The urban dictionary defines tribe in two ways:
- A group of friends who becomes your family
- Close friends, group of people who are loyal to you, care for you like family
I used the urban dictionary as my source because I enjoy the definitions of today’s popular slang. Merriam-Webster’s definition did not do the word justice.
When I think of my tribe, I think of the people that have challenged me, picked me up when I was down, supported my dreams and people I can always count on no matter the time, distance or situation.
Recently, one of my best friends celebrated a huge life event, her first pregnancy. At the baby shower, which was the event of the year, I thought to myself how fortunate I am to be surrounded by an amazing group of women. My Tribe.
A Doctor. Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Lawyer. Finance Manager. Higher Education & Education Professionals. Small Business Owner. Healthcare Professional. Executive Director. Wife. Mother. Best friend. Sister. Family. Support. Listener. Brunch date. Cheerleader. Worship partner. Loyal.
That is what my tribe consist of. Women who push me to my full potential while they are living out their own goals and dreams.
Did you notice? I listed out some of my tribe’s professions. Should it matter what your tribe does for a living? What really counts is how they contribute to your life, right?
The answer to both questions are – yes and yes.
What makes a friend is not what they do for work. But a good tribe consists of those who are challenged and pushed in their career and home life. Remember, you are the company you keep.
I remember a time when I had a friend who lacked career motivation. She was in her post-graduation career with no motivation do to more for herself. Our conversations slowly started to diminish because they lacked passion, drive or motivation. I had to recharge myself every time we finished a conversation.
What picked me back up was turning to my tribe who, for a lack of better words, had it going on. I admire my #GirlBosses. I envy them, in a good way. I need to have women around me who are always striving to be better than before. Women who are not OK with status quo. Because if I am going to hustle, I need those around me to do the same. We have to push each other.
Now before I lose my male readers, I want to make sure you feel included. As I was writing, I asked my partner Julian about the professions of his tribe. He rattled off – Surgeon, Doctor, Lawyer, Federal Probation Officer, Ad Executive, IT Professional, Higher Education. We ended our conversation with him saying, “You have to have people around you who are doing as good as you or better. It is one of the most important things.”
No, we are not superficial and only be-friend people with elite careers. But what we do care about is what our friends are doing in life. Just as much as we want people to pour into us, we want to pour into other people. And nothing is more draining then pouring into someone who doesn’t want to be poured into. Not worth it.
When you have people in your tribe who are accomplishing goals or maybe just taking your dream vacation. That should encourage you to want to work smarter AND harder. It should push you to think of your next promotion, second source of income (the side hustle) or how you can maximize your potential in your current role.
Friends are not just supposed to be there to take your side during an argument or your party partner. Friends need to be people who push you to be better, tell you when you are not working hard enough and support you when you dive into the deep end.
My tribe means everything to me. What we have is deeper than friendship. Just like the urban dictionary states – friends who become your family.
Now don’t go kicking friends out of the circle because they haven’t reached a certain career goal. Especially if you are someone who has been riding the same “wave” for several years. Instead sit and talk with each other about career goals and aspirations. Find out what they would do if money wasn’t an object. I would be a librarian.
Working adults between the ages of 20 – 54, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, work about 40.3 hours per week. If your tribe consist of people who are staying idle for over 2,080 hours a year, then you might have a bigger problem on your hands than you think. Or an easy decision to make.
We spend a lot of time in our adult life working. That time should be used in a way that not only benefits you, but those around you. Make sure you have something to contribute to the tribe.