Community Over Competition: Get to the Top by Building Others Up (Mug-spiration Monday)

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Monday, dear friends! I honestly cannot believe it's Monday again. I was sick last week and out of work, and my days are all mixed up and I am still trying to kick the tail-end of this cold out of my life. But I am very thankful for good coffee, slow mornings, and for getting to see the cute little booger I nanny again. I miss her when I'm away.

But anywhoooooo, today I would like to encourage you with something I learned over the weekend. A little lesson about community, competition, and the importance of encouraging others. So if you haven't already, grab some coffee, sit back, and enjoy the mug-spiration!


Community Over Competition by Encouragement

A few days ago, I opened up an Instagram notification from my friend Rachel of The Confused Millennial. I thought she must have just entered a contest and tagged me for more entries, but when I saw that I was wrong I got all of the warm fuzzies.

Rachel is participating in the Rising Tide Society Instagram challenge, and that day's theme was "Community over Competition", with the prompt being to tag a creative/blogging bestie that has encouraged her along the way. She tagged me along with two other wonderful ladies, and I felt honored to be mentioned among them.

And even past the warm fuzzies, I am glad that I was tagged because it got me thinking more about the idea of community over competition. It's not like I've never thought about it before- I definitely have. It's just that I find the concept to be a daily struggle. It's not something I can just say that I believe and then move on, because every single day is a new day for me to either choose jealously and competition, or to choose community over competition. And that's not always an easy pick.



Choosing community over competition can be hard for me sometimes, simply because I often feel inadequate. I feel like so-and-so is a better blogger, better wife, better Christian, etc. than me, so I always feel like I have to do or say something to make myself sound better or look better.

But choosing community over competition is so much more valuable than always trying to one-up another person, because building others up is often a win for both parties, not just one.

Building Others Up

I believe in building others up, first and foremost, because I am a Christian. I believe that being an encourager and putting the needs of others above my own is what I have been called to. I also believe that loving others with the love of Christ is the very best thing I can do. Those reasons are the most important in my book. BUT, even on a practical, non-religious level, building others up is the way to go.

When we choose to encourage other people, not only do they feel good about themselves and develop more confidence as a result, but they also see that we are there for them. And when people see that we are there for them, they see us as an asset, a friend, and a valued community member. They are more likely to trust us and come to us, which is what we want- especially in the blogging world.

I want people to know me as helpful and knowledgeable, but I also want people to know me as approachable, kind, and steady. I may not be THE go-to blogger yet, but I can be THE go-to encourager and friend, and that still means a heck of a lot for community-building and eventual growth.

My growth may be slower, but it will happen if I continue to work towards building a community that knows I am there for them. People are drawn to helpful people. People are drawn to those who will encourage them. It just takes time.

Be Genuine

The thing about community though, is that it doesn't work if a person is fake.
When I encourage others, my goal is to be genuine. I never want to encourage someone because it will help me grow. No. Instead, I want to encourage others because I care for them, and it is simply an added bonus that my community and brand will grow.

Community that is superficial and created only for the benefit of one person is not real community. That is still competition, because it is all inward-focused. An inward-focused person may be on top for a while, but once people get a whiff of the self-centered, competition-driven stench of that person, their reputation and career will be marred and it will take a whole lot of work to get back on top.



There's no reward in being that type of person. There's no accomplishment in running that sort of business. I would much rather be a person with slow, yet steady growth in my life (personal, spiritual, career, etc.), than a person who flies to the top only to come crashing down when their true character is realized.

I would rather be a person with real, lasting friendships, and real, genuine community, whose journey takes a little longer, than someone lacking friends and lacking community who "arrives" much faster than I do.

If we haven't helped, encouraged, supported, and loved those around us, what's the point? We can have all the accolades in the world, but without community and love, we truly have nothing. So in every relationship in our lives, in every career-endeavor, and in every goal that we set, let us strive for love over selfishness, encouragement over insincerity, and community over competition.



46 comments

  1. I love to hear other bloggers discuss this. Like you, my desire to to be genuine and not to create a false community. There are times when it is hard to not be jealous and wish I was more like someone else. However, at the same time I would rather have a few people that I know are genuine. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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    1. It really can be tough sometimes. I daily have to suck it up, get over myself, and remember the better way of doing things. haha. Each day is a new day to do better and live better (in blogging and in everything) :)

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  2. I love everything about this post because I think it's so important to share the love in the blogging community. I always share content from bloggers I love in monthly posts, and on social media. Why not build each other up along the way!? Such a great message to share!

