Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Ambitious


Who me? 

Ambitious?

Driven?

Determined?

Energetic?

Bossy?

I've been called all of these things. My motto is go hard or go home. It's how I live my life. I never take no for an answer. It's all part of the Type A++ personality that I've been gifted with. For better or for worse, I've learned to live with it. I never do anything half assed. If it's worth doing, it's worth doing well. Right?

It's not always easy being such a perfectionist. When I fall, I fall hard. I tend to sabotage my best intentions. Sometimes I overreach. Sometimes I'm not realistic about my expectations--for myself, and sometimes for others.


I tend to get disappointed when people around me don't work as hard as I do. One of the medical assistants I work with just does the bare minimum that is expected of him. If you want him to do anything extra, you have to ask him. There's no initiative. That's hard for me to understand. I've been told that I have to "let it go" when it comes to my expectations for this guy.

But as hard as I can be on other people, I'm ten times harder on myself. Look at that long run I did on Saturday. I stopped several times--the portapotty, the side stitch, the iPhone glitch. And yet I finished with a respectable average pace time. Sure, I would have loved to run the whole thing without stopping. But really? Bottom line...it was a good run.


The struggle is real. I went back and read last year's blog post for week 5 of marathon training and got a reality check. I'm doing better this year than I was last year. A few bad runs does not ruin a marathon.

I need to get a grip on my ambition for this race. I know what I can do. It's time for me to step back and let all the training do what it is supposed to do. Yeah, I'm ambitious. I'm determined. But I'm not going to ruin this for myself. It's time to accept where I'm at. Trust the plan. It's a good one.

And what happens if I don't meet my goal? Oh, sure, I'll be disappointed. But it will still be a good run. I'll remind myself that I gave my all.  Because more important than hitting the goal is the knowledge that I tried my best.

Do you set high goals for yourself? And what happens when you don't meet your goals?

I'm really glad for these Wednesday Word prompts. Although Deb doesn't pick them specifically for me, the words always seem to fit what I'm thinking. Don't forget to check out her post and see what the other bloggers are saying!




78 comments:

  1. I love Wednesday word, too!

    I'm not as driven as you. I think I've just learned to go a little easier on myself. Which doesn't mean I don't get disappointed with bad runs or races. But if it's not fun, what's the point?

    And I still think you will meet your goal. Maybe I could talk my husband into spectating if you do, although he doesn't like crowds. Then again, we might be doing something for my dad's 90th around then. See, that's just the planner in me. :)

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    1. After this marathon, I'm stepping off the Type A podium for a while. I need some time to chill!

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  2. I'm also a driven type A, and set too-high standards sometimes. But have learned to let things go if they're not "perfect", because in the end it really doesn't matter. It's good to have high standards, but we need to recognize when it's actually hindering and not helping us!

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    1. And that is the absolute truth! As hard as it is, sometimes we need to take a step back. I think I'll be ok if I don't meet my goal, knowing that I did the best I could.

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  3. I have finally learned at 46 to set superhigh lofty goals yet realize they need to be tweaked and shifted along the way.

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    1. I'm starting to re-examine my goal for this race. I don't want to set myself up to fail!

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  4. I'm not nearly as eloquent as you are, but I feel as though I could have written this. And though our individual goals are at vastly different levels, this could be my story. Right down to the impatience with half-assed, uninspired, unambitious work.

    You self-comparison of where you were last year to this year particularly resonates. Hard work pays off. For me, it's knowing that I finished ten miles in 2014, despite the desire a few times to stop; that tells me I can achieve 13.1 this time around. Knowing what to expect, realizing that I prevailed, that is heady stuff.

    Ambitious, driven, determined, yes, and scared, too.
    Thanks for a thoughtful, marvelous, inspiring post. Again.

    I love the e-card!

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    1. You're doing to do just great with your 13.1. I know it. And that feeling of accomplishment--that will carry you for a long time!

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  5. I struggle with ambition. Not in a typical, I'm overly ambitious or I'm not ambitious way, but in that I start off ambitious and then fall to the wayside (I've talked about this recently). But then when I fall short, I realize how disappointed I am with myself (not every time, but I do feel it in some degree). It is the struggle of the reformed/reforming perfectionist.
    I'm a mess.

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    1. You're not a mess at all! I used to do this...overreach and then do some self sabotage. I do it a lot less than I used to. Maybe that's a benefit of old age?

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  6. I love that Amy Poehler quote. You've totally got this...your training plan is making you so strong. I know you are capable of a great race. As we all know, anything can happen on race day but you should be able to reflect on this process and see how far you've come.

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    1. And that's what it's all about, right? The journey?

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  7. Ahhh...Moonstruck. I loved that movie! You should hear my husband talk about how bossy I am (to put it nicely). I'm always immediately hard on myself if I stop during a run. Why do we do that? You are training hard and smart. You'll have a fantastic race.

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    1. As will you! We type As always are hard on ourselves!

