The Downside To Being An Ambitious Woman (And No, It’s Not About Scaring Away Guys)

Ambitious women have more opportunity than ever before and we should seize every one we possibly can. However, being so driven and confident in our abilities to totally kill it in every challenge we take on doesn’t come without its downsides and I’ve experienced plenty of them.

I’m genuinely concerned about how I’ll balance work and family. Just because I’m ambitious in my career doesn’t mean I don’t also want to find love and start a family. I’ve always wanted to have kids and I want to have them while I’m still pretty young. The problem is, there’s still so much I want to do and achieve and I worry how I’ll make it all work. I know a balance is possible but I haven’t found it yet.

I regularly deal with sexist comments from dudes (and some women!) about how I’ll balance work and family. Just because I wonder how I’ll manage my work-life balance doesn’t give anyone else the right to question or voice their opinion about it. My life is my concern and I don’t need to hear some pompous, middle-aged, balding man weigh in on it.

I love the idea of traveling but have no idea how to logistically make it work without sacrificing my career. I never did the gap year traveling thing like many of my friends, as I went straight to work. It didn’t bother me at the time because I figured I had plenty of time to get there, but somehow you don’t realize that you’ll actually never get quite the same chance again. Considering I want a family on top of my busy career, if I don’t see the world in the next couple of years, I’ll probably be waiting for nearly another 20 before I can even think about making it happen.

Success comes at a cost. Pushing your limits is generally seen as a positive thing and I agree, to an extent. I have a habit of continually taking on too much. While I don’t have an issue completing what I take on, it can often be at the expense of my physical and mental health. I’ve taken projects where I’m at the point of essentially working four full-time jobs at once. It’s physically exhausting and mentally draining. Yes, it pays off, but I’m trying to teach myself I don’t have to do everything all at once, and it’s more important to take care of myself properly.

I’m constantly labeled “intimidating.” Admittedly, this does touch on the ‘scaring guys off‘ issue, but that’s just a part of it. In general, powerful or ambitious women are still painted in an often negative light. While the tide is changing, we’re not totally there yet. I’m not super worried about my love life but it does suck sometimes.

Women are still fighting for equal pay. Don’t really think I need to go into this one. It’s atrocious and it needs to change ASAP. Unfortunately, the gender wage gap won’t be closed until somewhere around 2059. Great.

I want to do so much in life, I worry I’ll never be able to fit it all in. This is what it really comes down to for me. There’s so much I want to do, see, learn, and achieve in life that it truly terrifies me. I’ve never been the kind of person who’s had a clear life plan set out from when I was a kid. I’ve never had one clear career path. I have an abundance of things I want to experience and achieve and only one little lifetime to squeeze it all into.

There’s no real end to my ambition. As someone that doesn’t have one clear, set goal, I honestly don’t see my predicament ever changing. I’ll always be wanting more from life. There’ll always be new things to achieve or create, new books to read, new places to go. My life’s to-do list has been steadily growing over the years and is dangerously on the verge of being truly unachievable.

It might be crazy, but it’s the most fulfilling life possible. Sure, it’s stressful and scary as hell at times, but I can’t imagine any other way to live my life. I’ll keep pushing barriers, keep striving for me and I’ll be damned if I ever let anyone stop me. You only get one life, after all, so I’d better live every moment to the max.

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