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Ambition – The Fuel That Drives Success

By Sandra Martinez

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How ambitious are you and what are you purposefully ready to go through in order to achieve your goals and dreams?  The answer to these questions will tell you what your chances are of attaining what you consider success. Ambition is simply the urge/fuel to achieve what you desire. It is the non-stop craving to achieve that drives a person to become successful. In fact, the majority of the people that have attained elite success and rewards were once underdogs that like everyone had a dream, but took action and had the ambition to prove the world wrong and themselves triumphant. This ambitious drive is fueled only by the will, the courage and the dream. Ambition is that power drive that takes an individual even farther than any skill or talent can alone. Those that are fueled by an ambitious attitude work hard and make the sacrifices necessary to have the lives they dream of and will almost always succeed, regardless of the obstacles and challenges that life and people may put in front of them. Women today, are more ambitious than ever, in fact, they are outpacing their male counterparts in many fields of work.  Ambition is what gives women a purpose and allows them to fight for what they believe in. Many research centers and well-known organizations like Lean.Org and Mckinsey, Bain, and Company, Harvard Business School have studied women’s ambition in real depth. The studies and surveys conducted by the various organizations state that women face numerous challenges in the workplace. These challenges, in turn, affect their ability and confidence to remain ambitious over time in their careers (“Forbes Welcome”, 2016). Studies uncovered it was not uncommon for women to lose interest and become frustrated due to the lack of recognition and encouragement resulting in women losing sight of their ambition and becoming demotivated about achieving success over the course of their careers (“Forbes Welcome”, 2016). However, there are several effective ways in which women can maintain their ambition and own their success. Here are 3 ways women can maintain their ambition:
  1. First and foremost, never let anyone or any situation make you quit.
  2. Realize that beginning to lose interest or becoming frustrated due to the lack of recognition or encouragement is simply one of the obstacles and challenges that life and people may put in front of you but you have the power to raise and maintain your ambitious attitude.
  3. Understand that ambition is what leads to success in your respective industry and that success isn’t solely about wishing or dreaming of what you want to attain; “Success is found in a life lived not dreamed, one that is propelled by action not a desire to act, a life filled with fears faced, limits pushed, and relationships cultivated. A successful life is one filled with experience and action, not wishes” (Waters, 2016).
Women are receiving college and post graduate degrees in record numbers, outpacing our male counterparts and they are mastering their skills, but mastering skills is only one part of the equation. The reality is women need to own their ambition (“Forbes Welcome”, 2016). Here are 4 ways women can own their ambition:
  1.  Plan Strategically  Don’t just step out into the world without a career goal in mind. A thorough strategic plan which   defines your career goals is what will assist you to stay on the road to success despite all the obstacles.
  2. Define Your Value Proposition  Identify your core value and where you stand at your workplace. You value proposition states what positive impact you have on the organization or the workplace. Once your value proposition comes into view, let it inspire your confidence and fuel your ambition.
  3. Good Networking Matters – Build strategic relationships in your life to support your ambition and to stand out in the workplace. It is better to have allies supporting you than enemies at your workplace. Nobody gains success without good networking skills. Your allies and networks open up the gates to better opportunities for your career.
  4. Let Go Of The Belief That Your Work Alone Will Get You Ahead – Experts say women are typically looked at for promotions based on performance, whereas men are promoted based on potential. It is these ideas for which many women will perform strongly, hoping that their efforts will be noticed. However, the Center for Work-Life Policy states that about 77% of women count only on their work efforts and believe that their sole efforts will lead to success and recognition in their career path. This perception has made many ambitious women negate the concept of self-promotion, networking, and negotiation. This means that in order to get a maximum reward one needs to step out of the boundaries and let other individuals know about their accomplished goals (“Forbes Welcome”, 2016).
Individuals that count on ambition are often fueled to work hard and make necessary sacrifices to become successful in their lives. Society often mistakenly perceives those who happen to be fueled by ambition to be greedy or control freaks but that is plainly not true. Just as ambition is the power drive that distinguishes an individual on the subway from the one who owns a private jet, ambition also distinguishes the individual who has achieved his or her goals and is living their happy dream regardless of the monetary success. Success comes in all forms but it is various levels of ambition that make it attainable. Ambition should be perceived as a tool the fuels your mental attitude as well as your mental and physical abilities (Staff & Staff, 2016). As Thomas Jefferson once said, “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude” (Staff & Staff, 2016). So ladies, live out your ambition by accomplishing your long term goals. Know there will be highs, there will be lows but this is what you must expect when aligning yourself with your ambition. Within the journey lie the lessons, personal development, suffering, failures, fun, growth and achievement (Staff & Staff, 2016). Embrace your passion. Find your purpose. Follow your dreams. Let your ambition fuel you to be who you desire. Never settle for mediocrity and prove the world wrong. Be the successful woman you are meant to be!
Forbes Welcome. (2016). Retrieved 5 December 2016, from
Staff, E. & Staff, E. (2016). Why Ambition Is More Important Than Talent. Elite Daily. Retrieved 5 December 2016, from

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About Sandra Martinez

Sandra is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles. She is a merchandise marketer who has respected experience in fashion showrooms and with ...

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