This is a popular expression, found on memes all over the internet and there are hundreds of blogs and articles about it – but what does it really mean?
Well, In the simplest terms, a tribe is a human social group. More recently, the term has been used to mean an unofficial community with a common interest who are connected online through social media. Whereas the traditional tribe would be physically close, online or ‘digital’ tribes are often virtual communities who may never actually meet. The common link is that both ‘tribes’ share something – maybe an interest, values or cultural beliefs.
For most of my life I have been searching (unknowingly) for my tribe. I just knew I didn’t ever quite feel part of a gang, even though I’ve always had friends. Over the years, I have decided maybe I’m just a bit ‘different’ and I’ve sort of got used to it. I’ve told myself I didn’t want to ‘belong’ anyway and in a way, I believe that might still be true.
Then, last year, I became involved with a group on Facebook, a fitness community called ‘The Rude Rebellion’. Initially I felt the same as I usually did when being involved with a group of people – that I was on the outside looking in and, even though I got involved very quickly, still not feeling this was any different from any of the other social groups I had been part of.
Very quickly though, something started to change. This group was different – they didn’t judge, negativity was banned and everyone was encouraged to share their progress and support and uplift others at the same time. For the first time, it was ok to post selfies, to be publicly proud of how well I was doing and to feel uplifted by the positive feedback. As the weeks and months passed, I found myself feeling more and more aligned with this group and the people in it. I wanted to cheer on the others as much as they did me. I joined the gym – I’d joined many gyms over the years but this time, there were members of the group also in this gym and it became a social thing for me as well as a place to get fit.
As more time has passed, friendships have been forged that go outside the group but are still part of it. I know I will continue to be part of this group, this tribe – It’s the nicest, cosiest, most comfortable feeling I have ever had – it’s hard to explain but it feels like I have ‘come home’.
How to Find Your Tribe
Well, firstly, know yourself – self awareness is key. Once you understand yourself and what it is you want from relationships and friendships, you can start to find a group that aligns with your values, beliefs and interests. So a bit of self-reflection is needed.
Don’t be afraid to try something different or new – step outside your comfort zone. If you don’t try you won’t know. Walking into the gym on my own used to be a big deal to me. It isn’t anymore – I OWN that gym when I walk through the door! It might take a few tries before you find that group who you feel ‘right’ with but if you don’t test the water you will never know.
Be proactive – go along to any meet ups or suggest one yourself. We have a regular coffee morning at the gym i go to, organised by us – some of us have trained first, others come just for the coffee!
Don’t be quick to judge. Be open minded, there will be different people in the group, people who you don’t initially take to. Keep your mind open – find out more before you commit but be open to compromise and to meeting people who are different to you. Initially I thought everyone else was a fitness/health freak – turns out most of us aspire to be but we aren’t – yet!!!!
Reach out, don’t hang around in the shadows – be brave and speak up. Chances are you will be welcomed with open arms. If you aren’t – maybe this isn’t your tribe or maybe you need to work on yourself a bit more. I jumped in at the deep end when I joined the group and started posting immediately. The beauty of social media is you can at least hide behind your screen while you feel your way in the group.
Above all though, love yourself. If you do, your tribe will love you too!
(Thank you to all the Rebels and to Kelly, Ben and Leo for being the Rude Rebellion xxx) Click here for more info: http://theruderebellion.com