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    1. Yep! I've noticed your monthly share posts and I am so glad that you are also living out community over competition. Very important! Thanks, girl!

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  3. Love, love, love!!! Beautiful post Kristin and you are such a great example of community over competition!

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    1. Thank you so much, Marsha! That means a whole lot!!!!!

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  4. We need so much more of this! Thank you Kristin!

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    1. Thank you, Christina! I am so glad it was an encouragement!

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  5. Awe yay! So happy you wrote this! I can honestly say that it wasn't until I started blogging this year that I felt totally at peace, more so than in any of my careers, and i really attribute it to the community of bloggers I have been lucky enough to fall into. I think a blogger's success largely depends on the mentality of community over competition, or else why would other bloggers want to read or support your blog? Plus blogging is really hard work and we need one another to encourage us through it all! So grateful for you <3

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    1. Oh good! So glad you saw it! Blogging is such a blessing if we choose to do community the right way. God has blessed me with some amazing friends (you included) and I am very grateful!

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    2. Agreed! Its amazing to me how much more I interact with my friends I met on the internet and social media than people I've met in the physical world haha <3 <3 <3

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  6. I really, really, really love this! We are created for community, and it is so important and beneficial for us! Beautiful, Kristin! :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Abbey! I appreciate that!

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  7. This is so true! I talk to my kiddos at school (and adult friends) about this almost daily. Eloquently stated, my dear!

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    1. Those kids are very blessed to have you! So glad you are teaching this!

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  8. I love this so much! Its something everyone NEEDS to read!

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    1. Thank you, Neely! I appreciate that!

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  9. I love this! I really needed to hear this today. I have been frustrated by my slow growth as a blogger - especially since I am trying to change career focuses for a bit and my blog is my only source of proof that I am good at what I do (since my degrees are in another field). It is so important to not compare yourself to or compete with others. I have talked about that in a performance sense in the past but I really enjoyed reading your words about it. I am truly inspired and see all of this in a different light - which is so unique and helpful. I will be sharing this on various forms of social media for my followers. Thanks, love! xoxo Lauren @ Glitter & Grandeur

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    1. Lauren, your comment absolutely made my day! I am so glad that this was encouraging and helpful to you. That's why I do what I do! And thank you so much for sharing! I appreciate it greatly!
      Keep your head up and don't fall into that trap. It's not worth it!

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  10. I absolutely adore this post. A few weeks ago my newsletter was about this exact topic. It's something I wholeheartedly believe in and strive to support others in this industry.

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    1. It really is so important and I am so glad you are another one who believes this! Thankful for bloggers like you!

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  11. I love getting likes as much as anybody but I just love when I have comments from others who follow me. It's such an encouraging feeling to know that there are people out there who want to communicate versus just like whatever I posted. I'm all for gaining a community over competition

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  12. Kristin, I love love love this! This was one of the main reasons why I started blogging in the first place. We need genuine, loving community. The blogging community is a new world to me and I have so enjoyed getting to know other bloggers through their work. And you being one of them! I love seeing a blogger's soul. I think it is so important. Thank you for sharing your heart on this!

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  13. Yes, yes, yes to all of this! Community is SO IMPORTANT for bloggers. I am incredibly happy to have found such great communities on Facebook and Instagram. xo

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  14. Kristin, I love this! I've always been a big believer in growing a following by forming genuine and lasting connections. It is so much better than taking the shady route. Yay for community!! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this!

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  15. <3 I saw Rachel's tag of you and I thought "so well deserved" - you're such a comforting and warm presence in the community Kristin, you're full of light and love and that will carry you far.

    xxox
    Laura @ www.cookwineandthinker.com

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    1. I suppose replying to this is better late than never! haha.

      THANK YOU SO MUCH for your kind words, sweet friend! That means a lot.

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  16. I appreciate this post and your style of writing. This is what inspires me to keep going. So many days it feels like it is taking forever to build a following. I know that by embracing and celebrating the successes of my community of writers, I am gaining valuable insights that will continue to inspire me as I move toward my goals. I feel that I have found a family of individuals who care about each other's accomplishments in a way my family of origin is unable to fully understand. I look forward to following your posts.

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    1. Thank you so much! I really appreciate that!

