Ambition Articles

Success differs for everyone, but what are the habits that can help you on your path?

Ambition is the strong desire to achieve a goal. Ambitious people are tenacious, determined and pursue their efforts with hard work. Successful people use their determination and translate it into turning their dreams into reality. Ambition is the drive to get what you want in life and seeing those goals through from start to finish. Here you will find articles that help you understand the power of ambition and how it can help you succeed. Everyone has dreams, but learning how to make those into reality is a skill. These articles about ambition can help you push forward and get what you want out of life.

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Medically Reviewed By: Aaron Horn, LMFT, MA

What is Ambition?

People who achieve success are sometimes called ambitious. The word “ambition” derives from "ambition,” a Latin word that means “a going around to solicit votes.” It also means the desire to achieve honor and recognition. You can assume that a person who is “going around trying to get votes” is highly motivated. They make goals for themselves, and they have a high level of ambition. People who are ambitious are determined to achieve their goals. They want to stand out from the crowd and gain accolades for their hard work.


Ambitious individuals have goals in mind. They have an incentive they are working towards, and that’s their motivation to keep going. Maybe someone wants to run a triathlon or publish a book. They have a set goal they want to achieve, and their ambition pushes them towards the goal. After an ambitious person reaches a goal, they don’t stop. They continue to work towards their next target. It’s important to keep striving for what you want in life. Highly ambitious people know what they want and keep going until they get there.

Taking Risks

Ambitious people are willing to take a risk without knowing if their plan will work out. They know that trying for something is better than sitting still. When you set a goal, you are more likely to achieve it. An ambitious person will try new things without knowing if there will be a return on their investment. They may experience anxiety when they take a risk, but they do it anyway. That’s one sign of an ambitious person.

Action is Key

Ambitious people take action rather than just talking about their ideas. People who have ambition think of an idea, and they put it into motion. They make a plan with actionable items. If you want something to happen in your life, taking action is a big part of the solution. Ambitious people take their ideas and transform them into businesses, movements, or works of art.

Feeling Anxious and Doing It Anyway

There are times when feeling anxious can be used productively to serve as motivation to complete a task. Ambitious people experience anxiety just like any other human being. Despite feeling anxious, they still persevere, push through the fear, and achieve results. “Good” anxiety is called eustress and it is usually beneficial. A person can use their anxious feelings to propel them toward action. Ambitious people may be afraid to move forward with their goals, but they do it anyway. They know what they want, and they’re willing to work hard to achieve them. That’s not always the case however, and sometimes anxiety can be debilitating.

Being Okay With Failure

When you are trying to achieve a goal, you are likely to fail at certain things along the way. Someone who is ambitious accepts his or her failures. They might even consider that failing as an opportunity for learning. When you fail, you have a chance to examine your actions and learn a lesson for the future. Failure isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s a chance to look at what didn’t work so that you can try again. If you keep trying, eventually you will succeed at something. It may not be what you thought, but it could be even better than you imagined.


People with ambitions want to succeed. They might be competitive with others, and that quality can serve them well. Competition isn’t a bad thing if it’s healthy. Sometimes, when you see another person achieve a goal, it can be inspiring. You may look at their success as a motivator. For example, imagine you are a single mother who wants to be an entrepreneur. You meet another single mom who opened a bakery in your neighborhood. You see that it is possible to open a small business as a single mother, and that inspires you to keep moving toward your goal.

Counseling Can Help Ambitious People Reach Their Goals

Online counseling is an excellent place to talk about setting and achieving goals. Achieving goals is something ambitious people are passionate about, and they’re not afraid to go for what they want. You’re entitled to make your dreams come true. You want to get the most out of life, and that includes setting expectations for yourself and meeting those goals. It can be challenging to do that even with the support of friends and family. A skilled online therapist is there to help you determine your goals and hold you responsible for them until you get what you want. BetterHelp has an extensive network of online counselors to choose from, and you can find one who can support your needs. Your counselor cares about you and wants to see you succeed in achieving your goals.

The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
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