Comparing Brings Competition: Collaboration Anyone?

comparingAbout half way through something I used to find myself comparing where I was headed to where I had been. It often brought on a wobble!

Then it would take me ages to refocus on where I was headed. Plus the wobble could be quite uncomfortable as all my fears came out to haunt me. I began to notice my habit of comparing myself or my life with others. Finally I recognised that the only comparisons that were worthwhile centred around how I was doing. I stopped thinking about others and began measuring myself. This technique came back to me more recently when I started a regular exercise routine, I was glad too see that my comparisons where useful for helping me compete with myself. I compete to do something to the best of my ability.

Today was an exercise class. I love using my physical body because it’s the one I chose to have when I was working out my life plan in Spirit. Mostly it has served me well. Now and again it’s had to remind me very strongly that I haven’t been looking after it. But I wouldn’t swap it. It suits me and I’m learning to suit it. Comparing my body to the images that float around me is pointless. All that will happen is that I will start to judge this lovely vehicle. Or become dissatisfied with what I have chosen. I don’t want to do that. I’m sure most people don’t. Yet we are encouraged to compete with one another for a ‘perfect’ body. As if there is only one shape that will do. I though about that again later this afternoon.

When I was a full time counsellor there was a lot of talk about comparing one therapist with another. The idea that some were better than others.

I recall it seemed to bring with it the insidious energy of competition. Listening to debates amongst my colleagues about other people’s abilities it seemed that everyone was ready to judge. Because someone may not have been proficient according to the person doing the judging there was even a quite dismissive attitude. I hated it. Really hated it. All of us have to start somewhere. I had to begin being a therapist, make my share of mistakes and improve as fast as I could. The point was to get better. Not for me to start out a perfect therapist. What was the point of that? And I knew that everyone else was following the same process.

Comparing seemed to lead to people stating their credentials too. A sort of ‘my course is better than your course’ approach. For a long time I wouldn’t use my Masters degree in any of my paperwork. I had obtained it for me. To stretch me. To help me explore and open my mind more. In a qualifications competition I always stood back. Because what mattered was the work I was able to do. Not the level of my qualification. There was an endless rumble of complaint that people were entering counselling and thinking they knew it all after only a few courses. The organisation I belonged to wanted to tighten accreditation. To make my profession a closed shop where only those who conformed could work.

Comparing eventually moved me out of counselling. I didn’t want to compete. I wanted to work with the people I could help.

So I started to see people using my mediumship instead. That was an interesting experience. Stepping out of the competition led me to appreciate how much my work is actually a collaboration. Any of my work. In the end, I can’t do anything if the Spirit people don’t step forward. And I can’t pass on messages if there is no one for the Spirit person to talk to. Of course, that is exactly like life. No matter what I’m doing it will end up a collaboration somewhere along the line. Yet it’s still up to me to make sure I am doing my best in the moment. That’s where I’m happy to compete with myself.

Can I make a better connection? Am I able to give more detailed evidence? Do I need to reflect on the way someone received the message? And a whole load of other questions. Unfortunately I find that there are still judgements being made. Just like in my counselling profession there are people practicing mediumship who have fixed ideas about who else can do so. Fixed ideas about where they should have trained. Opinions about the work of others who have to start somewhere. I’m sure the Guides are encouraging and helping everyone to develop to the best of their ability. But not everyone is there yet. Mediumship is still a misunderstood ability.

There is a great opportunity here. Not to introduce restrictive practises. Or assume that connecting with Energy Beings is only the right of those in certain parts of the Spiritualist Movement. The opportunity is to support, assist and inspire those who are currently at the beginning of the process. Keeping people out will only lead to competition. Comparing is only useful when collaboration is the goal. It’s time to be inclusive instead!

Day 707 of my blogging challenge

2 thoughts on “Comparing Brings Competition: Collaboration Anyone?

  1. Annie very apt for me at the moment having just starting a new job after a long break. I was concerned that all my colleagues had psychology degrees and were considerably younger. Anyway my life experience and a lifetime working with challenging people definitely gives me a different type of knowing just as valuable. My colleague Della has different skills and as we will be working closely together I feel we are a good fit and can compliment each other.
    Im looking forward to working with a team of people who want to make a difference. Yes colloborative and joined up working. On sunday I went to the Hebden under 9s football match. Ok they lost but they played with team spirit and consideration for others.
    Thats what its all about!

  2. Thank you for commenting Jen. I’m delighted that you approach your work from a collaborative point of view. It’s too easy to lose that wonderful sense of co-operation, common ground and shared gaols when the energy of competition creeps in. The football team are learning that winning isn’t about who scores the most goals. It’s about sharing a life experience and getting the most from it. I wish we could hold on to that forever <3

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