Ambition and success

Do you have it? Do you need it? Is it OK if you don’t have any? How do you deal with it? 

Love and marriage, the workplace and a career, sports and games, win and lose, first and last. We can’t all be winners, Brad and Angelina, the CEO, top dog, Chris Vroom, Bill Gates.

What if the desire to compete is missing? What if we are happy to tend the garden and don’t want to set foot on the starting block? Is there an alternative to the rat race? An antidote to firsts, merits and distinctions? Must we wait until midlife and burnout before we explore options? Can we learn to meditate on the meaning of ambition rather than on how to get rich?

What exists to placate those who haven’t realised the dream? Is there a second chance? A reward for coming second? Success for late bloomers?


What follows the success of achieving CEO? Nirvana? A void? Much more efforting to stay top dog? Are the rewards of success now more obtainable or less obtainable following Brexit's shrinking economy?


Are you one of the minions who take their mobile on holiday trying to cling onto the slippery ladder? Are you at the top working non-stop? Are you pedaling at your own pace, having a laugh and enjoying your blooms when they are in season? Are you thinking ‘its all behind me’ or ‘the best is yet to come'?

Is there an answer? Are you driven by love or money, do you want comfort or are you insatiable? Where are you on the continuum of ambition and success?

Awakening ambition

Are you too stuck in ingrained patterns, listening to the voices of ‘should, ought, must’ to dare open up to your own inner ambition and let fresh air in? Success costs and risking the safety of the known is the currency.

Calculate the cost

You need to open your heart to develop. Risk being vulnerable, feeling weak is imperative to growing strong. Work out what you want, what is right and fair for you? Honor yourself, your situation, while daring to communicate your truth. You might discover the other feels the same, rather than blame look at what needs to happen.

The other option is picking up our weakness, make it a strength, reframe and the system shifts, change comes about. You are on the first rung. The first step to success is to operate from within your heart. Slow down, what are you in touch with, connect with the aspects of you silenced by imperative voices.

Find the dismissed dreams, record reflections, honor the unoffered parts of you unseen before and something will change, you have a choice. Observe inner ambitions or listen to the voice saying ‘it will never happen’, the voice blocking your success.

Individual success is a journey we need to stay open to. Whatever arises have compassion for and respect the surprises.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Muswell Hill N10 & Central London SE1
Written by Mary Mcilroy, BACP Accredited (Anxiety specialist). Bupa listed 30060387
Muswell Hill N10 & Central London SE1

I am a registered counsellor with the BACP. The areas where I work are: London Bridge/The City of London and Muswell Hill/London N10. Although I help people mainly with issues of anxiety and depression, I cover many other areas.

Please visit my website for more information:

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