4 ways of identifying people to surround yourself with

TRIBE. A term that’s come into fashion over the last couple of years in the world of spiritual and self-development, particularly among women. My understanding of the term ‘tribe’ as all those people around you who ‘have your back’. Bigger than a family but perhaps smaller than an entire community. In fact your ‘tribe’ can include both members of your family and members from a variety of different communities.

The importance of surrounding yourself with the right people

We’ve all heard about the importance of surrounding yourself with the ‘right’ people before. But what does that actually mean?

This is a topic I’m really passionate about because it really can make all the difference in your mindset, work, health and wellbeing. Having the support of people around you on a daily basis is important. Where it really makes the biggest difference is when you’re dealing with some of life’s challenges / stepping out of your comfort zone and really don’t need the ‘sensible’ lot around you – you know, the ones who actively discouraging you because its not something they would do!

Most of the time its been the people around me who’ve kept me going when I want to quit or give up on something. Have those people around you – the ones who relate to you as a BIGGER human being. The ones who are around to celebrate AND stick around when s*** hits the fan. So how do you identify the people you want to be around?

What are those FOUR things?

  1. Those you resonate with, whether that be due to having common interests, opinions or beliefs. Most of us are surrounded by these people. They’re the ones who are easy to get along with. There are few arguments or conflict. Beware the pitfalls of ONLY surrounding yourself with these people however – you could easily end up in a little bubble, lose touch with reality (two words: London + Brexit), or get a little bit too comfortable and not do the things that are going to benefit you long term
  2. Those who initially trigger or annoy you. I made it my mission to get to know these people over the last 2 years and some have turned out to be my closest friends or clients today! Here’s the thing about those people – typically they annoy you because they’re being a mirror to you, and reflecting the parts of you that you either don’t like or can’t accept about yourself – or would like to be more of! For example, ‘the loud annoying one who always shouts out’. On reflection, it would have been because I wish I could have been that self-expressed / vocal (FB Lives are new – I love hiding behind writing), brave and not cared what anyone else thought of me. Make sense?
  3. Those who inspire you & make you want to uplevel in some way / do new things / get out of your comfort zone. These could be people doing something similar to you and are just a few steps ahead or people doing something completely different but have peaked your interest in some way, e.g. shared something on social media.
  4. Those who believe in you no matter what and refuse to entertain your BS and excuses when you say words like ‘can’t’, ‘don’t know’, ‘try’ and ‘should’. These could be close family or friends

NOTE: this is by no means an exclusive or exhaustive list, only my opinion at this point in time of writing.

A few additional pieces of wisdom

  • Don’t be stuck on only one group of people. I’ve created multiple groups around me – from school, uni, dance, fitness, coaching, personal development, spiritual events and other common interest groups – in person and online
  • Get social. Take up a new hobby, or if a ‘lack of time’ is one of your things then just start speaking to people you already come across on a daily basis, e.g. in a gym changing room – I’ve had some of the best post-workout conversations there. At the very least start going through your FB friend list and check in on people you haven’t had contact with in a while. See what they’re up to. If its anything interesting, perhaps suggest a coffee/catch up
  • Distance yourself from those who drain you energetically. We all know those people. That’s not to say don’t be generous or attempt to make a difference to them. They just don’t need to be the people you spend the majority of your time with! For some of us, that could be easier said than done. In those scenarios, look at putting measures in place to help you manage yourself around those people (e.g. meditation, long walks). You need to look after yourself as number one otherwise everything around you will be impacted – work, relationships, your capacity to help others
  • Share and let people know where you’re at. It may just be that you need some extra processing time. So just say that and they’ll check in at a later date. Don’t just drop off the face of the Earth. People worry. Also, research has shown that isolation is detrimental to mental health – more on that in a future post!
  • You’ve never a burden so don’t even entertain that idea. And people love to help. People love the opportunity to make a difference to others where they can. Give someone the gift of contributing to you. It’s what makes human beings so great!