How to Love Your Competitors

Kiss from KellyI’ve been asked a lot about competition lately. My yoga business training clients, for example, are navigating the waters of what to do when other new experts emerge, threatening their livelihood.

But you don’t have to be an entrepreneur to know the uncomfortable sensation of a competitive squeeze. Whether you work with hundreds of other people vying for the latest project, or you’re a mama shooting for perfection at the playground, or you can’t stop checking out everyone else’s crow pose in class… you get it.

What most people don’t know, though, is that there’s a critical secret about competition… though our culture thinks winning is king, that popular perception isn’t “winning.” Instead, it teaches us we’re separate, different, better-or-worse than they are. Dangerously, we start to demonstrate less tolerance, more judgment.

Or, in yogalese, “less spirit, more ego.”

What we think of as “competition” really isn’t the issue. The real thing to avoid is where we go afterwards, into separateness — a route that’s been programmed into our emotional GPSs for thousands of years.

Separateness might mean you feel awesome for a while, or awful for some time. But it’ll never get you to enlightenment.

So, this week when you go down that familiar road, choose a different direction:

  • Consider softening the competitive urge with a compassionate edge.
  • Look at competitors, and see colleagues.
  • Practice less combat and more kindness, especially in your relationship with yourself.
  • Connect with your connection to the rest of us.

When you realize you’re no worse, and no better, than anyone, it’s a lot easier to love everyone. Even “them.”

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One Response to How to Love Your Competitors

  1. Loved this, and it has been on my mind a lot lately. Thanks for holding up the mirror, seeester. 🙂

    I’m honestly not a very competitive person, which always made me a mediocre sales person. Our best sellers are fierce competitors typically.

    What I’ve been more consumed with is competing with every personal record I’ve ever set… Because it’s only us against us.

    When I focus on that, I can zoom out and see the enormity of my life-well-lived. When we’re in sync with the highest expression of ourselves…. hmmm, No One can compete with THAT.

    It’s too massive, and singularly beautiful.

    Like you, and this work.


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