In every stage in my life, I can’t imagine how I would have gotten through it all without my tribe.
Our tribes provide support and help shape us. Like plants that need water, food, and nutrients, friendships require time, love, and personal connection. I truly believe, as women, it is in our DNA to be strongly connected with other women. We thrive when we are connected to women who truly support, love, and encourage each other.
Life can get so crazy that we forget to make true connections with other women. We get caught up with work and we are moving sooo fast, always going from one thing to another that we don’t take the time to nurture friendships. And nurturing means true face-to-face time ladies, not on an iPhone.
Have you taken the time to think about your tribe?
- Your girlfriends?
- Your inner circle?
- Your ride-or-dies*?
*These are the ones, if you’re lucky enough, who will stick with you through thick and thin.
You may not realize it, but we’ve had tribes since we were little girls.
I could still name some of my best friends growing up in elementary and middle school, which also included my twin-sister Angie.
These friends give you comfort, a safe space, and someone to share all your ideas, hopes, and dreams with. I felt loved and valued by my closest friends. We sat together at lunch, played together at recess, shared a seat on the bus ride home and spent the weekends at sleep overs.
As I moved through high school—I developed even deeper friendships.
Disappointments arose and you needed a shoulder to cry on. I remember my first gut wrenching break up, the agony of not making the drill team, and the time I failed my first exam. Chemistry.
We would hang out together on the weekends, go to football games together, shop at the mall. I really leaned on my friends in high school because we were all going through growing pains. It helped to know I wasn’t the only one who was figuring things out and making mistakes too. I really connected with a core group of ladies in high school. All of my fondest memories revolve around them.
Something happens in college that is so different from any other stage in life; you’re on your own or the first time.
We were all on our own. And so me and my friends banded together on our journey through college. Along the way we fell down a lot. Got back up a lot. We made good decisions and bad decisions. For each one we were there for each other. We were like family.
My tribe shaped who I was. This stage of my life is where I grew the most.
My career life.
I still remember my first job out of college. I was so excited to start making money! I landed this great job with Black and Decker and I was put on a sales team full of amazing ladies. Three of us really connected. Your first job can be scary and they provided comfort as I set out on this new adventure. Through these ladies and this job, I broadened my horizons, I started to travel more, and meet lots of interesting people.
As my career progressed, I continued to make friends who pushed me to be better. The companies I worked with hired some of the best sales professionals in the country and set the bar very high. These people and their drive to be their best was the biggest blessing of working for these companies.
I connected with this tribe at some point in my late 20’s.
It was not a good fit.
This is what I call the “party girl tribe.”
I was doing great in my career…then I started hanging out with a group of friends who were also in good careers but were going out and partying a lot too.
The problem with this group is that my ambitions were not in line with theirs. I was the highest achiever in the group and when that happens, you stop growing.
When that happened, all of the sudden, growth and success weren’t that exciting. I just wanted to have fun and not take anything too seriously. As you can imagine, because of this tribe, I wasn’t doing that great at work and the relationships turned out to be very superficial. This tribe didn’t care if I had a bad day at work, they just wanted to know if I was going to make happy hour or go to an event with them. The friendships had no depth.
I had to make a big decision.
I cut them off.
Was it hard?
I was very lonely with no social life for a while but that was something that I had to do. They were holding me back from going after some big dreams that I had. I needed to be around people that got it. So I got deeply rooted in my church and started to dig deep within myself to find what the next steps for me were. It took some time, but it was worth it. Sometimes you need to get rid of your tribe in order to find a better one.
My Tribes NowNow that I’m in my thirties I have new tribes;
My mom tribe is ladies from my MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and my Side-By-Side group. In my MOPS groups we have preschool-aged children and we bond from sharing the same experiences. We support each other through the difficulties of mommyhood.
My Side-By-Side ladies group is similar in that our spouses work in medicine. Because of that we have a lot to bond over and talk about. Being married to medicine is a unique lifestyle, and these groups offer great support. This has been such a blessing as well.
My Inner Circle
This is my personal growth group which included ladies from my John Maxwell Team and Stella and Dot. We share a common goal of success and professional growth.
This group of people push me to be better. They inspire me. My inner circle gives me support, accountability, mentorship, and encouragement. You cannot achieve success alone.
Take time to think about the friends that you surround yourself with.
- What value do they offer you?
- What value do you offer them?
- Are they supporting and uplifting you or holding you back from reaching your potential?
Whatever you label them, friends, tribes, inner circle—Be Selective.
Make sure to weed out the ones that hold you back from being better. As women, friends act as our lifelines through difficult times. You will know who your true friends are because when you experience success, they will celebrate. When times are hard, they will stick around.
Who’s in your Tribe?