Recently Tamarah shared her thoughts on 'community over competition', you can find her post here. I too have recently felt a calling on my heart to share thoughts. It's such a BIG subject, and we've only just scratched the surface.
I love when Tamarah said 'if we’re going to get over that competition mindset, we’ve got to realize that we each carry something so amazingly, uniquely, and purposefully different. This is huge - HUGE!!! Because here’s what it boils down to… YOU, are amazing!! You are incredible at things that NO ONE else can do quite like you can'.
The other day I was running errands, listening to my Bethel app, and was instantly filled with so many words. I turned on my phone microphone and recorded my thoughts until I was emptied. This is what I heard...
I am overwhelmed today with God's goodness because His message is so strong in my heart. He is speaking of community to me today, he's speaking of peace + grace instead of competing. To not isolate ourselves and focus on only our success. So that WE do not become more important than the WHOLE.
I love how Eric Johnson from Bethel described it: He said to picture a tree branch. A beautiful one that had sowed seeds and listened to God's plan, and was bearing fruit and goodness. But this branch was so full of fruit that it was shading other branches, from different trees. Those trees were also sowing seeds and they needed sun to let their fruit grow. So the first branch had to be cut down, even though it was good and bearing fruit. This left the other branches open to the sun, and able to bear beautiful fruit. So instead of one branch with ALL the fruit, there were many branches full of fruit.
I instantly thought of our community of photographers. For instance, maybe Tamarah and my business is bearing fruit and goodness. But maybe, just maybe, this isn't about just us and our success. Maybe 'community over competition' means that another photography company needs to shine in the spotlight, even at the cost of our own success.
That was the moment that any jealousy or envy I had felt was just BLOWN away. I understood, I got it. It's ok if we don't grow our business to the fullness we dream about. It's ok if for a little while, or a long while, that we are low to the ground. This is BIGGER than us. This is about raising up a community of talented individuals!
WHAT IT COMES DOWN TO IS DESIRING THE SUCCESS OF OTHERS AS MUCH AS OUR OWN. even our competitors...
So, do we really believe in 'community over competition'? I have asked myself many times, I ask it right now as I write this... I believe we can become a community that lifts each other up and shares in each others victories. I believe we can be a community that is no longer jealous and competitive with each other. I believe we can build success as a whole. And I also believe we have this already.
I love how Crystal of Joi Photography always hosts a wedding season kick-off party and invites the photography community. I love when photographers get together and create something new and exciting! I love to see amazing young artists emerging with inspiring work. I love it because it increases the abundance of good work in our community.
I work in partnership with women, I am no stranger to feelings of envy. All of my partners have had success -great success- and talent, but that is also my victory. Just as my ventures and successes are theirs.
There is goodness and greatness in this world. There is so much creativity and talent. Comparison and competition can steal that goodness from us and rob us of our deep gifts and talents that want to SHINE!
I write because I know this struggle, I have felt it inside myself. But, if I lay my selfishness down, then I can really help others rise. Because how much more can we rise by 20 talented creatives, then by just one?
There is a bigger picture, and it is not about the individual, it is about the community. This to me is truly the heart the 'community over competition'.
Celebrate with someone today! Celebrate with someone you find it really hard to say 'good job' too! You will feel the walls break down as you do this. I'd love to hear about it! Please share your story of 'rising by lifting others'!