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How Your Own Ambition is Working Against You

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How your own ambition is working against you

#RiseAndGrind #OnTheHustle #LikeABoss 

From a young age, it was drilled into our minds that having lofty goals and dreams was admirable. For some, having ambition was not only courageous but seen as the only way to survive in a success-hungry world.

Something that is infrequently mentioned in relation to ambition? Balance. When ambition and success reside at the forefront of every decision we make, the result is often burnout.

Comparable to perfectionism, there is helpful and harmful ambition. How much is too much? In my opinion, the answer is dependent upon your mental health and well-being.

When your ambition starts to affect your health, well-being, and sense of joy, it might be harmful.

Even worse, if it has gone on for too long, it’s most likely affecting the friends and family around you.

If you find yourself nodding to any of the questions below, now might be the time to rethink how to use your ambition in a helpful, rather than harmful, way.

  • Is having a perfect life your ultimate goal?
  • Are you constantly focused on the future instead of living mindfully in the present?
  • Are you always in a rush with an over-booked calendar?
  • Do you see goals and objectives as more important than lessons learned along the way?
  • Are you extremely anxious?
  • In your opinion, is your ambition a way to guard yourself from insecurity and vulnerability?
  • Are you never satisfied and jealous of others’ accomplishments?
  • Do you have difficulty taking a day off to relax?
  • Are your relationships based solely on how that person can help you reach your goals?

This list is not all-inclusive, but if you found yourself saying “Yes” to most of the questions above, it’s time to re-think how your ambition is affecting your life.

Being in a constant state of fight-or-flight, always anxious and never satisfied, you’re putting yourself in the way of seriously risky consequences such as having a heart attack or stroke.

Are you willing to sacrifice your wellbeing and relationships for this version of “success?”

Slow down.

You might not be ready to take a full day off, but how about scheduling 10 minute breaks in your work day to breathe or take a walk around the block? Be mindful of the state of your body and mind. 

Do something for yourself, purely for yourself.

If you take the time to do something you enjoy, you’ll come back to your work happier, more energized, and more productive.

Find contentment for where you are at right now.

Instead of always reaching for something greater, take a minute to think aobut the things that have gotten you to where you are. Say thank you.

Make time to connect with people.

Spend time with those who you love—show them that they matter and that their support is invaluable.

Continue dreaming.

Create goals and dreams that you find inspiring but don’t sacrifice your well-being.

Photo by Jacky Chiu

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