Some people know what they want and are determined to make it happen no matter what. 

They’re ambitious; driven. And will work nights and weekends – even holidays – to achieve their goals, while others are okay with dreaming and drifting, accepting whatever life hands them, and hoping for the best along the way. 

Why are some people ferociously determined and others laid back and easy-going?

The good news is that no one is born naturally ambitious; it isn’t a gift. 

Anyone can learn to be ambitious. All it takes is patience, time, consistency, and hard work.

Here are five characteristics of determined and ambitious people. 

They Are Optimistic and Avoid Negativity

Ambitious people make obstacles and challenges serve their dreams and goals by making something good come from them. 

They condition themselves to be positive and stay balanced by not allowing their emotions to control their thoughts and actions.

When encountering problems, they relax, take a breath, and manage their outlook for a clearer and more hopeful perspective. 

They avoid pessimistic thinking and negative self-talk, which create self-doubt and indecision— enemies of ambition that paralyze one into inaction. 

Negative emotions and a pessimistic outlook make it hard to harness your full potential and unlock your best life because you’re afraid of messing up and failing or feeling you don’t measure up.

Ambitious, successful people know that their true competitor is themselves. 

So, they focus on their goals and strive to be better than they were yesterday or last week. 

They Prioritize Personal Growth

Ambitious, motivated people understand the value of personal growth; they never settle and constantly strive to improve their lives. 

They invest in classes, courses, books, coaches, mentors, and seminars. 

One of the best things a person can do to improve their life is to get quality sleep every night. Sleep improves mood and emotions and strengthens the frontal lobe – the command center for making decisions.

Eating well and getting enough physical activity several times a week are two more things one can do to improve their life. 

Here’s the point: ambitious, successful people make themselves a priority by investing in their lives. As a result, others start seeing them as a priority too. 

They Associate with Like-Minded People

Jim Rohn once said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” 

If you want to be more ambitious, surround yourself with ambitious people going somewhere with their lives.

You don’t have to replace all your friends. But you might need to add some people to your social circle; a rising tide lift all boats.

To become more ambitious, you must have people in your life with a positive, success-oriented mindset who encourage and challenge you to improve constantly.

You’re looking for people who know what they want and aren’t afraid to go after it. 

Look for people who match your ethics and values; you don’t want to surround yourself with people who believe the end justifies the means.

Try to network with successful people in various fields, not just your own, for a richer perspective and new habits and ways of thinking.

They Set Clear, Well-Defined Goals

Anyone can set goals. That’s not a challenge. But unless you do it the correct way, all you have is a list of wishes and dreams. 

Ambitious people have become good at breaking down their goals into smaller, manageable tasks that are easier to achieve consistently. 

They have a vision for why they want what they want that ignites self-confidence and drives them even when the going gets tough, and they don’t feel like it.

They give themselves daily targets to hit and weekly or bi-weekly milestones to reach.

To start being more ambitious, some people take a calendar and write one task they want to get done every day for the next 30 days. It doesn’t have to be something major, just something to motivate them to do it and get on to the next day, helping them learn the habit of being ambitious as they accomplish a goal for the month. 

They’re not Afraid to Take Risks

Coaches always talk about stepping outside of one’s comfort zone or taking uncomfortable action. 

But being ambitious doesn’t mean you have to throw caution to the wind; taking risks doesn’t have to be so scary and daunting.

You don’t have to enroll in the next mountain-climbing class to cross Mt. Everest off your bucket list or swim with the Great Whites off the coast of South Africa unless that’s where your ambition lies.

But to become more motivated and ambitious, you must be willing to make mistakes. 

You must be okay with failing and using it as a learning experience that leads you to something better; see what pans out and what doesn’t. And then move on to your next big “risk.”

Nothing about what we just talked about is easy. It takes time, patience, grit, and resiliency. Becoming more ambitious requires a deeper level of commitment to yourself; it’ll take more than you’ve ever given before, but you’re worth investing in. And you’ll become wiser, stronger, more fulfilled, and more motivated to continue unlocking your best life. 

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

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