The Nakedness of Ambition

Reading ‘Daring Greatly’ late in bed and struggling to keep my Sunday night eyes open, when a sentence jumped right out of the page. Brene Brown was talking about how she felt before she did her TED Talk. Waiting for her turn to talk, watching the other speakers and feeling more inadequate as time went on…”I desperately wanted to see a talk I could copy or use as a template, but the talks that resonated the most strongly, didn’t follow a format. They were genuine. This meant that I would have to be me. I’d have to walk away from my script and look people in the eye. I would have to be naked. And, oh, my God… I hate naked. I have recurring nightmares about naked…. (the talk) reminded me that the challenges that scare me – like being naked – scare everyone else.”

Letting people on to the fact that you are ambitious is just as scary. If they notice that you are trying and you fail, then you may open yourself up to humiliation.

If you don’t put any effort in then it won’t matter. You can’t be touched. You can’t be seen. You are safe.  You are not vulnerable.

Ambition is also aggressive. Admitting that you are ambitious sends a message to people that you are capable of anything. And how scary is that…For them. How incredibly exciting is that…For you.

Negative associations with ambition derive from fear. Our own fear of what is possible if we try. Of where we might end up if we push ourselves.

It’s also the fear that others have projected on to us. The fear that you may outsmart them. Outperform them. Or the fear that you might outgrow them. Being ambitious is feeling that fear. It is being vulnerable. It’s being naked. And it’s scary.

But it’s also where all great things come from. So do it anyway.

Fiona @ Naked Ambition