Have you ever felt like you’re working hard but you aren’t where you want to be in terms of success? Guess what — that’s actually not a bad thing! You’re experiencing ambition, and to achieve the things you want to, you’ve got to have it.
Last year, one of my clients approached me with tears in her eyes, telling me how behind she felt. She had put forth quite an effort and was working hard in her business, but she wasn’t getting the kind of traction she wanted with her clients.
That’s when I enlightened her with this idea: That feeling of being “behind” is actually what ambition feels like, and ambition is the key to success. Just think, if she didn’t have this feeling, she’d never put the pressure on herself to work harder and ultimately might never accomplish her goals. When it finally clicked, she looked at me with relief, knowing that it was possible to make her dreams a reality. She just needed a little reminder that she was capable of it. And guess what? Since that chat, she’s been steadily working on her business, creating new clients and revenue!
Ambition is the place where your spirit meets your ego and tells you how far you can go, how big you can get, and how much you're capable of in this lifetime. It’s also there to tell you when you aren’t living up to what you inherently know is your full potential. It’s what makes you want to work harder and experience more challenging things.
For example, in high school I really wanted to be in all Advanced Placement classes. I knew I was smart enough, but I also had to work hard to get into them. It was challenging and I could have opted for the easier classes, but this was my goal. By senior year, my full course load was AP and honors classes. Had I stayed in the easier courses, I wouldn’t have gotten the same education I did and might not have been accepted to six different incredible colleges.
Once you’ve identified your own ambition, what should you do with it? Here are four ways to create success..
1. Pick no more than three things to work on at a time. When you’re overwhelmed with projects, it’s easy to lose focus. In turn, your quality of work decreases, making you feel worse about your ability to succeed.
2. Create a goal. I not only write out what the outcome from each goal will be, but how I will feel while doing it and once I achieve it. This will inspire you to work hard for the things you know will make you happy.
3. Decide why it matters. Without a strong reason for it, most goals are just nice ideas. Tony Robbins put it perfectly: "People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals — that is, goals that do not inspire them."
4. Get to work! Use your ambition to get to where you want to be.
These are the things that will help us not only achieve our own goals, but also serve others with our work. Have you ever confused ambition with feeling behind? What ultimately happened? Tell me in a comment below!
Kristen Domingue is a member of the DailyWorth Connect program. Read more about the program here.