Are you an Ambitious Woman?

Being an ambitious woman is amazing. We go after what we want, we are passionate about our goals and our desires, we are committed and we are tough-minded.

But the downside of that is that we are often:

  • impatient with our results and sometimes with others…
  • have high expectations for ourselves which can lead to being hard on ourselves
  • have high expectations for others and are disappointed when they fall short
  • Have a tendency to take on too much. We’re easily excited and want to be involved with everything, so it’s hard to say no. We want our hands in all the pots, but then we can end up overwhelmed, frustrated or burnt out.
  • Are at higher risk for burn out, anxiety, and depression because we love what we do and want so much that if we don’t learn how to manage our ambition, it can rule the show and end up running us.

So what’s an ambitious woman to do?

  1. Daily self-care routines. Now, I know you are rolling your eyes at me. You know this already. Everybody says it, but are you doing it? Often, no. Why? Because you are so focused on getting things done in your career or for your family that it “feels like” a waste of time. “You’ll get to it.” “Just one more thing.” “Just one more email.” And then the time is gone. Ask me how I know…I’ve been there and I know what burn out looks like. At first I blamed my employer for putting too much on me, and while that may have been true at times, it came down to me and my BIG Ambition running the show. Behind that lack of self-care lingers issues of self-worth, boundaries and priorities. You may know that by taking care of yourself you will have more energy and be more productive and more creative, but you don’t really “know” it because you aren’t living it yet. You need a routine that you can actually commit to and live with and in order to do that, you have to deal with all the reasons underneath it all that are sabotaging your results.
  • Boundaries. Yes, boundaries. Boundaries around everything you do. Your time. Your priorities. Your mind. If you say yes to everything, then your yes means nothing. Make your yes mean something by saying No. No to extra activities that feel like a “should” instead of a want to. No to other people’s priorities that are not a match for your own. If it doesn’t move you towards your goal or fill your bucket, then it’s a no. You’re a highly ambitious woman, you don’t have time for everything and anything. Unless you want to burn out, then be my guest and do it all….Otherwise learn to say No. And stop feeling guilty for it.
  • Take breaks. I know there’s another eye roll in here. Research shows that the brain needs a brief break every 60-90 minutes. Yep. Even 5 minutes of silence will do or a quick walk. How many times do you just power through? Power through lunch, power through bathroom breaks, power through…I know because I did it too. But that 5 minutes or so will help you be more innovative, productive and creative. Taking a break leads to fresh ideas, thinking outside the box, and resetting your nervous system so that you can think more clearly and do things quicker rather than slogging through. Set a timer and every 90 minutes take a short break to focus on your breathing and reset your nervous system. As a highly ambitious woman, it’s easy to get the adrenaline flowing while we are working on those big or exciting projects. Do a re-set to prevent burn out and hustling.
  • Hire a coach or consultant to keep you on track and in check. Coaches not only reveal your blind spots and help you reach your goals, but they keep you in check from striving too hard and forcing square pegs into round holes. They can help you have more ease and flow, strengthen your insight and your capacity for leadership. They’ll remind you when to say no and when to say yes and catch you when you are just trying to do “all the things,” again (we all revert back to old habits without checks and balances). Speaking of balance, they’ll help you figure out your own balance. I personally don’t believe that work-life balance is a myth. I think people who are saying that are just frustrated and don’t want to try and figure it out anymore. Work-life balance does exist, it’s just different for each person. A coach can help you figure that out. At least, these are the things I do for my highly ambitious clients.

If you are a highly ambitious woman who wants to reach her big goals without sacrificing her health, her sanity, or her family, message me and let’s see if I can help you have it all without giving it all up.

Be Well,

Dr. Donna


  • Dr. Donna Marino (PsyD)

    Psychologist & Executive Coach

    Donna Marino, PsyD, Ltd

    Dr. Donna Marino is a Psychologist and Executive Coach. She is an expert in helping high-achieving leaders move from burnout to SUSTAINABLE peak performance, so that they can fulfill their mission while also experiencing greater health, happiness, and relationships. Dr. Marino has over 20 years of experience in human potential and transformational change.

    As a high-achiever, who works with high-achievers, she discovered a collection of characteristics that when left unchecked lead to burn out, high-functioning anxiety and high-functioning depression. She coined the term for this condition, High-Achievers Syndrome (TM) and developed a protocol for dealing with it, recovering and creating SUSTAINABLE peak performance.

      Dr. Donna is also a sought after speaker and author on leadership, peak performance, and burnout recovery.