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  17. YES!!!! I joined a local chapter for the Rising Tide Society and attended one meeting. Seriously life changing! Love the concept of community over competition, helping each other out, and being genuine. So happy you blogged about this....I was planning on blogging about RTS soon!!

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  18. Yes, yes yes. Love this. I've been preaching this in our small town.

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  19. Yes, so so good! Before I even clicked through to this post I saw the title and thought of the Rising Tide Society. One of my favorite bloggers, Glennon from Momastery, talks about how so many of us believe the myth of scarcity - that there's a limited amount of "success" or joy or fill in the blank thing, and we're so quick to believe that if someone else gets any of the things we want it's less likely we will get them. I'm so glad you're reminding people that that's just not true! Beautiful post, Kristin!

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  20. What a great reminder. It's so easy to get caught up in the competition. But you're totally right, it's so much better to build slowly than to step on others and move up fast. We only really move forward when we all move forward. Thank you :)

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  21. As always, this post speaks directly to me :) This is definitely a great thing to remember and I'm striving to be this way in all that I do, both offline and online! Sometimes, it's easy to be discouraged when I compare myself to others in the blogging world, but I have to keep reminding myself that everyone started at the beginning :P and that community helps build each other up! Love this!

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  22. So true and well said!!! You know, I often have jealous/competitive thoughts towards others... but on the other hand, I have just as many kind thoughts, but THOSE I never seem to want to share with people directly. Why not?! It's something I've been working on lately. To get those thoughts out to those people when I have them. Compliments should be shared, encouraged, and given with pleasure.

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  23. What an awesome post, Kristin! I loved reading Rachel's shout out to you on IG and I love how this post came out of it. :) Too often I worry about how others will think of me or how well my blog is doing, but I've had the most fun and enjoyed blogging the most when I've been with other bloggers. I love cheering them on from the sidelines and reading their progress through their blogs. My boyfriend always teases me when I talk about my blogging friends, because I've never actually met any of them, but the relationships I've gained from blogging have been absolutely amazing and fulfilling :) community over competition-- 100%!!!

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  24. I would be a zero blogger if I did not work together with blogging friends. I started with two that I knew personally and one of them hooked me up with a group. From there a couple of others saw my need and lifted me up - finally telling me lots of little secrets that made their blogs awesome.

    They didn't need to do it, but it was a super blessing. FINALLY I'm at the point were I know a little (after 3 years) and can help others a tiny. Encouragement is what I do best, I think, and Kristin, you encourage me - through your uplifting words (you little wordsmith!!) :) I love community. There is room out there for all of us!

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  25. I love this post! I have found being in this space that this is so true :) There are so many people who start off without knowing anyone and then get discouraged. I think this post is a must read for anyone just starting out or who needs encouragement! Thanks for sharing!

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  26. I opened my comments this morning to find a rude comment left by a fellow blogger. It happens and these types of people don't last long. I have made some wonderful friends and connections. Helping out, being friendly and supportive make everything in life better.

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  27. When i first started my blog I was very selfish. I didn't want to share anyone else's content in case it was bette than mine or spend time commenting on their articles. WOW WAS I WRONG. Building a community has been one of the biggest perks of blogging and I love supporting and seeing what my blogging friends are up to.

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  28. blogging has for sure taught me to spot a fake person a mile away!

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  29. AMEN AMEN AMEN. There really is room for everyone at "the top." Build each other up, always!

    Coming Up Roses

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  30. What a wonderful post! Community is the best!

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  31. You said it! Supporting someone else and being a part of their success will never diminish your own. Strong REAL relationships with other bloggers/businesses in related niches are vital. Find your tribe!

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  32. This is AWESOME! As a grandmother blogger, I too will be as real as possible, life is toooooo short to not be. I strive to write openly. As a Christian, it is my spiritual responsibility to build you up and not tear you down. It is good to see someone speaking the Truth. Keep blogging! This granny is reading!

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  33. I love the idea of fostering community and building people up - though I admit it is definitely hard sometimes, and hard not to feel jealous! The other day was apparently National Compliment Day, and an acquaintance of mine posted the nicest thing on facebook about me in honor of the "holiday." It absolutely made my day, so I did the same thing for 5 other friends and their reactions were similar to mine. And honestly that was a great feeling - rather than being jealous of their good traits or accomplishments we could celebrate them together.

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