Competition, Collaboration and Success

competitionToday my daughter has been reviewing her progress in her chosen course. She is working mainly with men in her studies as the subject she loves is often seen as a male preference. She has noticed that there can be a lot of competition between them. But she doesn’t approach her work that way.

This morning we had a discussion about women being able to vote. It has been one hundred years since women over thirty in the UK gained the right to vote in elections. Quite a landmark. So I couldn’t help but notice the synchronicity of this review date. Nor that we have entered another phase of Divine Feminine energy asking us to view our relationships as collaborations. Rather than make it all about competition. So as I was once again chatting with her this evening about her career choices we both listened hard to a news item on Channel 4 about feminism. I introduced my daughter to the books and work of Laura Bates, the Body Image Movement and feminist writing. And I hope it will help her balance the competitiveness of her chosen field with the collaboration necessary to help everyone succeed.

I believe that we all have a streak of competition within us. I find it’s a really useful emotion to boost me past giving up. When I’m doing something I like to compete with myself to see if I can do better than I did before. Because sometimes I tell myself I can’t do something well. Yet if I tried enough and stuck at it I would improve. In fact I have proved that with my mediumship. However, I have also needed to collaborate with others, especially my Guides, to find new or different ways to develop my skills. Competing with myself, collaborating with others and sticking at it has helped me to succeed. I feel that the Suffragettes knew far better than me how to do that. After all they got women the vote. And pushed on further to gain ground in improving women’s lives.

I’m glad my daughter understands the power of competing with herself. It’s also a blessing that she prefers to collaborate with others. In the end she will be successful in anything she does. I also feel that success will be shared with all of the people she works with. Because she understands the value of doing things together. And is prepared to put aside the corrosive aspects of competition in order to push forward with change.

Day 803 of my blogging challenge

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