Women: Stop Apologizing For Your Ambition

Ambition and Career Advancement

Don’t Ever Apologize Because You’re Ambitious

Your immediate supervisor said something negative when you asked about a manager position in another department – then you said, “I’m sorry I bothered you – I just wanted to get more information about that job.” As you walked back to your desk, you thought, “I’m ambitious but maybe I wasn’t ready for that job.” A few weeks later, you’re angry and filled with self-doubt because Sally or Harry got the job and you didn’t. In your heart you know that you’re just as good, if not better than Sally or Harry – so why didn’t you get the opportunity?

Without realizing it, you opened the door to your own misery. You said, “I’m sorry” and they said, “I’m ready.”

Don’t every apologize because you want to advance your career. Never, say sorry to anyone who belittles your dream of advancement. Saying sorry to them is an open invitation to take a crap all over your dreams. Stop the negative chatter and figure out where you went wrong.

If you cannot stand up and voice your desires, then you are at the mercy of your manager, supervisor or human resources department. When you apologize, you’re admitting that you are not ready to lead. Leaders apologize when they need to, but they don’t apologize because someone disagrees with their personal vision or ambition. If you want to be a leader – you have to learn the first tenets of leadership; which is expressing what you want. You must be able to stand on your conviction and say “I want to be ____________.” It is my intent to advance my career, and this is how I envisioned it. Your career is not about them; it is all about you.

All too often employees are timid, self-conscious and lack the confidence to ask for what they want. Instead, you apologize for daring to dream of a life beyond what we’ve been given. When you exude self-doubt – your boss can spot that like a laser beam shining into the sky. The first blow to your confidence happened when he or she shooed you away; the next blow comes when you apply for the position, and you don’t get it or when someone you feel is less qualified lands the position instead of you. The universe aligned to affirm your apology.

If you’re not clear about your vision and ambition your boss gets to decide that you’re not good enough, and your self-doubt will codify that belief. Imagine if Benjamin Franklin didn’t have the ambition to advance his dream, maybe we would all still be in the dark. People don’t get to determine how ambitious you should be – you determine your level of ambition. Successful people don’t cower, they make decisions based on where they want to be, not where they are right now.

Sometimes we have to be reminded of the definition of ambition which is, a strong desire to achieve something, and the willingness to strive for its attainment.

To achieve your ambition, you must have the determination and the willingness to work hard. But hard work is never enough, you must be willing to ask for what you want and stand on the conviction that you deserve to attain your goals.

So starting today, look in the mirror every morning and say – “I want more than I have right now. I deserve to advance my career, and I will not be stuck behind a desk doing a job that I know I’m over qualified for. I have the confidence to ask for what I want and the ability to make decisions based on where I want to be.”

Release the need to apologize, then pull out a sheet of paper and envision where you want to take your career. Where do you want to be in six months, one year, two years, or five years? Because goals can be lofty – slice the pie into smaller manageable segments. Ask: What are the specific steps to advancing my career? What can I do over the next ninety days to move the process along? What will I do on a daily basis to achieve my goals? Answering these three simple questions will clear the cobwebs of self-doubt and refocus you on the path to success.

Don’t let opportunity pass you by because someone else decided you weren’t good enough, seize every opportunity to move your career forward. As a great footballer once said, “Ambition is the path to success, persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.” Don’t ever apologize for your ambition because someone else is uncomfortable with your vision.

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