Think back in your life. What was your earliest recollection of wanting to succeed? Not as an adult, but as a child. What were you striving to do: jump rope, ride a bike, read, write, assemble Legos into a castle. Even as a child you had ambitions; you wanted to achieve a goal and be successful. There were things you wanted to do, and most likely you did them. Also, you probably told someone you wanted to achieve these things. You told them your ambitions, and they supported you.
When did you stop sharing your ambitions? What prompted you to keep your desire to succeed a secret? Were you embarrassed? Did you think you would come across as a dreamer or pushy? Were you ashamed to have goals and do what it takes to achieve them?
Growing up my family would have breakfast and dinner together, almost every day. Over breakfast my Dad would ask us two questions: what were our plans for the day, and how would that help us with our bigger plans. Then at dinner, he would ask us: what we actually did during the day, and if it got us closer to our bigger goals. As a child, I didn’t understand what my Dad was doing, but he was helping us understand we were ambitious. He was preparing us for success, if we were willing to put in the hard work.
As a self-proclaimed ambitious person, I have worked hard to become and stay successful, and I am proud of it. I also learned a few things that may help you come to terms with your ambition, and share it with others.
Admit you are ambitious. Acknowledging you are ambitious is the first step. If you haven’t already done this, then have a heart-to-heart with yourself and figure out why. After you have summoned the courage, say out loud, “My name is (fill in the blank), and I am ambitious.”
Get over it; ambition is good. I take that back, ambition is great! Without ambition where would we be today? I’ve come across a lot of people who don’t want to appear ambitious. They believe it is not an acceptable trait in today’s society, and people will look badly upon them. Unless you have some diabolical plan to destroy people or the world, then your ambition is a great thing and should be pursued. Now say aloud, “My name is (fill in the blank). I am an ambitious person, and I am not ashamed.”
Embrace your ambition. Being ambitious is one thing, but knowing your ambition is another. What are you working hard to achieve? What is your vision of success? The more outlandish the better. Why shouldn’t your ambition be to start a non-profit organization, become CEO of a Fortune 500 company, or write the next great novel? Whatever it is, don’t think small because you are afraid or ashamed what people will think. If you don’t do it, someone else will. Repeat after me, “My name is (fill in the blank). I know my ambitions, and I am not ashamed.”
Plan for your ambition. Now that you have admitted you’re ambitious, accepted being ambitious is great, and embraced it, it’s time to plan for it. We all know even the best plans do not come to fruition, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be prepared. How are you going to achieve what you’ve said is important to you? This is dependent on what your ambitions are, and what you are willing to do to achieve them. I suggest having shorter-term goals that will build upon each other to help you obtain your longer-term or ultimate goal. Nothing pushes you further to achieve success then having a previous success. It is addictive. By now you know the drill, “My name is (fill in the blank). I am ambitious. I’m not ashamed. I know what I want and how to get it.”
Share your ambition. This is my favorite step, telling people what I want and not apologizing. You don’t have to be rude, obnoxious, or arrogant, but honest, sincere, and not afraid. You’d be surprised how many positive reactions and words of encouragement you will receive. Of course, there will be those who will either secretly or publicly hope you do not achieve your ambitions, but that is their problem, not yours. To those people I say, miserable people are only happy when others are miserable. Stay focused and don’t let negative people or thoughts distract you. Look in the mirror as you say this, “My name is (fill in the blank). I am not ashamed to be ambitious. I know how to achieve my ambitions, and I am happy to share them with you.”
Help others with their ambitions. Like most things in life, it is about giving back and helping others. When someone shares their ambitions with you, think about how you can support them. Whether it is a simple word of encouragement or introducing them to the right person who can help them achieve their goals, it matters. Last time, “My name is (fill in the blank). I am proud to help ambitious people become successful.”
I hope these steps help you become emboldened to let out your true ambitions. Never be ashamed of success, wanting success, and working hard for your success. Remember, the next time you have breakfast ask yourself: what are your ambitions, and how are you going to achieve them.