How to Find Your Tribe in One Word

relationships button

Two weeks ago, I wrote about finding your voice when the tribe has spoken. Losing a job is a sure a way to feel we’ve lost our tribe, but it’s not the only one. A relocation, a divorce, a huge setback of some sort, or some way of thinking can make us feel apart.

Lots of folks have lots of reason for feeling we’re on the outside.

It’s almost overwhelming. The world can seem to be one huge tribe and we can seem to be the only one who’s not a part. Of course, that’s flawed thinking. Ever met a group of people who could agree on anything huge for very long? The whole world is too big to hold a meeting about who belongs.

It’s not how the world sees you. It’s how you see yourself that counts.

Which tribe do you want to be part of? You get to pick. Now is a better time than any other to get the word out about who you are. We have social tools to launch a campaign and so many ways to find a new tribe.

The key to it all is in one word — chosen and used wisely.

Connect — Online and Off

  • Connect with the things that made you successful in the past.
  • Connect with the things you want to accomplish in the future.
  • Connect with people who are positive and who see the person in you that you like.
  • Connect with your family and friends and talk about what they’re doing.
  • Connect with positive people who can teach you.
  • Connect with people you find interesting and smart.
  • Connect over coffee, at church, at any venue that invites learners.
  • Connect online and off.
  • Connect with people who enjoy helping you connect.

Every person you connect to is an opportunity to find out about what you’ve been missing and what you can learn to survive.

Keep these thoughts in mind when you connect.

A connection is not as simple as clicking on the “follow” button. It’s finding out about a person, learning what you have in common, showing what you have to give, not what you need to get.

Solid connections are built by listening and then sharing back. Taking the time to connect with fewer, quality people can be more efficient — each person you get to know well can open the door to a whole network of friends.

The Three Rules of How to Connect

  • Connect with an open, hungry, beginner’s mind to the situations that teach you.
  • Connect with an open, generous, fearless heart to people who want to help you.
  • Connect with purpose to the future that you couldn’t imagine until now.

How will you know when you’ve found the tribe where you belong? You’ll not be thinking about who you are when you’re with them, you’ll be thinking about what you’re learning and what you can offer them.

And if you have a tribe … your tribe will strong if you invite new folks in.
How might we reach out to help someone who needs that first connection?

–ME “Liz” Strauss
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  1. says

    I often think of the inherent sadness in the Michelangelo rendering of Adam and God, their two fingers almost touching…almost.

    The key fundamental principle you share here Liz is that all touch points need to be real; not imagined, assumed, or glossed over.

    It’s easy to interact in this media in a manner, where like the famous image of the two fingers and the gap between them, we come ever so close without ever really connecting.

  2. says

    Love this, Liz! You offer tremendous insight on connecting, and I love the emphasis you place on ways to connect and what can come of connections in terms of how we feel and what we can imagine.

  3. says

    Hi Liz – I’ve found myself in that situation a few times, after relocating, divorce – even having a baby. And I remember feeling overwhelmed.

    This post is an important reminder that life isn’t just happening to us and we can still be in control.

  4. says

    I take the view that you simply cannot control how the world acts…but you can always choose how you decide to “react”.

    Life is too short to include toxic folk in our tribes or our networking or what have you. Sad to say, not everyone operates with “best intentions!” mode on; they’ll simply try to take what they can. In that case, you’re completely correct to look out for number one and say, I deserve better. Sayonara.

    Took me decades to internalize that, I’ll tell you that much…

    Data points, Barbara

  5. says

    Hi Richard,
    That’s it isn’t it. Sometimes we think we’re there or we think numbers count. Sometimes we just forget to breathe. Myself, I complete that picture in my mind every time because that’s the only way it works for me.

  6. says

    Yeah, Cath,
    The best thing we can do is go help someone else — get ourselves out of the center of the universe. It’s hard to feel anxious, awful, or afraid when we’re taking care of someone else who hurts.

  7. says

    I have to comment on that #7, as I experienced that this morning – my son came to me and said, Mom, there’s something on my neck. That “something” turned out to be a deer tick. Outwardly, I was the all-powerful in-control Mom who saved the day while inside, I was mentally attacking 27 ideas (search for lyme disease! No, search for tick bite aftercare! No, ask for help on Twitter! (I did the last one first as it turns out)).

    *After* all was said and done, *then* I gave myself permission to collapse. But wow, what a day. And yes, if you’re taking care of someone, your whole being is focused upon that. What a day.

  8. says

    It is not always easy to pick yourself up and connect with someone outside of your peer group. But blogs like yours do make it much easier to restart,

  9. says

    Just attended a marketing conference last weekend in San Francisco. One of our assignments was to choose one word, a verb, that describes who we are and what we do. I chose “connect.” So cool to see how you define it for us, Liz!
    @wiredprworks on

  10. says

    You choose a great word … it’s the one that holds the universe together.

    You’re not a stranger anymore. Thank you.

    -Deb! Yes.

    Wow. Thank you.

  11. says

    Hi Liz,
    I had to chime in and tell you how much I loved this post.

    It all circles back around to acceptance for me. Can we accept ourselves enough to embrace the good, the bad and the foibles. Once we do that it becomes so much easier to reach out to others.

    It’s so easy to feel like we’re on the outside. I always try to remind myself that if I feel that way, so do others. So I try to just forget that feeling and dive in.

  12. says

    Hi Mary-Frances,
    Sometimes it’s such a surprise what resonates. This one is so obvious to me. Maybe that’s exactly why.

    We all belong.

    Like the stars.

    People and stars.

  13. Cheryl McLaughlin says

    Hi Liz,
    I just stumbled upon your blog via Chris Brogan and I’m so thrilled to have found you and your work! I admire the strength and clarity of your voice and the wisdom and tools you share. This piece about connection is powerful and there’s tremendous power in positive human connections. It’s a keeper, and one I’ll definitely share.


  14. says

    Hi Cheryl!
    Thank you for introducing yourself. I’m always delighted to meet friends of my friend, Chris. I appreciate your kind words.

    You’re not a stranger anymore. :)

  15. says

    I’ve missed you, Liz! Was working hard last week on a new version of my website. Your words of wisdom are so helpful. Yes, connection, I am seeing, is everything!

    I built a relationship over the last few months that is now turning into a really wonderful thing. Now we use each other to keep ourselves on track. We set goals together (and we’re in totally unrelated businesses). We plan strategies together. I’m being more productive than ever before and having fun doing it. Thanks for reminding me of the power and beauty of relationships!

  16. says

    Hi Todd!
    Glad to hear that you’re making progess on your website! The connections will mean even more when they’re as beautiful as you’re making them inside and out.

  17. says

    Thanks, Liz. When relationships start with simple openness and a desire to give (not get) it’s amazing how easy they are and how surprisingly fruitful they become. Thanks for setting me down this path. It’s becoming more fun every day!

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