OH HAY! I'm Shanna.

A wellness blogger, side hustler, and community founder based in the NYC area. I love connecting with kick-ass folks and sharing my really real story. Learn more about me!

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Who are you? A Competitor or a Collaborator?

Yesterday, May 5th, was National Fitness Day founded by a dear friend, Kim. I volunteered to help with her social media and she reached out with an offer to do a takeover of her Instagram during the event at Yotel Times Square. It was a beautiful event and I got to see so many women I’ve collaborated with and encouraged in the past in their passions. I cannot help but reflect on where I was two years ago… I was not the same person. 

When I first started this blog in June 2016, I was excited to speak to women like me, who approached fitness as a mind-body connection. I was excited to create a hub where women could feel safe to share their mental health stories. I was excited to foster connection with women who needed a girl squad that kept it real.  

However, I suffered a competitive streak for a few months. I found myself wanting their readers, their sponsors, their features, and their articles. I used to compare my strengths and weakness with so many women in my industry. Being a competitive person hindered my ability to be genuinely happy for other women, it also kept me from fostering some amazing friendships. 

I’m so happy I’m out of that competitive mindset that I wanted to share with you today the differences between a competitor and a collaboration. This will definitely get you thinking about which person you are! Let’s talk about the key differences I’ve realized in my time of both competition and collaboration. I’m sure you’ll be able to relate to these!  

A competitor wants what the other person has, yet a collaborator celebrates what the other person has.  When we come from a space of competing, we tend to envy and/or covet the skills, strengths, and abilities of the other person. Competing means that we aren’t actually celebrating that person, but we are actually looking at what we want that they have.  

I remember when I first started blogging in 2016 and I used to see many fellow bloggers/influencers in the Instagram space. For about three months after my time starting, I began to gain this strange competitive mindset. A particular Instagrammer and fitness instructor, I felt intimidated by. I thought she talked just like me, posted just like me, and approached fitness just like me. I created a competition in my mind with this person and even dared to write them an email letting them know to stop copying me.  

What happened after that email was a real reflection of my sense of self. I realized that my own approach was extremely flawed. My email and mindset was a reflection of wanting what the other person had, which was a solid relationship with fitness and enlightened way of thinking. I then apologized to that person and began to celebrate them for their gifts whenever I could. Since then, I quit the competitive mindset.  

Collaborating doesn’t come from a space wanting what the other person has. To collaborate, you must celebrate. Once you can appreciate the abilities of someone else, then you can also grow along with them.  

 Photo taken by Diana Davis Creative

Photo taken by Diana Davis Creative

A competitor tries to do it all by themselves with no growth, yet a collaborator grows along with others. Quitting the competitive mindset makes room for a collaborative one. Once we begin to collaborate with others, we can grow along with others vs. trying to do to it all by ourselves.  

Before I quit the competitive shit, I wasn’t growing as a person. I never learned anything about myself because I didn’t have anyone around! Funny enough, the competition I felt outside of me kept me from focusing on the inside of me. Once I decide to quit the competitive shit, that’s when I really grew. 

I began reaching out to women to meet up for fun workouts, quiet coffee dates, and awesome one-on-ones. I started to encourage and support these women in their goals. I even found myself giving them wonderful advice that I decided would be a good idea to practice for my damn self. I found out I grew more in being collaborative than I ever could when I was competitive. It’s all because I operated in love for others and was able to practice what I preached. Then, I began to grow alongside these women I talked to!  

Being a competitor isolates you and keeps you from growing. It doesn’t allow you to impart into others or reflection on the what you can offer to others.  

A competitor wants to be the only one in the limelight, meanwhile a collaborator is willing to share and even shine the light.A competitive person just doesn’t give a shit about spotlighting other people. They don’t want them to win. They don’t want them to shine. They don’t want to share.  

What happened when I shifted from being competitor to a collaborator astounds me. Though my whole competitive mindset was a brief few months, it still was noticeable enough to realize that I wanted the light for myself. I didn’t want anyone else getting the limelight. But now, I even want to shine the light on to other women.  

I am now able to celebrate other women for their readers, sponsors, features and articles. I am able to be genuinely happy for other women and have created some amazing friendships along the way. Most of all, it has enriched my life and growth as a woman. Founding Self Soul Sport in June 2017 has further created a collaborative mindset in me. I’m constantly thinking of ways women can be involved in the community. Because it’s not just me, it’s we. 

Looking at yourself as the only light keeps you from truly shining. Once you can share the light and even step away from the light, your real strength shows. It’s not about you, it’s about community, it’s about other women, and it’s about collaboration.  

So who are you? A competitor or a collaborator? Are you willing to look at women through the lens of a collaborator? Are you willing to speak into women and encourage them to live further into their truth? Are you willing to share your gifts and strengths to women? 

Comment below with which person you are. I’d love to hear from you on this topic!  


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