Some of us are born with a fire in us that will not die.
Some may think this is a blessing, others may think it’s a curse. I’ll let you in on a little secret, it’s both. So, you’re that ambitious girl with dreams so fierce they keep you up at night? So am I. Sounds glamorous right? Maybe not so much.
Now, don’t get me wrong, passion is a beautiful thing. But it, like all things, can eventually begin to take a toll on you. When you have this inherent motivation, you wake up each morning and rather than just wanting to get through the day like most people, you feel like you need to conquer it.
To you, a successful day is more than just completing the to-do list. It’s pouring every last drop of passion into everything you take on. This is a gift, but I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to just get by sometimes. We all have our limitations and sometimes giving 100%, 100% of the time, just isn’t in your best interest. There’s nothing wrong with that.
If you’re anything like me, you have hit that time of the year when you’re ridiculously exhausted and wondering what will come first– success or a meltdown. Well, I’ve dealt with the latter and it can be tough. I know I definitely could have used a pick me up while going through it. So let me help you out. In the midst of a stress-induced meltdown, it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel and it can be even harder to remember the basic things that make your passion the blessing that it is.
So, let me remind you of some things I wish I could have thought of when I needed a reminder most.
1. Understand that success is not one size fits all. It comes at different times for all of us.
Some people refer to ambitious people as “overachievers.” While I certainly prefer the word ambitious, I relate to being an overachiever on many levels and not all of these traits are pretty. As much as I hate to admit it, I have been guilty on numerous occasions of comparing my success to the success of others, and it’s just not healthy. I’m sure you have enough on your plate already without worrying why someone else reached their goal before you. Remember to be patient and take a minute to revel in the success of others as if it was your own. Their success is a great reminder of why you’re putting in all of this work so just hold on, your time will come.
2. If you are fortunate enough to have a support system, there is no shame in leaning on it.
With ambition comes an added pressure that you are constantly feeling to succeed. This feeling is exhausting and sometimes talking to someone you love about the stress your under can make all the difference. Try your best to recognize when you are having trouble putting things into perspective, and allow someone else to do that for you. Most successful people did not get to where they are by going it alone.
3. Never neglect self-care. It is essential.
I know that life gets busy and there are always more things to accomplish, but you should never put a to-do list above your own physical or mental health. Whether you realize it or not, your output is significantly lower if you’re not feeling like yourself. Take an hour or two in the day to do something that grounds you. The to-do list is not going anywhere and you will thank yourself for this later.
4. Always keep your goal in mind.
The path to reaching a goal can often get so hectic that you forget where the path is even supposed to lead you. Take time out of your schedule to sit down and envision your goals. Think about what you can do to bring you closer to accomplishing said goals and take a minute to think about how amazing it is going to feel when you finally get there. This is an excellent reminder of why all these trying times are going to be worth it.
5. Understand that your passion will always be more of a blessing than it will ever be a curse.
If there is one thing I’ve learned in my life so far, it’s that ambition is not a trait for the faint of heart. If you are lucky enough to feel that fire in your soul, know that it is a gift. No matter what you do, there will always be hard times. It’s having something to hold on to that allows us to make it through. Passion is one of the few forces in this world that can drive positive change in ways like nothing else. Our world needs more of that.
Success cannot be achieved without a few roadblocks along the way. Breathe deep through the hard times, remember the above and know that it will all be worth it. Own your passion, use it do good work and recognize that you are capable of accomplishing more than you could have ever dreamed.
If your ambitious attitude is starting to take its toll, don’t forget about the many techniques you can use to ground yourself. Take the time out of your day to write in your planner or jot down a to-do list on an app like Any.Do. This is a great way to remind yourself of all that you have accomplished thus far and celebrate that.
Or if you feel like you need some tips on how to succeed and a reminder of why your working so hard, try reading a book like Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg or How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. But most importantly, remember that there’s nothing wrong with taking a break, take care of yourself and success will follow.