• Ashley Lang

A Story of Self-Discovery



Stories teach us about life, about ourselves, and about others. There is so much power in stories, that is, if you believe you have a story to tell. Often I find myself wondering what is my story? is it meaningful? Is it enough? The fact is, it is mine, and I have to own it! The journey of self-discovery, self-awareness, self-motivation, and self-confidence is my leadership story. This finding of self is what we need to challenge who we are, what we have accomplished, and what we are capable of.

The day after attending a conference I always feel like I am a zombie! Anyone else? Well, while in this zombie mode today, I took some time for reflection on my conference experience yesterday.

Several months ago, I submitted an application to be a speaker for a mostly women’s conference I had the opportunity to attend last fall. I thought, I know some things that are worthy of sharing with others for the process of self-discovery and what a great way to promote my full-time gig with Goal Digger. What I did not expect was instead of presenting a workshop, I was instead asked to be a part of a new segment: Stories of You. I accepted this opportunity without realizing how much this opportunity would play a role in my own self-discovery process.

I love hearing other people’s life journeys and am fascinated on the paths they took to get where there are. It shouldn’t be that hard, right?! As I shared in my message at the conference though, I have never believed I had a story worth telling! Why would people want to hear about my odd path from small town Iowa to my career in Textiles and Apparel to a catastrophic event while I was a sorority advisor to some grad school experiences and then some highs and lows in my higher education career and my current life? It’s just my life, nothing special, nothing unique, not much adversity to overcome.

I guess it’s true that sometimes others know what you need more than you do. Thank you Kendra Aarhus and You Conferences for whatever drove you to believe I needed to share my story with others, especially when I didn’t believe I had a story to share. Today’s treadmill reflection led me to writing this and wondering how many other people don’t think they have a story to share. Let me tell you, I want to hear it, no matter how unmotivating or uninspiring you believe it to be, I suspect there is something there that you want to take note of for yourself and something others will take away from it. What is stopping you from believing you have a story to tell?

I’ve decided that generally, my story is about experiences with people that have really stuck with me. It hasn’t been about where I was but about something someone said or did that continue to go through my mind. I have not stopped thinking about the five or six stories that combined make up my story as a leader. Of course, there are so many more that had an impact, but this is where I am now because of some of you and the self-awareness and self-confidence I have gained because of you. If you think I am talking about you, I probably am! Believe in the impact one person or event can have on your life and share that with them or others.

Thank you to all the others that were willing or challenged to share their story at the Abundantly You conference and to those that were willing to listen and take them in.

I challenge each of you to sit down and really think about who you are and why you are. If you need help, I am here to go on that journey with you.

More details to come on my story!




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