Advocate Over Adversary

A friend of mine recently shared a quote that struck a chord with something I believe and am working to put into practice more and more each day in both my personal, and professional life – and that is the mindset of collaboration over competition. This collaborative/unification theme is also a success strategy that keeps coming up in research journals, articles, and presentations.

The quote was, “you can’t compete with me, because I want you to win too”. I love this, but to be honest, it’s a mindset I am growing into. For I am, and always have been, an extremely competitive person. And though competition clearly is and can be healthy, fun, and good, we know the unhealthy places it can also lead us into.

The flip side is the never ending inner stirring, the comparing, and even the battles unhealthy competition can spur and ensue when insecurity, ego, envy, greed, and pride are present.

Even in business we witness the power collaboration and mentorship can have over merely competing. For it is a positioning that empowers people to help others in striving to get a little better each day, rather than taking them down. It’s a position of lifting, and coming alongside, rather than leaving behind. 

This coming alongside structure in lieu of the pairing off against, helps “all ships rise”, which is much more powerful long term than feeding into a frenzy to become “king of the mountain”. 

Success and achievement is to be recognized, celebrated, and awarded, but can we honestly as individuals actually share in the sincere celebration for another? Especially, if and when the ones being celebrated are not us? Can we truly cheer for one another and mean it – is this even possible?

It is when we choose to help lift others up, and posses an inner contentment and confidence that’s not tethered to our trophies, but rather, our overall value as people choosing to help other people. 

Then, as we learn to be advocates more than adversaries with others, we are better able to celebrate with them as they stand higher, reach farther, and grow stronger. 

Then, in the spirit of reciprocity they are in even broader platforms and positions to expand the reach of helping others even more – also known as “paying it forward”. For who better to help lift someone up, than those who have benefited from being lifted? 

We can learn to both stand above, in order to pull up, and stand below, in order to push up. Now consider, in these situations who’s the champion, the winner, and the victor – is it not both the one helping as well as the one being helped?

I’m all for healthy competition, always, but there’s also plenty of room for healthy collaboration, inspired by inner contentment, confidence, and character.

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