Opportunity Lives

How To Be More Ambitious


You might think that you are either an ambitious person or you’re not. You either have that ‘fire in your belly,’ or you don’t. Yet, the truth is that ambition is something that can be developed if you want to do this; it’s also something that comes and goes at different stages of your life. When you are just starting out in your career, for example, you might be extremely ambitious, but after a few years in the job, you might become settled and happy to stay at the level you’ve reached.

If you’re not ambitious, this is not an inherently bad thing. Not everyone can reach the highest levels of their careers, or there would be no one to do the rest of the important work. However, if you know that you want to reach higher goals, but you just don’t feel the ambition burning inside you, you should look into some ways to be more ambitious and ensure you get where you want to go, or even create some new, higher goals, if that makes more sense. With that in mind, here are some of the ways you can grow your ambitions and get to exactly where you want to go.

Find A Mentor

Sometimes it can take someone on the outside of your life to really get a good look at what you could – and perhaps should – be doing. A mentor is exactly the kind of person who could do this. When you have a mentor, you’ll have someone you can look up to and follow. If they have been ambitious, you know you can be too. After all, they reached their perhaps rather lofty goals, so why not reach higher yourself?

Make Your Goals Visible

It’s easy to ignore your dreams if you never tell anyone and keep them all to yourself. When this happens, your initial excitement over them and your ambitions relating to them will fade away, and it will be much easier to stick to the status quo.

If you make your goals visible, then they will be much harder to ignore. You can do this in all kinds of ways, including:

  • Creating a dream or mood board
  • Starting a Pinterest account
  • Writing – and reading – index cards
  • Having a whiteboard full of plans in your office

No matter what you do, when your goals are visible, and you see them and are reminded of them every day, you are much more likely to remember why you wanted to achieve them and push forward.

Stay Active

Physical exercise is about more than getting fit and healthy and taking care of your body. It will also help you be more confident, have greater focus, and feel more positive in general. Therefore, if you want to find or boost your ambition, regularly exercising is a great and fun way.

Be Successful

This idea might seem both obvious and difficult at the same time. Of course, you need to be successful if you want to be ambitious (and vice versa), but if success were guaranteed, we would all be doing exactly what we wanted to do. Since we’re not, success has to be worked at.

The fact is some successes will be easier to achieve than others. So, make sure you have some smaller, more achievable goals in your plans that you can be successful in. This will spur you on and help you be even more ambitious in the future.

Build Up Support

Although it’s certainly not impossible to be ambitious and successful all by yourself, having support makes it a lot easier. You’ll know there is someone – or many people – there to help you if you need an extra boost, and you’ll be able to ask them to think objectively about what you’re doing and help you find the right path. Of course, having a mentor is one way to do this, as we’ve mentioned above, but support is also wonderful if it comes from friends and family members. Just remember that they might be reluctant to voice any misgivings because they don’t want to hurt you, so you’ll need to let them know you’re happy for all kinds of feedback.

Know Yourself

There is more than one way to be successful and more than one way to be ambitious. You need to know as much about yourself as you can so that you can find the right route for yourself. There is no point in following what others are doing if it’s just making you feel uncomfortable and miserable; this won’t boost your ambition but will sap it entirely. You might even choose to walk away from a potentially promising career.

If you can know yourself, understand your preferences and ways of doing things, and get to grips with your personality better, you’ll be in a much more positive place to fit your goals and ambitions into your way of being. In this way, you can do a lot more and go a lot further.

Use Envy Well

Most of the time, being envious of someone is seen as a negative thing. It’s a waste of time, it’s hurtful, and it can stunt your ambitions before you even begin. For example, you might see someone doing very well in the career you want, which could lead you to doubt your own talents and even stop trying because you don’t think you’ll ever be good enough to reach the same heights they have.

However, it is possible to use envy well. You can help it to push you towards your goals and fire up your ambitions. If you are envious of something, someone has, start working out how you can obtain the same thing. This will grow your ambitions are you realize there is a route – and perhaps more than one – to where and what you want.

Commit To Learning

Learning should never be something you stop thinking about as soon as you obtain whatever qualification it is you need to get the job you want. On the contrary, it should be something that is always on your mind, and if you want to move forward and be ambitious, you need the education and knowledge to back it up.

This might mean going back to school and studying for an additional degree such as a Master’s of Science in Nursing Education, for example. On the other hand, it could mean taking on extra training within the workplace. No matter what, though, if you want to achieve more, you need to know more, and when you know more, you’ll be more ambitious because you’ll see new opportunities ahead of you. Not only that, but you can be sure you’ll get to them as well.

Cultivate Your Talents

Everyone is good at something. No matter if it’s just one thing or something you couldn’t imagine ever being useful in any capacity, the fact is, there will be something you’re good at. Seek this out and cultivate that talent. It could be that, even if you don’t feel it’s overly impressive or anything to be proud of, others will think differently. Imagine if that talent you’re hiding away is the one thing that makes you stand out from the crowd and could make all your dreams come true if you showed it off. Wouldn’t it be worth practicing and ensuring everyone knew what you could do?

It might be that the talent itself is not so useful, but that the skills used within that talent, taken individually, can be used elsewhere and allow you to succeed in the way you want to. Once you understand that you do have important and useful skills, you’ll be able to be more ambitious because you’ll know you can do more than you thought you could.

Find A Reason

Sometimes you will need a reason to be ambitious. Simply knowing you should be doing something or that people expect you to do more isn’t enough; it’s not going to be what you want necessarily, so you won’t feel like it’s worth pursuing. However, if you can find a reason for being more ambitious, suddenly it will become much easier to continue.

There are myriad reasons why you might want to strive for a better-paid position or one with more responsibility. It could be that you want to make your family proud. Perhaps you know you want to retire early. Maybe you’re saving for a round-the-world trip. It could be anything at all, and once you have your reason to do more and be more, you’ll find you become a lot more ambitious as you start to work towards your goals because they are suddenly a lot more important.

Recall Your Triumphs

Life can get hard sometimes. There will be challenges that feel impossible to overcome. Yet if you think about it, you’ve got past every obstacle in your life so far, and that’s important to remember.

One way to do this that will help you feel more ambitious because it will remind you of what you can do is to think back and recall all the successes you’ve had in your life. Then, when you start to list them out, you’ll realize there are many, and as you recall each triumph, you’ll feel more and more confident in your abilities, and your ambitions will return and even grow stronger.

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