Like so many others who struggle to find their tribe, I spent much of my life tiptoeing around my desire to find a group of people among whom I could be unconditionally loved and accepted, while staying in alignment with my true nature.  Although I had my share of friends, most of them weren’t friends with each other, and I never had that group of people I could call and ask “What are we doing tonight?”

I was always too nerdy for the jocks and cheerleaders, too cool for the nerds, too uncool for the popular kids, too goodie-two-shoes for the stoners, not goodie-two-shoes enough for the church kids, too liberal for the preppies, too conservative for the Deadheads… You get the picture.

I tried to find my tribe, but no matter what I tried, I always felt like the odd duck swimming with swans, who all seemed to enjoy a sense of belonging I never quite felt.

Then my spiritual counselor pointed out that my ego had created this separation story that distanced me from the very belonging I craved. (You can read the nitty gritty details about my separation story here.) Since gulping down the uncomfortable truth of this guidance, everything started to shift for me, and finally, I am finding my tribe.

Among these beautiful people who love and accept me just as I am, I find myself becoming increasingly brave. I show them parts of myself I’ve previously hidden, and not only are they not rejecting me – they’re telling me they love me even more because I’m willing to be imperfect amidst so much pressure to be perfect.  My confessions of imperfection come with an added bonus. When I’m brave enough to show people my big ugly tail, they tend to do the same. And as Brene Brown tells us in her fabulous TEDx talk The Power of Vulnerability, this breeds intimacy and fosters a sense of belonging, which fans the flames of my Inner Pilot Light.

Tips For Attracting Your Tribe

I know I’m not alone in my desire to be part of a tribe, so if you’re jonesing to find yours, let me share with you some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way.

  • Be mindful in your intention-setting. When you’re ready to find your tribe, put it out there! Set clear intentions. Ask the Universe to support your desire. Try creating a home altar and fill it with sacred objects meant to call in your tribe. Burn incense. Bang a drum. Release old, limiting beliefs by writing them on slips of paper and burning them or by imbuing stones with self-sabotaging beliefs and tossing them in the ocean, a river, a lake, or over your balcony.
  • You’re special but you’re not special.  Sometimes we let our sense of being “different” or “special” get in the way of belonging. Understand that each of us is unique and individual, but we’re also much more alike than it may appear on the surface when we wear masks and lack the courage to be uncool. Don’t let your ego’s separation story keep you from belonging. Underneath our egos is a matrix of Universal energy that unites us all. We all hold within us sparks of divinity, and when we tap into the Oneness, the illusion of separateness dissolves and we’re left with what we most crave – intimate connection soul-to-soul.
  • Surround yourself with like-minded individuals. Take an art class. Join a women’s or men’s group. Sign up for a workshop. Find a spiritual community that feels authentic and lights you up.  Engage in activities that ignite your soul.
  • Ditch judgment.  Someone from your tribe might be standing right next to you in the grocery store, but if you label her as “other” because you don’t like her hairstyle or her fashion sense or what she put in her shopping cart, you might walk right by the person who could have been your next BFF. Instead of judging someone, dare to smile and make eye contact.  Look past the surface into the beauty and resonance of that person’s soul.
  •  Be discerning. While judgment and criticism erect barriers between you and your tribe, you also won’t jive with everyone you meet. This is where discernment comes in. Get clear on the kind of community you hope to attract. Be honest about your own needs and be willing to communicate them. Ask for what you desire and invite others to do the same. Set healthy boundaries but leave your heart open. The most important thing holding a tribe together is a sense of safety with our vulnerabilities.
  • Call in your tribe. Don’t just sit around and wait for your people to find you. Put your desires out there on social media.  Blog about your tribe, so people can tell if they long to be part of it. Be specific about what you long for. (If you’re starting a purple hair tribe, tell them! If only goddesses need apply, be honest. If your tribe includes Christian Republicans or Buddhist Democrats or atheist moondancers, name it.) You’ll be surprised how easy it can be if you’re brave enough to speak your truth unapologetically.
  • Don’t be shy. Take action. When you meet people who light you up – the ones you hope will become part of your tribe – be brave enough to invite them to be part of your inner circle. Tell them how much you enjoy and admire them. Be unabashed about your affection and respect. Set a date to get together and connect with them. Start a women’s or men’s group, get together to mastermind your businesses, start an email thread or private Facebook group to connect you, plan a retreat together, or get creative in your own way!

