I've taken my story and life experiences to become an award-winning speaker, published author and story coach. I fell in love with the power of storytelling... Here's a video that dives into my story in a creative way.
Growing up I was shy and terrified at the thought of having to express my emotions but I always knew how to write them down. Whenever I was confronted or challenged, I would immediately shut down. You’d never find me speaking up in a classroom, meeting or even relationships. Everything would stay stuck right in my throat.
I was terrified of speaking my thoughts. Maybe it’s because I didn’t want to hurt the people I cared about, and maybe it’s because I cared too much about what people would think of me. I was ashamed of the hurt and pain I was feeling inside until I challenged myself to enter into a public speaking competition. My first appearance on stage, and I was sharing my deep, dark secret… My battle with confidence. To my surprise, a standing ovation, third place, and other ladies telling me how much they connected with what I shared. Seeing that speaking my truth helped people, was all I ever wanted.
Let's talk about 2010, the year my life changed forever. I was on my usual morning walk and while crossing an intersection, “bam!” A man made a left-hand turn and had hit me. Instead of being grateful for minor injuries, I chose to focus on the negative, “why me?”, “why did no one care to call me?”. This was the darkest period of my life. I blamed the world and everyone for this happening to me. Until, my mom said to me “Ashley, you don’t have to hate the world.” This shifted me to operate from a state of gratitude and ownership. From this moment forward, my challenges were seen as an obstacle with a purpose. The more they came, the more I had to share with the world.
This photo was taken long before I could see how beautiful I was.
It was hard to accept that for so long I was the girl who struggled with loving herself, who had the “daddy issue’s”, who had a hard time speaking up for herself and sharing her emotions. It wasn’t until I decided to get extremely vulnerable, take the leap of faith and publish my book that I was able to full own my story. In this process I was also able to let go parts of my story that were no longer serving me.
The voices in my head would get very loud sometimes. They’d be so loud, that eventually I wouldn’t pursue dreams or passions of mine. One of the biggest battles I’ve had to face was my self-doubt. I learned that I needed to keep something as a reminder of all the things I’ve done and could do for people, it became my fuel list. In time, those voices in my head got quieter and quieter and because of that I haven’t stood still, and I continue to move forward and share my gifts with the world. And this is exactly what I want for you. You have a story that can change people’s lives!