Updated: Sep 19, 2020
An oft quoted proverb states: "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." A tribe is any group of like-minded people who are also on a similar journey of maturation or self-development; and by walking along those journeys together are able to accelerate each other’s unique journeys in the process. I have often considered myself to be the lone wolf type, thinking that it was admirable to figure out the path to success all on my own and more efficient to not consult with others. I also struggled to be vulnerable enough to share the ups and downs of my journey with others. However, once I went all-in on my quest to become the best version of myself, I realized that figuring it all out on my own is lonely and that the right people can actually accelerate the goals I'm pursuing. With this realization, I intentionally started seeking a tribe.
Why a tribe is essential
Tribes form around a myriad of topics, but the singular reason is clear. The whole is stronger than the individual parts. It’s a means for individuals to accomplish more by banding together. A tribe works when members are generous in their listening, loving in their feedback, and able to offer insight or fresh perspective. Members of the tribe don’t want to just take from the group; in fact they are eager to pour into the group as much as they get out of it. It requires vulnerability and authenticity so that each individual feels safe to let each other in, grow together, and celebrate wins, both big and small.
How to find YOUR people
Have you found yourself yearning for this type of support system, but don’t know where to turn? It’s common for many adults to feel some type of anxiety about seeking out brand new relationships. Questions I've heard include: How do I organically create new relationships without it being awkward? What if I don't have opportunities in my day-to-day life to meet new people? I have had clients who often feel isolated because they are growing at a quicker rate than those around them and don’t have anyone who can relate to their journey of personal development. So how do you find a tribe that supports you achieving what you want out of life?
Set your intention. When I realized that I could use a community of support around my life goals, I became aware that I had to change my energy from being internally focused and closed off to being open and welcoming of new relationships. I committed to giving and receiving more from others. I committed to being vulnerable and sharing authentically. Your actions and words will attract the people who recognize a like-minded person in you, a person they can connect on a more intimate level. There’s a reason why they say ‘your vibe attracts your tribe’.
Know what you want to get out of it. The purpose of a tribe can always evolve over time as relationships grow, but start by getting clear on what you want to get out of this group. Do you want to accelerate an entrepreneurial venture? Do you want to grow in your faith? Do you want to lean into a particular interest that will help you find more fulfillment? The list of end-goals goes on, but knowing this will help you identify the people who will be a good match for what it is you want to achieve.
Explore new social circles and communities. I have spoken with those who don’t feel that the people in their lives currently can offer the unique type of relationship that comes from a tribe. While some of us already have family members, a friend circle, community, or networking group that offers what we need. But if you don't, it requires you to venture out into new social circles or communities. Join groups or attend meetings that gather people with common interests. Attend networking events or workshops to learn something new related to a topic you're passionate about. Volunteer your time for issues that matter to you. Once you step into new circles, then it’s all about having conversations that spark new relationships.
Choose wisely where to invest your time and energy. We all have the same number of hours in a day available to us. As I matured and focused in on the life I wanted to create, I realized that I needed to double-down on those relationships that encouraged me to reach my goals, and step back from those that did not. As you explore a new tribe or reflect on preexisting relationships, allow your energy after spending time with those individuals to be your barometer of where to invest your time. Do you walk away feeling uplifted and energized? Do you feel pessimistic or depleted in a way that you weren’t prior to the interaction? Your intuition tells you which relationships are nurturing you. It is not necessary to judge the value or worth of others as being good or bad when noticing how you feel. Just notice what comes up for you, and give yourself permission to follow that good feeling.
My tribes (I am fortunate to have multiple) serve different purposes. I’m in a formally structured business mastermind group that helps be grown as an entrepreneur, a book club that is devoted to reading about personal development, and a great group of friends that pushes each other to be great in whatever matters to us. I know people who have tribes devoted to raising children in a community with shared values and tribes that are devoted to expanding their horizons through world travel. The possibilities are endless, but what they have in common is that they serve the evolution and common good of their members.
You know you’ve got your tribe when you find yourself in a group where you feel safe to be your authentic self, are stretched to become the highest version of yourself, and feel nourished from the interaction. Before you know it, you might find yourself knocking down goals in leaps and bounds, surpassing your own expectations of what’s possible, all because you didn’t go it alone.