“Too often we are conditioned to feel the need to be in constant competition. There’s a misguided perception that being who we are, AS we are, in business, life and love won’t be enough until we prove we are better than someone else and maybe not even then.”
The myth around competition is a topic I have spoken on before and one that I feel is extremely important, I wrote a chapter all about it in my book, To Call Myself Beloved. So for today’s episode I decided to read this actual chapter to you, not just because I am so excited for my book baby to be born, but because I am so passionate about this topic.
I get pretty fired up in this one everyone. I touch on some really key points, such as;
- The root of where our intense need to compete with others actually comes from
- Why the phrase “collaboration over competition” being used on social media makes me nauseous and feel a whole lot of swear words.
- How competition all stems back to doing the work on loving YOURSELF, accepting yourself, and not seeking outward approval when you are winning.
- And so much more!
I hope you all enjoy today’s episode and if you haven’t ordered your copy of my book yet, WHY NOT? (lol link is below darling…). Don’t forget to head over to leissewilcox.ca and sign up to join my virtual Launch Party on August 11th when my book hits the charts!
If you’re feeling more in the mood to sit sipping your coffee while listening to this episode click the link above.
Are you ready to dive in?
Hello, welcome back to the show. This is To Call Myself Beloved, the podcast with Leisse Wilcox and I am so happy you’re here. This podcast is a really special episode. I mean, I’m biased. I think all these episodes are a little special. I’m a little biased. I’m a little arrogant but here we are. I think that this one is so special because I am reading you a chapter from my book. I’m sharing with you one of my favourite chapters from my upcoming book that launches August 11th on Amazon, To Call Myself Beloved, a story of hope, healing and coming home. And the chapter that I’m sharing today is not only one of my favourite chapters in the book, it’s one of my favourite concepts to talk about. You may have noticed I love having the conversations that people are thinking about but not really sure how to have out loud, or maybe even a bit afraid to have out loud, or maybe they just don’t have the right person to talk to about it to have, you know, a challenging conversation in a healthy way. That’s kind of my intention and purpose behind hosting this podcast is to open up that dialogue and talk about the things we all want to dig into but haven’t necessarily found that healthy vessel or container to do so.
So today as I said, I’m talking about the myth of competition. This is such a passion of mine If you have listened to one of my previous episodes called Beware the Female Empowerment Brand. If that connected with you, or if that resonated for you I think you’re gonna get a lot out of this. I’ve done a keynote speech on the myth of competition before and I write a lot about it on Instagram @LeisseWilcox. I just posted a new IGTV on my You Can’t Unhear This series talking about competition. But this is an amazing opportunity on this platform to really get into the nitty gritty of it.
I painstakingly wrote this chapter in my book, I was like, I’ll just get on the podcast and talk about the chapter. And then I thought, No, I’m actually just gonna read it. This is really special to me because as I said, I’m recording this very end of July, which means the calendar is looking me in the face telling me there’s two weeks until my book launch. So by the time you hear this, there’s even less time before my book baby is born. Three or four years in the making, most of which was spent convincing myself that I was in fact, a person who was worthy of writing a book. I wrote most of it during my chemotherapy treatments last year. I wrote the proposal and writing the proposal is, as it turns out, most of the work, so it’s like special, special, special, special special.
Before we talk about the actual myth of competition and what that means for you and for your life. I want to share with you something that came onto my radar. I’ve had the opportunity to become an influencer to share the message of this incredible funding opportunity. So if you are a woman listening to this podcast somewhere in between Northumberland county, where I live, all the way up the lake to Ottawa and everywhere in between, so that would include Kingston, Prince Edward County, Bellville, as far north as Peterborough, Bobcaygeon, Kawartha Lakes, that whole region. There’s a new funding opportunity available because, as I’m sure you’re already aware, so many of the businesses impacted by the adverse effects of COVID were women owned, operated and LED. So there’s a new funding initiative by RE3, and I think they’re looped into funding from FedDev Ontario. They’re giving out non paybackable grants, which means the money is yours to use and keep for up to $5,000 to support women led businesses, that as I say, were adversely hit by the effects of COVID. So you know, if you think your hair salon, your dance studio, your service business, your law, firm, your cafe, whatever it is, all of the extra expenses you incurred not only by lost income during quarantine, but also through things like all the PPE and all those screens and shields you have to put up and enhanced cleaning protocols. If you are a small-medium enterprise who is Women owned or LED, that was adversely struck by COVID head to https://financingandstrategy.com/re3/ and apply, because man you never know, this could be just the thing you’ve been waiting to manifest! This, like, oh, how am I going to do this? Well, here’s an opportunity for how you’re going to do this. I think it’s brilliant to support women in this way. And really, you know, help to rebuild, revive, & reopen our economy, in the hands of women, because as we know, we’re so capable, like almost too capable sometimes, and this is just a little extra cash to help you out. So if that resonates with you, if it sounds like it might be great for somebody, you know, please let them know this is available. And as I say, you can head to https://financingandstrategy.com/re3/ or go over to my Instagram page @LeisseWilcox and when you see the black and white photo of me, which is the only one on my feed, all the information is on there too.
