Today I want to talk about competition.
Not the sporty kind, or quizzes or board games.
I mean the type of competition to that people create for themselves. Competition of the mind.
Recently I have been unwittingly subject to the notion of competition by a few different people in my industry. That is, I have apparently been in competition with others without even knowing I was involved. And to be quite honest, I am feeling somewhat flummoxed by it all as I am really not that competitive a person (unless it’s a pub quiz or a game of Trivial Pursuit).
In one instance, I found out that a peer wouldn’t work with me on a project because they considered me competition for something else we do. It was a perspective that completely floored me. By pursuing one project I had marked myself as unworkable to some of my peers? It didn’t really make sense to me at all.
Yet, the more I dug around it turned out that there is an insane amount of competition in my industry, in the blogosphere.
It would seem there are some folks who are super-protective over their contacts, secretive about their work, suspicious of any new contacts they make, quick to mark out territory. Some of them are successful in what they do, but they are closely guarded of their work.
All of this is the total antithesis of what I am about and how I have conducted my own work. And as such I keep ending up in situations where I am totally shocked by the way I am treated by a number of my peers.
Why do we need to be suspicious of one another?
Why do we need to be secretive and guarded?
Why do we need to be competitive?
You see, I believe in abundance. I say this at every opportunity I can, whether it is in my one-to-one coaching with my blogging clients, in my social media workshops with my trainees, or when I am at public speaking events.
I believe in abundance.
Go on, say it aloud to yourself. Say it to your neighbour. Say it to your loved ones and your friends.
Feels good, right?
If you start from a belief in abundance your whole attitude to competition changes.
Instead of your peers being competitors, they become collaborators. Instead of threats, they become allies. Instead of being secretive we become giving. Instead of building sides, team or armies we are building communities.
I operate from a place where I believe that I will only benefit MORE by sharing and giving abundantly to others. My industry can only be but elevated if we all work to lift each other up. To support each other. Share ideas. Give advice. Encourage. Cheerlead.
I think nothing of giving a shout-out to a peer or ‘competitor’. I think nothing of wishing them good luck with their own projects. I think nothing of celebrating their own successes, because why would that make my life any worse off?
Rather than being known for divide and conquer I would rather be known for bringing people together.
We’re all on the same team here. We work in a new industry. We are forging new ground. By being the very best that we can be and helping those around us, will only serve to create an industry worth working with.
Competition is a mind game. Or at least, it’s all in the mind. You can CHOOSE whether you think I am competition to you or not. You decide HOW you want conduct your professional life. All I can do is hope that you can find the confidence and strength to choose the path or sharing rather than the one of competition.
Because I don’t see you as competition. I see you as a peer, a collaborator and an equal.