Community over Competition. What would it look like if you were working to build relationships versus making every person you come across as a competitor? Would your network grow? Would you free up some time? Would you have more space to create? In my years of being a photographer, I’ve made a lot of progress and growth at an accelerated rate. As I look back on this, I knew that I had to put myself out there. I had to step out of my comfort zone, do a lot of unlearning of colonized ways and trust that I would meet like minded people who I could be of great value to and vice versa. Even though I couldn’t put it into layman’s terms I knew I had to build my network and create community.
Competition is a form of Colonization.
I, for one, can admit that I had a distrust of people and I still have a lot of unlearning to do on that matter. But where does that stem from anyway? Trauma from the society that the ‘powers that be’ created. That attitude made me not want to invite anyone into my personal space and keep a sense of control BUTTT it burnt me out quickly. This way of living is burning us out as individuaIs, it is burning out communities and it is burning out generations. Imagine the ways of life before communities were rundown and controlled. At what point do we make a change? At what point do we realize we can make a new way of living?
Community over Competition: Do you think you can do it alone?
In any industry, there’s going to be people taking on similar crafts that you take on. But this doesn’t mean you have to be combative with them all. We need community. One thing I learned as a person that is used to doing everything myself, is that you cannot do it alone as a business owner. There are people with talents and gifts around us that can be a great value add to our businesses so why aren’t we embracing them?
Think of all the business roles we have as creatives or business owners… managing social media, marketing our business, admin tasks, and so much more. Not to mention the time spent creating and our personal time. Linking with other creatives that align with your mission can be beneficial because you can work with your community to put your gifts together and create something for the world.
Community Over Competition: To get support, you have to give it.
I have no shame and will run when the opportunity presents itself to work with creatives that align with my craft. This phrase Community over Competition is a widely used phrase. Are we really practicing it though or does it just sound good? Those who expect support, do you genuinely support yourself? Do you genuinely support your community. If you expect community, you have to be that community first.
Immersing myself so much into my community, mostly through my art that I’m. learning how beautiful YET challenging community is for us. A lot of Unlearning, Relearning and Remembering who we are at the core has to happen before we see change. Let go of the slave mentality of survival. You don’t have to do everything yourself. You don’t have to compete with everybody to make it to the top. Our ancestors endured enough of this for us. When you know better, you do better. Be the start of the change you want to see.
Peace and Love.