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How To Maintain Ambition During The Pandemic

Most would say that they want to be ambitious. However, traumatic events like the pandemic can harshly impact how we think and feel, which may extend to ambition or motivation and other areas of life. What, according to science, can help a person maintain ambition? Today, we will talk about what the research shows and what to do if you continue to experience difficulty with motivation.

Promoting Ambition: What Does Research Say?

One study looking at the characteristics of ambitious people found that the following seven traits support ambition:

  • Goal setting 

This isn’t the first study to determine that goal setting and the achievement of one’s goals both promote ambition. To promote your own ambition, set goals that are both realistic and specific in nature. You may even break a large goal down into smaller steps. This way, you will reach milestones regularly and achieve regularly, therefore keeping the ambition going, and it may also make a goal less overwhelming.

  • Achievement motivation

Competitiveness – which, in this study, referred largely to the desire to achieve more than one’s parents, the desire to win, and so on, – ties to ambition. Competition can be unhealthy at times, so it is important to employ this in a healthy, balanced way.

  • Self-regulation

Taking the time to plan, courage, and emotional regulation, all of which are more challenging for some than others, are tied to ambition. To promote ambition, focus on these traits. Emotional regulation does not mean that you should push your feelings away, which can have a tremendous negative impact on a person’s health. Instead, it often means using tools like radical acceptance and cognitive and/or thought restructuring. Trouble with planning, courage, or regulation at large does not say anything negative about you; it may just mean that you need a new approach and different tools than others, which may be the case for those who live with ADHD or other diagnoses.

  • Self-attitude

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the way you think about yourself strongly influences motivation. Again, this isn’t the only study to note the impact of this trait. A positive attitude toward yourself and self-esteem are two things you may want to work on embracing to promote ambition. Why? It’s largely because these traits allow one to learn from mistakes, employ self-compassion and creativity when they meet a roadblock, and work toward being the best one can be.

  • Attitude to professional activity

Likely, it won’t come as a surprise that dedication to one’s profession is linked to ambition. Those who were willing to work extra, move into a higher position at work, or change locations for work are said to have higher ambition. What if your goal isn’t a professional one? You can translate this to other goals by making sure that your goals genuinely matter to you. When goals matter – when they align with your values and you care about them authentically, when they aren’t simply surface-level – your drive to meet them may be more prominent. Take inventory of your goals and see if this is the case.

  • Attitude toward other people

How you think about others may influence ambition. The identified traits in this particular study include kind-heartedness, dominance, being competitive, and the willingness to challenge others (specifically, competitors).

  • Cognitive characteristics

Cognitive characteristics that team with ambition include but aren’t restricted to flexibility, open-mindedness, and critical thinking. This makes great sense when we talk about ambition. When you’re flexible and open-minded, you can employ creativity when needed to meet your goals. You can change or adapt things along the way if you have to, and critical thinking, of course, allows you to discern how to best approach a goal or scenario related to said goal.

You can engage these qualities in yourself to promote ambition, or you can see a mental health provider who can help. Studies on various populations confirm that therapeutic interventions like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can promote motivation. If you want to learn more about ambition, you may utilize free online resources such as the advice articles on the BetterHelp website. However, make sure to extend empathy to yourself during this time, and know that there are ways to get emotional support during the pandemic if you need it.

Marie Miguel Biography

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

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