Cultivating Collaboration Over Competition

Cultivating collaboration over competition is essential in today’s interconnected world. We don’t exist in a vacuum; our social understanding and discernment must be engaged collectively. The spaces we inhabit, like social media platforms, exert significant influence on our interactions, sometimes more than our intentions to be collaborative versus competitive. The Religious Society of Friends, commonly known as Quakers, is structured around a corporate discernment process rather than dogma. I’ve found “Quaker process” offers valuable support and guidance for fostering collaboration, emphasizing collective decision-making over individualistic competition.


Valerie Friedlander 0:00
Hello, my friends and welcome to another episode of Unlimited today we are talking about cultivating collaboration over competition. And I have been struggling to produce this episode. Lots of perfectionism coming in, there’s so much to say. And there’s some things that I really want to tap into that are deeply personal for me that I don’t often talk about or make these connections. And so yeah, it’s been a little tricky. So here we are, it’s the 12 hour as it were, I am trying to produce this now. And here we are. So I’m sharing this with you, partly to normalize this, I think sometimes when people are in positions where they have a podcast, they have a platform, they support other people with their work, there can be this pedestal thing that can happen, this separation from us being fully human, that can happen. So I just want to call this out for myself, I really try to show up in a way that kind of pushes that aside, or makes that less of a thing. But I know it can happen when we see somebody doing something that we are not doing that is exciting or interesting, or whatever. And it kind of feeds into what we’re talking about today. So it’s really important to me, both for my own humanity, as well as for years that we kind of embrace this full humaneness of this experience that we have living in a world that has so much pull and conditioning around what is essentially competitive energy. And it speaks to me also of like what Krishna shared in the last episode around how much we’ve been conditioned to use competition as a way to create interest to inspire motivation. This came up at my kids school recently, where there was a whole, like a contest around the standardized testing they have to do where it’s like, which class gets the most growth between the standardized testing that happened in the middle beginning middle of the year to the this particular period, and then they get a party or whatever. And I was like, What are we doing? So much competition, and yet I have done this with my kids to help motivate them to get out the door who can get to the car first, like, let’s make it a race, let’s make it a competition, because that’ll make it more fun. That’ll make it interesting. that’ll inspire them to do the thing I need them to do right now. So, and this is not to necessarily just say that it’s always bad. Like, sometimes it can be a competition, like when it’s in a container, and I’m saying listen, I’m like, I don’t know, I haven’t really thought a whole lot about this. I would love to hear your perspective on this. Are there places that you feel competition has value? In a way that it it is uplifting? All the people involved in? I don’t know, I think it can be handled in that way. But I’m not sure the energy is ultimately that of a competition, but more. I don’t know, I haven’t thought too much about this. I just brought it forward. So here we are. This is part of what I was like, ah, editing, this is gonna be such a pain that you know what? I’m, I’m gonna let that go. So this is going to be this is going to be interesting. I’m just showing up, I’m going to try and keep it slow for myself. Keep it conversational, because I really do want to hear what your thoughts are on this topic. And I will say that Buzzsprout just created a way for you to do that more easily. I think. I think they have done this. Because they I was able to select a little thing where you can send me a message through the platform’s I don’t know if that’s true with like, all the places where you may listen to me, but supposedly, there’s no way for you to send me a message now. So I’d love to hear from you. As to your thoughts on this. So anyway, what we’re going to be talking about as I’ve rambled a bit. What we’re going to be talking about is social media influence or sound bites, the idea of where are your answers? There’s a lot of saying around like your answers are all inside of you. And I think that’s sort of true on certain levels. But ultimately, we don’t exist in a vacuum. We exist in a societal context. So our answers when it comes to our elective cells, which is intrinsically tied to our humanity, can’t all be inside of us. We’re going to talk about organizational problem solving, and then slowing down and making space, which is, again, how I’m trying to show up to this episode. So deep breaths all around, who. And before we dive in, I also want to remind you that this podcast is a listener supported podcast, I have opted not to do advertising at this time, at least. So to help produce this podcast, if you’d like to contribute, there is a link in the show notes to buy me a coffee, which helps me fund all of the layers of production of this podcast. So if you would like to support the podcast, I would love it, if you would go check out that link. And no amount is too small or too big. I appreciate all of it. You’re wonderful human beings. And now without further ado, let’s get started.