So that’s a really nice segue, this ability for women to support women into what we’re talking about today because, you know, we read about and the hashtag and the social media platforms championing like women support women. Yes, of course women support women because that is what we do. We support each other because we are humans having a shared human experience on this planet and the right thing to do is to support each other. But there’s been so much mindfulness or attention drawn to women supporting women, because for so long, all of us, I think, have subscribed to the notion or subscribed to this false narrative, that women need to be pitted against one another in competition. And so you know, the cultural narrative is changing to be like, What the hell are we doing? Why don’t we just support each other? Well, of course, we support each other, and a lot of us have supported each other for a very long time. So it’s really interesting, culturally for me to watch this tide shift. I have a lot to say about that. As I said, circle back to Beware The Female Empowerment Brand because I go into more of those politics there. But for here, I really want to focus on the myth of competition. We are pitted against each other for so long and it’s such a false narrative. It’s so fake. And I’m hoping that through this particular conversation, we can start to unlearn what we’ve learned and start to reframe that in the context of, Oh, I don’t know, reality and, and we’ll go from there.
So in my book To Call Myself Beloved, this is chapter 25. I’m going to share it with you now, The Myth of Competition.
Too often we are conditioned to feel the need to be in constant competition. There’s a misguided perception that being who we are, as we are, in business, life and love won’t be enough until we prove we are better than someone else and maybe not even then. We didn’t create that story on our own, and we do not have to live it either. Where does this intense need for competition come from? And is it actually all that bad? Well, let’s talk about that. Maybe competition isn’t such a bad thing if we understand the why of where it comes from. Remember, after you take away the clothes, the houses, the fancy job titles, the luxury cars and the takeout pizza, we are in our DNA, animals, pack animals at that. Which means embedded into the very fiber of our genetic code we are programmed to be a part of the group, and we depend on that group for our very survival. When you think about competition from that perspective, you can see how way deep down in the primordial programming of our actual species we need to look and see what others around us are doing and make sure that what we are doing is in alignment, so that we can continue to be accepted as a part of the group that keeps us safe and alive. Further, when you look even closer at basic biology, you’ll see that we are programmed, again way deep down in our genetic code, to understand viscerally that only the fittest survive, while the other “less than” members of the group are left behind to perish. So I’ll ask you again, where does this intense need for competition come from? And is it actually all that bad?
The drive to compete, compare and contrast is a part of us. And realistically, I think it’s naive to believe we can gloss over the biological roots of this compulsion. However, while we are at our core social animals who depend on a sense of belonging to maintain our very survival, we have also evolved as a species beyond those primitive needs. So while the compulsion may still exist within us, there are some checks and balances we can put into place to help us manage that in a healthy way. One of these ways is to be very clear about where the origin of this drive is coming from, and letting yourself off the hook a little. The next way to manage this internal drive to compete, compare and contrast is to make peace with the other very real truth that someone will always be better than you. That’s not a diss. That’s a fact. Even if you are at the pinnacle of your game and your experience is at its apex we know the change is the only constant and eventually someone will come up behind you and surpass your ability likewise, you will always be better than someone else. That’s also a fact. So, you can see that being the best is a moving target, a finite moment in time, and is completely relative to each individual’s experience. So you can let yourself off the hook a little here too. The reason this is so fundamental to understanding and expanding our emotional awareness and intelligence is that truly, there is no one ultimate achievement, except for what the ultimate achievement is, defined by you. If you’re always going to be better than someone else, and someone else is always going to be better than you, then baby. There is no best. There’s only momentary success. This understanding is so freeing, because it creates the new headspace to always be as good as you can be right here in this moment. I love the iconic quote from Maya Angelou that says, “Do the best you can until you know better, then when you know better, do better. Do the best you can with what you have right here in this moment. And then when you know better, do better”. Doesn’t that just bring you an instant sense of relief, of peace, it takes the pressure to be the best away, because the only thing you really ever have to be is your best in this moment. The next moment might look different than this one. And in that moment, you might do better or you might do worse. It kind of doesn’t matter because we’re only ever living right here in this moment. And this moment is the only thing that is real. So if you are continuously doing your best in this moment, then you’re already the best boom, no more competition.
