Do you struggle with competition with other women? Do you long to build community with others but find yourself stuck in comparison? I’ll admit: I’ve allowed my competitive nature to steal from my life, hurt relationships and friendships, and limit the work that God wants to do in me. Yet more than ever, we need to build connections with other Christian women and stop the competition battle.
Misty Phillip is the perfect person to share about this topic, because, as the head of the Spark Media Podcast Network, she is passionate about helping women let go of competition and embrace the power of connection. Misty describes herself as a “connector,” and I’ve watched her work tirelessly to help other women build connections in Christian podcasting.
Misty models how we can stop competition between other Christians by emphasizing that it’s not about comparing our journeys, but rather it is about silencing the voice of comparison and staying focused on God. Don’t miss this honest and encouraging conversation with practical tips on how to let go of competition with other women!
WHAT YOU'LL LEARN:
- [3:56] Misty’s thoughts on what it means to be a connector
- [6:42] How to stop competition by actively amplifying others’ voices
- [8:42] What prevents us from amplifying God’s voice?
- [10:35] Misty’s battle to stop the competition and comparison in her life
- [20:08] Why we struggle with competition with
- [22:56] 2 mindsets that minimize comparison and competition
- [27:33] How to manage competition when we feel jealous or envious
- [31:42] TODAY’S LISTENER SUBMITTED QUESTION: How is brain priming different from mental reframing or from affirmations?
[3:56] Misty’s thoughts on what it means to be a connector
Every time Misty meets somebody, the wheels in her mind start turning. When she hears their story, she starts thinking about who else that person needs to know and get connected with. They might be a good guest for their podcast, or someone with whom they could co-host a webinar. Misty is an extrovert, and she loves meeting new people. She brought a large group of people together for the first Spark Conference, and she saw the influence that her podcast had as it reached people all around the world. This conference led to the Spark Collective Community that Misty launched during the pandemic. While she was creating the podcast to inspire people, she felt like people needed that connection to pray for one another and to encourage one another to keep going.
From there, the community led to amplifying the voice of podcasters through the magazine and finally through the network. It has been an incredible journey, and as she has prayed and said yes to God, she has continued to also ask how she can amplify His voice. If we have a God-given message, it is really God’s message, and we need all of these messages amplified. There are so many negative voices out there, Misty says, and evil is in our faces these days. Rather than looking to our left or right, we need to be locking arms and keeping our eyes on the prize: Jesus.
[6:42] How to stop competition by actively amplifying others’ voices
Misty and I agree that Jesus is taking care of us, and we are here to connect and to amplify others’ voices. In the book of Hebrews, it talks about running a race. There is a great cloud of witnesses cheering us on, and these are our forefathers and foremothers. As a Christian communicator, Misty explains that we’re all running the race that God has called us to. He has given us each unique gifts, and He has work that only we can do.
Even though our paths may be similar, Misty notes that God has work that only we can do. It doesn’t matter if our work looks similar to someone else’s work. We don’t need to compare our success, or their perceived success, to our success. None of that matters. God is the one that amplifies our voice. Our goal is to make Him famous, not make our names famous.
[8:42] What prevents us from amplifying God’s voice?
First of all, we are human, we are frail, and we all have ups and downs. Misty thinks, however, that we can be prevented from amplifying God’s voice due to insecurity. It also comes from our identity in Christ. If we are rooted and grounded in His love, nothing will separate us from the love of God. Ephesians 3 is a section of scripture that talks about spiritual strength, and the first words are, “I bow my knees before the Father.” So it begins with humbly submitting ourselves to the Lord and His plan for our lives, which is not the same plan that He has for someone else’s life.
It begins with humble submission and then it is understanding that nothing can separate us from God’s love. God loves us so much that He sent His son to die for us. He created us in His image and nothing can separate that. So, when we are rooted and grounded in His love, then the next part of that verse says, “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we can ask or think.” We know, because we are His children, that He wants to do that in our lives. The blessings and the difficulties and everything that comes our way is sifted through His sovereign hand.
[10:35] Misty’s battle to stop the competition and comparison in her life
When I work with women through coaching or the Christian Mindset Makeover, the core of the issues that we tackle is identity. We get into issues about worth, being enough, and being loved. Our brains are always asking those three questions and trying to get them solved. This is the foundation of so many behaviors, whether they are self-sabotaging behaviors or otherwise. Some issues may fall away if we could realize that we don’t need to behave in certain ways anymore because we know who we are in God. Maybe we were doing something because we weren’t quite sure that God was going to be there and we felt like we had to protect ourselves.
