Self-Sacrifice & The Need To Belong – Shamelessly Ambitious Episode 137

Filed in All Episodes, Connection, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership Development — June 4, 2024

What’s as essential as it is often overlooked? 🤔

Belonging. 👀

But not just belonging — Exclusion, too.

Buckle up, because we’re getting real. 🔥🧯

A couple of months ago, I had the sweet & joyful pleasure of working with my dear friend and colleague, Katie Quesada, an insanely brilliant storytelling coach. We embarked on a journey where I laid my entire raw & unfiltered story on the table for some story extraction calls. It was like she had seen me naked under the brightest fluorescent lights ever. 💡

&& let me tell you, it was a game-changer. Whether you’re a business owner or not, understanding the value of belonging is crucial. It’s not just some fluffy concept; it’s a fundamental human need that affects every facet of our lives.

You see, belonging is tied to our survival instincts. Wayyyy back in the day, being part of a tribe meant safety and survival. Fast forward to today, and while we’re not exactly fending off tigers or gathering our village together to scavenge for food to survive, because alone there was no sense of survival… Our brains still crave that sense of connection. 🧠🐅🥬

While that deep survival connection might not be the truth anymore. The truth that is very important is that that still applies to us. We still feel that internally and biologically whether or not we’re aware of that, right? That fight, flight, or freeze response. 🤺🚀🥶 In fact, when we feel excluded or like we don’t belong, it triggers a cascade of effects — Mental, physical, social, economic, you name it.

On a recent call with a private client, we dissected my “selfish era” and the time I took off to focus on myself. Because she’s interested in entering one of these eras for herself, she asked, “what did you do every day?” Honestly, I was lonely. I was in a semi-new place, away from family, and struggling to connect. That loneliness seeped into every part of my life, including my business. But here’s the kicker — I couldn’t just dive into making new friends. I had to take care of myself first. 🫶🏻

So that’s exactly what I did every day. 

It wasn’t easy. It’s so much simpler to stay home, avoid the effort of new connections, and keep to yourself. But I had to push through that. I reached out to old friends, made new ones, and slowly built a community. Some might say I cheated the system because, yes, I paid for retreats and memberships to find my tribe, but hey, sometimes you need to skip the line and get to the good stuff, right? I know my people are inside so you bet your ass I’m gonna slip the bouncer a 20 to get inside faster. 💵😏

Back to my story coaching calls with Katie, she asked me this hard hitting question…

“What have you left at the altar of belonging?”

Let that sink in…

How often do we sacrifice parts of ourselves just to fit in?

It hit me hard. 🧱 Like a ton of bricks actually because there’s two sides of the coin. The side where we want to be intentional, conscious, cognizant of our belonging, both in how we cultivate it out, but also how we cultivate it in. But, then there’s this other side of when & how we choose to do or not to do something in order to belong. In order to belong. 🥲

Being excluded is a heart-wrenching experience. And the truth of the matter is sometimes we have to purposefully exclude ourselves. &&& she recognized this in me. 🥹 I’m just very appreciative of this recognition and being seen and felt in this. She said, and I’ll never forget…

Here’s the truth bomb, my friend: We need to belong to ourselves first. If we’re constantly trying to fit into others’ expectations, we’re leaving pieces of ourselves behind. 💣 It’s vital to stand up for what we value and believe in, even if it means facing discomfort or exclusion. When you belong to yourself, everything else falls into place.

I’ve realized over the course of my selfish era that loneliness might be an epidemic right now, but the root cause is often a lack of self-belonging.

So, my challenge to you is this…

Choose you. Be radically honest with yourself. Where are you compromising pieces of yourself? What needs to change?

It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it. When you truly belong to yourself, you attract the right people, opportunities, and experiences.

P.S. I have a SUPER juicy and exciting announcement coming up 🤫📈💻🫶🏻 My newly revamped membership focused on creating a space where you truly belong. More on that soon, buuut for now, remember: choose you. Always.

xoxo, Ash

Eeek! I am doing some special enrollment for the 2025 mastermind between now and 6/15! Eek! Make sure to apply here if you want a bonus of two one-on-one calls you can use right away! 🤤🫶🏻

This is a hybrid-mastermind experience where tailored business strategies get a therapeutic edge — pairing emotional wellness with a customized approach that meets you where you’re at and takes you where you’re going. Wanna learn more? Check it out here && I can’t wait to see your application!


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I am the definition of duality—I swear like a sailor and break rules like it’s my job, but I also hold incredible space for my clients and work my ass off to help them achieve the success they’re after (but faster).

My background in counseling and my experience founding three multi-6-figure businesses gives me a unique perspective on what it means to show up and serve as an ethical and successful CEO. Leaning on my experiences, along with the experiences of the hundreds of women I’ve been honored to work with, I offer founders a psych-backed and human-first approach to scaling their legacies—both in and out of the office. 

I don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach to anything, but especially business. Because at the foundation of any profitable, sustainable, ethically sound business is one thing: humans being humans. And to do anything without first considering the human behind the action (i.e., with intention and vulnerability) is to remove our most powerful predictor of success—ourselves.

Around here, you’ll find a personalized and multidimensional client experience paired with a few tastefully dropped fucks. You’ll also find a new way of being in business that’s sustainable, ethical, and built around your life (not the other way around).

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