Earlier this year, Forbes published an article about the six people you need in your corner. It reminded me of Kelly Cutrone’s If You Have to Cry, Go Outside, in which she talks about the importance of tribes. Cutrone’s writing takes the six people mentioned in the Forbes article and gives them a name–makes them a personalized unit working in tandem rather than peripheral satellites.

The book is filled with advice about navigating your way through life (along with entertaining anecdotes about Cutrone’s life and a whole lotta swearing). The quote below about tribes is probably my favorite gem from its pages.

Finding your tribe, like following your dreams, isn’t always about what makes sense; it’s about what your soul needs. As much as we’re looking for experiences that turn us on, we’re looking for people who do the same, whether creatively, emotionally, spiritually or intellectually.

Tribes* are comprised of people who help you grow and inspire you to achieve your full potential. They aren’t the folks you call up when you’ve had a bad day because you know they will placate you and tell you what you want to hear. They are the ones who will call you on your bullshit (in a cordial way) and tell you what you need to hear. Tribes are our back-up navigation systems when our internal compasses fail or come into question. They keep us grounded while lifting us up to reach the stars.

But because our paths change–because we change–so should our tribes. As we head into a new year, making resolutions to achieve our dreams and goals, it’s an excellent time to take inventory of your own tribe. Who is helping you grow? Who isn’t? And while Forbes’ “The 6 People You Need in Your Corner” is a good place to start, remember that tribes aren’t one-size-fits-all. Make it your own.

2012 ended up being the “Year of the Tribe” for me. I found my place in a new office, made new friends (or strengthened existing relationships), and really embraced venturing outside of my comfort zone. As I look back over the past 12 months, I feel incredibly fortunate to have the tribe members that I do. The drive, passion, and energy they inspire in me also make me incredibly optimistic for what 2013 holds. When you have a solid, well-rounded tribe, you feel like you could take on the world… even if only a little bit at a time.

“The road to your dreams is sometimes dark, and it’s sometimes magical, but The Wizard of Oz had one thing right: It’s ultimately about the journey and the characters who accompany you in it, not about the destination.” Kelly Cutrone

*”Tribes” and “group of friends” are not the same thing, as they fulfill different roles. You can be friends with people not in your tribe, and tribe members may not be your friends.

2 thoughts on “YEAR OF THE TRIBE

  1. I think the distinction you made between tribes and friends is super important–though I suppose I am more of a tribe member within my friendships than straightforward friend–which might be one reason I struggle with certain people. I think you have to have some sort of intention as to who your going to be–and the other person kind of has to be in agreement.. Same thing with significant others. I don’t call these people tribe members. I call them mentors. I think it’s also important to adjust expectations (or drop them entirely) when it comes to friends, but tribe members should be held more accountable.

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