ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

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When Being in Control is a Disservice

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

I've got little patience for excuses.

I proactively call myself out whenever I catch myself making excuses in order to either procrastinate or invent reasons why I shouldn't put myself out there.

Why?

Because sometimes, putting yourself out there is nail-bitingly, blood-curdingly, will-drive-you-to-drink, flat-out terrifying at times. It's far easier to continue doing what we've always done, or to take the easier route, than it is to risk our pride, financial stability and comfort in knowing what to expect on a day to day basis. Risk invites the prospect of humiliation, self-doubt, uncertainty, instability, and often far more work than we imagined.

But on the flip side, risk also invites some highly attractive prospects: self-fulfillment, self-confidence, personal growth, professional growth, exhilaration, excitement, and much hotter sex, of course. You don't think the kama sutra was created by play-it-safers, did you?

Essentially the primary difference between risk takers and non risk takers is a matter of control; risk-takers are okay with not having it at all times, while non-risk takers tend to need it more.

Risk means uncertainty. Uncertainty means loss of control. But the big question here is: What does loss of control mean?

If we assume that oftentimes, risk is avoided in order to avoid loss of control, then it's important to analyze why loss of control is so greatly feared.

Must we have control at all times? What are the consequences if we don't?

Naturally, for each person, the answer to the latter will vary, but examining that answer is the only way we can move toward taking more risks. Truly ask yourself: What's the worst that could possibly happen? Oftentimes, the worst that could happen isn't nearly as bad as we build it up in our minds to be, and by looking at it through a more rational lens, we can reduce our fears, stop making excuses and start taking action.

Risky Roadtrips

As many of you know, I recently embarked on a cross-country road trip with fellow bloggers Colin Wright of Exile Lifestyle and Andi Norris of Instigationology.

To start, there are a million other things I could be doing this summer that would be safer alternatives, guaranteed to provide me with a more steady income and the assurance that I'll be able to pay my bills on time.

And to many people, safe is appealing. At times, safe is appealing to me, too. Safe is warm. Safe is welcoming. Safe is familiar. Safe is reassuring.

And while those things are pleasant–sometimes imperative–the opposite of safe can be just as appealing, and even more so. It's called vulnerability.

Being vulnerable allows us to greet new experiences with the tender innocence and openness necessary to grow. To allow ourselves to be taught. To grant ourselves the right to not know, and to be okay with it. To recognize when discomfort is in our best interest.

And for me, this road trip is doing just that: It's making me vulnerable in a number of ways, and I'm allowing it to, because I believe that the benefit of taking the risk will far outweigh the benefit of feeling secure.

As always, it comes down to priorities.

And right now, mine favor the value of experience over security.

 

Jun 8

2010

How to Start a Revolution (Or 3 Ways to Change the World)

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See that baby face up there?  That’s my friend Karol–pronounced like Carl–who is a writer, traveler, & all around adventure-seeking bad ass over at Ridiculously Extraordinary.  Right now he’s living in Poland, but before that he was downing noodles in Thailand, dodging kangaroos in Australia, and doing the zen thing in India, to name a […]

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2012

Marilyn Monroe Wouldn’t Give a Damn.

Nov 28, 2012

Remember earlier this year… …when I sauntered over to Ecuador and had a twelve year old pierce my nose, as well as agreed to having a random Ecuadorian man sit on top of me on the beach to doodle all over my back with a mysterious black, sticky ink? Maybe we didn’t know each other […]

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Sep 7

2018

One Big, Sexy Question for Instant Clarification On: What the Hell Do I Want to Do With My Life?

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I was reading something on the Internet yesterday that was praising this woman’s work, and I thought to myself: there’s such a difference between doing work and having work. (And yes, I italicized “such” in my mind.) To do work is to take on a task, whoever’s task it might be. To have work, though—work […]

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Oct 15

2010

A Conversation With An Immigrant on U.S. Life

Oct 15, 2010

I had an insightful conversation with a Mexican immigrant the other day. We also might have had a round of margaritas, which could have enhanced the perceived value of the conversation, but nevertheless, I wanted to share it with you. It went something like this: ME: So, I imagine you came here with some expectations […]

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Mar 25

2012

Why Moderation is for Losers.

Mar 25, 2012

Growing up, my dad’s favorite line used to be, “Everything in moderation.” What a riot. One would assume that, after having those particular words-o-wisdom jack-hammered into my brain at least once per week, that I would have turned out, well, moderate. I’d think moderately, I’d travel moderately, I’d love moderately, and I’d live moderately. And […]

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Mar 14

2013

Success Is Where the Heart Is

Mar 14, 2013

He sat in the far corner of the room–no clip board, no notepad, no smile. I couldn’t make out his face–the room was dark and the curtains were drawn. I waited for Al Pacino to bust down the door, cigar in hand. I was seated near the door, at a table, with a woman named […]

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Jun 14

2019

If You Ain’t Feelin’ Your Work Anymore: HONEY, BURN THAT ISH DOWN.

Jun 14, 2019

So, here’s an idea: making money is not courageous. Anybody can ring a bell for twenty years. “Look, ma—I’ve been standing over here ringing this bell for two entire decades—durh, durh, durh—and I finally got a sticker!” Making money is a relatively straightforward consequence of showing up to breathe in the right place. Cause and […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired, Feeling Disillusioned With Life, Hate Your Job?

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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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But no serial killers. I promise I won’t send those.

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