I asked Misty if she had struggled with competition in the past. She shared that she was in the workforce, and then she came home for 15 years to homeschool her children. When she first started homeschooling, she joined a co-op so she could link arms with other people. She knew nothing about homeschooling and she needed wisdom from some women who had been down the road with their children and who could pour into her life and speak into that.
When she started as a Christian communicator, she went to She Speaks and realized those were her people: Jesus girls on fire with a message. When she got home, she invited some of them around her farm table and slowly but surely they added more people. Eventually, she had a full farm table full of authors, speakers, bloggers, and entrepreneurs. They did this until the pandemic hit, and it was such a sweet time for Misty to pour into other people and have them pour into her, rather than being in competition.
From the beginning, Misty’s goal was to bring people together. However, because as she has had perceived success with the things she has done, she has noticed people who she thought were her friends try to sabotage her. Maybe they ended up not being the kind of people who really supported and loved her. Misty thinks that has to do with their own journey and where they are going, and she learned that we have to forgive. We have to let go and be open when our feelings have been hurt.
Misty understands that not everybody is in the same place we are. There are people in this Christian communicator space who are competing and striving, not only for wins, but also to look better than others. It’s unfortunate, but it’s part of the reality. If it happens to us, we just need to shake it off and keep our eyes on Jesus. That is the only place we are going to find our worth and validation. It’s where we are going to get our assignment from. Misty points out that she wants to be found faithful, so she wants to keep her eyes on Jesus and not on her sisters. Our sisters are our co-laborers; they should not be our competition, she says.
I appreciated that Misty addressed the fact that other people might try to compete with us. It is human nature to think that if someone is trying to one-up us, we should try to one-up her. We need to respond to others the way God wants us to, regardless of how they treat us.
The Bible says for us to be at peace with all men. So if we need to apologize or do something, then we need to do that part and understand that they may not do it – but that’s between them and God. We can only control ourselves, and then we have to let it go without letting our minds spin anything. We have to be real with each other in the midst of well-intended pressures, and we have to be listening to God in order to hear what we are called to do.
[20:08] Why we struggle with competition with other women
I asked Misty why she thought Christian women struggle with competition, even though we know it’s not healthy nor is it what God wants us to do. Misty shares a story about the first time she went to She Speaks. There was a speaker referencing the Olympics, and at the time Michael Phelps was the one to beat in swimming. This speaker said that when Michael Phelps swims in his races, he doesn’t come up for air to look and see where his competitors are or what they are doing. He keeps his eye on the prize. Those are the things that trip us up. We look at others and ask why they got something and we didn’t.
Again, Misty believes that stems from doubt and insecurity. If we keep our eyes on Jesus He will give us everything that He needs us to have to do the things that He has called us to do. There are special works He has planned for us, and if we aren’t sure what they are then we need to ask God what is next for us. Misty had no idea He would tell her to start her podcast conference, but it set her off on a whole new trajectory. God has impressed upon her the importance in this day and this hour of Christian podcasting, but if she had not asked Him then she would have been working on another book instead.
Misty shares that she actually was working on another book at the time, and she put that project aside. She has 40,000 words written, and it is in the wings for when God says it is time to release it. God has called her to Spark, and now she can’t imagine doing anything other than that. Spark is what is needed for this hour. We need to focus on what we are called to do rather than on what others are doing.
[22:56] 2 mindsets that minimize comparison and competition
According to Misty, it comes down to two things. She leads by example and she is a servant leader. For example, when partnership opportunities come to her she doesn’t just think about putting her podcast out there. She is constantly looking for opportunities to bless her people rather than herself. When her community sees her doing that, it makes them want to do the same thing. It’s a top down situation. If Misty tried to hoard all the opportunities that the Lord brings to her, then she doesn’t think the Lord would give her very many opportunities. Because she lives very open-handed, with more of an abundance mentality, Misty describes herself as a conduit. She says that if we can be open-handed with the opportunities that He gives us, then more blessings will come our way. There is definitely a biblical principle that our generosity brings blessings, and those blessings can flow through us.
Comparison and competition are really more closed-fist mindsets. They involve us thinking about ourselves and taking care of ourselves without passing anything on to others. Comparison and competition are mindsets based in fear, instead of a generosity mindset which is based in abundance and love. We can trust God to give us more. It’s not an expectation of doing things to get things from God, but it’s us following the principles of complete submission and trust, and letting generosity flow through us. That is when blessing comes.