Hey, there, I’m Valerie Friedlander, Certified Life business alignment coach, and this is unlimited, this podcast bridges, the individual and the societal, scientific and spiritual, positive and negative, nerdy, and no, there’s just a lot of nerdy, come on board. And let’s unlock a light. This is badass as you are.

So this topic was inspired by a conversation that I was having with some colleagues around social media influencers. And I also recently rewatched the social dilemma with my son. And it just really kind of honed in on how much these platforms are designed around. Competition. They’re designed around intention holding, they’re essentially designed around dehumanizing. And that wasn’t the intention. A lot of the people who created these platforms, were really looking at ways for us to connect. And there is a layer of connection, there’s some amazing things that can happen on these platforms, information sharing, collaborations, and connections that can be made, I have made such amazing friends that I connected with through social media, and through online networking. So I want to acknowledge that that it’s not an all or nothing thing, it’s a both and thing, which also goes back to that idea of collaboration over competition, we have to hold these multitudinous dynamics in ourselves and in our reality, so that we can be mindful about how we’re engaging and showing up. So it came about because we’re talking about this, this interaction that happened between two creators, and there was a lack of acknowledgement of an idea. But it was unclear whether the idea actually came from the other creator and then wasn’t acknowledged, or if it came from this other place. And there was a awareness of privilege dynamics, and it was confusing. I’m not gonna get into the details of it. But it inspired this questioning around well, there’s so many ideas out there. And there’s so many people influencing and inspiring each other, that in some ways, there’s this collaboration happening just in the sharing of ideas and following each other, and some of them came from someone, but it’s really hard to tell who generated the idea in some cases, and where it came from. And a lot of times, our inspirations come from the things that are happening in the world, and there’s overall social conversation. And I really think it’s important to cite sources. As you may have noticed, I always have books listed and links to people and articles and things. That’s really important to me, I was trying to give credit. And I can give credit where I was inspired. Even though I don’t know if that was the person who originated an idea. And this whole conversation that’s happening, whether it’s intentional collaboration, like whether it’s direct person to person collaboration, or collaboration, because we’re talking about things and people are thinking and allowing spin off ideas. I mean, I get inspired by conversations that happen on this walkie talkie app called Voxer, where I’m talking to colleagues and friends and so it’s this space though, where we see other people and there’s a lack of deep connection. We only get sound bites of those people. So we might be inspired by somebody. And we only see a piece of it. And we don’t even remember what piece of it inspired us. There’s not like a direct collaboration happening. But people make money off of being an influencer. And so it kind of engenders this competition idea of, even if it’s as small in a competition way as comparison, because I see comparison, often getting distorted into competition, like I’m comparing myself and judging myself. And I think where comparison gets distorted into competition is where we start creating judgments around those comparisons. Something is good, something is bad, someone is good, someone is bad, I am good, I am bad. And so how do we show up in those spaces? Whether we’re creating into those spaces, or whether we’re just consuming in those spaces? Or both? What does it look like to actually come in with a collaborative mentality, while also holding space for societal privileges? And that’s important, because who gets paid? How much when and where and all the dynamics of our financial economic spaces have a lot to do with various layers of societal privilege? So really holding space for that, as we consider what is collaboration in this space versus competition? How do we remove the judgment but also hold for accountability? Accountability is different than judgment. So that’s kind of one of those things that I’ve been noodling on. I’m going to take a breath here, because that that into a thinking about the answers that we hold our truth, we can know our truth, the truth that is inside of us. But we don’t exist in a vacuum. And so what is a greater truth, and we have to find that together, we can’t find that individually, I hold a piece of the truth that goes through the filter of my understanding, which is informed and fed into by all of the conditionings of my own upbringing of my own lived experience. And that is only a piece of what is true in the world. And so this is where I’m going to bring in something that’s deeply personal to me, which is my Quaker upbringing. I don’t know how many