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  8. I've definitely always been a pretty ambitious person. But I think I'm pretty good when it comes to exercise and running times to not let it consume me. I give myself a break if I don't meet my time and I try to just be happy that I accomplished it rather than worrying about the time it took me.

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    1. I'm not great about giving myself a break. I like to move every day, even when I shouldn't!

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  9. I also get really annoyed when I don't think people are working as hard as I am or half assing something. Why can't everyone just be as amazing as I am? LOL

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  10. And more important than the goal is the JOURNEY, Wendy!! You're getting stronger, more confident in your abilities and gaining more knowledge about yourself; that's a great gift along the way.

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    1. I'm starting to see that more and more; if I know I did my best, the outcome isn't as important.

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  11. Don't overthink the race or the training. Just let it unfold. Unleash that awesome.

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    1. That's the plan. I love it. Unleash the awesome. I'm going to run with that one.

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  12. You are your worse critic! You ARE doing amazing! Hey if everyone tried as hard as you and had that much initiative, you'd be hard pressed to find something to write about in That Time of the Month anyway ;)

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    1. Isn't that the truth? LOL! Thank you, my friend!

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  13. Love that you are so driven! I do set goals but pretty attainable goals. I'm not as ambitious as before because I find that when I'm too ambitious I'm too hard on myself and get disappointed. Just knowing that I do my best makes me happy.

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    1. That's me to a t. I'm stepping back and letting it unfold as it will...

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  14. I am also very goal driven and I do get upset with myself if I don't hit my goals. Although I have learned to be easier on myself, there have been moments where I was in tears because I didn't hit a goal or things just didn't go as planned. I've learned by now that it happens and I just have to move forward and move onto my next goal plus to just love myself for what I have accomplished even if it wasn't quite the way I wanted to accomplish it :)

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    1. You sound like me! I have to remind myself to be more realistic. It's a work in progress!

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  15. I've given up on perfection as it's a myth of human imagination. As long as it's decent I'm good to go.

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    1. Haha! I tell myself that, but it's the way I'm wired...

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  16. I also have a hard time accepting my own failures...even when they aren't really "failures". It's so important to remember that it is all about the effort and experience. We set high goals because they are a challenge, and its not supposed to be easy. If they were easy to achieve there would be much less satisfaction!

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    1. I think there are a lot of us high achievers here. Feels like I"m in good company!

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  17. After writing a couple of weeks ago about being a type A runner, I am realizing after reading your post that I'm not as type A as I thought. It doesn't bother me in the least to take breaks while on my long runs. I'll stop to refuel, to refill my water bottle, to use the restroom, etc. As long as they're short breaks I don't feel they'll have a negative impact on my training.

    Glad the words fit into what you're wanting to write about. Thanks for linking up!

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    1. I'm better about those long runs that I appear. But wouldn't it be nice to run all the way through without stopping?

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  18. I try to challenge myself, but at the same time I try to be kind to myself, too. I definitely tend to dwell on the failures and the mistakes and beat myself up, instead of just learning from my mistakes and moving on. It's a tough balance!

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    1. It really is a tough balance! I keep wondering when I"m going to mellow...

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  19. Your work story reminds me of a quote: working hard for something you care about is called passion and working hard at something you don't care about is called stress! (although I guess that assistant isn't really working hard so perhaps in his case it doesn't matter...lol. Still a good quote though)

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    1. That's a great quote and I may steal it (with credit to you) for a post I want to write on passion!

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  20. As I grow older, I've become a lot less of a type a personality. Things just aren't that important, I'm not that important. I ask myself would I rather be.right or happy? Both is not an option! Lol

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  21. I DO set high goals for myself, but I don't set too many high goals at once because... I also don't like to fail! (Imagine that!) When I race (which is not often) I usually mean BUSINESS. The whole reason for racing is to me a goal I have set for myself- the A goal. I also have a B goal and sometimes a C goal. This is basically to put the race in perspective and protect my ego if I fail. :(

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    1. I see a lot of people setting A, B, and C goals for races and I wonder if that's something I need to consider!

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  22. As I'm getting older, I am trying to be kinder and gentler with myself. It's not always easy and I have to really fight against my perfectionism. I'm sure, deep down, you know this, but you are doing so great.

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  23. Great post. I too often set such high goals that I'm like, who the heck set that and what was she thinking? But then something happens the hard work pays off. Thanks for the reminder and the great mems.

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    1. I do the same thing. Lots of self doubt too! Why is that?

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  24. I definitely set too high goals for myself sometimes, and I definitely have high expectations in others which a lot of the time results in disappointment. I hate that people are lazy and can't take initiative. Especially at work. I've been working in the ICU and need help from a tech who is reading People magazine while I'm busting my ass and they look at me and ask to go get someone else....I"m like WTF?! What the heck are you getting paid for. I guess my expectations are too high!

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    1. Oh, I know those people. They're on their phones a lot too.

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  25. I set goals for myself....and I try my best to not be disappointed if they don't happen and take a look at the big picture... Like you, I get most irritated when someone isn't giving something their all (we have a very similar MA at work). You are doing great and having a blast at the same time from what I can tell....and I'm still amazed that you can put out multiple quality blog posts every week !!

