Episode #3

Which Ambition Type Are You?

Show Notes:

Is your ambition fueled by positivity? I’ve come to realize that ambition comes in two forms, inspired and anxious. Not only can you feel a difference in these two types of motivation, but you can also see a difference in the end result. In this episode, I’m sharing about these two types of ambition and what each approach is fueled by.

Instead of asking yourself: “Am I doing enough?’ Instead, ask yourself: “What am i doing this for?”

Morning Productivity (1:20)

Two Types of Ambition: (4:57)

Inspired ambition - Inspired ambition comes from alignment. We get this burst of energy when we feel like we have something to say or something to create that aligns with our deeper calling.

Anxious ambition - Anxious ambition comes from lack of worthiness. We do more because we feel like we’re not enough. We believe the more boxes we check the better we’ll feel, but that’s never the case.

The Anxious Way: (8:10)
1. Comparison
2. Money
3. Titles
4. Approval

The Inspired Way (9:15)
1. Belief in better
2. Self-confidence
3. Detachment from outcomes

The Episode’s One Liner: Instead of asking yourself: “Am I doing enough?’ Instead, ask yourself: “What am i doing this for?” (10:11)

 

Review the Transcript:

Hey everyone, thank you so much for tuning in today. In this episode, we're going to get into the two different kinds of ambition that we experience. If you're like me, for a while, I didn't even realize that there was two different kinds of ambition that I was working from. I thought that work was just work. But when we can realize and pinpoint where we're working from deep within us, why are we showing up today? What are we trying to prove? Then we can figure out, What are our motivating factors? How can we work better? How can we work from a place of inspiration and less anxiety?

That's what we're going to cover in this episode. If you've liked Business on the Bright Side so far, I would love to hear from you. Tell me what you think of it. Subscribe, write a review, all that jazz. Super helpful for me and enjoy the episode. What's up everybody? It is Jess Ekstrom. Welcome to Business on the Bright Side, the podcast where you can learn how to make a living and make a difference at the same time. Life is short and so is my attention span. So let's get started.

In this episode, we're going to talk about two different kinds of ambition. But for me, I get my best work done in the mornings. I love waking up early before the sun comes up and everything is quiet. I make coffee. I pet my dog. I curl up on the couch with my computer and try to create something before my day begins. It's actually a funny story, I never used to be a morning person. I think there were a few times as a kid, when I brushed my teeth in the car because I didn't get up at time. Then a few years ago, I went to Switzerland for a couple of weeks. When I got back, my body clock was so out of whack that I started waking up super early. I realized what a gift it was to have a few extra hours in the morning all to myself.

Sometimes I wake up and I have an idea or something I want to write about. I just can't help but let my fingers type away on the pages. Sometimes the words are just for me or sometimes there's something I want to share on LinkedIn or a newsletter. But my energy is just flowing through me and when I'm done, and I'm scanning the pages, it feels like I just received a gift. Have you ever felt that before when you created something and you're like, "Oh, such a gift?" But then there are other days, other days when I have quite a different experience. I wake up from a place of panic and my heart is beating a little bit faster. I'm thinking about all the things I have to do and these questions of doubt run through my head, like "What can I create that will make me stand out? Why am I not further along in my career right now? Why did she get that opportunity and not me? Why hasn't this person emailed me back yet? Why did this post get low engagement? Do people not like me?"

All of these questions start popping up in my head. I open the laptop and the blank page looks like this daunting task, instead of a canvas of opportunity. I try to write something that other people will care about and think about what will get me the most likes shares. Instead of the words flowing out of me, it's more like ringing a wet towel and squeezing my head for anything that will drip out onto the page. Then after a few minutes of ringing that towel, I give up, and click out of the document, and open up my email.

I tell myself I open up my email because I want to make sure there aren't any fires that need me or touch base with my team before the day gets started. But really if I'm truly being honest with myself, I open up my email in times of angst because I'm looking for something to make me feel worthy. I scan the subject lines looking for something that says, "Congratulations," or I check for a signed speaker agreement, or an encouraging message, or anything that will support this identity of importance and success. When we feel like we're less, the first place we look to correct that feeling is to other people. We check email, we check Instagram, Facebook, or any other platform that puts us on display. We're like, "Like me, please." But when I wake up with this angst, it's coming from a place of feeling like I'm behind in comparison to others.

So I do more. I work more and keep refreshing all of these mediums for someone or something to tell me I made it. So this is when I've realized that there are two different types of ambition. What's the difference between the mornings when I open up the laptop with freely flowing words versus the mornings where I work ferociously for the approval of others? It comes from these two types of ambition that we feel, inspired ambition and anxious ambition. Inspired ambition comes from alignment. We get this burst of energy when we feel like we have something to say or something that aligns with this deeper calling. But anxious ambition comes from feeling this lack of worthiness. We do more because we feel like we're not enough. We believe the more boxes we check, the better we'll feel, but that's never the case. I learned that when the Brittany Spears song, Lucky, came out in 2000. So thanks, Britney.

