Don’t Be Sorry for Being Ambitious


If there’s one thing I’ve learned on my journey to success, it’s to not be so bashful about what I want.  No, don’t be opportunistic and treat everyone you come across as a tool.  But, yes, be up front about what your goals are and outline what the steps to achieving those goals are carefully.  At least be honest to yourself about this.  You owe it to yourself to know what you want, what you deserve, and how to earn it.

Don’t apologize for being ambitious.  It’s just not a good look for anyone.  Do you see champions apologizing for winning their tournaments or executives apologizing to their secretaries for having accomplished so much?  No.  I, at least, have never seen those sorts of apologies.  Instead, you do see champions congratulating their opponents for a good match up.  You may see an executive giving some positive reinforcement to their staff and even maybe some advice.  They treat their obstacles and successors with respect, at least the best ones do.  You may not need to apologize for being ambitious, but you should be mindful of how you feed your ambition.  Don’t “step on the little people” and don’t forget that you aren’t alone in this world.  Perhaps, you should consider if you’ve earned that top spot in the first place.

Apologize for being ruthless and inconsiderate.  Apologize for losing your humanity in the name of success.  It is still possible to be a good person who is also ambitious and successful.  Not being proud of the great things you’ve done and want to do is not a good look, but neither is boasting about it all and bringing others down at the same time.  Find your balance between your personal agenda and your contribution to the world around you.  Don’t fill your exterior with hate and coldness in order to fill yourself with gold.

I think it’s good to have ambition.  It’s good to have goals and to want to be successful, whether that means being rich or being number one.  Every person who is worthy of success has had goals that they’ve set out for themselves.  But, just don’t lose who you are in the process.  Mind how you achieve that success and as long as you’re not hurting anybody, why apologize for wanting better?  Why apologize for working toward your goals?  Why apologize for earning that top spot?  There’s absolutely no reason to.  Simply, make sure you hang on to your accomplishment and let somebody else join you in their own way.


About Tatiana Figueroa Ramirez

Born in Puerto Rico and raised in the mainland United States, I graduated with a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and am a 2016 VONA Voices Alumna. I currently perform spoken-word in the greater Washington D.C. area and have previously performed in Philadelphia, Miami, and the Dominican Republic. Most recently, I have been published in Public Pool, Spillwords, and The Acentos Review, and Here Comes Everyone: East & West Issue.

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