Get Yourself a Tribe Part 2

When we get into community, all of a sudden, even the most mundane moments in life begin to sparkle with hope for tomorrow. There’s no telling the doors that are being opened every second when we place ourselves in relationship with the right people, in the right place, at the right time. The possibilities for life are endless when we find our tribe.

In case you missed it, before you go any further, make sure to read Get Yourself a Tribe Pt. 1 where we talk about what characteristics to look for in your tribe members!

Less than a year ago, I would say I was tribeless. There were people around me who were there to lift me up, who wanted to be that support I needed, who had everything in place to be my tribe, but I wasn’t tribe-ready myself yet. It wasn’t until I realized that image isn’t everything, that vulnerability is the first step to success, and that these people genuinely love me and want the best for me, that my tribe became real and valuable to me.

It’s funny how our brain (more like the enemy) tells us that the safest thing we can do for ourselves is to shut people out when in fact, just the opposite is true. Walling off feels powerful, but we always end up more hurt in the end.

It’s like a child that wants to jump on the bed. A good mom tells the child to stop jumping on the bed, but a child will often perceive this wisdom as a hindrance to his or her fun. Unless the child recognizes that Mom has his or her best interest at heart, he will keep jumping on the bed until he gets hurt. But a child with a bit more maturity, one who has a healthy relationship with his or her mother, will recognize that Mom is wise, has greater understanding, and has love at the heart of her reprimand.

That’s the difference. When we open ourselves up to a tribe, we trust that others see what we can’t see. By heeding the wisdom of another, we prevent injury even when we don’t fully understand. By surrounding ourselves with people that care, we set ourselves up for success beyond just the moment. When it’s just ourselves, we can often only see what’s right in front of us. A tribe illuminates the bigger picture and picks up the slack where we fall short.

Nonetheless, it’s scary to open ourselves up to people. Life tends to have a way of convincing us that we are better off with me, myself, and I than letting other people in. But I can tell you from experience, that scarier than opening ourselves up to people is choosing to not open ourselves up to people.

Here’s a few reasons why getting a tribe is worth breaking past your fear of vulnerability:

  • Guidance – When we get ourselves in a tribe, we automatically open ourselves up to guidance that wasn’t there before. We can only know what we know, but having a tribe makes the wisdom and knowledge of others readily available to us. Tribe members offer help and guidance when we don’t know which way to go. They offer advice based on life experiences. They whack down the branches on the path in the juggle and create footprints for us to follow behind.
  • Leadership – Just as our tribe members guide us, so we too can help guide them. Tribes offer the perfect space to make a difference in others’ lives. By sharing the wisdom that comes with life experience, we become leaders in our own right, paving the way for our tribe members where they need it. That’s part of the beauty of life – as we learn and grow, we can bring others along with us.
  • Community – Life is best lived with other people. It is in community that we are loved, we are seen, we have fun, we learn, we grow, we find joy! It is one thing to have acquaintances; the world is full of false-connectivity in this age of social media. But true community comes when we share ourselves with people, see them face to face, speak with them heart to heart, and slow down long enough to really listen and live our lives together. I think we all could use a little more of that.
  • Ideas and Inspiration – We all have ideas in our heads and dreams in our hearts, many of which have been welling up since childhood. Being in a tribe gives those dreams good soil to be planted in so they can grow. Other tribe members bring new perspective to our dreams and offer insights on how to make them a reality. A tribe is a safe space to offer up new ideas, no matter how crazy they may feel or sound. It is in a tribe that we find new excitement for our ideas, the inspiration to bring them to life, and the support to carry it through.
  • Purpose – Life isn’t really life without other people in it. What’s the point of reaching millions if you’re not in relationship with one? Tribes help us to find our true purpose in life. While, yes, we find purpose and destiny in our dreams and ideas, our true purpose goes much deeper than that. In fact, the things we do are just a manifestation of our greater purpose. And that greater purpose? Being ourselves. We were all created to be exactly who we are, exactly where we are, and exactly at the time we are here. A tribe helps bring this purpose to the forefront by getting all the distractions of life out of the way, by breaking down the walls we’ve built, and by calling forth our true selves in vulnerability. It is the safety of the tribe that allows us to first be ourselves, and from that place, we go forth and serve our purpose in the world.

Have you ever heard the African proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together”? It’s a beautiful and oh so very true saying. When we open up our hearts to those people who have those shining characteristics of vulnerability, trust, vision, wisdom, and supportiveness, who are moving in the same direction as us, and who have our best interest at heart, we set ourselves up for success. When we get ourselves a tribe, life regains its luster, hope reignites, and we find ourselves again.