Recently, I attended a small and intimate Women’s Conference in Atlanta. While seated at the event, a woman in the audience posed a question to the summit leader that sent a small shockwave through the crowd. She first began by stating that she had lived in the city for quite some time, but found it hard to connect with like-minded women. Getting a few head nods around the room, she asked, "How do you find your tribe?"
I say this question sent a small tremor through the assembly of women because many of us were seated at tables with fellow tribe members. We worked out with one another, collaborated on projects together, and even utilized the services and goods the others provided.
In many ways, we were already a tribe. We all wanted to grab our wandering sister and hug her to say welcome home; your tribe exists right here. If only it were that simple.
Finding your tribe is not as easy as it sounds. It can prove challenging to make authentic connections in the age of microwave ideals, and social media friending and unfriending.
When I moved to Atlanta over a decade ago, I instantly reconnected with friends from college whose careers had brought them to the city as well. We hung out and enjoyed each other's company, but life happened and our time together became less frequent. We all set out on different paths. I began spending more time with my workout partners and the women I connected with at my job at the time.
Just as seasons change, our tribe will not always remain the same. Here are a few tips to help you readjust and quickly identify your tribe.
Get to Know Yourself
The more we reflect on who we are and the things we like, we will find it easier to connect with people similar to ourselves. Do you enjoy hiking and spending time in nature? Maybe you take kindly to doing community service projects? You may even like intense boot camp sessions. By developing a keen sense of awareness of your personality and the things that light your internal fire, you will head in the direction of your tribe.
Less Frowns, More Smiles
Whether you are out and about taking classes, or sitting in your cubicle at your job, don’t forget to turn on your smile. Our smile can give others an indication that we are warm, inviting and ready to tribe up. Letting others know that you are open to new things can be as simple as a returned smile. Think of your smile as an open for business sign. We can turn it on or turn it off, either way; it can serve as a little remedy to our problem of finding a suitable tribe.
Social media is not just for posting selfies and random rants while stuck at the airport. Through many social channels, you can find conferences, workshops, book clubs, wine tastings and food festivals that speak your love language. These gatherings are opportunities for you to meet new people, exchange information and create a social calendar for yourself. Join a gym, a business league or a social club. The more you get out in the community, the more you will begin to find spaces that fit you. Remember, no one is coming to knock down your door to see you unless it's the police. You have to go out and get the life you want and the tribe you desire.
Often, we see people and instantly put them in a box. We have created a whole storyline for them before we have had a single conversation. If you want to build a tribe of like-minded people, you have to be open to changing your perspective. Our clan may not look like us, come from the same background, have the same sexual orientation or share our ethnicity. The more open we are to what the divine has for us, the more opportunities will be created for our tribe to find us.
In an age of fake news, photoshop lives and instant-fame, we find ourselves in an internal battle to be ourselves. As we look around at others living lives that seem perfectly fabulous, we can begin to question who we are at the core of our being. DON'T do it! Be yourself and others will fall in love with your authenticity. The more we reveal our most authentic nature, we will create a domino effect in our life and the lives of those around us. Those that are meant to love you will and those that don't like you won't matter. Show up as the best version of yourself and watch your tribe do the same.
As in anything, the journey to finding your tribe is a process. Learn from it, lean into it and get gutsy. Catch your tribe vibe. #tribevibes