Building your tribe

A huge part of my success is due to my tribe – people I Bank upon. These are people I turn to – to get comfort, get fashion guidance, to seek guidance or sometimes just to talk things out.

Sharing how I choose someone to be part of my tribe:

1. SWOT : At a duration of ~2 years I do an as-honest-as-possible SWOT of my personality. Some of the weaknesses I have worked over the years are my shy, introvert attitude; grooming and fashion sense; empathy; confidence; and social skills. Due to frequent change in profile, I had to invest quite substantially in augmenting the technical skills too and that also could not have been done alone.

2. Bucketise your weaknesses and pick two to work on. Initially the result may not be visible but the incremental impact is substantial.

My major buckets eg can be Appearance, Social Connect, and Technical Skills.

3. Find out the resources to help improve. Assess people around you who can help.

For the appearance part, I was in a fix. This was the time when I was about to join hotel industry for industrial training and I looked totally out of place. The resources available were also next to nil as the salons nearby had all the gyan to go over the top. The tribe till then were also not able to help.

This remained a mental barrier even when I changed industry and it didn’t mattered as much. I could find that support from a bl0g that I have been reading since then.

The point being the tribe and support system may be unaware of their importance to you but should be a stable one and genuinely liked by you.

4. Seek out support by spending more time with them. The discussion and connect has to be a natural flow.

I try and connect with the friends and seniors who I found good for my happiness. This requires effort for sure and initially them and other friends/seniors won’t be much different but over a period these will know you and get comfortable enough to tell you where you are faltering. One time the advice I got was – “You are being unnecessarily aggressive, let things flow a bit more naturally”. Of course I didn’t like it at that time but then became conscious of the fact and corrected without things falling out.

Another time, a friend helped understand that – I am selling myself short and need to have a little more confidence.

In the midst of issues these are the people who help you course correct before things go awry.

5. Stay connected even if the strong ties turn weak. You need people and they need you – Human beings are social animals 🙂

The tribe grows little by little and you and them are going to get busy. The connections will turn from strong to weak, don’t give up. Stay connected and if it is too infrequent, call up to say hi.

6. Spread the love. Help others when they need you. The good karma helps and there is an incredible amount of happiness that you get by helping others.

And if that is not enough, you learn to deal with your situation better by helping others deal with theirs.



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