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Before there was self, there was the tribe.

To me, finding my tribe means finding a place where I feel as if I belong or am accepted. In life, we may find ourselves seeking community or human connection. We often do this by finding individuals who share the same common beliefs or values as us. We many even do this based off gender identity, sexual identity, career path, values, political affiliations, and more. Whatever we use to find our tribe is special to us, it may be all the things or just one but what happens when you are not able to find that tribe or feel like you do not belong to any? Social connections add meaning to our lives and decrease our risk for depression, anxiety, substance disorder, loneliness, and low self-esteem.

Belonging is the feeling of security and support when there is a sense of acceptance, inclusion, and identity for a member of a certain group. It is when an individual can bring their authentic self to work. When employees feel like they do not belong at work, their performance and their personal lives suffer. Burnout in your professional life can be higher and can influence loneliness. Often, we find ourselves changing ourselves and conforming to the world around us to be accepted or to feel “free”. Being ourselves often means having the courage to stand alone, all alone.

One thing you will learn from me is that I am a fan of Brene Brown. Brene Brown is a Texan Social Worker and avid researcher. If you have not watched any of her Ted talks, you should…. In her Netflix documentary, The Call to Courage, she often talks about the Man in the Arena Quote by Theodore Roosevelt. If you have not heard the quote, I will put it below.

After watching this hour long special on #Netflix, I did a lot of self-reflection and thought about all the things she said that resonated with me. You can see them below:

  • We often use other individuals’ vulnerabilities against them, especially the people we love the most. How can we accept love if we are not willing to be seen or heard?

  • Vulnerability is the key to connection and our path back to others.

  • Vulnerability is not about winning or losing. It is about having the courage to show up when you can’t control the outcome.

  • If you are #vulnerable, you can get 3 things- love, joy and belonging. To love is to be vulnerable. To belong is to be our most honest and vulnerable self. Most people are scared to feel joy because they think something may come along and take it from them. In the middle of great things, we dress rehearse tragedy to protect ourselves.

Now ask yourself, are you willing to be seen even if it means standing in the arena alone?


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