of you listening are familiar with a religious Society of Friends, which is also colloquially known as Quakers. Many people confuse it with Mennonites or Puritans, because you learned about us in history books as early colonizers, and we still exist. We do use electricity. Simplicity is a testimony that we have, but we don’t wear plain clothes anymore. Mostly, we do try and stay simpler. But I’m not going to get into the whole thing around like what it means to be a Quaker. I am still a member of a Friends Meeting here in Chicago. And I do want to be clear, as I talk about Quakerism, I’m not proselytizing, I’m not trying to convert anybody I am sharing primarily around this topic. Because one of the things that brought me back to Quakerism, that keeps me here is Quaker process. And it doesn’t have to be a religious thing is a pamphlet that my mom recently sent me called the atheists guide to Quaker process, Spirit led decisions for the secular. And that’s part of what’s been inspiring me. But ultimately, it’s a process. We don’t have a dogma, we don’t have a you have to believe this. In order to be a Quaker, we have a process. And it is, I believe, a process or a way of conceptualizing interacting, especially on a business level that really honors humanity. And so as we have all these conversations around, binaries, and right and wrong, this polarization that’s happening in our society and our politics, that is happening throughout social media and a lot of ways how do we cultivate collaboration over competition and in Quaker process? We’re rooted in Unity. Now, I don’t think that Quaker process is useful like in all the things like when you’re talking about large organizations of people like governments, I don’t think it works. But when we’re talking about how we interact with each other, maybe within our own businesses, our own organizations, our neighborhoods, our communities that we’re building, I think it can provide some helpful insights to how we can honor our humanity in that collaborative way. So that’s why I’m sharing this, I just want to be clear that I’m not here telling everybody to become a quack, that’s not my purpose. And so just so that you have some background, I’m going to share from our book, faith and practice of the Philadelphia yearly meeting of the religious Society of Friends, the very introduction, so that, I think it gives a good kind of summary grounding. It says, commitment to a life of obedience to the spirit has been of essential importance to friends, both as individuals and as meetings. This commitment has led us to support much that is creative and public life, education, business, and concern for the oppressed. It also has led us to oppose practices and institutions that result in violence and exploitation in the world around us. Our history, however, demonstrates that our discernment has not always been complete, we have not always been united in our perceptions of what obedience to the spirit requires. And we have fallen into conflict and misunderstanding even amongst ourselves, yet, out of such conflict, painful as they have been, have come greater clarity of commitment and unity in witness. And so the religious Society of Friends began in 1652, with an individual named George Fox, and it is kind of rooted in Christian mysticism. So the idea is of seeking of seeking truth, not knowing truth, but seeking it always looking for that truth and listening for that of God in each person. And there are a number of us who maybe don’t resonate 100% with using the word God, many do. Whatever word that you use, it’s kind of this idea that it’s not really the words aren’t really important, it’s the process. So listening, and you could even say, for the humanity within each person, the, the essence, the spirit of them, the goodness in them, whatever it is, whatever word works for you. And so always showing up to interactions with that intention of listening for that in each person, regardless of whether it’s there, it’s not a question of whether it’s there, we’re listening for it. It’s that process. And, you know, in some ways, that reminds me of gratitude process, right? Like, you don’t have to feel gratitude to utilize it as a tool. I’ve talked about this before in other episodes. If you just seek it, it activates parts of your brain that help you feel more expansive, so that you can seek more broad solutions. So the practice in Quakerism, when we’re talking about in corporate worship, where we’re all together, it’s in unprogrammed. Friends, it’s silent worship. So we’re sitting all together, listening, we’re listening for the light, we’re listening for God, for revelation for whatever word works for you, we’re listening, we’re seeking together. And when we seek together different voices hold different pieces of the truth that can bring us to an awareness that we didn’t have as individuals. So there is a listening and an honoring of the light within. And there’s a recognition that that light within a loan is insufficient for how we move. So even if someone has what we call a leading where it’s like, I, I feel called to do a thing. It still discerned with a group, you still have a clearness committee is what it’s