Boss Lady

3 key permissions to be ambitious


Have you been called ambitious before? Did it feel more like a compliment – or an insult? I think we can agree that being an ambitious woman is complicated. It can feel selfish, and mired in egotism rather than passion – as if we value personal gain more than family or friends. But that’s not how it should be!

Life is not a zero-sum game, and having a desire to succeed in your career does not mean you sacrifice everything else. As a successful woman who has struggled with this, I think it’s important that we give ourselves permission to be ambitious. Women have so much to contribute to the world, and should feel empowered to pursue their dreams.

If you ever feel uneasy giving yourself permission to be ambitious, keep the following in mind:


1. You aren’t just ‘lucky’

Many women harbor a tendency to downplay their achievements. They attribute success to luck or good timing, and minimise the hours of hard work they put in. While it might come across as humility, it’s more likely imposter syndrome – the chronic self-doubt and lack of confidence that haunts high-achieving ladies.

So next time you do something well, take responsibility for the achievement. Instead of saying ‘I got lucky’ or ‘It was a team effort’, say ‘Thanks’. It is not shameful to work hard for something, and have it happen – that’s ambition, and it’s something to be proud of!

2. You are not here to please others

As women, we can be very focused on fulfilling our respective roles as mother, partner, daughter and friend. Deep connections with the people we love are important and can give life meaning, but can also come at the expense of our personal wants and needs! It is important to realise that you are not here to please others, and that it is okay to put personal fulfillment first.

Setting boundaries can help combat the feeling that you ‘selfishly ambitious’ by putting work above other people. If you are busy with a project at work but a friend wants to do lunch, tell them you can do another day. You don’t have to feel guilty – you are busy working towards something that is important to you, and you can fulfill her needs later!

3. You deserve personal fulfilment

A great deal of satisfaction can be derived from success. Achieving a goal can increase self-confidence, and make you feel secure in your abilities and talent. At the end of the day, we all deserve the opportunity to pursue personal fulfillment – if that’s through giving yourself permission to be ambitious and have a kickass career, then so be it!

About Renee Douros

Renee Douros is owner/publisher of HOORAY!, a bi-monthly magazine offering styling tips, atmosphere ideas and showcasing celebrations that nourish the mind, spirit, eye and stomach. The launch of the mook titled Celebrate, by HOORAY! comes off the back of the success of the magazines, and wanting to create the ultimate global compendium of all things beautiful in celebrations. Renee’s leadership – in both publishing and her business is exemplary, considering economic forecasts would suggest that hard-copy printing is a dying form. Her prowess doesn't end there - she also is the director and owner of Oh Hello! Co, a Canberra agency that conceptualises and delivers concepts, brands and experiences. She's recently started another business called The Floral Society and has been responsible for some fantastic brand launches.

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