14 signs you’re an ambitious person (who some mistake as arrogant)

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Do you think of yourself as ambitious only to have other people think of you as arrogant?

Here’s the thing: people often confuse the two because they have some things in common.

Both ambitious and arrogant people are focused, driven, and determined.

Being ambitious is a positive quality – it means you’re focused on achieving success, whereas arrogance is quite off-putting – it means you feel like you’re better than everyone else.

Let’s take a look at 14 signs that you’re an ambitious (and not arrogant) person:

1) You’re always striving to go above and beyond what is expected

Now, you can see why this might be mistaken for arrogance.

Picture this: Every time there’s something that needs to get done at work, you not only get it done, but you go out of your way to give 110%.

There’s no “doing the bare minimum” with you. You’re a perfectionist and you’re ambitious, so it’s only natural that you’d want your boss to notice how good a job you’re doing.

But how do you think it looks to your co-workers?

They just wanna get the job done and go home, but then you come along giving it your all and they think you’re just “showing off”.

2) You’re willing to put in the hard work to realize your goal

Maybe your co-workers aren’t very ambitious – or not as ambitious as you are – and they just want to get their 9-17h done and go home to their families.

When you work overtime and take on extra projects because you want to advance your career, not only will you seem arrogant, but you may actually make everyone else look bad.

3) You’re confident and aren’t afraid to take risks

You have to be willing to take risks if you want to get anywhere in life. Nobody ever became successful by playing it safe and not doing anything.

However, not everyone might see it that way. And when you take risks, others may think that you’re showing off once again.

4) You’re always looking for new ways to improve

You’re a firm believer that learning is a life-long experience and you’re always looking for new skills to learn and ways to better yourself.

To that end, you may sign up for night classes or volunteer to attend various seminars.

And while you’re just looking for ways to improve, your colleagues may think that you’re trying to flaunt your new skills in an attempt to suck up to the boss.

5) You’re highly organized and efficient

What’s more, you’re always looking for ways to maximize your time and resources.

And what’s more, you have lots of ideas about how to make the workplace more efficient.

Sadly, that may not go over too well with the people you work with. 

6) You’re constantly pushing your own boundaries and challenging yourself

And your co-workers are thinking, “Enough, already! We get it, you’re super capable.”

They don’t get that what you’re doing is for yourself and that you just want to achieve your goals.

They think that you’re trying to compete with them and make them look bad, and frankly, they’re sick of it.

7) You understand the importance of networking and making connections

Here’s the truth: networking is important and having the right connections can get you where you want to go. That’s why you know so many influential people.

Of course, your colleagues may not understand – they’ll think that you only want to socialize with important people because you think you’re too good for everyone else.

8) You’ve got an unwavering belief in yourself

You’re confident and you know that you can achieve whatever you set your mind to.

That’s great! That’s exactly the kind of attitude that successful people have.

However, not everyone may get it. Some people may mistake your confidence for arrogance, but you can’t let it bother you.

9) You’re not afraid to speak your mind

The fact that you’re so open about your opinions is truly an admirable quality.

In fact, the world would be a much better place if more people would be as honest and brave as you (while remaining respectful of course!)

But again, to some people, and this can be at the workplace or in your personal life, speaking your mind may come off as arrogant.

10) You set high standards for yourself

Here’s something else: You’re often critical of your own work.

Now, I get it, I really do.

You’re ambitious and you have high standards. But others may see you as pretentious. They may see your self-criticism as the false modesty of an arrogant person.

I mean, whatcha gonna do? You can’t please everyone.

11) You set goals and work on achieving them

You know how to set realistic goals and you don’t stop until you reach them.

Sometimes it may seem like you’ve done the impossible, but it’s all about putting in the hard work and pushing yourself.

And once again, while you’re only being ambitious, the fact that you’re reaching for the moon may be construed by certain people – who can’t really reach for anything – as arrogance.

What? Is Earth not good enough for them, they have to go to the moon?

12) You’re good at coming up with creative solutions

When there’s a crisis at work, who comes up with the quickest and most creative solutions?

You of course!

You think well on your feet, you don’t panic, and you’re great at problem-solving.

Guess what? To your co-workers (let’s face it, they’re jealous) your ability to push through any challenges life throws your way looks like showing off.

13) You’re often put in charge

Because you’re ambitious and you work hard to get where you want to go in life, you’re often assigned the role of a leader – or put in charge of a situation.

Whether it’s to oversee a certain project at the office or be the lead lawyer in an important court case, your superiors know that they can trust you to get the job done.

Your co-workers, however, resent you for it.

14) You take initiative

You’re ambitious and you’re eager to get something done so you often take initiative at work.

But what you don’t realize is that your co-workers may think that you should stick to your tasks and stop showing off.

You just can’t catch a break with them!

While it’s unfortunate that certain people – especially co-workers who are less ambitious than you – will mistake your ambition for arrogance, you shouldn’t let them make you feel bad or stop you from reaching your goals.

Jelena Dincic

Jelena has a background in photography and film-making and has spent the last few years as a content editor and copywriter. Jelena is a citizen of the world who is passionate about travel and learning about new cultures. She’s a foodie who loves to cook. And, as an art lover, she is always experimenting with new art mediums. When she’s not at her computer, she’s usually out and about in some forest with her dogs.

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