Today marks exactly thirty days until I am thirty years old. I know this, because today is also Day 1 of my Whole 30 in preparation for my July 1st wedding. Approaching thirty really makes you stop and reflect a bit. I’ve learned so much not only over the past three decades, but even more so as I get further into adulthood. Stay tuned for a full post on what I’ve learned by being thirty, but today I want to focus on something that has been really important as of lately: collaboration > competition.
This past weekend, I went to Palm Springs with nine other bloggers and a photographer to celebrate one of our sweet friend, Amanda Miller. I met each of these girls through blogging. Without A Lo Profile, I likely wouldn’t know any of them like I do. Bloggers, and all females a like, can get a bad rep for being competitive, holding each other back, and being catty. This girl group cold not be breaking those stereotypes more. They have supported me, inspired me, and helped me and I would not be where I am today with my blog without them. Through this support, it has really shown me how important it is for women to value collaboration over competition.
In the blogging world, you can take two or three girls and give them the exact same piece of clothing and get three completely different looks. Even if they did style it exactly the same, the response they get will always vary because of their unique appearance and lifestyle. Whether it’s how the outfit looks on their bodies or their own unique sense their personality gives it, it won’t look the same. If we all shoot a photo at the exact same location (as we did again and again this weekend), it will end up completely different. I make these points because really, there is no sense in being competitive. The success of any one of these amazing women is something to celebrate, not something I should feel competitive over.
Comparison can be a whole different beast to conquer and that is something myself, and I know almost anyone these days, needs to work on. Competition seems a little more external to me, rather than comparison which is often more of an internal battle. I’ll write more on that one day, soon.
I think the philosophy of comparison over competition can be applied to any field and role as women. In my day job as a School Psychologist, I work in a school setting. There have been times where I have witnessed women with more experience as teachers than I have in life struggling with the younger generation and often times not welcoming their fresh perspectives. I’ve personally experienced this and rather than seeing how we could help each other, they resist and almost push you away because of your age or comparative level of experience. If we only put our heads together, with my knowledge on the most current practices and their experience over the years, think of how we could work together to help all the student we work with even more! I work with children with disabilities, so they often require collaboration to come up with effective strategies. Children truly take a village and collaboration is essential for their success!
In the day to day, women are also constantly competing. Who has the latest bag or what kind of car do you drive or how your body looks. Unfortunately, this has not gotten better with age. In fact, it seems to be getting worse. As people start making their own money or prioritizing their lives in different ways, you hear the competitive sides come out. For example, I don’t have kids yet. If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I have a dog who I treat like my child and am obsessed with. When I’ve talked about how much I love her, I’ve heard several people say “You have no idea until you have kids.” Great. I don’t have them yet and I’m sure I’ll look back and experience this on my own, but it’s not a competition over who loves who most.
We all have different strengths and weaknesses. In my career in Psychology, I evaluate children and look at their strengths and weaknesses to give suggestions to teachers and staff members on how to best support children based on this information. In the day to day, strengths and weaknesses are essential to recognize and use to help others. You may have a strength in photo editing where your friend’s strong point is sales pitches. You can help each other grow in these areas and both be better overall. We can’t be the best at every aspect of the things we do, but we can find others who can help us grow to improve these skills. A collaborative mindset is essential for continued growth.
This all brings me to my final point and a little personal challenge. Competition is often a natural human response. However, how you channel that competition is the important point. I’m not talking about playing a sport or something. I’m talking about how you make others feel. That’s the most important part. I have felt so welcomed and supported by the women around me, and those are the ones I continue to surround myself with. As time passes, I don’t seek out those who make me feel like things are a competition or those who are not supportive of me in many ways. I want to surround myself with women who are strong, motivated, passionate, and willing to help you become the person you want to be and accomplish your goals.
When talking about competition, I don’t think you have to totally stop being competitive. Just be competitive with YOUR previous self. What the woman next to you or that you randomly find online is doing is not important. What you did yesterday, a week ago, a year ago… do better today. I apply this mindset often in relation to my health and fitness. I try to change one little habit, or do one extra rep, to end up with long term results. This competition with myself is a healthy way to channel that innate need to improve, but without trying bring any others down. It’s a constant battle as a female and it’s something I continue to work on every day. I’m thankful I have so many strong women, both through blogging and across every aspect of my life, who remind me of the importance of this with their words, and most importantly, their actions, on a weekly basis.
I’d love to hear your stories and thoughts regarding collaboration over competition! Comment, e-mail, send me a DM on Instagram.. whatever. I think sharing with each other only strengthens the movement.
From Left to Right: Christina of Fashion and Frills, Brooke of One Small Blonde, Sage of So Sage Blog, Me, Jaime Shrayber of The Real Fashionista, Amanda of The Miller Affect, Lynlee Poston of Gal About Town, , Tara Gibson of Jimmy Choos & Tennis Shoes, Natalie Keinan of The Fashion Hour, and Kristen Richie of High End Hippie. Check out all these boss babes for some major inspiration! And stay tuned for more about our amazing weekend in Palm Springs celebrating our sweet bride to be, Amanda. Behind the camera, our sweet photographer: Vanessa of The Retro Penguin.
Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and that your Monday is off to a great start! Thanks for stopping by & be sure to share this with other like-minded boss babes or someone who may need a little Monday inspo. XO