[27:33] How to manage competition when we feel jealous or envious
On some level, we have all struggled with this. We can, however, take inventory when we have these feelings that rise up in us. We might feel envious, jealous, or competitive, but we can take stock of those thoughts and take those feelings to the Lord. If there is an issue that we are really struggling with, we need to forgive ourselves. We need to work on forgiving those who have hurt us or competed with us in the past. We need to let that go and keep our minds on the work that Christ has for us.
We can be discouraged and distracted by a lot of things in this world, and that comes from the enemy. We want to keep our eyes on Jesus and what He has for us to do, because sisters, He has good work for us to do that only we can do.
There were many things that I took from that interview that were helpful for me. I felt like there were several words that stood out. One of them was the word “amplify”.
I think of amplification as somebody using a bullhorn, or as somebody helping somebody else move forward. That is incredibly powerful and important because it speaks to true humility. Sometimes it is easier to bring praise to other people than to receive that praise or help ourselves. Amplification is a really powerful tool that comes from that maturity in Christ, knowing who we are, and allowing Him to fulfill the mission in us. We can accomplish our plans while also lifting each other up.
I also love the idea of the abundance versus the hoarding mindset. Keeping my hands open is something that God has really been speaking to me about. This is how He is going to let Himself flow through me and how I can be truly used. When I close my hands, it’s like I’m saying God is not in charge and that I know better.
Definitely some conviction and encouragement in this episode. So I pray that this really, really encouraged you. If you are a Christian communicator, or if you want to learn more about Misty, you can find her at mistyphillip.com.
[31:42] TODAY’S LISTENER SUBMITTED QUESTION: How is brain priming different from reframing or from affirmations?
How is brain priming different from mental reframing or from affirmations?
This is a really important question, and I frequently get asked about why brain priming is so unique and why I believe it is so powerful. You may have heard of affirmations or reframing, so let’s first talk about affirmations.
Affirmations are helpful in that they allow our minds to focus on a new concept, which as we know from brain science is powerful. Whatever the mind focuses on is what the mind will create patterns and habits around. There are, however, a couple limitations of affirmations. First of all, affirmations tend to be very general statements. I can say a general statement like, “I am enough in Christ.” That's a true statement, but I have found that when I make a statement that is more targeted to myself and the specific things I need to hear, it will be more effective. There are a lot of generalizations in affirmations so they are not as focused as brain priming.
The biggest difference between affirmations and brain priming is that affirmations address that top-level issue without addressing the core issues that are happening. They don’t remove the negative mindset or the negative neurological path that is already in the subconscious mind.
Brain priming is a literal restructuring of the subconscious mind around a certain topic. It takes the old message, or what we call the core soundtrack, and through a specific, proven process, we remove that thought process over a 67-day period. We replace it with new thoughts that honor God, whereas an affirmation just adds a new thought.
If I had a cancerous growth on my hand, I could put a nice soothing cream on it. It might feel better and look better, but the only way to get true healing is to dig out the cancerous part underneath and let it heal. I kind of feel like affirmations are like a nice cream over the top of our issues, whereas brain priming not only removes negative patterns but also replaces them with the truth.
Reframing has the same problem. It does not remove what is underneath, but it brings on a new perspective. It is a great tactic in the moment, and we talk about reframing in the moment as part of a bigger strategy in the Christian Mindset Makeover.Brain priming, however, is the best way to tackle the core in order to truly remove and rewire our negative thoughts.
CONNECT WITH MISTY PHILLIP:
OTHER PODCAST EPISODES ON BUILDING CONNECTIONS AND LETTING GO OF COMPETITION:
- Episode 56: Overcome Loneliness by Developing Real Connection with God, Yourself + Others
- Episode 81: Releasing Perfectionism + Becoming Enough with Mazi Robinson
- Episode 109: Cultivating Authentic Friendships with Amanda Anderson
- Episode 123: Overcoming Body Image Issues with Rachael Gilbert
- Episode 132: Mindset Coaching: “How can I let go of past hurts to feel safe in new relationships?” with Susan
- Episode 152: How to Lose Weight + Love Your Body Better by Letting Go of Toxic Thoughts with Wendie Pett
- Episode 153: The Comparison Trap: Being Honest About Comparison in the Name of Self-Improvement with Heather Creekmore
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