25 Things I’ve Learned in 25 Years


As I hit the big two-five, I can’t help but reflect on all the lessons this life has given me. 

And today, I want to share twenty five of them with you in hopes that one of them can bring comfort to your soul, inspiration to your heart, or bring forth a sigh of relief where you can say “me too.” I hope these words land gracefully into your heart and plant the truth there that you are deserving of all things good - you are full of infinite beauty - and your worth is unshakable. 

And while you read, may you know that these lessons are more than words on a screen. They required longer to learn than you may think, but if you will take the time, you will have the opportunity to find solace in each of them. If a thought jumps out at you or tugs on your heart, write it down and re-visit it later in your journal. If you feel yourself take offense, take note of that feeling and explore what that may mean. In your self-reflection, you might just find the freedom you’ve been looking for

1| Growth doesn’t always feel beautiful.

Most of the time, it feels hard, painful, and completely uncomfortable. Growth creates pressure, and it’s that very pressure that will be a catalyst for your breakthrough. 

2| Failure is something we experience, not something we become.

When you’re taking risks and showing up for your dream, you will come face to face with failure. Don’t take it on as a part of your identity - treat it as an opportunity to learn.

3| Comparison reveals more about you than it does the other person.

It’s a harsh truth, but it’s true. When you feel yourself comparing your life to someone else, take a moment to ask yourself, “What does this reveal about me, what I want, and what I feel that I need in order to be happy or good enough?” 

4| As you embrace the expansion before you, you will grow out of some relationships.

As you grow, you will find yourself craving new friendships. Some people will grow with you and others will not be willing to do so. It isn’t easy to let go, but when you do, you’ll create space for relationships that encourage growth & fullness in your life. 

5| Boundaries are not rude.

They are an opportunity to protect your heart, emotions, and energy. Learning to enforce them will present a whole new opportunity to serve your divine needs and desires. 

6| If you are constantly striving to be in someone else’s season, you’ll miss out on your current season.

Being content in the present will allow you to learn, grow, and experience the expansion before you - don’t waste your time watching other people grow. Instead, experience the growth that is before you now. 

7| As you experience changes in life, your body is going to change.

And that’s normal. You may gain weight. You may lose weight. You may have children. You may lose muscle mass. None of this changes who you are or the truth that you are good enough.

8| Your worth cannot be increased or decreased. It just is.

Even if you sat on your couch all day, every day, for the rest of your life, you would still be just as worthy as you are now. Your worth is unshakable. 

9| If you believe that you can’t have what you want, then you won’t have it. & If you believe that you can have what you want, then you will have it. It’s that simple. 

10| Not everyone deserves to see and know your heart.

You are a true, vibrant, radiant gem of a human being, and not everyone gets to experience you in your fullness. Learn to fiercely protect your heart. 

11| There’s always going to be someone ahead of you, but at the same time, there’s always going to be someone a couple steps behind.

There IS a place for you to show up and serve people.

12| No advice, coach, or program will allow you to bypass the work.

There isn’t one simple quick fix or “10-step-process” that will fix all your problems or answer every question you have. Most things are learned in the midst of hard work. 

13| If you compare your struggles to someone else’s victory, you’ll be left disappointed every time.

Don’t waste your time comparing the entirety of your life to the highlight reel of social media - it isn’t a fair comparison.

14| Instagram is neither good nor bad.

Your experience on the platform is entirely up to you.

15| You aren’t alone.

In your shame. In your doubt. In your insecurity. In your fear. In your pain. In any of it. Never hesitate to reach out to those close to you when you need help or support. 

16| When you say “yes” to your dream, you say “yes” to taking imperfect action and experiencing a lot of failure.

You can’t choose between experiencing bliss and experiencing failure. You have to choose both.

17| When you learn to love yourself, you create space for wholehearted relationships in your life. 

Reaching a place of wholehearted acceptance for who you are, your past, your complexities and your mess is a powerful thing. When you reach this level of love internally, your external relationships will flourish.

18| When you achieve your dream, it will look and feel different than you imagined.


19| Finding simple joy’s throughout your days will make your life richer and fuller.

Feel the grass on your bare feet or sway to jazz in your living room. Delight in the simple joy’s of this life. Your heart will thank you.

20| When you are brave enough to shine the light on your imperfections, you step into a deeper place of confidence. 

Because true confidence is being willing and able to sit with yourself in your fullness - good, bad, and everything in between - and extend nothing but love and grace to all of it.

21| The more you receive in this life, the more responsibility you will carry.

Remember that the next time you compare your journey to someone who is one-hundred steps ahead of you. Blessings, success, and fulfillment come with responsibility.

22| Just because it’s hard, doesn’t mean that you’re not cut out for it.

It means that you’re on the edge of breakthrough. 

23| If you want to do big things, you’ve got to take big risks.

And big risks produce big failures. You’ve gotta be prepared for all of it.

24| Not everyone is going to agree with you - like you - or say “yes” to what you’re doing.

And that’s okay. Don’t try to make yourself what other people want you to be. Be who you are, and the right people will come along.

25| You are in the driver seat of your life, and you have the power to create the life you deeply crave.

Right here. Right now. And when you find encouragement in that truth, your life will change forever.


Author Bio:

Ashton is the founder of The Authentic Woman, a platform that leads women to cultivate radical confidence and pursue their wildest dreams by awakening to their self-worth and breaking down their big dreams into daily action items. She loves working closely with women who are ready to grasp their inherent worth, tap into their power, and use their unique gifts and talents to make a big impact in the world. You will find her regularly embracing impromptu dance parties, sipping on lattes at local coffee shops, striving to be the best plant mom, and working alongside her super goofy and talented husband.

You can connect with Ashton on her Instagram & sign up for The Awakening Membership on her site.