Over the past few years you may have noticed a substantial increase in the use of "the tribe" reference. I especially love the quote from fellow blogger Danielle LaPorte which says, "Find Your Tribe, Love Them Hard". But what the hell are these people really talking about when they say "your tribe" and why is finding it so important anyway?
Your tribe is essentially just a trending phrase which highlights the significance of community. People need people. Isolation can have serious implications upon both our physical and mental health. The NY Times reported on a study performed by Karl Landis and Debra Umberson about the effects of isolation on human health. The study, which spanned over two decades, found that social isolation "is as significant to mortality rates as smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and lack of exercise." What is especially interesting about this article is that it also noted that this comes at a time when the trend toward social isolation is strengthening. Why do I find that interesting? The article was originally published in 1988. As the world continues to appear as though it is spinning a little faster each day, coupled with the increasingly detached manner of society due to an increase in the use of technology, I doubt that trend has changed much. When we live our lives in isolation we cannot benefit from the unique gifts others possess that we lack, and no one can benefit from our unique gifts in their lives. Think you don't have any? Think again. You do. I haven't met a single person yet who doesn't.
Your tribe serves a vital role in terms of offering you a support system, motivating you, inspiring you, and providing that swift kick-in-the-ass you need when you aren't being as kind to yourself as you should be after a perceived failure.
Oftentimes they have the same fears, have made the same mistakes, and are generally fumbling through their lives in a way similar to the way you are fumbling through your own life.
Finding your tribe can look very different for different people, but one thing remains the same regardless of your method- finding your tribe means being intentional about who you choose to surround yourself with, and then working to cultivate those relationships in a healthy way. To properly cultivate any relationship you're going to have to devote some of your time to it. This is no exception. We're all busy, this is worth it. Make a conscious effort to spend time with the people in your tribe and nurture your relationship. Plan it out if you have to, just make the time. I promise you won't regret it.
"You can't change the people around you, but you can change the people around you"
- Joshua Fields Millburn