Embracing The Power Of AmbitionNov 16, 2021
Have you ever had a goal so bold you were scared to say it out loud? I have definitely been guilty of tempering my ambition at times. As a former soccer player and forever competitor, I love to win. We all do, right? That’s why it can be so tempting to shrink our goals from truly audacious to more comfortable.
While there’s certainly a case to be made for setting realistic, manageable goals, I’d venture to guess many of us err on the side of being too safe most of the time. So, let’s talk about what can happen when we choose to aim higher instead.
Several years back, I joined a peer group of entrepreneurs and business executives. We called ourselves the Young Executive Board. Every three weeks, we met to encourage and challenge one another in our respective business endeavors. I’ll never forget one meeting when I shared a goal I had set for myself. To me, the goal felt crazy big, almost ridiculous actually. Yet, when I said it out loud, no one in the room even batted an eye.
My colleagues believed in me more than I believed in myself. Hearing the group’s words of encouragement helped me realize I was capable. While that particular group has since dissolved, I have remained committed to finding people that hold me accountable to my goals. We all need people who can challenge us and speak truth to us.
In the same way, it’s important to find people who inspire us just by who they are and how they approach life. There are countless female entrepreneurs in my community that spur me on in that way. Nicole Kalil, for one, left behind her corporate job to launch her own business as a confidence coach. She’s absolutely killing it!
Kristin Burke, like Nicole, took a leap and started her own podcast and goal achievement coaching company. I have been lucky enough to benefit from both Nicole’s and Kristin’s wisdom as part of their Honor Your Ambition mastermind. When you surround yourself with people who have the confidence to dream big, getting over your own fear of failure is that much easier.
In addition to people who cheer me on and show me that it’s okay to be bold, tracking my own success against benchmarks I set has also helped me embrace my ambition. I’ve learned from experience that devising resolutions at the top of the year isn’t enough. A regular cadence of measuring where I am, in relation to where I want to be, holds me to the progress I want to achieve and helps me remember to celebrate my wins.
Business and life change so frequently that I need to revisit my goals at least quarterly to ensure they’re still relevant. Strategic Coach introduced me to the idea of “The Gap and The Gain”– that is, naturally understanding where you haven’t quite met your goals, but also turning around and looking backward to take in how far you’ve come. I find that mapping out where I am between the “The Gap” and “The Gain” visually helps me to shift and refocus as part of that quarterly reflection.
Revisiting goals also gives you the opportunity to turn the page on goals that no longer fit your vision. I recently read Necessary Endings by Dr. Henry Cloud. It reminded me that being ambitious for ambition’s sake takes you nowhere. It’s okay to step away from plans that don’t serve you. Doing so might actually make way for the next bold idea to take root.
When you are brave enough to claim big goals, you might surprise yourself. I actually experienced this in 2020 (of all years). By June, I had already surpassed my revenue number from the previous year. I closed out the year with an exciting 30 percent bump in revenue compared to 2019. This achievement gave me some unexpected space to press the brakes on new business and create something I had always wanted to do—a LinkedIn profile transformation course. Had I not pushed myself to press toward an ambitious, stretch goal, I might never have had the opportunity to grow my business in that way.
Where are you holding back? What’s keeping you from embracing the power of ambition in your work and personal life? Maybe it’s time to finally speak that revenue goal out loud or overcome the lie that you can’t land your dream client.
I’d love to be one of the people who help you get where you want to go. My course, The Complete LinkedIn Profile Course, is open to you any time. Four weeks of actionable LinkedIn-focused tips and tricks could give you just the boost you need to become more confident and ambitious in work and in life. Consider joining. I’d love to see you participate.