn't want to serve others or for the people who were lazy.
SHEESH... I was very, very wrong.
Betting on yourself couldn't be more opposite, though. When you elect to invest your time, effort and energy into the core of who you are, you end up making more meaningful choices.
Why? Because you aren't seeking external factors to validate yourself.
The service project you'e organizing is no longer about building you up, it becomes truly about serving and loving others. The money you gave to your family no longer feels like resentment, it feels like freedom of choice.
Betting on yourself is about confidence in who you are and a deep seeded belief your choices and core values -- most importantly, it's about your own worthiness regardless of support.
What else does betting on yourself look like and what does it mean?
Betting on Yourself = Choosing Yourself
Many times women choose other people or other things over themselves. I've done this for many, many years. I've relied on other people to make me happy, other people to make me more money or other people to believe in me.
The problem is, like most all problems we encounter in life, is that people have choice -- and they can choose whether or not to bet on your inherit gifts, abilities and all the other things that make you uniquely amazing.
By choosing yourself, you're automatically taking your power back from other people, the power you've lost by making sure everyone around you is taken care of first. You're saying that you believe in who you are and who you will become -- and that your self-preservation, success and happiness is more important than ensuring others are comfortable.
When you do this, people won't know what to do at first -- so anticipate people becoming angry with you or disagreeing with your decisions (disagreements natural, they just aren't used to them).
But if I could give 23-year old self any wisdom, I would tell her to:
Choose yourself whenever you create a fire project that someone else may try and take credit for.
Choose yourself whenever the "guy of your dreams" doesn't follow up in action and in truth.
Choose yourself whenever the job pressures you to accept calls at 3:00 am for something that is not your problem.
Choose yourself whenever there is pressure to hyper-sexualize yourself for gain or attention.
Choose yourself whenever the people around you are talking badly about matters that are important to your heart.
Choosing yourself means you're powerful.
Betting on Yourself = Believing in Yourself
I've always struggled with fear of not being good enough for people. More than likely, that came from my anxiety and perfectionism, but each have plagued my conscious and confidence for years.
In the last year during therapy, I learned that self-validation is one of the most important ways to have a successful relationship with yourself and others. It's the only way you have a real, authentic belief in your natural gifts and abilities.
I think women struggle with this because we've been forced to exist in a continuous dichotomous state - a realm that requires us to live out every competing dynamic at the same exact same time. We're required to be strong, but very submissive. Intelligent, but not too intelligent. Firm, but only firm enough so that other people can have their way. It's truly exhausting and quite frankly, unfair.
When you believe in yourself, you don't have to live in the constant push-and-pull dynamic... you literally create a reality that challenges you in ways that calls you higher, but doesn't work against the core of who you are. The reality you teaches you, encourages you, strengthens you and helps you become who you want to be. Most importantly, this reality is driven by your own internal self-validation.
Believing in yourself is a life force that can't be reckoned with.
Betting on Yourself = Choosing What's Valuable to You
It took me 28 years to decide what I valued. In my early and mid-20's, it was difficult for me to distinguish what were my own personal values, or what were the core values of my family, immediate culture, my friends or even my job.
Some women suffer from this exact same concern - they have compromised pieces of their core beliefs so that they don't disturb the peace with their close relationships; however, they silently struggle.
Here's a giant life hack: the relationships and people that love you unconditionally will never ask you to sacrifice the core of who you are; they'll accept and love you regardless.
When you can decipher what your core values are, you're working from the inside-out. That means all of your thoughts, actions and choices are based on what's essential to your beliefs. That then shifts your existence in a major way allowing you to implement one key component to a purposeful life: courage.
Pursuing what is near and dear to your heart requires courage, the type of courage that comes from betting on your personal values. That inside-out work is very difficult, trust me I've been there. If you can face your innermost self and figure out your core values, you will be able to pursue a life that will be rewarding.
Your personal values matter and they will lead you to the life you've always wanted.
Betting on Yourself = Creating the Life You Want
I always thought that you were supposed to have each and every detail of life planned out. The compulsion and obsessiveness of "figuring it out" or "being put together" always had me in a deep-dark rabbit hole with seemingly no escape.
I've been so worried about staying in a specific lane that I've missed out on many different experiences that possibly could have made my life more meaningful.
Here's what I've learned: obsessing over having everything figured out actually kept me trapped -- it held me captive to obsession rather than being captivated to become a more purposeful and whole human.
When I decided to bet on myself I was taking a risk that had no guaranteed outcome, something that is very very scary for me (I get paid to predict outcomes in real-life). However, I gave myself a shot to win big. I gave myself a chance at a fruitful life, one that has a deeper purpose.
Betting on yourself looks different to create the life you want looks for everyone -- for me, it looked like:
starting a street wear clothing brand with $500, no formal training in business or marketing, no graphic design experience and no work experience outside education.
starting a blog and writing about my deepest, most vulnerable experiences with mental health and emotional intelligence, although there was no guarantee I'd be a good writer or that the stories would resonate.
towing the line against people I love the most because my story mattered and my boundaries were important.
investing my money, time and energy into therapy sessions to help me become a healthier human.
making time for 2 hours a day for whatever I wanted to do, regardless of my schedule.
It looked like creating a purposeful life.
So, to all the women who are reading this - your gifts and abilities make you inherently wonderful and worthy. Don't wait for people to bet on you and believe in who you are. If you want people to believe in who you are, you must believe in yourself first. Take the time and invest in the things that matter to you -- the things that yield a positive, fruitful outcome. People may look at you like you're crazy or think your decisions are silly -- but they're the silly ones for not believing in you to begin with.
Never be afraid of betting on yourself; it's the best risk you will ever take. Give yourself a chance to win big.
LOVE YOU, MEAN IT