EP. 111: The True ROI of Community Over Competition with Natalie Franke

Oxygen or belonging. Which one do YOU think is more important?!
I get it- Oxygen seems like the obvious choice. It’s essential to life. We learn about it in school. We study it as part of the Periodic Table of Elements. We know it’s the most plentiful element in the earth’s crust! 
I mean, that is a pretty big deal!
But! Did you know that we have an innate need to belong in the SAME way that we need oxygen- our physical bodies actually REQUIRE it! Whoa! Take a minute to soak that in!
Our bodies actually require connection. Require community. Require relationship with others. (I’m starting to think that in addition to a Periodic Table of Elements, we should create a Table of Belonging!)

However, equally as true as requiring belonging, is that finding authentic community in our fiercely competitive world can feel like an impossible task.  

I have to say… making genuine connections and cultivating real relationships as adults is flat out hard. Anyone else?? 
Why do you think this is?
Is that because we are all doing life in different directions? Sure- I would argue that’s part of it. 
Is it because we are surrounded by ideologies of scarcity, comparison, and winning at all costs? 
BINGO! Yes, 100%.
Just think about it for a minute. When you walk into a room, or onto a stage, or even behind closed doors….are you trying to be the best version of you? OR, are you trying to be the best? 

Are you confident in your God-given abilities or do you find yourself in the comparison trap? 

Are you spending your energy on connecting or competing?
(Have I hit a nerve yet?)
Don’t worry! Nothing is wrong with you! 
You see, the world we live in pits us against one another as competitors rather than collaborators. As a threat instead of a friend. And quite honestly, we are ALL suffering from this on a daily basis! 
And, it is time that we address this head-on! Are you with me??
I am so thankful for 10 year friendship with Natalie Franke for many reasons, but especially for how she so powerfully speaks life into this exact issue! Or, as she so rightfully calls it, an epidemic of loneliness!
In fact, Natlie’s new book “Built to Belong: Discovering the Power of Community Over Connection”, is based on the mantra: We must value connection as though our life depends on it … because it does!
(I love what a straight shooter my dear friend is!)
Did you know that we perform better and have greater successes as individuals when we are connected to the collective? Connected to community? Connected to each other!!
community over compeition
community over competition
community over competition

So then why is it that so many of us feel more alone than ever before despite living in the most connected society in human history?! 

Because we are being conditioned to consume instead of connect

Each scroll on social media is a scroll for consumption rather than connection. In fact, technology is monetized to keep us scrolling! But! What it is actually doing is positioning us to watch from afar, instead of loving up close! 
Friends, we are enduring life moments through a screen, when life was meant to be lived face-to-face!
When you actually take time to think about this, it’s no wonder that we feel so isolated. Loneliness is contagious. It’s an epidemic and it’s only getting worse.
Seriously. Depth of connection is getting harder to fight for and it’s impacting our physical health, our mental health, and our relationships!

The good news is that we are built to belong.  

So how can we lean into that today??
  • Stop consuming, start connecting. Social media isn’t the problem, but how we are using it is. We have an opportunity to connect unlike any generation before us – it’s about making the conscious choice!


  • Be bold for yourself and others. Pursue God’s path for your life with boldness and with purpose. And! Champion and encourage those around you to do the same. There is always room for change and innovation – most importantly there is room for ALL of us to lean into our God-given giftings.


  • Start with one. I know it can seem like an impossible task to find your community, the people that you want to do life with. But remember, it just starts with one. Maybe that person is already in your life, or maybe they are just around the corner!
Friends, if this idea of community over competition, of being built to belong, resonates with you as deeply as it does with me, then you are going to LOVE today’s episode. It’s one of my all time favorites where Natalie and I also talk about: 
  • The opportunity to step outside of the box and become exactly who we are called to be
  • The dichotomy between how we can be built to belong but also created to compete, and what to do about it
  • The internal and external factors that are contributing to the widespread epidemic of loneliness and disconnection
  • Ways to recognize when competition becomes unhealthy and how to strike that much needed balance between community and competition
  • How to start building your personal network starting with just one person
  • The power of dropping the consumption of social media in order to embrace the connection aspects of it
Oh, I am SO excited for this one today!
So, if you are ready to join hands with us in charting a new course forward, while cultivating deeply rooted relationships that raise the tide for all – then today’s episode is not to be missed! 
I can’t wait to hear what you think! 

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