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    1. Like you, writing is my outlet! When I stop coming up with good things to write about, I'll stop...funny thing is, the more I write, the more easily the words flow. Kind of like running...

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  26. Great post Wendy! As long as you know how to deal with some of the disappointments that come along, I see nothing wrong with setting high standards for yourself. If you don't reach them, you'll still do a heck of a good job! Just look at your marathon training! You are on a roll, and obviously an inspiration to so many people!

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    1. Awww, I never think about being an inspiration but your comment makes me feel good! Thank you!

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  27. I can relate to your post. I still tend to put a lot of pressure on myself in personal and professional situations. I have learned to chill out some, it caused me unnecessary stress. My husband has to remind me when I get that way!

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    1. I'm learning (slowly) that I need to chill out more. It's hard when you're hard wired for intensity!

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  28. great post! I am with you, if you are going to do something half-assed, why are you doing it anyway? I too have had to learn to let some things go for my own sanity. Your run was tough and not as planned but it was good, my last week or so not so good but I will not let it ruin my half marathon training! Ambitious I am :)

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    1. Yes you are! How did things turn out with the toe?

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  29. You are one tough chick!! I gain inspiration from you all the time! :) I am ambitious and goal driven and I go for it! Keeps me motivated. I usually am not too hard on myself though because as long I am doing my best that day, it's a win!! I have to respect what I am asking my body to do every day. Sometimes it's going to revolt. Haha!

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    1. My body is trying to revolt, but ever the determined runner, I'm shutting that all down! LOL!

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  30. I love yoru drive and ambition! :) I do set goals... but am flexible with them. So... I am not too competitive with myself :)

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    1. I can be really hard on myself. One of these days I'll learn to lighten up! LOL

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  31. I definitely know how you feel! I am Type A as well, as much as I hate to admit it! My coach always tells me that I have to trust the training. It's hard because so many other thoughts get in your head, but you are putting in the work and you'll be so much better when the race comes! You got this!

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    1. Haha, yep, Becky told me to "trust the plan" today! I had a great speedwork session this morning, and that gave me a big boost of confidence!

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  32. Oh, do I set high goals: in running, in business, in school, in everything, even in getting enough rest (well, everything except housekeeping - there I'm happy being a type-A-minus). As long as we don't drive ourselves into the ground, what is wrong with setting a high goal and (prudently) chasing it? No one's going to get hurt if we miss a big marathon goal, but if we achieve it because of hard word, ambition, and determination? It makes everything that much more rewarding.

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    1. Exactly! But I want to be realistic too. So I need to reward myself with the journey as well.

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  33. I definitely set high goals for myself...why settle, I say!?!? I may not be where I WANT to be right now, but I'll know I'll get there in the end because I don't quit.

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  34. I am just like you, I def set high goals for myself and most of the time I expect he some of others which I know sometimes can unrealistc. I have a hard time for settling for less and I expect people to go above and beyond just like me, unfortunately that leaves me disappointed.

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    1. I think there are a lot of us here who are like this!

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  35. I'm exactly the same as you in terms of being hard on myself, and funnily enough, I did something similar to give myself a reality check yesterday! I was feeling pretty bummed about the growth of my business because this week was a bit slower than I would have liked. After feeling down and out for awhile, I looked at this same week last year and saw that I'm four times busier now than I was before! That picked my spirits right up :)

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    1. That's good that you had data to compare to! Funny how you thought things weren't going well. I guess we need to lower our expectations of ourselves! LOL

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  36. I've only known (in the blog and social media world) you for a short time and I have to say you are the most disciplined and focused runner I have met. I have looked for someone to emulate in this whole running thing and I find your work ethic and grit on par with any professional runner or triathlete out there. You have a goal....you know that goal and your ability to reach it and off you are towards it. If I could be half as disciplined and focused as you I'd be a really good runner. Truely....when I started running I was looking for someone to motivate me to be the best I can be. "This is marathon training!" I love that. TY Wendy for inspiring this undisciplined and unfocused newby runner. I have a LOOONG way to go but hoping your work ethic will rub off on me. Ron

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    1. Your comment just made my day! I haven't always been this disciplined, but over the years, I've learned how hard work pays off! Now if only I could impart that lesson to my sons...

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  37. I'm always much harder on myself than I am on others. I hold myself to high expectations and I don't like to make excuses when I don't achieve what I feel like I've put in the work to achieve. But I'm quick to give others a pass when things don't work out for them. I think a lot of us are that way. We have to learn to go a bit easier on ourselves.

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  38. I have learned I must be more type B than many of runner buds, which isn't all bad I guess. I can be really content with just being okay lol which is all the time right now.
    A few bad runs does not ruin a marathon <----- SO true! and your great runs have far outweighed your rough moments. You got this!

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    1. We type As need type Bs to keep us in line! I wish I was a little less intense...

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  39. Oh boy, I am in trouble next to you. :-)

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