When I think about the most difficult times in my life, there is one common thing that has helped pull me through, and that is the amazing people around me.
On the flip side, when I think about some of the biggest wins I’ve experienced — some of the biggest successes — I can also attribute it to the people around me.
Having a tribe of people around you who have your back, who help wipe the dust off when you fall down, who celebrate your wins, and who you know you could call for anything, day or night, helps provide a sense of security that little else in this world can provide.
At a recent Genius Network meeting, founder Joe Polish posed the question of how many people we have in our phones who if we were in trouble, we could call and say, “Hey, I can’t explain right now but I need $10,000,” and they’d actually send it.
This question got me thinking of how easy, yet how detrimental it could be, to lose sight of why we need our own tribe. Why we need to find our “people” and remind them of how much we appreciate them and all that they bring to our lives.
As a mom of three, a wife and a busy entrepreneur, I can honestly say I don’t know what I would do without the amazing people in my life.
By being part of mastermind groups such as Joe Polish’s Genius Network and Dan Sullivan’s Strategic Coach, I’ve met some of the most amazing entrepreneurs who I have been fortunate to build relationships with and know that I can lean on them, and them on me as we navigate through our life’s work.
And while I am gone attending those groups, I have family and friends that help my kids experience the most normalcy as they possibly can.
And then there are the times that the whirlwind catches up to me and I just need to talk… just need some wind down time… just need some laughs and some REALLY good wine… and my people are there to provide that for me, and I for them.
While I was reflecting on the tribe I have around me, it essentially boiled down to 4 key reasons that building and maintaining your tribe is essential for your well-being.
“When you find the people who not only tolerate your quirks but celebrate them with cries of “me too!” — be sure to cherish them — because those people are your tribe.” ~unknown
Seriously. It is so important to embrace the fact that you need good people in your life. And this comment is coming from one of the most fiercely independent people that you will ever meet.
For a long time, I thought I could do just about anything on my own. I went through a period in my life where I thought that “me against the world” was a normal mentality and that it would help me succeed in life.
The fact of the matter is that I had it all wrong.
It wasn’t until I realized that I needed good people around me that the trajectory of my life truly changed.
There is something to be said about “belonging” to something greater than yourself, and that is truly what I believe great friendships provide. They provide a space for you to be completely YOU. For you to come forth totally transparent and to know that you have people who love and care about you.
“Sometimes the path can seem a bit lonely. That’s okay. Keep walking anyway.” ~unknown
Have you ever been in a crowd of people and felt so incredibly alone?
Have you ever been in a room where everyone is talking but you can’t hear anything?
When you experience those types of scenarios it is often because of extreme overwhelm. It is because of heavy feelings that you are not sure how to deal with and it can make you feel like you aren’t even participating in this thing we call life.
As an entrepreneur, I can say that I have experienced some of the loneliest times in my life. This is tough for me to put in writing as it’s a bit of a taboo topic because as I mentioned above, I am frequently surrounded by incredible people.
However, as the old saying goes, “No one cares about your dream as much as you do.”
This saying has never rang as true to me as it has in my entrepreneurial journey.
Taking on the challenge of building your own business… building your own brand… trying things to succeed and completely failing… all of this can be so overwhelming and it is easy to talk yourself into the idea that no one understands you. That no one can feel what you’re feeling or help you get out of the funk because they don’t see the vision you want for your life quite like you do.
But the reality is, if you just allow yourself to open up — to be vulnerable — to say out loud when times are tough, or stressful, or not what you thought it would be, it is during those times that you will find that you very likely do have a tribe of people around you who can talk you off the ledge.
It has taken me a long time to get this idea through my thick skull. I am one that tends to internalize my stresses until I physically can’t take on one more thing, and that is when all hell breaks loose.
Once I made the conscious decision to talk through my times of worry, to allow people to celebrate in my successes, and to trust that there are people who have in fact walked my journey before, it was then that the world became a little less lonely and a little more abundant.
“Call it a clan. Call it a network. Call it a tribe. Call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” ~Jane Howard
This one is for the parents out there — in particular the mama’s who are juggling the balancing act of pursuing a career you are passionate about and who has little’s at home that they are trying to shape into good people.
If there is one piece of advice I can offer in this regard — it is to understand that you do not need to be everything to everyone. What you do need to do, is to define your values and live by them every single day.
By defining what is important to you and where you want to allocate your time, you can then start building the tribe around you to fill in the blanks.
I am forever grateful to my mom and mother-in-law for their part in helping with our kids. Between the two of them they take care of those sweet babies while my husband and I both work. Because we have family close by, our kids are loved on all day, every day, and I could not be more thankful for that.
Knowing that my kids are in amazing, capable hands all day long is a big part of what allows me to pursue my passion and work to create an ideal life for our family. If my husband and I did not have this, we know that life as we know it would be very different.
If you are in a position where you have small children but do not live close by trusted family, or you don’t have trusted family, I encourage you to reach out to people in your community. Look for people who have found their “village” and ask for references to others.
If you want to pursue what sets your soul on fire and not worry about your sweet babies being in capable hands, then this is the first step I would recommend taking to build your tribe.
“Be the change you wish to see in this world.” ~Mahatma Gandhi
Up to this point I have referenced quite a bit as to how having a tribe benefits you, but what about what you can do for others?
I believe with every ounce of my being that if you approach life as a giver — as someone who wants to contribute to this world and all that you encounter, that you will experience an abundance that you never dreamed possible.
So, while it is of utmost importance for your own well-being to surround yourself with uplifting, positive people who support you in all that you do, I also have to say that there are people who need you just as much as you need them.
It’s been said that our biggest personal breakthroughs come when we are serving others. While I’m not advocating giving your time away to anyone and everyone who asks, I am saying that when “your people” need you, make sure you are there for them.
Take the time to identify who is in your tribe, who are the people you want to give your time to and who boosts your energy and excitement for life. Once you have identified those people, make it a point to share your appreciation for them and to embrace all that you bring to them as well.
Featured photo courtesy of Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash