I certainly would not be who I am today without my tribe…
My tribe consists of a close knit of friends who have been there with through the ups and downs, the thick and thin of life. They’ve seen me at my best and my worst – they know the real me, inside and out and they love me nonetheless.
Growing up, due to my father’s job, my family and I would often moved around every couple of years or so. My siblings and I were essentially brought up as “Third Culture Kids”, children who were raised in a different culture than their parents’. Having moved around often one may think that it would be extremely difficult to establish and maintain true and close friendships but I was fortunate enough to have been able to do so. Fast forward to today, I am so blessed to have a wide network consisting of amazing people of different cultures, ethnicities, and background spread all over the globe whom I can sincerely call any day of the week, 24 hours a day.
They say that friends are the family you choose and they couldn’t be more right. Besides my family, my friends have pretty much been my anchor. Though I’ve always known that friends are people who are to be treasured, it wasn’t till I was in college, living away from family who had been my rock, that it really dawned on me just how much of an impact that friends have on one’s life. I began to deeply notice the profound impact of the people that one surround themselves with and how much it shapes who they are and their lives. Believe it or not, research shows that we are the combination of the 5 people that we spend the most time with – more than likely at least 1 of the 5 is someone that we consider a friend. This means that who we select as our friends may affect us significantly – be it positively or negatively. In other words, it is in your best interest to select your friends carefully because whether we are aware of it or not, they may determine how the course of our life will unfold.
Being selective as to who we spend our time with does not mean that we are arrogant or think ourselves as “better”. To quote Oprah Winfrey “Surround yourself with only people who lift you higher“. In order to become your best self, you must surround yourself with people who believe in the greatness within you and encourage you to live up to your full potential and to live your best life. That is not to say that you should seek for people pleasers or those who agree with you and nod along no matter what, as friends. Our tribe should consists of people who believe in our dreams but whom are also able to express what we need to hear and not just what we want to hear because sometimes we need the help of those closest to us to give us a dose of an honest to goodness “tough love” and knock some sense into us when they see us heading the wrong path. They are the ones who we can trust and who we can count on whenever we need them the most.
I challenge you to take a look at your current tribe – those you spend the most time with on a regular basis – have they impacted you positively? Have they given you honest feedback when needed? Can you count on them to be there to help you through challenging times? If your answer happen to be “no” to any of the questions, it may be worthwhile to consider whether one or more of your friendship is one you’d like to keep and maintain. Though we do not have the option to the family we were born into, fortunately, who we select as our friends is entirely our decision. So be sure to gather yourself an amazing, trustworthy and supportive tribe who not only believes in you when you are at your best but more importantly, will stand by your side and hold you up at times when you’re feeling as if you are at your worst. If you’re fortunate enough to already have these wonderful people in your life, cherish them. Never take them for granted and let them know how appreciative you are to have them in your life as often as possible.