Collaboration Over Competition: You Don't Always Need To Compete
You might have heard this before – collaboration over competition. You might have not understood it, however. Collaboration over competition could mean a number of different things, whether you’re talking about student learning or career competition. There’s also the competition that happens between girls, one we see happening all the time, it’s pretty toxic – to other girls and to ourselves. These negative ways of thinking – that because someone does better than us it means they are better than us is wrong and it makes us angry and hurt.
The truth is, no one can be better than you. People can do things better than you, maybe they’re better at writing, or using social media, or maybe they have more money. Maybe they’re better spiritually, maybe they’re better at praying than you are, but it only means they can do those things better – not that they are better than you.
Another truth? Someone else’s success doesn’t stop yours. There’s just no way that you’re not successful because someone else is – it makes no sense. If you think this, you’re either angry that you’re not successful or angry that this person got to success first. Which brings us to competition; it is healthy but only in moderation. Competition allows us to do and be our best because we keep striving to do better, but you need to remember that not everything is a competition and more times than not, you should be choosing collaboration, especially when someone is better than you. I know what you’re thinking, “Shouldn’t I be competing with whoever is better than me so that I can reclaim the imaginary crown that let’s everyone know I’m the best?” The answer is a big, fat no. If someone’s better than you, that’s great! Get excited about it and learn from them! Yes, go and ask them to teach you how to do that thing, how they did it, and how you can do it. Who better to learn from than the person that does it better? While you’re at it, see what they can learn form you in exchange. My favourite thing ever is asking friends who are better than me at something to see my work so that I can get feedback – collaboration.
You see this a lot too when someone wants to start a business, and they want to do it all alone (even though they know they need a partner with a different expertise), because it’s theirs and they need all the credit. To this I say, grow up honey. There are going to be a lot of things you’re going to do on your own and there are also going to be things you’re not going to do alone, and that’s okay, it’s perfect.
Why can’t we just root for each other without thinking it means something bad for us? It feels so good to uplift other women truly (intersectionality and all), in all aspects of our lives. We already get enough shit from all the entitled men around the world (there are a lot), so let’s root for each other, celebrate each other, and have each other’s back.
Competition isn’t bad, and as humans we’re naturally competitive, but there are many aspects in your personal, professional, and daily life where you can choose collaboration and the outcome will be so much better.
Girls, love each other and support one another. I promise it doesn’t mean any less for you.
What does collaboration over competition mean to you? Let us know below!