called. So we discern with a group because we want to make sure that we are hearing that like clearly. So there’s an understanding that we need other people and we need to work together. So this is where I come into, like your answers aren’t all inside of you. They are and they aren’t. It’s that piece that ties us together that unity that humanity, if you will, and it’s something that I feel like we don’t really have the opportunity to connect with when we are found Sitting in social media and watching things on social media, we’re connecting to ideas, but we’re not connecting to people. And connecting to people is really where the power lies, because that’s where the generative pneus can come in. We’re not just being talked at when we’re really connecting. And so while there’s a lot of value in the teaching, and the things that people have to say, that can be, it’s, it’s a snippet, it’s a piece, it needs to be in conversation and connection, and tied to a wholeness. So that’s part of what brought me to wanting to share about this, because in this pamphlet, that I mentioned, there’s a comment about integrity, and integrity, we often think of as honesty, and and following through on what we say will do. And it’s also about wholeness. If you think of math, there’s integers, an integer as a whole number, integrity, which is related to that word, integer. It’s about wholeness. It’s about showing up in our whole selves. In this pamphlet, Selden, W. Smith, who wrote the pamphlet, says, the proven strength of Quaker spirit led decisions comes I believe, not from connecting to divine will, but simply from seeking it, not because we find God, but because in looking for God, we look away from ourselves. The intention to be led is the source of our strength. Here, the unifying principle is that we trust that we are all attempting to reach beyond ourselves, our egos, our personal goals, and our pride. So holding that, and our whole selves in that. So we have space to reach beyond ourselves, while still holding and owning our whole selves. I’ll tie those two together in a little bit. But rather than coming from that space of decision making, being this contest, or battlefield, as it were, where we’re coming in, it’s my idea and your idea, and if they’re not in agreement, then we’re in a competition. And if we come to some sort of consensus, it’s usually because each person gave up something. And it might be like the middle ground, when one way or another way, or even another way might have been the better way, might have been the more supportive ways we chose the middle ground over anything else, because it’s this battlefield sense this competition. So instead of coming into a decision with that, like I’ve got to convince you, we enter with the intent to submit to seek together, the idea is that I’m coming in with my whole self, you’re coming in with your whole self, we are going to be honest with one another, and bring forward what we need to bring forward. And then we’re going to submit to finding a way so not submit to the other person, or to you know, individual human beings, but to a collective way, in a way of we are intent upon helping one another. And when we do that, we’re releasing the stress of fighting. And as I’ve talked about before, stress kind of zooms us in to seeing limited options. It’s a survival mode response, which makes sense, as a way of supporting ourselves if we’re in battle, right? If we’re fighting, we need to have that fight mode on and that zoomed in laser focus. When we release that, when we release the competition, and we come in with an intention of seeking together submitting to an awareness, we expand access to a range of creative possibilities, we open ourselves to ideas and inspiration. So not to say that there wouldn’t be tension or stress, but that tension or stress may be around the topic rather than on each other. The term used in a Quaker business meeting is the sense of the meeting, and seeking the sense of the meeting. So all the people present in the meeting, seeking that sense trusts in a divine presence or something greater than ourselves that will inspire us in a third way, a way that transcends conflict. Not that it doesn’t include conflict. It’s not about avoiding con Select, but it’s about approaching it. Fourth, rightly, that idea of integrity, filled with love and commitment to Unity. So again, tension comes from the subject, not the process. The process is collaborative, the process honors each person and cares for each person, not for their idea or their way but for them. So we’re taking out the snippets, and we’re holding space for the whole. And part of this is giving up ownership of ideas. All ideas came into us. They weren’t ours to begin with. So one could say all ideas belong to God or to the universe or to whatever, what speaks to you, but that it came into us. Because it came into us at some point, we were inspired by something. So it came into us, based on usually based on our lived experience, or based on our reading, or learning or conversations, so we release, ownership or connection, or attachment to that, and bring it forward. Now, again, I will say this is not a perfect process, we’re