You’re Officially Invited To Join My Tribe

Blogging and social media have been pure heaven for me, regarding finding my tribe.  It’s like the law of attraction in action. I’ve met most of the people in my inner circle on Twitter, Facebook, or the comments section of either my blog or theirs.

But for quite a while now, I’ve been jonesing to gather my tribe together in a new, vibrant way, so we can nurture each other, support each other in our personal and spiritual growth, bounce creative ideas around, offer up the occasional well-intentioned ass-kicking, break into dance parties, network professionally, and see past the masks we all wear with “magical eyes” to witness the Inner Pilot Light within each of us.

Wanna join this tribe of beautiful souls, either live in the San Francisco Bay area or virtually? You can learn more about my new Inner Pilot Light group coaching program here. 

Have You Found Your Tribe?

What about you? If you’ve found your people, where did you find them? What tips can you share for those who are still looking? If you haven’t found your tribe yet, tell us what you’re seeking. You never know who might be trolling around the comments on this blog, looking for someone just like you…

With love and gratitude,

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36 Comments

  1. eyenie

    Lissa!!! This SAAAANG to me!!! It was like my soul wrote it 🙂 THANK YOU! I long for a tribe, and am electrically ecstatic to be invited to join yours!!! YAY!!!!!!

    Reply
  2. Lissa Rankin, MD

    Yeehaw Eyenie! So happy to share a tribe with you 🙂

    WOOT!

    Boogeying with your Inner Pilot Light,
    Lissa

    Reply
  3. Kate Durie (@kateudurie)

    The universe just reached out and gave me the biggest kiss, hug, squeeze and made my heart grow – practically burst! Thank you thank you thank you.

    How do you continually know exactly what I need and when? It’s like you’re reading my mind, heart AND soul. This makes me want to move to San Francisco for the duration of this program!! Seriously.

    Will it really work virtually?

    Reply
  4. Nichelle

    Clicked it without hesitation, but with an “Ooo! Yes! That sounds good!” Today, something rings clear within me that I am not meant to be small. I am meant to be powerful and successful…that I HAVE to be. It just feels very certain that it is time. 🙂 I know that finding my tribe is part of that!!! <3

    Reply
  5. Lissa Rankin, MD

    Katie and Nichelle,
    I literally have tears in my eyes. I feel like there’s been something brewing among all of us- and it’s time to stop being little puddles and coalesce into a big ocean together. You are my people- and I am yours. And together, we will change the world.

    I’m so glad we’re finding each other 🙂

    And yes Kate, we are hiring professionals to make sure the tech works. God forbid it doesn’t, you’ll get your money back (but it will work!)

    Much love
    Lissa

    Reply
  6. Paula Birchler

    Just beautiful! Thank you for sharing. This spoke to me and as I sit with tears in my eyes and a pull in my heart I realize that although I have inched into being part of a tribe I resonate with, I still hold myself back. THIS made me realize just how much of that remains to be rooted in my own fears and ego keeping a wall up around myself.

    Thank you for sharing and shining your light!

    Paula

    Reply
  7. kitrona

    I was literally crying when I read this. (Admittedly, I was crying before, but not about the same things.) I want to find my tribe so badly it hurts, but I don’t know how… I’m not even sure who /I/ am, and I’m not sure how to figure it out. I’m just so lost right now, but you’ve given me hope that I do have tribe members out there who will be honest with me and still love me for me, and I them. Thank you, I really needed that hope.

