I had a client, a female attorney for a large healthcare system, tell me last week that when she approached her boss about her desire to move her career forward, he was surprised. That prompted me to think about our relationship to ambition, how others in the workplace view ambitious women, and how we translate our ambition into action.

Dictionary.com offers this definition of ambition: it’s “an earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, as power, honor, fame, or wealth, and the willingness to strive for its attainment”. The second part of this definition is especially intriguing for me….”the willingness to strive for its attainment”.

How many of you would say you’re ambitious if you had to meet the criteria for the entire definition? because it’s one thing to have ambition and quite another to strive for its attainment or take action.

How many of you are silently ambitious because you’re fearful of letting others know that you want to get ahead; perhaps fearful of their reaction?

Do you associate ambitious people with cut throat, back-stabbing behavior and therefore, don’t want to be considered ambitious?

Is your relationship with “ambition” holding you back from striving for what you want?

And finally, is it considered politically correct for a woman to be ambitious in your workplace?

Understanding your own limiting beliefs about this topic is the first thing you need to address. Your next step is assessing the current political environment in your company to determine your best approach for advancing your career. There are many subtle and savvy ways to communicate and demonstrate your talent without blowing your horn too loudly.

The point is that if you are an ambitious woman still in the closet because you don’t know how to best navigate the workplace environment, you can learn how to create visibility and credibility for yourself with a sensitivity to both your comfort zone and your colleagues receptiveness.

If you’re ready to come out of the closet about your ambition and move your career forward, email me to schedule your 30 minute complimentary strategy session.