Are You Too Ambitious?
Updated: Jun 20
Ambition is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it fuels us with the drive to push past our limits and achieve great things. On the other hand, it can be perceived as ruthless and selfish, leading to negative consequences in our personal and professional lives. Despite these potential drawbacks, I believe that ambition is an essential trait for success, both personally and professionally.
Someone close to me recently shared a comment, “Well, you are ambitious, dear.” The way they said it made me feel like it was a bad thing, that I should be ashamed of being ambitious.
Why should we be ashamed of wanting to achieve great things, of striving for excellence? The truth is, we shouldn’t. We should be proud of our ambition, and we should embrace it fully.
Of course, there are limits to how far we can push ourselves, and we must be mindful of the consequences of our actions. But this doesn’t mean we should shy away from our ambition. Rather, we should step into it fully, embracing our goals and pursuing them with passion and determination.
I’m editing the last few parts of my book; Grunt, Grit and Grace, lessons in leadership from the dance floor to the boardroom and it got me thinking of the connection;
In ballet, ambition is a key driver of success. Dancers who are truly ambitious push themselves to their limits, both physically and mentally. They strive for perfection in their technique, their artistry, and their performance. They are always looking for ways to improve, to push past their boundaries, and to achieve greater heights.
Similarly, in leadership, ambition is essential. Leaders who are ambitious are constantly pushing themselves and their teams to do better. They set high standards and work tirelessly to achieve them. They are not content with mediocrity or complacency, but are always looking for ways to improve and to drive their organisations forward.
But ambition is not just about achieving personal success. It’s also about making a positive impact on the world around us. Ambitious leaders are driven by a desire to make a difference, to leave a lasting legacy that will benefit others long after they’re gone. They are not content with simply achieving their own goals; they want to help others achieve theirs as well.
So how can you step into your ambition fully? Here are a few key steps:
Embrace your goals: Don’t be afraid to set high standards for yourself. Embrace your ambition fully, and don’t let anyone make you feel bad about it.
Work for it: Ambition without hard work is just a dream. If you want to achieve great things, you need to put in the time and effort required to make them happen.
Take risks: Ambition requires us to step outside our comfort zones and take risks. Be willing to try new things, to take on new challenges, and to push past your limits.
Be resilient: Ambition can be a bumpy road, with setbacks and failures along the way. But the most successful people are those who are able to pick themselves up and keep going, even in the face of adversity.
Help others: Remember that ambition is not just about achieving personal success. It’s also about making a positive impact on the world around us. Look for ways to help others achieve their goals, and to make a difference in the world.
Ambition is a key driver of success in both dance and leadership. We should embrace our ambition fully, setting high standards for ourselves and working tirelessly to achieve them. But we must also be mindful of the impact our actions have on others, and strive to make a positive difference in the world around us. By stepping into our ambition fully, we can achieve great things and leave a lasting legacy that will benefit others long after we’re gone.
I’ll leave you with a brilliant quote if you’ve been getting some unsolicited feedback about being too ambitious too
“I’m no longer available for feedback that’s laced with someone else’s limitations.”
Until next time, Eat the Frog, Get the Worm, Be the Bird and share your ambitions with me. I love ambitious people — you’re here to change the world!
Ally Nitschke is a Leadership Expert, Courageous Conversation Specialist and Speaker. She has been working with leaders and as a Leader for over 15 years. She is on a mission to change the way we communicate at work, to lean into those uncomfortable conversations and lead with courage. Ally delivers Courageous Conversations Programs, Courageous Leadership programs, Coaching, Mentoring and Keynotes. To inquire about her working with you or your organisation please contact us here.