still talking about human beings. I came back to Quakerism, after being away after college for a while, partly because of this process, I was in a business meeting with another group of people that have a spiritual center. And the conflict in the process, the battlefield vibration, in that space, made me miss being in a Quaker meeting. And so other Quakers will laugh at this. But I came back to Quakerism for the business meeting. I mean, and you might laugh about that, too, like who who joined something for the business aspect of it, but the process itself, feel so honoring of humanity, that it was really important to me to feel like this hold space for the wholeness of each person. Even if you don’t know the wholeness of each person. It holds space for that. So some of the things that Selden Smith writes about that are core to our ability to show up to this, and there’s a lot more in the pamphlet, but this is where integrity comes in. Its wholeness, it permits no fractions, so you share all you know, and admit what you don’t know. We speak plainly with one another, which can feel a little blunt. Sometimes. We’re not sugarcoating anything, we’re just saying it. However, we do hold a lot of care and love, we overly express appreciation and care, partly to offset the plain talk that comes in, just say what you mean, mean what you say. But don’t say it mean, that is a phrase that I’ve heard that kind of resonates for me. Respect, equality of respect, is natural, when your tradition is to speak to that of God, and each person, each person has a light within them. We speak to that part. So that is natural to be equal. And of course, back in the 1600s Quakers were imprisoned by the 1000s for this because it issued the social class stratification stuff, and some are even executed for it. So it’s so important that we were willing to give up everything to hold that respect. Has that been handled? Perfectly? Again? No. There’s a lot of lot of additional history with Quakerism that I am not going to get into we’ve certainly committed harms, but we’ve also been at the forefront of a lot of social change. Partly because even though our process takes a long time, which I’m gonna get to in a minute, when we move we move powerfully because we move collectively in Unity for my fellow Lord of the Rings nerds out there and my husband has referred to us as an another integral component that Selden references is courage coupled with compassion, the courage to take a discussion to places that are difficult for us, and compassion to be able to see and hold space. When we are engaging a discussion or a subject that is difficult for another or others because when we open ourselves up to seeking and new ways, it means that we change too. So it’s not just I want you to change, it’s being willing to, to change, it’s being willing to evolve, it’s being willing to receive new information. And some of this ties into, like, how we engage when there are objections. Because we don’t all get along, we don’t all agree. And so the goal of the meeting is not simply to make a choice, but to unite around that choice, the Unity aspect. And so we can’t be unified. If even one or several people are in disagreement with a particular choice, we don’t have a sense of the meeting. And so if someone is in disagreement, the meeting has an obligation to hear the objections to help you articulate them, so that everyone can understand and this comes into play where even one person can block action. And that’s not to say that, you know, then you’re just allowed to block the action. Because you can, the person blocking action must endure, as Selden puts it, a barrage of loving inquiry into the deep sources of their certainty, they must share all the knowledge that leads them to their position. And if some of it is hard to put into words, the rest of the group must listen that much more carefully. A stance based on insincerity self advantage, or for that matter, wrong information tends to crumble under such scrutiny. It’s what our tradition calls a testing of leadings. Now, if an objector has said their piece, and is sure that they’ve been heard, if that is you, you can choose to stand aside, which basically means you’re saying despite some doubts, I trust, the weight of the meeting is rightly LED. And I hope my doubts will be disproved. And so the meeting can move forward. However, that person doesn’t get to say, well, good luck, I was against this. So don’t count on me, you know, I’m just gonna sit back and watch what happens. No, if you choose to stand aside, it means that you are trusting the decision and you are still part of, if you can’t do that, then we go back to you don’t stand aside, need to still work together, because this is important unity is the primary focal point so that each person feels heard, and is heard and that we are seeking a way together. And again, this takes time. So one of the other things has mentioned is patients, a term that we use is perceived as weight opens to acknowledge that the right course may take time to emerge. And this is essential for long term unity. A quote again, the judicious use of silence allows the listener to really listen, there is time to