13 Things you Must do to be Successful,
Ambitious, and Achieve any Goal

We all know that success has never come easy to anyone. It is simple to see the glamor and perfect side of successful things, but we don’t often recognize that it took lots of hard work, goal setting, and ambition to get there. Along the way, there are moments of validation, positivity, self-doubt, maybe some negative opinions, and sometimes it can take a turn in a way that you never expected.

After spending 6 years in school, Elta received her graduate degree in Health Science and Public Health from the University of Florida. Her goals soon evolved and she realized she had bigger ambitions of becoming a Physician Assistant so that she could help diagnose, treat, and educate communities. So, after working in public health and making five figures, she quit her job, took courses, got a part time job making the bare minimum, and prepared for getting accepted into PA school. After deciding to pursue the medical side, she was told, “there may only be 15 to 20 seats for over 2000 applicants. You need a high GPA and high-test scores; I don’t think it is possible for you to get in because it is super competitive.” But she didn’t let those negative opinions stop her, because her goal was to treat, educate, and be a great provider. Now, Elta is about to graduate from Barry University in Miami as a Physician Assistant. 

Successful women in the medical field

It is moments like this that you decide what your next course of action is going to be. Are you going to let these negative opinions break you down, or are you going to let it motivate you and drive you towards achieving success? Here are 13 things you must do to be ambitious, successful, and achieve any goal. 

Tip 1: Know what your Motivations Are 

Know what motivates you and use that energy to get to where you want to be. This helps you get over the “imposter syndrome” that gives you overwhelming feelings of self-doubt. Understanding what causes your self-doubt will help you navigate away from those triggers and focus on the things that move you forwards and not backwards.  If you are self-aware of the things that push and motivate you, surround yourself with those things or mindsets. 

Tip 2: Push Through the Negative Opinions and Self Doubt 

At moments, we all suffer from self-doubt and let negative opinions affect our motivation. Elta knew she had a goal in mind and she needed to speak positive affirmations to herself. She started leaving herself notes “I can do this”, “I will get in”, and this helped her stay calm and motivated through times she felt overwhelmed. People will always have their negative opinions, and in Elta’s case, the main person who told her she would never be able to get into PA school was her academic advisor.  When it comes to accomplishing your goals and reaching success, you are at battle with yourself. Although these negative opinions can hurt and make us question every decision, there are ways to push through the self-doubt and negativity. Write yourself positive affirmations, set reminders that motivate you, and overall, be around people who speak life and motivation. 

Tip 3: Be around People Who Speak Life and Motivation

When you find yourself suffering through self-doubt and struggling with negative encounters, surround yourself with people who motivate you, are optimistic, positively push you, and have similar goals and ambitions. Elta’s biggest inspiration to become a PA is her mother who has been battling cancer, Multiple Myeloma, for the last 12 years. Being from the Caribbean Haitian culture, where they believe in natural remedies, her mother was diagnosed in the late stage. Her mom was the main motivator for her to change her career path so she could help diagnose people and be a bridge for that community. It is positive and personal relationships like this one that can continue to motivate you through even the toughest times of self-doubt and negativity.  “Ending friendships is the toughest breakup,” Elta said. Ask yourself, “Is this relationship positively affecting my motivation and will to succeed?” Surrounding yourself with people who speak life and motivation will drive your ambition in a way that brings out your ability to push through any hurdle you encounter.

Tip 4: Let the Negative Opinions Motivate You

We all hate negative opinions, but let them be a huge motivation booster. People will have their negative opinions and there are going to be days where you are doubting yourself and your abilities to accomplish something. “There will be days where you think ‘I am not going to do this anymore’, ‘I can’t do this anymore,’ but you have to push through,” Elta said. Instead of letting negative opinions deter you from accomplishing your goals and destroying your ambition, use those to motivate you. It is important to have a positive mindset and tell yourself that you deserve to go after whatever you want to go after. 

Tip 5: Filter out the Good Criticism from the Bad 

Constructive criticism and advice can always help you think in new ways and help you up-level your current situation.  You know the saying “take everything with a grain of salt”? Although this saying may be true, it is important to use some constructive criticism to your advantage. This is not a way to deter you from accomplishing your goals, but they are ideas and considerations that may help you tremendously in the process. 

Tip 6: Take Breaks and Regain Focus 

We all know what it feels like to push yourself to the limit and get over-exhausted. “During the process, it’s okay to take breaks and do what you love,” Elta said. Taking breaks and shifting your focus for a period of time will help regain the focus you need and help you circle back to the main decision behind your journey to success and goal achievement. Take some time to indulge in your hobbies, passions, and the things that ultimately lead to building up more ambition. 

