• Ashley Tilson

How Having Unwavering Values Shapes You


The above words are my business/brand Values, and each one has a story behind them. If it weren't for my LIVED EXPERIENCE and the GROWTH and TRANSFORMATION I endured as a result, my business wouldn't even exist! Just like how the determination to create a better life for myself saw me go down this path, it was my personal INTEGRITY and ACCOUNTABILITY that kept me on the path and pushed me ever onward until I achieved my goals. That's just a quick example of how these attributes played a part in what Values I cherish most, but more importantly, they've all become what my clients can expect - not only from me, but from themselves by going through my program. But with that being said, I want to talk about why it's so important to determine your values because I honestly believe they are what makes you stronger and keeps you from straying from your path...

What do you value and cherish? Seriously ask yourself that.. but don't just think about what's important to you in life or from your partner. Think about what keeps you going! What makes you get out of bed in the morning? What makes you continue to go to your job, and do the best work you can do there? Regardless of any internal struggle you may have, you find a reason to continue to put one foot in front of the other and show up. I remember that even when I hated my job(s), was dealing with being on edge due to triggers - and especially during the weeks where I was preparing to give my notice - I was still giving my 110% because I personally valued being a dependable worker and for being known for giving my all regardless. THIS is what I'm referring to by evaluating the why of all that you do in your life. Even if you're a stay-at-home Mom/Dad or homemaker, you need reasons to tackle all that do with the care and attention that you do, because without that motivation, you know you fall short/behind on your tasks.

So why is this important to note? Because we want to truly identify what it is that we VALUE in ourselves and from our lives. They're the wheels that keep turning even when we need downtime or go on vacation, and bring us back to full capacity. They're what push us forward when obstacles pop up or our plans change on us. They also become the reasons why we decide to change our minds and do so with both confidence and conviction. I used to live life by letting my experiences lead how I should think and feel, but once I got clear on what was important to me (my values), they became my expectations. It's what I expected from myself (thoughts, actions), what I expected from others, and how I evaluated all decisions I made. Thanks to that shift, I went from watching decisions & relationships explode (because I would take a cautious backseat and allow it to show me how I should proceed) to having full control over everything because I'd be willing to say "no", move forward on my own schedule and with my own plan.

It reminds me of a time - between my first and second transformation - when I was in a sticky situation because of my values. I turned to my sisterhood for advice because I found myself working for a company that wanted me to "fudge the numbers" because they liked to cut corners with the government and get out of paying certain employment premiums that they most definitely should've been paying more for. Because it was my job to both report the company's finances and pay these premiums, I couldn't just take it with a grain of salt... and I most definitely didn't want to allow myself to stoop to their level. Upon sitting down with my manager and finding out it wasn't simply ignorance that made their records not match, I was ready to quit - so I asked for others' advice on this. I knew what I wanted to do, but silly me (note: this is something I'll never do again!) wanted confirmation from others on what I had already decided I was going to do.

Those that thought I was taking it too seriously, and of whom would've just ignored the rules and went along with the "corner cutting practice", elegantly told me that I was overthinking it. But those that recognized the bigger consequences behind this issue and saw between the lines of me saying I wanted to protect my professional reputation congratulated me for my integrity. They recognized that my righteousness was the driving force behind having this dilemma and that I was someone that couldn't compromise my values all because some penny-pinching company owner wanted to fill his own pockets. We ALL know how badly that looks - heck, it's just one of the reasons I learned the hard way that I'd rather work for myself! But let's get realistic about the why's in this situation - it all came down to my personal values, which I wasn't willing to compromise just because someone else wanted me to.

And that is just one example of why it's important to be clear on your values and stand by them. Because without the ability to do so, we'd all bend and cave to everyone else that would dictate theirs upon us! And that's not life.. or in the very least, that's not having control over our own lives. I know that back before I began healing from my traumatic past, I would bend to everyone else's wishes.. and that is absolutely exhausting! It leaves no time and energy for you to look after your own needs, and with time, it pushes you to lead a life of believing that you're meant to always do that. This is just one way we lose ourselves. And when that happens, we slowly start to detach from our identity because our actions are always about everyone else's expectations.. not our own. So if you're wondering about how to gain back control over your life, START WITH THIS - recognize what you value (or would prefer to value), create your expectations based on this, and start living by this code!

Ashley Tilson is a Holistic Trauma Recovery Specialist that helps adults struggling with negative thoughts and triggers break free from the past by healing their childhood self, transforming false beliefs, and begin their new life's story as an emerged happier, empowered, and purpose-driven phoenix. Learn more on her website!