compose your thoughts and space is held for you to do so. So this goes back to that process. We call it a meeting for worship with attention to business because it is held in worship full silence, where we are seeking together so you don’t have to be figuring things out and what your rebuttal will be or what your response is going to be to come at something or if somebody is speaking, you’re not doing something else, we are listening. And so this comes into also the mindfulness, being entirely present and fully attentive to the process is necessary for this process to work. And trust, trust in the community as well as in oneself, to speak, to share to be open and vulnerable because as I mentioned, it can lead to places of self discovery that can be difficult, and also rewarding. And of course, I really super appreciate that he also listed humor, because, as I I’ve mentioned before, and I don’t even remember where oftentimes when people think of healing work, they think I’m gonna have to cry. It’s not always the case humor, laughter can actually help us expand, it can be an emotional release. And so when we can embrace humor, sometimes that laughter can open up something that helps us see a way forward. I don’t know if you’ve ever had this experience, I know was something that I’ve had where or once we had laughter once we released whatever energy that was creating some tension, and it was like, Oh, well, there we go, sometimes the humor brings us to the way forward. So while this may seem somewhat idealistic, but the traditions of the business meeting have been tested for five centuries, and in countless situations, there are a number of organizations that are using this, that are rooted in Quaker principles, if not run by Quakers. And while there are certainly flaws in the execution, it is not always as beautifully engaged, as I believe it is often written, because, you know, humans, it’s been really special and meaningful to me to be in a space where humanity is held while we strive for an answer. And for a way forward. It’s certainly highly influential in how I show up in my own work as a coach, but also how I strive to engage in my personal life. But beyond that, I find it to be especially powerful to do this, to work this process with a group of people, right, like not even just one to one, which is hard enough, we we don’t do this well with each other. Because to keep the status quo, this doesn’t work. You can’t do this and keep the status quo. Not for long, at least. So it’s sticking out to me. Because something I’ve struggled with in the online business world, and in parenthood, and in dynamics with the school, my kids, school and friend groups and all of that sort of thing. How do we uphold collaboration over competition, because people say it a lot. So it’s standing out to me how much we talk about collaboration over competition, but yet the energy is still competitive. I hear about it in a variety of spaces. For example, the female online entrepreneur space, we were talking about, like lifting up each other and all that, but the energy still has competition. And I think some of it is tied to the scarcity dynamic that we have in our economy, the push to be in scarcity, and that makes it really hard when you feel unsafe to be in collaboration, because it activates our competition. Probably because of all the conditioning around it being a competition instead of oh, we need to connect. So when I think about disrupting that, there are a few things I think about. One is binaries, where are we being pushed into binaries? Where are binaries being kind of held out to us and and a lot of times the spaces that were in the structure is designed around a binary? So looking at, you know, is it me versus you is it? You know, all the what ifs that if you do this, then what if all these bad things will happen? So you can only choose one of these two things. Where’s the binary? Because when we’re in binaries, that generally indicates that we’re in that survival mode. I also look at where are the helpers? You know, Mr. Rogers talked about when there’s a crisis, like look for the helpers. And I don’t think that it’s look for the helpers, to inspire me or to guide me or to lead me or anything like that. It’s to connect with, who are the people showing up in alignment with honoring humanity honoring the planet, creating a space that is the world that I want to live in? I look for those people for the connection. How do I connect with those people? And we have to in this process, when we think, you know, well, is it always a crisis? There are a lot of crises right now. And we have to be cognizant of the spaces that we’re in and what those spaces are created upon. What are the systems? What are the structures we think about social media, the environment of social media is designed for attention, capitalism. So what is that going to create? We think about public school systems that was rooted in teaching kids to be able to do factory work, so like white supremacy, capitalism, patriarchy, all that sort of stuff. What is the environment so even if you want to change, we have to recognize that the foundation of it has these roots. So you know, if you’re in the