But imagine inspired ambition like the natural energy we feel after a good night's rest. Anxious ambition is like the energy that comes from tossing back a 5-Hour Energy shot. Maybe you're saying to yourself, "At the end of the day, they're both energy. They both produce work, so does it really matter how the work gets done?" Yes it does, so I'm glad you asked. Have you ever walked somewhere when you're talking on the phone? Then when you leave and walk back, there are things you didn't notice on the walk there? Or maybe you don't even remember the walk there, that's happened to me so many times. Maybe there's a box on the side of the road that says 'Free Puppies.' You didn't pick one up because you didn't see it, now you don't have a puppy. How we get there matters. How we develop our ideas and create them, carries more influence than we might realize.

How we get there matters. How we develop our ideas and create them carries more influence than we might realize. In fact, the transit should influence the destination, meaning the way we walk somewhere might influence where we end up going. When we create from a place of angst, it's like we're talking on the phone on the way there. We're not walking because we have somewhere to go, we're walking because someone else is walking. We want to walk faster and we're taking in none of the surroundings along the way. When we create from a place of inspiration, we're walking with intention. We remember the street signs, we turn when we feel like it. We feel our feet on the ground, and we pick up the damn puppy. Then when we create from a place of angst, the work is usually not that good. The aim of the work we produce is for others to approve and not because it's truly meaningful or valuable. It's like spending all of our time trying to create a taco that others will like, when really we have no clue what kind of taco others will like.

A Guided Online Journal for People Who Do

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MEET JESS

I'm JESS EKSTROM

EVERYTHING I CREATE IS TO HELP YOU TELL AND SELL YOUR STORY, SO YOU CAN MAKE A LIVING AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE…

at the same time

I GIVE A 💩 about you, your time & YOUR MONEY.

Let me be straight with you – I’m not that perfectly filtered influencer on the internet that promises you the world and doesn’t follow through after that credit card is swiped.

Enough about my story, let’s discover the purpose of

your story

Take my THOUGHT LEADER QUIZ to help you discover the best way to monetize your story.

Let's connect

Finish this sentence: by the end of the year, I bet I will ________________. 👇👇👇👇
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My husband always laughs at me because I HATE gambling or making bets. If I’m going to put $5 on something, I’d rather put it towards my business. I like betting on things that I can influence- so I like to bet on myself 🎲
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By the end of the year, I bet I will ________________. 👇
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Facts about my family 🥰👇
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- we’ve been living and traveling in an @airstream_inc since March 2019
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- Jake and I met in class at NC State. He claims we met when he passed me a pencil but I told him I haven’t used a pencil since 1997.
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- we found our pup, Ollie, on Craigslist
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- our favorite band is @zacbrownband (our wedding song was Free)!
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- Jake is an enneagram 7 and I’m a 3 😅
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- shows we’ve binged together: entourage, game of thrones, alone, the good place and all bachelor series (but he’ll deny the last one) 🤣
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Tell me a fact about you and your family! 👇
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I’m a recovering people pleaser.
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I thought my ticket to success was winning people over...
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But if you try to win over everyone, you’ll actually lose people because that means you’re not standing for something. Don’t be afraid to pick a lane and drive in it. The right people will join you there.
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Figure out what YOU want, what you stand for and what you want to create. Find or create the community that you can serve with that message. Listen to other opinions but listen with a filter.
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Remember: you’re not going to be for everyone...you’re going to be for someone. And that’s GREAT news.
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Are you a recovering people pleaser? What are some strategies you use to stay true to yourself?👇
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I’ve been building something special since April and I’m SO EXCITED for you to try it 😬😬😬
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@writebrightpages is your own online private journal with:
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✍️ daily writing prompts
✍️ prompt pathways based on specific goals
✍️ tags to organize your pages
✍️ email accountability to make journaling easier
✍️ and so much more
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Right now we have a few people on the platform testing it and we’ll slowly roll it out over the next few months. 😬 If you missed Business on the Bright Side podcast episode yesterday, head to wherever you consume podcasts to listen to yesterday’s journaling episode to hear more about it 🎧
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Follow @writebrightpages and then head to brightpages.com or the link in my bio to sign up for the waitlist!
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Are you excited to try out @writebrightpages?! 👇
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Some high quality education 🎓
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Leave me a comment if your business school was Google 😂👇
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You know I’m down for a good IG challenge 💪
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On the left was my first @headbandsofhope table when I started the company in college. I “employed” my best friends @ajdinkel and @emily_wheet to help me sell headbands. Oh- and the headbands are displayed on oatmeal boxes that I spray painted yellow. #winning
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On the right is my first appearance on @qvc last year. We’ve had dozens of airings since then, but it’s crazy to think about where we started and how far we’ve come as a team 🥰
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Remember, you can cringe at your beginnings and still be proud of them ♥️
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You just have to start ⭐️
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My job is to help women look for meaning in their moments so they can write books and give keynote talks. 🎤📖
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But sometimes I encourage my students in Mic Drop Workshop or Book Pop Workshop to step back before they slap a label on a season of their life.
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We’re so quick to say a moment was: good, bad, helpful, or hurtful. But the reality is sometimes we have no clue how our moments will play out in our story.
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It took me 11 years to share my story about my family in chapter 2 of Chasing the Bright Side because I was still connecting the dots.
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We’re all going through a season right now. The lesson and the meaning is still taking shape. Some silver linings just take longer to develop 🌈
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I’m speaking 🎤
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Two simple words that puncture centuries of silence.
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Our voice is one of the most powerful things we have. Let’s teach young girls to use it by using it ourselves 🗣

