If there is something I’ve learned about my students this past year, it is this: At the end of the day, no matter how many likes and comments and DMs we exchange… so many of us still feel quite LONELY.
Ironic, because the internet has made it possible for people to now be more connected than ever, AND YET… an increasing amount of people are getting this gnawing feeling of loneliness and isolation behind our screens.
For a good part of our day, we live our “social” lives on a tiny screen, with our smartphone’s home screen literally being the center of this virtual reality we’ve built for ourselves.
Especially when you’re pursuing your passion, or taking a different career path than what your friends are taking, or are trying to get an idea off the ground by yourself, or being your own boss — these are the times when you really, really wish you could have someone you can always reach out to who GETS you, even just to chat and bounce ideas off of each other.
Pursuing your own path can be a lonely journey, especially if you don’t go out of your way and work at finding your tribe.
And that’s what today’s blog post is all about.
4 Self-Limiting Walls That Might Be Keeping You From Finding Your Tribe
Wall #1: Sticking to your “usuals”
Don’t close yourself off to your ‘usuals’. It’s easy to just stick with the familiar: our high school or college friends, or our colleagues — people who we already feel comfortable with. But people grow and change as they get older, and we develop different sides of ourselves. You have to give that side of yourself a chance to connect and grow outside of your usual zones.
So don’t be afraid to sign up for a workshop even if you’re on your own! It’s a great way to force yourself to mingle, speak up, and interact with new people.
Wall #2: Scared to say “Hi” first
Don’t be scared to approach people! Chances are, you’re both just anxious to say the first hello – so just get it over with! Tip: As an introvert, what helps me is to have 2-3 of questions in my mind-bank so that I don’t go blank whenever I talk to someone for the first time.
Wall #3: “I don’t know what to talk about!”
Instead of trying to come up with topics you want to talk about, here’s a solid tip: Be interested in them, not just about talking about you.
This is why I like questions a lot — it makes the conversation less about me (plus I don’t have to talk so much!). Making friends is not about impressing other person with your resume or smarts, it’s about being genuinely interested in them.
Wall #4: Sticking to your age group
For a lot of us, age becomes a self-limiting thing. We either feel too old or too young for something. But here’s the thing: The world is changing so rapidly, that a lot of the new things we can learn today, EVERYBODY is learning it all at the same time.
Whether you’re 18 or you’re 38, a lot of the new skills and tools now are new to both you. Besides, learning is an ageless, timeless hobby. So, say, you’re on the older side of the spectrum, don’t be shy to join a beginner’s workshop, even if you think it’s going to be mostly young people in there. Alternatively, if you’re younger, don’t be intimidated to join a workshop that seems to be for older people.
I remember, in one of my blogging workshops from way back in 2012, my youngest student was 13, and my oldest student was 40! More than anything else, what was more important was they came to the workshop with open minds and the willingness to learn.
Hopefully, these tips push you to get out of your comfort zone, break your usual routine, and try something new in the coming week that will help you connect with kindred spirits. I’m telling you, it’s a different kind of magic all together when you have peers and mentors, and are constantly surrounded by honest, positive people who will uplift and challenge you.
Believe me, I know that from experience. My path has been paved with strong women who have served as landmarks, lighthouses, and sherpas for my entire journey.
Having that tribe of strong, empowered, purpose-driven women who have opened doors for me, shared of themselves and their knowledge so generously — that’s been such a big driver for my growth. My hope is that you find that in your life as well.
Want more tips & actionable inspiration about finding your tribe?
Here’s the podcast episode where I delve more into the topic. If you’re needing that push to put yourself out there, this might be just what you need.
If that’s something interesting to you, and you want to listen to that, you can either:
- Press play above above listen from your browser with the embedded player
- Or, if you’re on your desktop and you have iTunes, you can click this link and it’ll take you there. (Episode 11)
- Or, if you’re on an iPhone – you can go to your Podcasts app, and search for The Purposeful Creative Episode 11
- Or, if you’re on Android – you can download any podcast app, my favorite is Stitcher, and search for The Purposeful Creative and go to Episode 15.
NOTE: What I like about podcasts is that I can listen to it anywhere, any time, whether I’m stuck in traffic, working out, or doing errands. It’s a great way to learn on-the-go without having to look at your screen.
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