desert, you’re not gonna be like, just stay cool and be like, Oh, I’m in a desert. What do I need to bring with me to stay cool? Who is also working to create a cool space in this desert? Or do we need to move out of the desert? And, you know, what do we want to do in the desert, we have to be honest, truthful about the space that we’re in, instead of pretending that we can just think our way out of the systems. So when we’re being honest about the space, and then we’re looking for the helpers, it’s so important. How we show up with those helpers. We’ve been conditioned around the cult of personality, so placing people on pedestals, but placing people on pedestals, not only dehumanizes them, it humanizes us because when we dehumanize someone else, we are dehumanizing ourselves in the process as well, creating the stratification. So again, going back to how do I connect with you? How do I collaborate with you. And it might not be a direct collaboration, again, depends on the space, it depends on the environment depends on the purpose. But to step outside of that thinking takes intention takes attention, takes energy. And that’s hard in this world. Because all it’s like swimming against the current. So we need each other to help do that. So it’s in some ways, it’s a catch 22. We have to both swim against the current to find people. But then we also know that to swim against the current we need people. It’s hard. And yet I believe it’s necessary. I hope that some of what’s possible. Some of the ways of showing up and being in community and in collaboration that I’ve shared in this episode, are helpful. What are those things that we hold, integrity that wholeness, courage and compassion, Courage within ourselves, compassion for ourselves and for others, patience, giving space, these things take time to show up to not to say that we shouldn’t have a certain sense of urgency in some aspects, but also to have patience with that sense of urgency is a tool that is used against us and against our humanity. So what does it look like to have patience with ourselves and with others, while still encouraging ourselves to move forward and not allowing us ourselves to become comfortable and complacent? Trust. Building a space that you can trust. Trust yourself that hold space for you to trust yourself, that will hold you while you learn to listen to yourself while you seek listening to yourself. And then trust in the community to hold you in that space to be able to be vulnerable. Mindfulness, working on being present, and fully attentive and listening and seeking versus just knowing and holding your opinions. Like a shield and humor. Give yourself room to laugh. We need the full expansiveness of our emotions. And I invite you as you seek the space that is so hard to access in this busy, hustling bustling, pushing us world to take a breath. I almost think that sometimes when we can find people that we can just sit and take a breath with. Those are the spaces of possibility. A battlefield won’t allow you space to take a breath a 90 second reel or whatever, doesn’t really allow much room for breath. I know because I’m not really good at doing cuts and there’s not a lot of room. And so when you can find those spaces to take a breath. Those may be the spaces to expand the spaces with other human beings. So I invite you as we close this episode, if you feel it available to you right now, to just take a breath with me. Thank you for being here. And just a reminder, there is this new feature where you can text me your thoughts, it goes to my email, rather than to my phone. So don’t worry about bothering me on my cell phone. I would love to hear from you. And this is a really simple way for you to send me a message and let me know your thoughts. I have some exciting interviews coming up soon. So I hope you will join me sending you lots of love and I will talk to you all next time.

Thanks for listening. I so appreciate you being here. If you got something out of today’s episode, please share it. Leave me a review. Take a screenshot and post it on social with a shout out to me, send it to a friend or you know all of the above. Want to hang out more join me on Instagram, or better yet, get on my mailing list to make sure you don’t miss out on anything. And remember, your possibilities are as unlimited as you are. Allow yourself to shine my friend. The world needs your light. See you next time.

Transcribed by

In this episode I share insights from my personal struggles and inspirations around cultivating collaboration over competition in the spaces I occupy.

Some of what I’ll cover in this episode include:

  • Social media influencer soundbites
  • Finding the answers that aren’t inside you 
  • Organizational problem solving
  • Slowing down and making space

Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this episode, take a screenshot of the episode to post in your stories and tag me!  @unlimitedcoachval

I love to hear your thoughts and I’m always happy to answer any questions.
You can send me a message through the “text me” link on your listening platform, shoot me an email at, or DM me on Instagram

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