Community Over Competition

If we are being quite honest, I am incredibly competitive. I tend to play to win and give my all in whatever I’m competing in. I really do not like to lose. But since when did we decide to apply this idea of competition to the people around us? It can be easy to look at others and the things they are accomplishing and feel as though we aren’t doing or achieving enough. I love the idea that someone else’s success is not your failure. But this is definitely something that can be hard to remember and something we need to continuously remind ourselves of. I’ve been thinking lately about the phrase “community over competition”. It’s one we tend to hear often, but what does it really mean?

My mom sets one of the BEST examples of this for me. She is a photographer but also has such a heart for women in business and the branding that goes behind that. She just launched an event called “We Rise Social” and I just know there’s big things to come from it. She gathers female entrepreneurs for evenings full of networking, connecting, and collaborating with one another. The mentality behind this event is the quote, “We rise by lifting others”. I love this so much and can’t wait to see the big things that my mom and these other amazing business owners are going to do. There’s such a beauty in linking together to support one another and build one another up rather than viewing these other women as competition.

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This past week, I got to connect with one of my fellow photographer friends, Madison, to exchange headshots with one another. We are both photographers in the Tuscaloosa area with a similar niche, but rather than looking at one another as competition, we have found so much joy in cheering one another on and learning from one another. Madison has been in the industry much longer than I have so it’s awesome to hear about her experience and advice whereas, I am more comfortable with photoshop and get to share my tips and tricks in that with her. It has truly been such a blessing to find someone in this industry with me who is so eager to root for my success and encourage me. Madison’s friendship is such a gift + I’m so thankful for the way we have connected and adopted the ideals behind “community over competition”.

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We weren’t made to do life alone. One of my all time favorite verses about this idea of community is 1 Peter 4:8-11, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

I hope this inspires you to get outside your comfort zone a little bit + connect with others that maybe you’re apt to feel a sense of competition with. Rather than viewing other people as competition, let’s love them deeply. We were each made with such incredible gifts that can be used to serve others and the Kingdom so rather than looking around at other people’s gifts and wondering why you don’t measure up, look at the incredible gifts and talents God has blessed you with. And then even beyond that, there’s so much community to be found while using those gifts. I’m thankful today and every day for the people on my home team and the way they encourage, uplift, and inspire me to be a better me. Here’s to continuing to foster that sense of community and not viewing other people’s success as a shortcoming on your part.

I’ve included below some of my favorite images that I got of Madison as well as some of the ones she captured of me! I love this job + the community I’m finding through it. <3

Julia DeWolfComment