Being a mom can be one of the loneliest jobs.
A few years ago I had tons of friends. I even had thousands of “friends” on Facebook. So why did I feel so lonely?
I found myself constantly busy, running my kids here and there. I was surrounded by people much of the time but I was missing the type of friendships that meant something. You know the kind…best girlfriends that know you from your core out.
In a world driven by social media many of us still feel isolated and alone. Why is that? Social media can be a place filled with comparison and pretending.
As moms, we still crave deep rooted connections.
We want to find our TRIBE.
Over the past few years I have made a break through in finding a community, my tribe if you will. It didn’t happen over night nor was it simple. I had to do the internal work to prepare myself for the friendships I longed for. But it was worth it.
I hope by sharing my journey to finding my tribe, you’ll be able to manifest a mom tribe of your own.
Examine What is Holding You Back.
The first step in creating a new reality in your life is examining what is holding you back from that reality. In other words, start asking yourself questions that will lead to what is currently happening in your life that is keeping you from having the type of relationships your heart desires. Get real with yourself. Be brave. Ask the hard questions.
For me, it was owning up to the fact that I struggle with trusting people. Trusting that they will still value my friendship if I let them in to the negative stuff in my life as well as the positive. I was covered in shame from the things that had happened during my time as a child and young adult. I didn’t believe that I was worthy of honest, transparent friendships. And this kept me closed off and only allowing friendships to be surface level.
I was a best friend to many because I was a good listener. Whenever a friend would ask specifics about me that felt uncomfortable, I would deflect the conversation back onto them. This allowed me to keep them at arms length and keep a barrier around myself and my darkest hurts.
But what this also did was not allow anyone to know the true Rebecca. So I felt alone and isolated sitting in a room full of friends. This barrier I built around myself was closing in and felt more and more suffocating.
So what did I do?
I decided to open up to those closest to me. I got brave and vulnerable and shared more of my feelings and past experiences. You know what? No one ran away, screaming for the hills. No one thought less of me or judged me. Instead, they seemed to fall in love with me that much more.
Don’t be afraid to ask yourself some hard questions. What limiting beliefs are holding you back from finding your tribe of people that will love you just as you are?
Decide What You Want and Be Specific.
Part of what made this experience work for me was I knew what I wanted in a community or tribe of friendships. I asked myself some questions and came up with the following criteria.
- My relationship with God is at the center of my friendships, because He is the center of my own life.
- I feel supported and cared for by the people that are closest to me. I care for them in the same way, on a deep intimate level.
- I feel heard, understood, and seen in my friendships. I want to be listened to as well as be a good listener.
- I am invested in friendships with people that are striving to grow themselves personally. I am always working to be a better version of myself, and I want to be challenged by those that are in my circle of influence.
Once I had my criteria it was easy to move forward.
What do you crave from your tribe of people?
Don’t Be Shy. Take Action. But Be Patient.
We all have people surrounding us in one way or another. At church, at our kid’s school, in our work place, in our neighborhood. Now that we know why we have been holding ourselves back and what we want in our tribe, it is time to take action and meet people. Remember that this is a process and takes time.
1. Identify the type of person you are looking for. You will be surprised. Now that you know what type of friend you are pursueing based on your wants and needs, you will start to identify her more easily.
2. Be bold and make the first move. She may be sitting next to you at church, volunteering at your child’s Valentine’s Day party, or even standing behind you in the grocery store line. Get involved in things and make the first move to introduce yourself and get to know someone.
3. Seek out the friendships. One of the most important steps in finding your tribe is to reach out and make the effort. Most likely, she is feeling just as anxious about finding her tribe as you are. Invite her to coffee or lunch. Or simply reach out and schedule a play date at the park.
4. Listen more, talk less. The first few times you are getting to know someone spend time finding out about them. This will help you to know if she is the type of tribe member you are looking for after all and will also make her feel important to you.
5. Give the relationship time to become a safe place. Let the relationship grow and mature. The process of finding a friend like you are seeking takes time. Be patient. Put in the work and watch it grow.
6. Finally, be open and transparent. This is key to your new friend becoming more like family. Once you have gotten to know her and she is a safe place for you, open up. Share your hurts right along with your wins. An intimate relationship with a friend is key to the tight knit community you are craving.
Follow these steps and find your mom tribe. Watch your confidence soar!