Tribe is defined as “a group of people, or a community with similar values or interests, a group with a common ancestor, or a common leader” (https://www.yourdictionary.com/tribe). We all have our tribes and play different roles depending on which tribes we are a part of. Your core tribe is the group of people that sustain you during the good, bad and ugly times. Other tribes develop through work and social relationships. Tribes are different from your regular relationships and acquaintances. Knowing who is in your tribe helps you to define safe spaces, safe conversations where you ideate, get feedback or just plain old get the truth (even if you won’t like it).
Your tribe is yours not because you were born into it but because you chose it. Choosing it happens organically, over time and irrespective of distance. No matter what tribe you are a part of, or how many people are in it, there are four core elements that are always present and will help you know who truly is in your tribe:
• Support: Not the fake “I am here for you” kind. The kind that gets in the car, picks you up and says “we are getting through this together.”
• Encouragement: Not the cheerleaders…… The ones that are actually pushing you to build your dreams, tell you that you can do it and go to all things that you invite them to and say great job, do it again. Think mom & dad going to your first dance, piano, or other such recitals that are pretty much epic and not at all what we want them to be. They told you that you were great (even though now you know better). That is real encouragement.
• Truth: That friend or family member you love, and then you hate because they DID NOT tell you what you wanted to hear but what you NEEDED to hear. You know who they are.
• Connectors: Those people that come to mind first when you need to figure something out and don’t know where to start. They know people, places and can get you going in the right direction and will not take advantage of you or your questions for their enjoyment.
We tend to be all things in our respective tribes but we also have core roles. For example, in my tribes my main roles are encourager, truth teller and connector. I have a lot of other truth tellers in my tribe because those are my favorite people. So, think about it- who are your people and who is truly in your tribe.
A note of warning- there are people that want to be in your tribe that will also either fake it until it actually counts, then they disappear or are essentially energy vampires that are there to just use your tribe skills but give noting in return. A real tribe, loves, nourishes and supports each other. These are symbiotic relationships. So, as you are assessing who your tribe is and identify some of these other, non-tribe people, you will need to think about what role they play in your life and if its worth keeping them in it or if you need to make some changes in those relationships. Yes, its hard. No, its not optional. This is YOUR life and YOU are leading it. You should be surrounded by people that genuinely care about you, your dreams and goals. You will have to interact with other people that may not align but they don’t have to be a part of your life.
Once you have identified who is in your tribe, TELL THEM! This is your core group of trusted advisors, confidants and BFFs that help you navigate life, career, and provide a soundboard. They won’t know what they mean to you and that they are your inner circle unless you claim them so do it today!