Humans are inherently social creatures. The biggest introverts among us, including yours truly, will be happy to confirm we need each other to survive, stay healthy and simply enjoy life more. There’s beauty in togetherness and the marvelous times we live in provide endless ways we can connect with one another.
At the same time, we are exposed to a wider range of emotions and energies we (sub)consciously absorb on a daily basis. Therefore, more than ever before, it matters what we consume on and off the Internet, who we follow on social media and who we surround ourselves with at work, at school and at home.
"Surround yourself with people who challenge you, teach you, and push you to be your best self." – Bill Gates
Energy is contagious. We hold a lot of power when it comes to molding our reality according to our mood and attitude. Have you ever heard the saying, your vibe attracts your tribe? What we send out into the world, we also attract into our lives and this process is inextricably tied to our connections with others. Although, wouldn’t it be interesting to evaluate if the reverse was also true?
Does your tribe create your vibe?
Those closest to you are your family, if not by blood, then by choice. As motivational speaker Jim Rohn once stated, “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. Yet, are we able to tell who those people are exactly and if we already have them around? Can we name particular roles they play in our lives?
Relationships we have with others directly influence the level of our happiness and success. In her TED Talk titled “The 5 People You Need To Be Happy”, Stacey Flowers, international speaker and business strategist, defines the five key relationships that will stir your life towards reaching your true potential.
You will need:
- a cheerleader
- a mentor
- a coach
- a friend
- a peer
If you can identify one of each of the above within your tribe, then you are brewing your happiness potion with the right ingredients. Let’s take a closer look at the functions these particular individuals exercise in our lives.
This is somebody who believes in you even when you don’t believe in yourself. They are always in your corner, rooting for you and cheering you on. When Stacey got pregnant at the age of 17 and wanted to drop out of High School, her guidance counsellor pushed her towards a college education instead, altering the trajectory of the teenage girl’s path forever. Your Cheerleader will encourage you to reach for the stars.
This person’s role in your life is to point you in the right direction. You need somebody on your team who is willing to share information that will light up your way in the dark. Their knowledge and expertise - be it in the form of books, podcasts, articles, you name it – should serve as road signs guiding you towards your happiness.
It’s worth mentioning that your mentor doesn’t have to be somebody you know personally. However, the Internet is a crowded place, which is an opportunity to find both the right and the wrong mentors. Always listen to your heart AND reason to choose wisely.
This person is tasked with making you a little uncomfortable to help you grow. Feeling nice and cozy in your comfort zone? Well, with your best interest in mind, your coach will nudge you out of it. They care about maximizing your potential, especially if it means running towards your greatest fears. You may disagree with this member of your tribe the most, yet bear in mind their peripheral vision on the bigger picture can help you set things in motion and achieve success.
This person’s role is to know and support your heart’s deepest desire. Your friend believes in you and your dreams, it is as simple as that, yet how incredibly important. As Stacey points out in her talk, it’s not about having myriad friends on Facebook. It’s about a person with a comfy shoulder to cry on who will answer your call in the middle of the night and convince you that you are worthy of your new job, you’re awesome, now can you please go back to sleep.
While a friend wants you to be happy at your job, your peer is here to relate to you professionally, understand what your job is really about and help you excel in your career. It is usually a person from the same or very similar industry who can put you in the right mindset to keep your head in the game. Your peer can offer advice that will oil your gears and facilitate the process of reaching your goals.
Three steps to help you form your dream team
Reading the above descriptions you probably already assigned a few members of your closest circle to particular categories. However, in case you need assistance determining whether these key relationships are already present in your life, might we suggest a simple list-making exercise?
- Step one, grab some ink and paper and enumerate all the people from your closest circle.
- Step two, with one color mark all those you spend the most time with.
- Step three, with another color circle the names that could fit into any of Stacey’s categories.
Do the colors overlap on any of the names? If so, perfect! This is something to be truly grateful for. If not, not to worry, give yourself more time to evaluate which bonds on your list could be strengthened and improved. Is it possible that some of the people you circled might play more than one role in your life?
However, if you feel that it might be time to refresh your list and meet new people, make an effort to seek those individuals out. And trust us, you don’t have to wait until the pandemic is over.
Try these five options:
- Social media – it’s a whole other universe designed to bring people together. Follow accounts you resonate with on Instagram and shoot them a DM, or join a Facebook group. You might be one like away from a new relationship.
- Online club – are you a bookworm? Join an online book club! Or a photography club. Or any other club related to your hobbies and passions. No hobbies? Try something new, see where that takes you!
- Online class – invest in bettering your skills and gain a whole classroom of potential new friends.
- Healthy habit – for example, working out. It’s an option your body will thank you for and it comes with more than one support community to keep you accountable. It’s worth checking if a gym membership isn’t already included in your employee benefits package at work. However, for the price of good sports shoes, you might take your healthy habit (and your immunity!) to another level by exercising in nature with a friendly running club.
- Local groups – we tend to think that the grass is greener somewhere else, yet what if our local community is just as vibrant? Art exhibitions, theatre plays, concerts, poetry readings–these happen everywhere. Check your town’s website for inspiration to meet new people aligned with your interests.
Have we missed anything? Feel free to let us know of any other ways to find a new tribe!
Above all, stay grateful. Gratitude will help you attract the right people into your life and build strong and nurturing relationships that will last for decades.
Also, keep in mind you are, or can be, somebody else’s light, too. Are you a cheerleader, a mentor, a coach, a friend or a peer? The choice is yours, all roles are equally important. You are important.
"Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see the greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself." ― Edmund Lee