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#Dear20 – Ashley Coleman – You Mattered Before Anyone Said That You Did

Dear Ashley,

You mattered before anyone said that you did.

Validation is this thing that so many people spend time seeking and it’s a waste of good energy. Believing in yourself is going to be the key to unlock every good thing in your life. It won’t matter how smart, beautiful, or talented you are until you can get deep down on the inside of you that you are deserving of every good thing.

And how you get to that conclusion will surprise you because you’ve never really been the God type. But God will show you exactly who God is and you will have no choice but to believe in the love that is unwavering and undying. It will bring you to tears in the moments when you feel lower than the dusty concrete beneath your feet and wonder how anyone on this planet can love you. It will give you the courage to write your first book and to stop loving others based on who they are instead of who God created you to be.

Self-doubt is a business and system upon which people profit. If you don’t believe in you, you will stay at the bottom as you allow the rich to continually get richer and that’s exactly what they want you to do. Everything in this world is set up to make you feel less than enough and it will seem as though that message might prevail in you. And guess what? The degree, the accolades, the relationship, none of that will be enough for you to actually believe in you.

It will take work. It will take painful and long looks at yourself. At your belief systems and what you have valued falsely. It will take putting yourself on the altar vulnerable and weak letting everyone around you see your brokenness. It will take putting away the act and allowing folks into the real you. The one that feels like quitting. The one that curses in frustration. The one that cries when it all seems too damn hard. The one that hurt people and struggled to forgive herself for far too long. The one that protects her sensitive heart by lashing out.

Your perception of perfection will shatter. And in the broken pieces, you will finally see the reflection of a woman validated from before she was in her mother’s womb. Seeing for the first time, God in her eyes and truth in her smile.

20-year-old me should have known to have a lot more fun because trying to get everything right only brings disappointment. Fail more, buy the dress, take the trip you can’t afford and believe in your damn self because you are amazing, most importantly in the moments when you don’t have it all together.


Ashley Coleman, Writer, Host, and EIC of Permission to Write
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