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Do you feel that as a woman you cannot have it all – a successful personal and professional life – and feel guilty about being ambitious? Then this is for you.
Have you ever played dumb in front of a guy/men just so they like you and/or accept you, even though you knew you were smarter than him?
Have you ever tried to convince yourself or the people around you that just because you’re ambitious you’re not mean or bad as a person?
I’m going to ask you to pause reading for a minute and sincerely answer these questions.
If your answer is Yes, this blog post will help you bust many myths regarding ambition and how being ambitious is not a bad thing.
I wasn’t very enthusiastic in school about studying or sports. I loved art, English and History. But back when I was studying, if you weren’t good at studies or sports or public curricular activities, you weren’t ‘bright’ or a ‘worthy kid’. What was worse was that I accepted this notion and lived with it for a really long time.
When I started going to college, obviously I did realize that I’m not dumb or stupid but kept playing dumb, because I felt almost guilty to accept that I was ambitious and smart and knew what I wanted in and from my life.
Oh yes, I have played dumb in front of a guy, because he assumed that I was dumb and stupid, and somehow, I didn’t feel like correcting him. When I looked around me, I saw women playing dumb and unambitious, and being apologetic about being so clear headed and having a purpose, that it almost made me feel as if there was something wrong with me.
I remember when I was 25ish, I told a woman that I didn’t want to marry so soon because I wanted my own studio and wanted to start my own business and she laughed saying, “Really? Do you really think that’s possible?”
Is it really so wrong to be ambitious?
Are we better off as unambitious and dumb women?
Are we not allowed to dream big?
You might want to ask me if this thought still exists in today’s digital world? I’d say yes, it does. Most women over 21 feel and question their ambitions and dreams and don’t show who they are just because they don’t want to be perceived as mean and a threat.
Are we to wait for a society or a man to validate our intelligence and ambitions, as correct? I’ve heard many mothers say, “Oh get married then study further.” “Get married then do what you want.” “Get married then work.”
In what rational way does an institution like marriage justify career? It’s not right to be an ambitious woman. It’s not right for a woman to work. It’s not right for a woman to be so educated. It’s not right for a woman to earn more than a man. An educated girl won’t succumb to home chores. An ambitious woman won’t be a good wife or partner. I’ve heard this all. And yes, this sucks!
I’m 29 years old and I’m single. I have my own coaching and consulting business. I make good money and live life on my own terms. Over the past years I’ve realized many things about what and how an ambitious woman should be. Some of which I’m going to share with you.
Don’t play dumb – Please don’t! It’s not cute or healthy in the long term for your self-esteem and self-confidence. You’re smart, play smart! You don’t or will not be smart at everything and that’s okay. No competition. But don’t play dumb either.
Don’t settle – Good is not good enough, you deserve the best. No matter what anyone says, if you deserve the best make sure you get it.
Don’t justify your ambition – Don’t explain why you’re ambitious. Men aren’t asked, are they? Then should you need to describe your reasons? Ambition or big dreams don’t need any justification.
Talk about your achievements – It won’t make you sound narcissistic if you just flaunt about your achievements. You worked really hard for it, you earned it, you’ve got to flaunt it.
There’s nothing wrong with you – Being ambitious is not something everyone can handle well. Especially those who are massively threatened by your achievements and successes. You’ll go through many people, men, rejecting you for being too smart. A lot of criticism and politics art work for speaking your mind. But none of this means that there’s something wrong with you. There isn’t!
There are people who’ll love you for your dreams and ambitions – You will come across those people who love that fact that you’re smart and ambitious and acknowledge you for the same. You won’t need to work hard to make them like you or lower your standards to fit in.
I’m not anti-men. But this article is to encourage you to overcome your own fear about being ambitious and having big beautiful dreams. Sometimes we underestimate the fact that people might just accept us a lot more because we’re ambitious and smart. So, don’t settle. Don’t play small.
It’s unfair to you and the world.
Image source: a still from the movie Aamhi Doghi
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A Psychologist, Blogger, Entrepreneur, bibliophile, stationary buff. Love writing, poetry, coffee, An introvert and dreamer.
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