I’m not ambitious. At least, I haven’t defined myself this way in the past. I suspect most people who know me would agree, Laura is not particularly ambitious.
And yet … I’ve changed. As I grow more fully into my coaching role, I feel different. I really want to make my time on earth count by building a kinder, gentler world. I want to do it by connecting people internally, so they know their inner selves, and externally, so they can create a better world. My way to do it is by coaching.
Through my journey, I’ve realized to my surprise that I am ambitious. It’s a head-scratcher, for sure.
I haven’t chased the big career. I never became a CHRO of a Fortune 500 company. My priority was my family and I willingly – and happily – chose to focus my attention on them. While I returned to work after each maternity leave, events came to a head (read the story here) and I made a choice to stay at home for five years, which I do not regret.
At the time, my choice felt binary: I could either be a successful businesswoman or a successful mom, but I couldn’t be both. Unfortunately, I didn’t recognize the fallacy of binary choices then that I do now.
Furthermore, I had somehow entwined “successful businesswoman” with “ambition.” Ambition was “bad” because I associated it with ego, specifically, feeding my ego. Ergo, I deduced that denying my ambition would starve my ego.
As you can imagine, fighting my ego was a losing battle. How often have you heard, “What you resist, persists.” I’d argue to myself, “This time at home is not about you, it’s about the kids,” which was entirely true … and also a cop-out.
True because I knew I fundamentally wanted to be physically present with our children in those early years, teaching them and enjoying our time together. A cop-out because I used it as an excuse to stop my personal and professional development.
The Universe nudged me. Repeatedly.
Some of you know I’m a major reader. Until five years ago, I only read fiction. In fact, I disdained non-fiction. I figured I could learn everything I needed to know about human nature through a good book so what was the point of non-fiction?
My shift to non-fiction began with Gabby Bernstein. From there, I saw how non-fiction could teach practical skills to support my growth. Fast forward to today and I have completely switched my reading habits such that I mostly read non-fiction now.
The Universe directed me to non-fiction knowing reading is my preferred learning method. With the reading I’ve done, I’ve acquired many ways to approach topics in coaching so that if one way doesn’t resonate with a client, I can try another one.
Eventually, I recognized I really want to share what I’ve learned with a larger audience. I want to make an impact to a bigger group in order to build momentum. Spread the word, as the saying goes. If that’s not ambition, what is?
I discovered that if I want to make a difference in the world, I need to want it. That’s the only difference between me at 29 and me at 49. At 29, I didn’t want it. At 49, I do.
The senior leaders I admired so much as a young woman weren’t necessarily smarter, more charismatic, or more skilful than me. They just wanted it more.
Ambition is not my ego saying, I want my name in lights. It’s Spirit saying, Make your impact. Now. Don’t wait.
And so I am.
What’s your ambition?