Thank you @rowlandjordyn for this tweet. #vote #vote2020
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I got mad at myself the other day.
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A hiccup happened at work and I broke. My mind went swirling: am I even qualified to do this? Why do I have a business if I keep failing at it? I’m letting everyone down! I’m supposed to be the optimist author and I’m drowning in negative thoughts 💭
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Then I thought to myself: I used to be able to handle this stuff and not fall off the deep end. What changed?
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Well, 2020 changed. And it’s important to recognize the impact this year has had on ourselves.
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I finally realized yesterday that on a scale from 1-10, my anxiety has been living at a steady 6 this year. Usually, it’s at like a 2 or a 3.
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So something small that happens at work or in my life used to just bump me up to a 5 or a 6. But now, the small things bump me up to a 8 or a 9 because my foundation is already high.
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That realization was actually a relief for me. I could finally give myself some grace and say: you’re still strong. You can still handle everything life throws at you. Your strength hasn’t changed, just your environment.
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So I want to propose the same thing to you. Go easy on yourself this year because our starting point for anxiety and uncertainty is already high- so knowing that the little things can impact you differently makes you stop questioning yourself and start understanding our environment.
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To me, this is good news. Give yourself some grace. Go easy on yourself. Take time for your mental health. Go outside. Watch silly Netflix shows. Take a bath. Get the fancy latte because you want to. We can handle this. ♥️💪
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This is usually the dialogue when deciding on takeout. 😂⁠
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Anyone else?! 👇
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We're in Yosemite this week!⁠
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This place has been on our bucket list for our entire trip and we thought it might not happen with the fires. But we are here and couldn't be more grateful ♥️⁠
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What's your favorite national park? 👇
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There are a lot of reasons to be an optimist 👇
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You’re more innovative, you’re more resilient, you’re more of a risk taker, you’re more of a leader...
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But at the end of the day, it’s just way more fun to be an optimist.
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You can enjoy life more when you believe that the future is good and that YOU can be the one to help get it there.
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So if you’re looking for a reason to start Chasing the Bright Side (😉) and seeing the good in the world, just remember that optimists have more fun 🥳
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Do you consider yourself an optimist? 👇
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#maskup but make it fashion 😷💃
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So proud of my girl @mrs.bgauvin (our @headbandsofhope Wholesale Director) for selling out on @qvc last night during her FIRST SHOW! 📺
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The torch has officially been passed 😂 y’all head to headbandsofhope.com to stock up on our tube turbans and masks! 🛍
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I’ve had a few “check yourself before you wreck yourself” moments this week 🙃
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Sometimes when we feel ourself reacting, we need to take a step back and look at WHY we’re reacting instead of what we’re reacting to.
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I talk about this in the Business on the Bright Side episode this week (link in bio).
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Do you feel like you’re self aware? I’m working on it! 👇
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Bring on the PSL, fall scented candles and sweater weather 🍁
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Tag someone who loves fall in the comments 👇
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You can’t write an amazing book without a messy first draft. 📖
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When I read this concept in Anne Lamott’s book Bird by Bird, it changed who I am as a creative.
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In fact, you can’t do anything well without a messy beginning. 🙃
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If that’s the case, then don’t put so much pressure on your first drafts. You can’t edit a blank piece of paper, but you can edit pages of jumbled mess and start to make sense of it.
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This week in my Write the Dang Book Conference we have over 2,000 women from all over the world starting their messy first drafts and I couldn’t be prouder to be their guide 🥰
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You can still grab your free ticket for day 2 with the link in my bio. All videos will be available until October 1st, so if you can’t make it live, you can watch the replays until then.
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Cheers to messy first drafts 🥂
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