And how does comparison factor into this? I’m sure you have seen on the Internet at least 1000 times, the saying from former US President Roosevelt, that ‘comparison is the thief of joy’. And why exactly is that? Because you can only ever do your best right here in this moment. That’s it. Right here in this moment, doing your best and giving it your all is all you can give. And that’s enough for you. But if you allow yourself to drop out of living in this moment, and instead, allow yourself to drop in on someone else’s moment, you are no longer paying attention to what your best is in this moment, because you’ve chosen to see what somebody else’s best is in that moment. And if they’re best in that moment is better than your best in this moment, then suddenly, you get the feeling that your best in this moment isn’t actually good enough at all. Because someone else’s best in this moment is already better than yours. What you are not seeing if you choose to remove yourself from your own present moment and instead engage in this kind of voyeurism that allows you to spy on someone else’s present moment, or the many other moments when they’re best in the moment was nowhere near as good as your best in the moment. It’s only just a moment. So how on earth would it be possible for you to bear witness to each and every one of their moments, and also still appreciate your own. When you break it down like this, even when you appreciate where the tendency comes from, to pay attention to what someone else is doing and even when you appreciate why you were inclined at a biological level, to pay attention to what someone else is doing. It seems, from where I stand, pretty fucking stupid to pay attention to what anyone else is doing if what you’re actually paying attention to is whether they’re doing better or worse than you in this moment. Are you with me? Okay, cool. So, living in the cultural context in which we live, I’m going to next level this for you. Social media and social sharing platforms have without question, infinitely expanded our opportunities for connection. What they have also and unwittingly done is set up a 24 hour window of opportunity to take yourself out of your own best and present moment and drop into not one other person’s best moment, but millions of other people’s best moments. And depending on a subconscious filter and lens you are inclined to use to look at the world, depending on the stories and narratives you personally choose to believe in this very moment. You will, if you spend your time looking at what those other millions of people are doing, always be better than they are. Or always be worse. Either way, this is a superlative, unhealthy way to live and spend your energy. Because as you already know, from reading this book and now listening to this podcast, the present moment, your present moment is the only thing that is actually real. Everything else has already happened and is no longer real, or hasn’t happened yet, and still isn’t real. This is where things start to get really interesting.
Something else you’ve likely seen on the internet, almost ad nauseum, is the platitude promoting “collaboration over competition”. This phrase based on everything else you now know in this moment, which is the only thing that is real, is literally the dumbest fucking thing I have ever heard. One. It is incredibly condescending. To me when I hear those gross three words. What I really hear is “play nice girls”. Show me a room of men. Show me any example of any group of men anywhere, in business or otherwise, who are being told to champion collaboration over competition. Nope, sorry, it does not exist. It does not happen. Why? Because it is assumed that quote unquote, “men can handle it” and can handle being in competition with one another without anyone getting hurt. The implication is that women therefore cannot and in an effort to ensure no one’s feelings get hurt, they have to park their competitive nature and do all things together. Seriously, this is one of the most officious, misogynist platitudes of our generation. Please, memory charm out of your brain, Harry Potter style. Two, collaboration and competition are in no way mutually exclusive. If it makes sense for you to work together with someone on a project on a deal on a strategic partnership, by all means, collaborate with them. Healthy intentional collaborations are not only good for your business, they’re good for your soul, but do not think for one second, that you have to choose either collaboration or competition because it doesn’t work that way. To assume you have to pick either ‘collaboration – read, we will play nice and work together’, or ‘competition – read, we will seek to destroy each other’, harkens back to that old, patriarchal and further misogynistic narrative that women have to be either/or, not both/and. You are allowed to do well in your business, in your life, in your love. And so am I. Why? Because it’s our fucking business, life, and love. When you live your life and conduct your affairs in an intention centered way that operates with the understanding you live with integrity, and do the right thing while remaining true to yourself and not hurting others. You’re doing it right. So, can you love yourself enough to see your best as your only competition? Yes, you fucking can.
