Desk with mug, plant, notebook and pen.

Women and Ambition: Overcoming Outdated Attitudes

By Kim Strobel

September 18, 2018

How to Embrace Your Dreams, Go for the Gold, and Ignore the Naysayers

Do you have ambition? Drive? A dream … a desire? Something that you want from your personal or professional life, and you’d do anything to achieve it?

Now let me ask you this: Are you a woman?

If you answered yes to all of the above, you’ve maybe been told that being ambitious and having that drive is a BAD thing.

Well, I say you need to kick that outdated thinking to the curb!

I’ve always been a student of self-help, seeking out ways to be the best version of myself. But there was a time in my life when I had a set of friends who questioned why I was on this quest.

“Why can’t you just be content with your life, Kim?” “Why are you always reaching and seeking more?”

Back then, I actually let their words get to me. Maybe there was something wrong with me. Maybe I should just be satisfied with the status quo.

Uh, no. That’s just not how I roll!

Why shouldn’t I use self-help tips to help me grow? Why shouldn’t I be curious about the world and my place and purpose in it?

Self-help and self-empowerment helped me fight my way out of a very dark period of my life, marked by panic disorder and anxiety. The books I read, the things I learned—they were a light in the darkness, and I was drawn to them like a moth to a flame.

We are all born with the drive to pursue success, to do something meaningful—that matters—with our lives. Everyone deserves to dream big and have the opportunity to make those dreams come true.

But it’s not always that easy. There’s often someone who wants to crush our dreams (hello, haters!). Or worse, they think we shouldn’t even have those dreams in the first place. When you’re a woman, you get that attitude a lot.

Maybe these people are simply living in the past … when women weren’t supposed to be driven and ready to make an impact in the world … when careers were for men, and home life was for women.

Times have changed, and thankfully, women are allowed (and often, expected) to be so much more. But still, those outdated attitudes can linger.

You still see the raised eyebrows at women “trying to have it all” with careers and motherhood. As women rise in the ranks, you often still hear the whispers and sneers and questions of how they really got that promotion. And when a woman rises to the highest level—when she’s the BOSS, the one in charge—she’s still held to a much higher standard than her male counterparts. (And often, you hear her referred to as that other B-word … ya know, the not-so-nice one.)

But guess what? We are slowly, but surely, busting through this kind of nonsense thinking!

Shonda Rhimes, TV series creator and executive producer-extraordinaire, says it best: “There’s nothing wrong with being driven. And there’s nothing wrong with putting yourself first to reach your goals.”

That’s a lesson every woman needs to hear!

Women should never feel afraid to chase their dreams or ambitions. We should never be made to feel like we’re “wrong” or “selfish” or “not enough.”

It’s time for women to rise to the occasion. To show the world that we are powerful and multi-faceted. That we can be good wives, good moms, good friends—and still kick ass and take names at the office!

I’ve embraced this attitude, so much so that a major part of my work as both an education consultant and happiness coach is empowering others. I have big dreams, and I’ve achieved so many of them with faith, courage, and boldness. And I want every other woman to know they have that same power!

Last Christmas, my dear friend Darla gave me this plaque, and I love it for several reasons:

  1. She thought of me when she saw it, which tells me she understands what I’m about and knows her Kimmy quite well. And she loves me!
  2. It reminds me that the power of beliefs is so important.
  3. And it reminds me that being ambitious is not something to be ashamed of.

So, ladies … embrace your ambition. Hold tight to your dreams. Never play small to make someone else feel better. And always remember: Your “muchness” is your MAGIC!

EXTRA INSPIRATION: Like that Shonda Rhimes quote? Here’s a bunch more for ambitious women—from ambitious women!


  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    Never Miss A Blog Update!