    Reply
    • rehenazelreyhan

      I hear you, sister <3

      Reply
      • Lee Erdman

        Walking with you 🙂

        Reply
  8. Lissa Rankin, MD

    Dear Kitrona,
    I promise your tribe is out there, love- and I’m sorry if having not yet found them stings. I know so many of us feel that way.

    All I can say is that the more you discover yourself- and start to unapologetically illuminate your Inner Pilot Light- the more your tribe will naturally be drawn to you- and you to them.

    So don’t be afraid to shine the truth of your light.

    And please, feel free to join us here:
    https://lissarankin.com/program/

    We’d love to help you find your true spark and be your surrogate tribe until you discover your own…

    With love
    Lissa

    Reply
  9. Dave March

    I always figured I was from another planet or even another star system, reincarnationally speaking. I always felt so odd here. I never really fit in. I have trouble understanding how/why things work the way they do. So, yes, you could say I’ve been looking for my ‘tribe’, or maybe my species.

    It occurred to me that the steeple churches often have act as a kind of antenna, pulling in people who connect to that energy. So I had an instinct to build something, some kind of structure, and see who’s attracted.

    Reply
    • Gillian Bode

      Hi Dave, Have you built your structure yet? I’m curious!!! Gilli

      Reply
    • Robin Mc Bride

      Dave … we might just be from the same planet … and it’s not this one …

      Reply
  10. Lissa Rankin, MD

    Dave,
    If you build it- and make it clear what “it” is- they will come.
    May you find your species.
    With love
    Lissa

    Reply
  11. Mary

    I so love this! I would join the virtual group for sure if it didn’t coincide with the most important work day in my week right now! Keep having groups like this, so some day I can join you! I know they will be available afterwards, but I’m really jonesing to meet you all in real time!
    I was always the odd one out, with no real group to call my friends, I had a friend here and there, but it didn’t feel like what other people had. Then I moved to Hawaii and was depressed and lonely, but made a friend who talked me into joining a canoe paddling team. I was out of shape, but I leapt into the unknown and met some of the most amazing women in that group. I continued to avoid going to parties and gatherings, because I was scared and I always blamed it on my husband, that he really missed me and wanted me around. The truth was I didn’t know how. But over the last few years I’ve taken more risks with these ladies and I have a group of 4 other women that will forever be in my heart as my group. And I am often the one to put together gatherings! Hiking, dinners at friends houses, I am actually the one to plan them! I am ready to expand again. So I’m going to build my altar this weekend and summon them forth!

    Reply
  12. melanie

    I just joined your tribe that “meets” on Wed nights 9:30 EST. I would like to know if I can connect via telephone for the first 15 min and then connect via my computer for the live stream at 9:45?
    Every other Wed I will be driving home from an appointment and will arrive home apx at 9:45pm?

    Looking forward to our “meetings”. I love reading everything that you have shared with us!

    Reply
    • Lissa Rankin, MD

      Dear Melanie,

      I don’t see this posing a problem as you’ll be receiving a call-in number and pin which you’ll call into. Once you get home you can use the link that you’ll also receive to get on the live stream.

      Warmly,
      Melanie Bates

      Reply
  13. Bob Stuart

    I only realized that both my mother and myself had Asperger’s when she was dying at 88. She minimized her child care time in favour of books. A counselor finally diagnosed Attachment Disorder as my other major problem, and says I’m lucky to have one friend, and the ability to interact with people for an hour and still sleep that night. Every time I thought I’d found my tribe, I was wrong.

    Reply
    • Marianna

      I hear you, Bob, but come on, do we really need these medical and other labels?! I do get tired from phone calls and face to face conversations. But there are emails and with once a month or so face to face I am doing great. It seems like blogging is the way out for me – to share useful info and to find soul tribe.

      Reply
  14. Lissa Rankin, MD

    SUCH a good point Bob. Thanks for pointing that out.
    xoxo

    Reply
  15. Vee

    I try to be cheery and smile at everyone I meet – most smile back and we chat. But we are like ships which pass in the night and we never meet again. When I try to connect, other people are always so busy with their own affairs, and promises to visit come to nothing. The only folk who are attracted to me are those with problems, and I find myself being Earth Mother to an assortment of odd people whom I do not find particularly attractive and with whom I have no desire to bond or associate. I know that sounds rude but I need to be with folk who make me feel good, not those who drain me.

