ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

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Having Trouble Committing Yourself to That Project You Really, Really Wanna Do, But Can’t Seem to Get Started?

In: Creativity Coaching

I’ve been writing a book for nearly two years now, which sounds absolutely homicidal when I say it out loud. I mean, let’s be honest: most of my romantic relationships haven’t even lasted that long. (OKAY FINE, UNTIL NOW, BECAUSE THE LOS AND I ARE ON, LIKE, YEAR #BAZILLION.)

I’ve learned a lot about commitment, these last two years, which means I’ve also learned a lot about myself. (For example, apparently I know jack shit about hyphens. Who knew?)

But do you how I’ve discovered I tango best with that wiley, smooth-talking little romeo, commitment?

By telling him exactly how it’s gonna be.

I can’t help but feel that most of us are scared of committing ourselves—to a business, a project, an idea—because it’s this BIG, HAIRY SCARY OVERLORD that has the potential to take over your entire life and God forbid, what if you dedicate your entire everything to something, and then it doesn’t work out? When we talk about stuff like this in Unf*ckwithable Girlfriends, one of the things that comes up time and time again is this idea that committing yourself is scary as hell—so much so that, in fact, I almost get this image of commitment barging into your house like a controlling, possessive lover, demanding that you pay all of your attention to them, and no one else, and that you pledge your everlasting loyalty, here and now, before rolling out with matching butt tattoos.

WHICH. OF. COURSE. IS. TERRIFYING.

We run screaming from those situations every time, don’t we? (I mean, I can’t even tell you the number of times I’ve been coerced into matching butt tattoos.) But I think the real reason we’re actually so bad at committing ourselves is because of the pressure to almost cancel everything else in our lives in order to qualify as “really committed.” There’s a perception that you can’t be committed to something unless you are uncommitted to everything else; that it’s an if/or situation; that you aren’t “really” committed unless you’re leaping into a pit of fire shouting, “IN THE NAME OF THIS ONE THING, AND THIS ONE THING ONLYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!”

But that’s not true. It’s a warped definition. Bogus. Wrong. Defective. (And fire pits only happen in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.)

Because while I can testify to the fact that, holy thigh cellulite, commitment does require you to show up, it doesn’t have to make you a martyr, either. You don’t have to wake up and say:

I’m writing a book and so clearly I must devote my every waking minute to this thing or else it’s not going to work and I’m not really “invested”!!!!

Instead try:

I’m writing a book for three hours every single morning. Come hell or high water, those three hours are for THAT.

And in doing so, you give your commitment healthy boundaries. And you tell it exactly how it’s gonna be. Which, in turn, can help you STAY committed, because you aren't freaking out that you’re dropping ALL THE OTHER BALLS IN THE NAME OF THIS ONE, but rather, incorporating this very important ball into your routine in a meaningful way that required no debate. Because three hours is three hours is three hours. There’s nothing to argue there. That’s your commitment. And guess what?

This is how discipline is born.

Not because you’re “hustling” away your every waking moment, but because you’ve carved out special moments into your day to hustle for the things that matter most. And then, instead of always feeling overwhelmed, you start to look forward to those special moments, knowing you can fully devote yourself without the guilt trip.

Maybe the way we become better at committing ourselves isn’t by praying, but planning.

And maybe the way we become the kind of person that did is simply by agreeing to the plan.

Oct 10

2017

Calling All of My Flakes, My Quitters, My Commitment Clunkers: The Secret to Finishing What You Started Is NOT Patience. (So You Can Tell All Of Those “Have Patience” Hoodlums to Kiss It.)

Oct 10, 2017

You know who I personally have it out for? People who tell you to have patience. “Have patience, my dear,” they say—and then they always tack that goddamn “my dear” onto the end, as if they’ve suddenly transformed into a card-carrying ninety-year-old wizard. There’s no faster way to bring my lack of patience from a […]

In: Creativity Coaching

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Aug 18

2017

Good Work Should Never Come Easy

Aug 18, 2017

Do the work the hard way first. Do it the long way, the tedious way, the time-consuming way. Do it until your brain aches and your fingers bleed. Do it until you are sure that you have never done better work before in your life. Now, hand it to the client. The work should never, […]

In: Creativity Coaching

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Apr 29

2017

Creativity Doesn’t Need an Ulterior Motive

Apr 29, 2017

The other day someone took note of my new daily blog post. “You’re launching something big,” they said. “No,” I replied. “I’m just a writer.” We’ve gotten so used to there always being an ulterior motive, that we’re suspicious when there isn’t one. Do the thing you’re called to do, especially when you have no […]

In: Creativity Coaching

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Feb 2

2016

Headspace Is Like a Goddamn Unicorn

Feb 2, 2016

Headspace. Even though it feels about as mythical as a goddamn unicorn, it’s a thing. I know most of us would feel more comfortable using a keyboard full of hypodermic needles than, you know, actually relaxing, but in my experience over the last decade running my own business, there are few things I find more essential. […]

In: Creativity Coaching

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Jul 22

2017

50x Over Is Your New Fucking Motto

Jul 22, 2017

Lifting weights in the gym is generally viewed as a positive thing. You do a rep, and then do it again, because you fundamentally understand that the only way to grow a muscle is through creating tension. You don’t get mad at yourself for the fact that you can’t lift 100 pounds weights on your […]

In: Creativity Coaching

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Nov 25

2014

Creativity Zapped? Try This Madman Trick.

Nov 25, 2014

So I have this theory about creativity. First of all, it drinks bourbon, neat. And second of all, it’s hungry.  Hungry like the kind of hungry you get when you only had a dinky little grapefruit for breakfast. (Which doesn’t even count since you need the jaws of life to extract anything out of those […]

In: Creativity Coaching

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Jun 17

2017

Plan on Doing It Wrong First

Jun 17, 2017

There’s this really scary fear of doing it wrong. Do you not do Instagram because you think you’re going to do it wrong? Do you not do yoga because you think you’re going to do it wrong? Do you not go into the hip cafe because you think you’re going to do it wrong? Do […]

In: Creativity Coaching

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Aug 26

2014

If You’re Not Dangerous, Get Out.

Aug 26, 2014

If you’re not dangerous, we don’t want to work with you. You might have the qualifications. You might have gone to Harvard. Maybe you’re perfectly competent. Step it up. Competence doesn’t demand that anyone notice you, wonder about you, or care about you.  Nobody ever won an award for hitting a deadline on time. We want to […]

In: Creativity Coaching

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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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