“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
– African Proverb
I’m sure, like me, when you think of the word “tribe,” all kinds of images come to mind. Maybe even a group of people dressed like Indians circling a bonfire, chanting! Although the image may be a tad outdated, the purpose of a tribe in today’s world still holds true. We all need like-minded, supportive people around us.
The first and closest layer in our tribe should be our loved ones. We need to deliberately surround ourselves on a daily basis with these folks who support us. On purpose, you need to seek love, as well as be open to receiving love when it shows up at your door.
I had a friend tell me once it was difficult to show love to me. I had erected a wall around myself as protection from potential hurt. I found it easy to give to others but the door only opened one way–it wasn’t a revolving door. Today, I consciously keep my generosity from depleting me and am open to receiving others’ the gifts of love.
The next layers of our tribe can be other friends, mentors, coaches and even health care professionals. When I began working with a coach, I was always surprised when asked, “Who is supporting you on a day-to-day basis?” I hadn’t considered that I needed someone to lean on! I lived by myself, newly divorced, an entrepreneur and empty nester. I felt like an island castaway most days! I needed people in my life who understood and saw me, and could help me maneuver the road less taken.
After my divorce, I gradually began building a team of support. I wasn’t very good at asking for help, but I had to learn. If they said “no,” it was okay. I no longer took it personally, but needed to at least ask. My group included friends, family, doctors, nutrition experts, a finance manager, an accountant, a bookkeeper, a virtual assistant, help keeping up with the family home, a business mastermind group, and a book coach.
When I look at my life now compared to even a year ago, I am surrounded by a strong tribe in layers of support that cannot be easily broken.
If you realize that your tribe could be a little tighter or more supportive, begin journaling about your own values and dreams. Ask yourself questions like I did:
- Who or what kind of person do I need to add into my life to help support me?
- Where am I lacking that someone else can help me?
- Who supports me?
- Which loved ones surround me on a daily basis?
- How can I connect with a friend today?
- What support in my business do I need?
Where are you struggling? Look at those areas and see where you could use support. Don’t be shy about reaching out.
Let down your guard to allow love and support into your heart. If you’ve been hurt, as most of us have, this can be scary. Sometimes we have to move through fear into love. As I started to appreciate who I was created to be, I was better able to let others into my life who could love and support me. These people were folks that I deliberately set out to bring into my life.
You, too, can expand your tribe and benefit from the increased nourishment it brings. The African proverb says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Being a part of a tribe will allow you to feel loved and supported, and challenge you to grow into the best version of yourself.