We all know it feels great to achieve goals, to succeed, and to finally hit our stride. It feels great to learn and to grow, to start a new business, and then… a second business. It feels great to push beyond our limits. But what feels even better is when the fine art of balancing our ambitions and humility naturally sets in as a reflection of this journey. When you no longer compare your success against someone else’s but rather applaud theirs while endeavoring to evolve yours. When you realize that what you’re participating in everyday not only benefits you, it benefits others.
With ego’s strings cut loose, that feeling of being in the flow can feel limitless… even during the not-so-easy times. Doubt almost vanishes and is replaced with confidence. With perfectionism and ego’s ties cut, you’re detached and everything just starts to feel exhilarating.
Sound familiar? This mutual accentuation of humility and ambition is the stuff modern day entrepreneurial women are made of: confidence.
Scholars and scientists agree it’s an essential trait that propels deep level ambition and leadership to that place we hear people describe as “in the zone”.
Funny enough, the research shows that those of us who tip the scale towards arrogance or overconfidence tend to overestimate achievements, and those of us who are achieving great career and family success can often be the most humble.
Turns out, the most effective leaders are a mix of confident humility. Confidence arrives by pushing through our limits, while humility helps us understand that we’re responsible to something outside ourselves.
Can you relate? Have you been on both sides? Where are you now? Test yourself out with our Ambition and Confidence Checklist and Toolkit.
Ambition + Confidence Checklist
Are You Over-Confident?
- Do you focus on only achievements, rather than what you hope to learn?
- Are you self-absorbed– do you tend to be more interested in yourself rather than learning about or understanding others?
- Do you treat people who aren’t in your professional sphere differently as if they are not equal?
Could Your Confidence Use a Boost?
- Do you have a system of acknowledging triumph or successes in your career?
- Have you learned to negotiate financial arrangements with your clients? (Fact: Women tend to negotiate for 30% less than their male counterparts.)
- Do you have a list of things you want to accomplish that you haven’t quite gotten around to yet?
- Do you set yourself up for perfection, but are upset when you don’t hit the mark?
Ambition + Humility Toolkit
Check that Ego | Recognize if your achievements benefit the greater good or if you’re doing it all just to get ahead. Identify why you’re doing what you’re doing, and reframe from your higher self. How does it feel? How does it look different?
Now Check Perfectionism | Set yourself up for wisdom and let go of rigidity. We can never maintain total control, 100% of the time. There’s a huge difference between striving high and aiming towards total perfection. Perfection robs us of possibility and oftentimes leads to staticity. Aim from a confident, fully open heart and feel how well this flows into wisdom.
Act | When in doubt, do something. Sitting still will get you nowhere. Get up, take a risk, and employ action.
Self-Care | When you help yourself your ability to help others and achieve success can be limitless.
Push-Pull Participation | Another form of self-care, engaging in physical activity that is somewhat abstract yet patterned, helps establish and promote neurological communication that keeps us driven– yet humble– and confident to take risks and persevere. This can include tai chi, yoga, and/or qi gong.
Thank Your Success | In your own words develop a gratitude mantra that pushes out guilt, doubt, fear, or over-confidence. Allow yourself to be happy that you’re making money and that you measure yourself according to your own standards, not the status quo. In doing so, thank your teams, your interns, your peers, and your family for working with you and supporting you to keep driving forward.
Some describe their ability to remain humble yet driven, as a sixth or intuitive sense, while others depict a more methodical path. How are you letting go into the flow? Do you have a success story that resonates with our conversation? We’d love for you to share your balancing act with our community in the comments below.
Christine has dedicated her career to helping others understand the science of happiness and its powerful effects on everyday human health by harnessing the power of the epigenetic landscape. She is available for both private and professional consultations. Please contact her here.