ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

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A Non-Cheesy Approach to Trusting Yourself More + Sucking Less

In: Online Marketing

If I could identify one statement that you're bound to roll your eyes at, it's “Trust yourself.”

Because here's the thing: Most of us, including myself at times, don't know how to trust ourselves. We see that advice, and automatically file it away into the “cheesy, fluffy, woo-woo” category, the same as we might, “Just be yourself.” It's all so intangible, impractical, vague, unspecific, and hard to take action on.

But there's a reason why you hear it so much, especially when it comes to entrepreneurship:

If you cannot trust yourself wholly + soulfully, you cannot be successful in business.

Period.

So while it seems like an elusive goal, it's an important one.

And that's why, today, I want to share with you a new online initiative, on behalf of Seth Godin's The Domino Project, called Trust 30.

It's a 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself, using it as an opportunity to reflect on your now, in order to create direction for your future.

There will be 30 prompts from 30 thought leaders, and my own prompt will be featured on June 12th.

In order to show my support, and help you get started, I've completed the first prompt, which was launched today, and am sharing it with you below. The first prompt was created by Gwen Bell, called 15 Minutes to Live. You can view the prompt below, and my corresponding response thereafter.

Here's to throwing caution to the wind, learning how to trust yourself, and making your business thrive + vibe.

XO

Ash


First prompt:

We are afraid of truth, afraid of fortune, afraid of death, and afraid of each other. Our age yields no great and perfect persons. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

You just discovered you have fifteen minutes to live.

1. Set a timer for fifteen minutes.
2. Write the story that has to be written.

(Author: Gwen Bell)

My response:

First of all, I'm only setting this timer for 10 minutes, because if I only have 15 left to live, I think I should really spend the last 5 downing a vodka martini, and then running over to the cute neighbor's apartment to indulge in one long, last drawn out kiss before I collapse on the floor in a dramatic heap of passion and lust.

Clearly.

But listen, you.

You've done good. You've lived an honest life, you've worked hard, and there have been more moments than not when you truly felt alive. And that was always your goal, wasn't it?

But there are some things that probably shouldn't be left unsaid:

#1: To everyone that I've ever disappointed, when I've messed up and then swept things under the rug, due to my strong fear of confrontation: I am so sorry. This has been the one flaw that has haunted me my entire life, and I wish I would have done something to change it, instead of hiding behind it as an excuse, so things wouldn't have to get too hard or unpleasant.

#2: To everyone I've ever made feel insignificant–friends, readers, lovers, business associates, acquaintances–because I was too busy working on my business, or too overwhelmed, or too thoughtless:  You were never insignificant. I was incredibly fortunate to have so much love coming to me, that at times, I didn't have enough energy to be able to reciprocate when I needed to, or should have. But there was never a time when I didn't appreciate your messages checking in, or the comments left on my blog, or the voicemails that went unanswered, or the generous abundance of kindness + love that you unfailingly offered to me. You've given my life substance, and for that I'm eternally grateful.

#3: The novel. The novel that had 4 or 5 false starts, that I never followed through on. This is the biggest regret. I owed it to myself to do what my heart was aching to do, and I owed it to the world, because this is my gift. But due to the fear of it not being good enough, and due to the fear that it wouldn't live up to my own expectations, I procrastinated. And I let it slip away, as I busied myself with other tasks, and other priorities…when I, of all people, know that doing what your soul calls you to do should be the greatest priority. Therefore, I have been a hypocrite. And therefore, this is perhaps the real greatest regret of all.

#4:  Love. I have always been painstakingly bad at love, and everything surrounding the subject matter. I've always been too proud for love; too good for it. Too pretentious, arrogant, smug and superior to let myself be put in such a vulnerable place, where emotions overshadow logic, and I lay naked, exposed, defenseless and weak to its whims. In sum, I was too good to let myself experience my own emotions, because to me, those emotions couldn't be trusted, and surely I'd be made a fool for allowing myself to indulge in them. And I couldn't risk that. The fear of devastation, and the possibility that I'd come completely undone, was too much for me to bear. And so I withdrew. And played games. And sabotaged. And took pride in my indifference. When truly, it was this same indifference that, in retrospect, would have more likely led to devastation + my ultimate undoing.

As it seems, fear is, as always, at the root of the things that one wishes he or she had done differently.

We all have it, and it sneaks up on us in different forms, manifesting itself in different areas of our lives.

The good news is that, fortunately, I don't just have fifteen minutes to live, and neither do you; it is with great hope that we both shall have an abundance of years ahead of us, so that we can try with all our might, to make sure that when the time really does come, and we were to stumble upon this exercise once again, that the finished product would be quite different. Rather than a list of apologies and regrets, perhaps the only thing that would appear on the page would be, “Thank you.”

Because truly, if we can learn to trust ourselves, more than anything else on this planet, and stubbornly TRUDGE ONWARD when fear tries to hold us back, then surely those two words will be the only thing we'll have left to say.

And since that should only take about 10 seconds to write out, that'll leave you with a good 14 minutes and 50 seconds to down a second martini, chase after a second indulgent kiss, and maybe, just maybe, the brief chance to let yourself fall in love, and into the deep, jagged crevices that truly make for the human experience.

It's in the crevices where we find the ties that bind.

It's in the crevices where we discover who we are.

It's in the crevices where we learn to live.

This one messy, raw, haphazard, beautiful thing we call life.

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I'm a Bad Influence on Women

Hey, I’m Ash! Twenty years ago I was a small town girl growing up in a trailer park in rural Pennsylvania. Fifteen years ago, I lost my family and everything I knew right as I became the first to graduate college. Fourteen years ago, I found myself leaving everything behind for a new life in the city where I could be “normal.” Ten years ago I realized normal was the most disappointing thing that ever happened to me. Nine years ago I quit my job in advertising and pursued my dreams as a creative writer. Eight years ago, I built a 6-figure business doing what I love using nothing more than the Internet and my voice. And now, today, I’m the founder of The Middle Finger Project, an irreverent media co. that helps other women find their voice and teaches them to use it to build whatever the f*ck they want to. With a book coming out with Penguin Random House in February 2020 (YASSS, WE’RE A PRODUCT IN TARGET!) I’m proud to be a bad influence on women and guide them into doing something disobediently brave with their life and their career.

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