Tip 7: Your Goals are Not a Stopping Point. Let them Evolve 

As we grow, our mindsets, goals and values evolve to fit our current path of self-discovery. Elta had already finished her master’s in Public Health and worked in the field for a year before she decided to change her career path and work towards becoming a PA. Your goals are never a stopping point and they will always evolve and change as time goes on. When you accomplish certain goals, let that ambition help you discover more things you want to accomplish or let that be the driving force behind letting your current goals evolve into something greater. 

Tip 8: Make the Necessary Sacrifices 

Oftentimes, success can’t happen without making sacrifices and making changes. Making sacrifices should be carefully considered, but making necessary sacrifices may speed up the process of the goals you are wanting to accomplish.  Elta had to leave her 5-figure job to pursue her ambitions of becoming a PA. By taking a leap of faith and leaving her job, she was able to fully focus and prepare for getting into PA school. What may have been uncomfortable and nerve-racking at the time, turned into her reaching milestones and getting closer to reaching the goals she had set for herself. Now, she is graduating as a Physician Assistant and those sacrifices paid off and turned into something greater. Change is always uncomfortable, but making sacrifices in your everyday life may be exactly what you need to start accomplishing the vision and goals you have in mind. 

Tip 9: Use Outside Resources and Invest in Your Future Success

Investing in yourself and your future is one of the greatest decisions you can make for yourself. Reach out to people who have been through the same process to learn what steps they have taken to reach their goals. This will help you think outside the box and learn new processes that you may have not thought of. Elta did a lot of research by reading articles and books, watching videos, and finding information that would help her ambition to succeed. She started reaching out to people, asking what kind of applicants they looked for and how she could stand out amongst the thousands of applicants who apply to PA school. Although we all have different processes and definitions of success, find value in the outside resources and information that other people share and use it to invest in your future success. 

Organizational notebooks for medical students
Tip 10: Stay Organized and Have Materials that Help You

When you are goal setting, find organizational materials and resources that will aid you in keeping track of your progress and what steps need to be taken next. If there are no resources that may aid you in your needs, create your own. When Elta was on clinical rotations, she decided there could be some things that would make her life easier in terms of organization, like having a notebook to carry around with templates that she could use to document patient encounters. She found one online, but it was overwhelming, so she made one for herself. After other students saw it, they wanted her to share it for other students to use as a resource. Her notebook is currently for sale on Desvarel.com and she has turned it into a business. The ideas you have that help you succeed, may be exactly what others are looking for to help them toward success in their own goal-driven journey. 

Tip 11: Network

It may not be what you know that helps you reach your goals, but it could be who you know. The ability to network is a blessing that is often overlooked. Find a community of people and creative relationships that will aid your success and future ambitions. “I started reaching out to people asking what kind of applicants they look for and how I can stand out,” Elta said. Elta has to stand out amongst thousands of applicants to get one of those few seats that are offered in the PA program. By reaching out, Elta was able to find what people were specifically looking for in applicants and she was able to use this to her advantage. Reaching out to people may seem embarrassing and an unnecessary step, but networking with others and creating these professional relationships may open more doors and opportunities for you to explore.

Tip 12: Celebrate the Small and Big Results

There is always a starting phase. Success and achievement of goals don’t happen overnight, it takes time to reach the many milestones you set for yourself and the overall end-goal. Take time to celebrate each milestone and result. This will keep you motivated and excited to continue the process of achieving your ambitions. Each and every result is validation, even if it doesn’t seem like a positive result, it is a way for you to adapt your plan and keep moving forward, because success is not a straight line. 

Tip 13: You Miss All the Shots You Don’t Take 

Take chances and get out of your comfort zone. Success doesn’t happen without change and the will to adapt to new and unfamiliar situations. In our interview with Elta, she said, “You miss all the shots you don’t take. Go out there, take those shots, and work as hard as you can because something good will come out of it.” 

As of early December, Elta will officially graduate as a Physician Assistant from Barry University in Miami. Using her personal experience, she is also supporting others as a mentor for students who are working towards following their ambitions of getting accepted into PA school. There are going to be days where you are doubting yourself and your abilities to accomplish something, but surround yourself with an encouraging community of people, celebrate each little milestone and result, and keep working towards your ambitions that help you reach your future success.  Elta is an inspiration and a shining example of what it means to rise above those who doubted your ability, to succeed by making sacrifices, changing your career path, and to keep pursuing your goals.

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