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  • Katie Ford

Why I Decided to Ditch Competition for Compassion in the Workplace and Beyond

Katie's words on ditching competition

Years ago, I decided I was done with competition in the workplace, business, and life.

It does nobody any good.

This is why I decided to ditch competition.

I've been at the 'top' many times in my life - exams, competitions, challenges (winning colouring contests aged 4 ).

And that's not bragging, because I'm going to pull the curtain back on it....

'Winning' never, ever delivered on the feeling it promised.

I felt under pressure to stay there.

I'd stop enjoying whatever I did, because my whole self-value went from being put upon attaining that position, to then needing to stay there.

I didn't feel good about myself coming 'top' - I felt scared about how I'd keep it up. I look back at twelve year old Katie, and she put the same level of pressure on herself as someone climbing the corporate ladder.

Ironically, nobody won, not even the 'winner'.

Every new thing that came along was a competition - from internal and external pressures.

I couldn't just enjoy a 'fun' game, because the competitive bit appeared.

Then I decided I'd never choose competition. I started to get to know myself, initially with awesome mentors Richard and Liz in 2016, and realised I wanted everyone to 'win'.

I embraced the abundance that there's enough 'success' to go around. Yes, it felt weird at first. And absolutely, the old version of me would cringe at this.

When we are all on the same team, we all win.

I love supporting others. I love sharing resources. I love creating connections.

I found the feeling I looked for by doing this. When they 'win', I 'win' - we 'win'.

Does that competitive part come out? Occasionally (hello, Monopoly). I notice it where I can and give it what it needs; reassurance and compassion.

I channel it now into knowing that when I support others, it encourages me to keep making progress in the things I'm passionate about too.

The person I thought I was would hate this. I used to post allsorts of sh*te on social media like "winners are the ones training when losers feel too tired to get out of bed" Cringe.

Then I found an alternative, and it's so much more rewarding.

Who's with me?

(Before anyone says it, continue to play sports and have friendly competition as long as everyone is treated with respect, regardless of their podium position. 🙌❤️)


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