    Reply
    • P. J.

      Vee, I second your comment! Have you read any of Dr. Elaine Aron’s books on the Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)?

      Reply
      • Aimee

        Sounds like good books. what are some of the key advice? I am so sensitive that it is getting heard for me to leave the house. I am exactly like Vee. What is wrong with me? People seem to like but nobody calls.

        Reply
    • Gallifreya

      Vee, that sounds so like me. Luckily I am not currently attracting the problems of others at this moment – though in isolation it almost sounds like a good idea (for a moment). Seems there are a lot of us like this!
      I’ve been looking for my tribe since I was a child. This morning I thought I had finally reached the bottom of my well of hope. Thank you for this blog post, Lissa. I just now realized that this is 3 years old, but I’m glad I found it.

      Reply
    • Francis Lamme

      it is already been 4 years! Wonder how you’ve grown. Hope you found great people to surround you with, that appreciate you and give you energy.

      Reply
  16. DeMario Ash

    Hi Lissa,

    Sorry for posting so late…I just posted on another blog and decided to comment on this one too!

    I’m a all-around fitness/wellness GURU who specializes in giving broken spirits mental/spiritual/physical wholeness…

    I have not found my tribe but they will consist of individuals who’ve had their spirits broken due to abuse, neglect, and self-destructive behavior.

    Keep up the good work and I’ll be in touch…

    sincerely,

    DeMario

    Reply
    • curious

      do you have a website??

      Reply
  17. Nicole

    Hi Lissa, I found you through a google search (“finding your tribe”) and I love your work!

    I’m running a small free workshop on just this topic in December, in the Blue Mountains of NSW in Australia. I would LOVE to be part of your tribe but San Francisco is a totally impractical commute at the moment and the program link above doesn’t seem to work for me.

    I’ll be advertising via my own website at the end of the month but thought I’d mention it in a comment here because as you say, you never know who’s trolling around the comments! 😀 If there’s any Blue Mountains people on here, I’d love to hear from you!

    Reply
  18. Rachelle Busser

    Lissa,
    Thanks for this post. I had a tribe long ago, but we’ve moved on to different states and different lives. I’ve been feeling disconnected and alone for a while now. I have many friends, but they all have their own lives and families. So I continue to search for my tribe. Knowing there are others out there who feel the same way helps alot.

    Reply
  19. Kate

    I’m currently on the journey of finding my tribe and your post made me realize more deeply that I am holding myself back. I tend to avoid posting on Facebook or comment in sections like these so that people won’t judge or reject me even virtually. My wounds are deep but I’m healing. Thanks for a thought-provoking post!

    Reply
    • Daniel

      That sounds very familiar, Kate. It often comes down to not wanting to expose ourselves for fear of being hurt and judged by others. Which is understandable since we live in an immature insensitive world of people who would lash out and judge you out of their own fear..
      I just wonder what is the right thing to do when faced with such a reality? keep hiding so that we don’t get hurt again or courageously show our true colours even though we know some/many people are not mature enough and will ridicule us?
      If anyone wants to connect, write me on danielgould108 () g m a i l c o m

      Reply
  20. Francis Lamme

    the link doesn’t work, the one to get me to your Inner Pilot Light tribe-vision.

    Reply
  21. MAK

    Very cool article – thank you! I actually have, in the past few years, found my tribe at an inventive, supportive, amazing co-working center in San Diego. Don’t know what I would do without them now!

    Reply
    • Steinar Myhre

      Hi MAK. People bump into each other in a variety of settings.

      Reply
  22. Solwejg

    I’m enough nerdy for the nerds, but there’s no nerds except me… I’m enough goodie-two-shoes for the church kid, there’s just no believers except me in my environment….

    Reply

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