Before I choose a new tribe I want to take stock of how I have changed, what I need now, and how I can contribute to a new tribe. I have some self-awareness work to do. And probably some changes to make.
How have you changed?
I have gone from thinking I was retired back into a big move to learn more, create more, and share more. I do not have the same objective I had three or four years ago. It makes sense that my needs have changed along with my interests. I have “outgrown” my present tribe. That doesn’t mean I’m better than, or smarter than, it just means I’m now traveling a different path. It happens that no one in my physical environment of seniors is remotely considering actively pursuing any type of internet outreach. I am alone in my interests and my skill set.
Make a list of ways you have changed. Note how your interests have changed. Five years ago, I was a Content Development Coach. Now I’m focused on Personal Development. That calls for a different web presence, a different following, and a different learning path for me. My interests have changed. I need to change my tribe.
What does not work in your current tribe?
The more intensely involved I get in the direction I’m going, the fewer people are visible on this path. Just as a champion athlete needs another champion athlete to help her stretch and grow, so we need to interact with people who are playing at a similar level to ours. They are the people who can teach us and inspire us.
Is there anyone in your current circle that can lead you to your new tribe?
I have four long-standing friends with whom I interact for different aspects of my well-being. As I change, even they change as a resource. One person was great at discussing our mutual spiritual path, until I went off in a slightly different direction. Another friend continues to be a supportive, enthusiastic fan of anything I do. That hasn’t changed. Her encouragement is her gift to me. Another friend is playing bigger than I ever considered, even though we are both introverts. However, we still periodically nurture each other. A relatively new friend is someone I began to follow online several years ago. Now we have a personal, extremely supportive relationship. I am following his lead, but our interactions are nurturing us both.
You must open yourself up
The biggest, more important shift I made is to become a willing student. I was so busy teaching and coaching that I seldom put myself in the role of someone who is willing to emotionally learn from others. Even as I form the Deeper Song Community, I am working to engae in more personal interactions with the members. I want to turn this into a place we learn from each other, not from any one person. How do you need to approach your new tribe differently? What new awareness can you develop about yourself that will help you gain more from the experience?
How you engage is important
Listen before you respond. Look beyond what is said. Do some research if you can. Respond appropriately. Be supportive. On a recent forum a participant asked for feedback on his landing page. There were several things I would change, but I thoughtfully chose the one that I thought would offer the most relevant place to begin. I did not come from a place of “Content Development Coach.” I moved in gently with one helpful observation. Feel your way into a new environment. Look at the responses you get. On that same forum, I apparently offered advice instead of a soft suggestion and I could tell by the response that my tone had been off. Entering into a new tribe is a wonderful way to practice your relationship skills.
Enter your new tribe from a new perspective
I know more than I did when I entered my last tribe. That means that not only do I have different needs to be met, but I have different gifts to offer. In my new direction, people are more interested in my philosophical perspective than in the nuts and bolts of content development. I want to stay tuned to the needs of the new tribe.
Find the right energy
The first time I felt the power of personal energy pouring off of a web page happened about 40 years ago in New York City. I opened the web site of a Buddhist. I was overwhelmed by the power of the energy that came pouring off the computer screen. As I developed my sensitivity to energy in my holistic healing work, not only did I become more discerning about energy, but my own energy became more noticeable. Someone actually choose me from my energy in the New York City phone book!!
Recently it happened again. I was scrolling through my emails and the invitation to a course given by a medicine woman distinctly called to me. Whether you believe this or not, I will tell you that you have the ability to know if you have found the right tribe simply by listening to and feeling your inner responses. Stay open for those breath-catching moments that say – “here, this is where you need to be next.”
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