"I want this."

That is the first step. Saying it out loud. Believe it or not, you are 30% of the way there.

If you don’t articulate what you want, you won’t get it. Is it a job you can be proud of? The family life of your dreams? Is it more peace and serenity in your day? Better physical and mental health? 

In fall 2011, when I first considered coaching full-time it seemed scary. It also seemed possible in a vague ‘follow your dreams’ sort of way, but not concrete enough to warrant quitting a solid job, a good income, and what anybody would call a ‘great situation.’ 

But then I looked at some of the clients I was already working with ad hoc – how effective I was and how happy they were, and I said, “I want this.” Which then helped me articulate a plan to move forward and make a fuzzy dream into something concrete, realistic, and possible. 

If you can articulate what you want, you are well on your merry way to getting what you want. Well before we can lean-in to our ambition, we must know what it is. And we must be careful not to be swayed by what everyone else defines it to be. For some it’s a seat at the (corporate) table, for others it’s raising a happy and healthy family, and yet for others it’s service to community. 

Ambition is a tricky thing. It gets a bad name. But really it’s about our ability to articulate what we want and believe that we have a fairly decent shot at it.