Ever heard the phrase “find your tribe?” You may have seen it used in Instagram captions or Huffington Post articles about creating lasting friendships. If you’re unfamiliar with the phrase, it means exactly what it sounds like. Find your tribe. Find your people who lift you up and support you through the ups and downs of life. The people who love you unconditionally and without judgement. Your friends who you rely on no matter what.
Finding your tribe can be tricky. Especially as an adult without school giving you automatic groups of people with your same interests. My biggest piece of advice: find the people that bring you whole-hearted joy and support you through everything. The people that you can be your truest self around without any fear of judgement. Pretending to be someone else just to impress others is a thing of the past, because frankly, ain’t nobody got time for that.
I could easily do a whole post on finding your people and creating your tribe, and who knows, maybe I’ll add that to the list for another day. But for now, I want to talk about something that I think can almost be harder than finding your tribe: truly relying on your tribe.
We live in a world where independence is championed and needing other people too much is a sign of weakness. For example, have you all heard about marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge? He recently made history for running a marathon in under 2 hours. You read that correctly. This man ran 26.2 miles in 1:59:40. (I mean, I recently ran a 5K in 40 minutes and that was a major accomplishment for me!). However, this time doesn’t count as a new world record. Because he had pacemakers accompanying him the entire way.
Now, I’m not here to rewrite the rules of marathon running. But for the sake of this metaphor, doesn’t it seem odd that he was denied world record status simply because he had help? After all, he still ran the thing. No one carried him, he didn’t ask for a break, he just asked for support to push him and hold him accountable. And isn’t that something we all need?
Asking for help is hard. Admitting that you can’t do it all is hard. Letting people in is hard, but it's totally worth it.
We all need some pacemakers on this marathon of life. We need the people by our side making sure we are staying on track with our goals. We need cheerleaders.
Admitting you need support isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a sign that you care. It also means admitting something might go wrong.
It’s easy to ask for support and praise when you’ve already achieved something. But listen to an inspirational Oscar acceptance speech or an interview with an Olympic athlete. They aren’t thanking the people who praised them once they were successful, they thank their parents who sat through bad beginner ballet recitals and drove them to and from hockey practice year after year. They thank their agents who worked to get them auditions and supported them even when it was a slow year for their career. They thank their family members who put up with travel season or the late nights when you didn’t get the part. In their moments of success, these champions thank the people they’ve relied on since day one, before they knew if they were even any good. They thank their tribe.
I recently auditioned for my dream part in my dream show. As I’m writing this, I have no idea if I booked it or if I even got a callback. But the day before the audition, I sent out a bat signal asking for prayers and good vibes. And this was really scary for me.
Because if I ask for good vibes now and it doesn’t pan out, I’m going to have to admit to all those people that I failed. And admitting failure or defeat is the hardest most vulnerable thing of all.
Taking risks is scary for this exact reason. We don’t want to try something and then fall on our face and look ridiculous. And the bigger the risk, the bigger the fear, and the easier it becomes to push everyone else out.
But those risky and scary life moments are why we have people that become our safety net. Your tribe will catch you if you fall and they’ll support you on your first try and on your five hundredth. If you find the right people, you’re stuck with their love and support whether you ask for it or not.
I know the people that reached out to me in preparation for my audition will be the same people saying “you’ll get the next one” if I don’t get the job. And the same people will be saying “I’m so proud of you” if I do. In this business, you have to audition and hear ninety nine “no”s before your first “yes.” I’m beyond grateful that my tribe has been there for all the “yes”s and “no”s up to this point, and they’ll be there for all the “yes”s and “no”s to come.
So I keep relying on them. Even on the days I feel repetitive. Even on days when I don’t feel good enough. Even on the days when I can’t rely on myself, and I’m too ashamed to ask for help. Because that's what they’re there for.
After all, when my best friends come to me, I love and support them like it's my job. I’m sure all of you do the same. So think about it like this, your tribe wants nothing more than to see you succeed. They want to be your pacemakers and make sure you’re reaching your full potential, because they see how truly incredible you are.
So let them do their job.
Let your people lift you up. Ask for the support, because I promise you, they’re happy and excited to give it. I’m not saying it will always be easy, but it will always be worth it. Your tribe already knows how incredible you are, so let them support you as you share that light with the rest of the world.
P.S. My tribe is literally incredible. You all know who you are, and I just want to take this opportunity to say thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I'm everything that I am because of your constant love and support.