In 2021, I made the decision to invest in myself, explore my creative side, and nurture my mind and body.
It was intentional.
It came after a physically and emotionally demanding time in my life which involved having two children, and simultaneously experiencing lock down, and a detachment from life as I knew it.
A year and a half on, as I sit in Liverpool John Lennon Airport, waiting for a delayed, and highly anticipated flight, I am reflecting on how these intentional acts have impacted my life, and my sense of worth.
The self-investment pay off
Looking back, prior to 2021 I had a number of really worthwhile jobs, but I changed jobs often due to a lack of satisfaction in some cases, and in others, a feeling that there was more out there for me, more of a purpose. Making the decision to pause, and think after I had children felt natural, but that didn’t make it easy.
“I decided that my first step would be investing in myself by helping others. It might seem like a contradiction in terms, I mean surely by supporting others, you are forgotten. Not in my experience, I felt more visible than ever”.
I became an Independent Advisor to national charity Citizens Advice who have a great aim - to help people find a way forward – whatever their problem. As a result of supporting them:
My self-confidence has grown.
I have learned from others (that are much more brilliant than me!) with similar skills and passions.
I feel valued, and that my voice, experience, and opinion counts.
This positive experience spurred me on to be appointed as a Non-Executive Director at Social Value UK, and I will soon be announcing a new Chair position I am taking on to support inclusion within the UK Higher Education Sector, something I wouldn’t have dreamt I would be doing 18 months ago!
The reality is that investing in myself has been achieved by supporting others.
I would encourage anyone thinking about self-investment to find a good organisation to share your skills with - and see how this helps you grow as a person.
Whats next for us
In 2023, I will be continuing to invest in myself by supporting others, as Bakare Barley is working towards formalising our equality, diversity and inclusion mentoring and coaching support offer, and I will become a qualified coach.
“We want to have impact, and we know the only way to do that is through relationships rooted in trust and honesty”.
We want to inspire senior leaders, business owners and those with the most privilege and power to learn how to influence inclusion and change their cultures for the better.
We will do it by passing on our experiences and working with people every step of the way to work through the ups and downs of this work.
You can find out more about our strategy advice and learning and development services by visiting