July 16, 2018 Anna Judd


Competition: an innate human quality that arises from the idea that there exists a scarcity in the world. A scarcity of resources, of love, of attention, of praise. When we want the same thing as another person, it’s easy to develop an “us or them” mentality without even realizing it, without even wanting to.

You know what I’m talking about.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that competition is unhealthy, but always using it as your primary motivator definitely is. It will alienate you from the people you have the most in common with, while propping up the illusion that credit shared is somehow less satisfying.

A good alternative to a competitive drive is collaboration, but be aware--it demands a response from you, rather than a reaction. Notice the urge to compete, and choose to react differently than you normally would. Try collaborating with your competitors the next time you feel the urge to divide and conquer. Observe them, ask questions, give them sincere compliments and recognition. Notice their strengths. Try to learn something. And in turn, offer to teach them what you know. Think about ways that you can work together, to make each other better. Allow the sum of you and your opponents to be greater than y'all's parts.

Instead of believing that you each need to fight for a bigger slice of the pie, take a more creative approach, and make the pie bigger.

 

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