All right, there you go the myth of competition, the myth that collaboration trump’s competition, there are all kinds of myths, there all kinds of stories, there are all kinds of fallacies and narratives that we’ve just been programmed to believe. And what I am passionate about in my intention to shift the global conversation on emotional health and self love is to really draw attention to the fact or draw awareness to the fact that when you have the courage to love yourself so deeply and accept yourself and embrace yourself for every, every quality, every flaw, every characteristic that makes you you, that’s how you compete. You’re competing against yourself because you’re growing, this life is your own, you’re on your own path, and 7 billion other people are on their own path. We don’t have to fight. We don’t have to compete for resources. There’s actually enough for all of us. And when we reframe our mindset, and we reframe our perspective on success, and what that looks like, what achievement looks like, when we focus on the feeling, instead of the outcome, it becomes easier and easier to shift into that state of mind that tells you, all you have to do is be you. All you have to do is step into the you-est, you possible and shine authentically, not not authentically tm. I mean legit, be your fucking self and when you have the courage to be yourself and love yourself, you focus so much less on the noise outside of you. You’ve stopped seeking validation from others, which means you stop looking to others to get your own validation and instead, you turn your own light up, you turn inward and dial up your own self love and self acceptance. When you do so, it calms you, it grounds you, it brings you back to center and gives you the very real, incredibly genuine awareness that you already have everything you need inside you. When you tap into that, Oh my god, there is no competition. None because nobody can fuck with who you are, when you have the courage and just be you and allow that radiant, divine self to spill into every other area of your life which trust me when you’ve turned the volume up on your own self love and self acceptance, you have no choice but to do this. The ripple effect. It spills into how you show up in your business. it spills into how you show up in your partnerships and your family and friendships. It changes how you parent, it changes your entire physiological state, because it brings you this intensely wonderful, calm, this feeling of inner peace that nothing else really matters around you. There is no lack. There’s so much less friction and anxiety because you’re living in alignment with who you are and what is important to you. And when you tap into that place, which absolutely is a process and that’s why I have a private coaching practice because that’s what I do with people when I work with them one on one. When you tap into that place, you become like ‘un-fuck-with-able’ because there’s no more competition. Competition is a myth. Of course, we are programmed as pack animals to look and see, to check in what other people are doing around us, to make sure what we’re doing is safe and healthy and accepted. But as I said, we’ve already evolved past that and we have a responsibility to ourselves to go inward and be accountable to ourselves and to validate ourselves. And you know, I can’t say this enough to truly love ourselves and accept and embrace ourselves. And when you do that, that’s when you change your vibration. You change your frequency, and you tap into this divine state of just being who you are, and it’s ridiculously freeing and satisfying.
So, my darling, this has been a recorded chapter from To Call Myself Beloved, you can grab your own print copy on Amazon August 11. Head over to my website leissewilcox.ca because I’m having a virtual Launch Party, we’re going COVID style. Instead of doing the cool rent a restaurant, have all the people I know come in, drink champagne and non-alcoholic champagne and pop confetti cannons. I will be live streaming on Instagram from my living room with a party of one with global reach all over the world to anybody who wants to join. You can go to my website leissewilcox.ca to join the virtual launch party. I think it’s gonna be a lot of fun. I’m making a playlist that I’ll share with you. Rumor has it tacos are going to be involved. I don’t know how that’s gonna work, but I’m going to figure it out. I would love to see you there. I really value your support. The intention behind the book is to make this a best seller, which is why we’re so heavily directing traffic to Amazon on August 11. I would love it. I would love to see you get your own copy. I would love to see you leave a review of this podcast and give it a nice juicy five star rating if you found value or if you continue to find value or you know something that just connects with you and supports you, in your quest to be who you are. I really appreciate that. Thank you so much for being you. And thank you so much for being here with me today. MUAH
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