Healing My Wounded Perception of Ambition

When it comes to our dreams, most of us fall into one of two camps. We’re either charging forward, meeting challenges as they come, despite the fear or insecurities we might feel. Or we’re crippled by those fears, always waiting on just the right moment to start, and often stalled out before our dreams come to fruition.


I was solidly in the second camp for many years; I may still be there on occasion. But once I began having conversations with other women about the ambitions, hopes and dreams God has placed on their hearts, I began to see how ambition and fear are intricately connected.

If it were not for my desire to encourage women to pursue their God-shaped dreams or to share their stories of victory and hope after taking steps toward their dreams, I wouldn’t have faced my own fear about what ambition might look like on me.

Before attending the Denver Institute for Faith and Work event, Ambition: Living with Drive & Devotion, in March 2017, “ambition” was not a word I would have used to describe my dreams. It feels self-serving, prideful or arrogant, especially for a woman — well, especially for me. Because the hypocrisy is, I admire friends who have successful careers, who are using their gifts and living lives to the full. It’s okay for them, but not for me?

This article first appeared on the Denver Institute for Faith and Work blog. Visit their blog to read it in its entirety.