7 Tips For Finding Your Tribe

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By Lissa Rankin MD

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

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!

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,

Previous articles by Lissa

About the author

lissa_rankinLissa Rankin, MD is a mind-body medicine physician, founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and other health care providers, and the New York Times bestselling author of Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself. She is on a grass roots mission to heal health care, while empowering you to heal yourself. Lissa blogs at LissaRankin.com and also created two online communities – HealHealthCareNow.com and OwningPink.com. She is also the author of two other books, a professional artist, an amateur ski bum, and an avid hiker. Lissa lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and daughter.


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  • Janaki

    I could have sworn that somebody got inside my head & wrote my story….amazing!

  • Amazing – this article arrived at just the right time – I hab ebeen discussing exactly this for a day or two now.

  • Girldawg1

    Good advice. You know, transitions are never easy and we have many throughout life. I tend to put things off in the hopes the right opportunity or person will come calling. This article is a reminder that a direct pursuit is sometimes in order; kind of like swimming out to that boat.

  • prem

    Thank You this truely was perfect timing for me to stumble accross the “find your tribe” blog. ALbeit months after it was written, when it was written I wasn’t seeking “tribe”, I was happy in a new relationship- now I realise that its time to cultivate tribe. I miss having sisters around me, I seek sisterhood. I am already beginning, the article arrived on my screen! Manifestation has begun. Thank You x

    • sarah

      Along the lines of prem’s comment, I’m just getting into a new relationship but am eager to find my tribe and allow enough space between us for flourishment. I’ve been missing my tribe for a couple years, never quite set the right intentions or made all the right moves. Thank you for the easy process listed in this article. I especially am looking for some sisters! Self-assured women who are soft enough to be kind and compassionate but powerful enough to make their strides and blaze their trails! Much love (:

  • It’s very comforting to know I’m not the only one who has felt like the odd duck. I really enjoyed reading this as I could relate to every word. xx

  • “Finding your tribe” – ah, there’s the rub! In the glorious sixties, we discovered that the land will call the tribe to it if you offer an open gate. Of the people who will come, those who belong will stay. It sure beats artificial filters of various types, endless meetings, hassles, etc. Perhaps 2,000 folks visited over 4 years, and 300 stayed. Our milking cows called the two daily meetings, so no one could ever say ‘You and whose God called the meeting?’ Only problem was that we freaked out some neighbors who thought we were bringing their property values down, and offering their kids an alternative to Consensus Reality. This 40-page Manifesto II captures the marvelous spirit of the community:
    http://badabamama.com/manifesto-two.html
    And you can read a 24-chapter history here:
    http://www.diggers.org/home_free.htm

  • Melody O.

    This is a great article. I can so relate to being an odd duck, and I realize that I am the one causing this feeling of separation from others. Your tips are definitely going to come in handy. Thank you 🙂

  • Naura

    I am in the same boat! I had my tribe in hs, but then we all grew up and went our own ways. Now that I am spiritually growing and evolving, I want a tribe of cool people to have bonfires, play bongos, sing-a-longs, hangouts where we can discuss higher minded ideas and share creativity, books, knowledge, and anything related to this beautiful new age we are embarking on!

    • Jen

      I’m still looking for my tribe. The 2 people that I’d definitely call part of my tribe live so far away now….it’s priceless to have a group that you feel so comfortable around, who accept you for YOU, mistakes & all! I know there must be others reading this on a similar spiritual journey that know exactly what I mean. Going out in Mother Nature, playing music, exploring/travelling, having deep conversations, real laughs…I want that so badly. Often I feel that I think so deep, there’s so much depth to my thoughts, that I wonder if other people think as deep. I know they do, I just need to find them! Please add me if you feel the same, you never know! 🙂 <3

  • iLord

    This iis the only thing that would determine true happiness, a groups of close knit friends or tribe as you call it

  • RosiDey

    I can totally relate. What happens when you have figured out what type of friends you want, what you would enjoy together, invite some people to join you…..and still no one shows up?

    • Debbe

      Simple. You keep searching. Sometimes, it takes awhile for them to hear the beating drum. 🙂 You are not the only one, in just about anything you can think of.

  • Really great advice – but I’d add that when you do judge other people (we all do it!), use your judgements as a tool to grow. From the perspective of the work I do (Voice Dialogue) when you find yourself judging someone it is an indication that whatever you are judging about them is a disowned part of your own psyche. So if you pay attention to your judgements and use the experience as a guide for what you need to integrate in yourself, not only will you become more fully who you are but judgement will naturally cease and you will be able to connect with other people more easily. This also enables you to use Lissa’s next step – to be discerning -more easily. Check out my website for more info on Voice Dialogue. http://www.voicedialogue.com

  • Louise

    Love this article! Ive always believed that everyone needs two fundamental things… to belong and to contribute. Its innate…so a ‘tribe’ is so important. Passionate about wellness and intuitive, attached parenting I was often mocked for my beliefs until I created my own amazing tribe full of health practitioners, parents and wellness enthusiasts committed to truthful information and healthy, affordable, sustainable living. My background is in nursing/midwifery and lactation consultancy. Many of us within the ‘tribe’
    offer our time and support for free to those who are prepared to take personal responsibility for their health and happiness. if this resonates with anyone love to have you join our tribe https://www.facebook.com/HealthInYourHome https://www.facebook.com/groups/bedisruptive/

  • Linda

    I really relate to this story. It’s very easy to be surrounded by a friendly group of people yet only really relate to one or two only to find that they do not really relate to each other. To find that perfect friendship group is very difficult. Glad it’s not just me.

  • Thabo

    Knowing the core of your thoughts, the one thing you know you dont have dig deep to explain to yourself or the next person…that for me has made realise the circle im in.
    You cant give what you dont have.

  • Rosanna

    Simply put…..wow…..not exactly rocket science but timely, simple and practical advice! I have been transitioning for the past 2 years. My beliefs, my priorities, core values etc all changed with an incredible spiritual awakening. For the first time ever I have stepped out totally at ease in my own skin and self. I had friends remove themselves, reconnected with an old bf…..bad move lol…..single again, made some awesome new friends who turned out to be extremely controlling and limiting. I am now ready to magnetise my unconditionally loving, wild, free spirited, competent, fairy like soul mate star family. I make friends extremely easily and have more friends than I can see regularly but one can always find time for the tribe, right? Lol

  • Mary E SpiesName (required)

    Reading this was so timely. I have never had a tribe, I have always been on the outside looking in, invited to attend but not to participate. I have known for a long time that I created this for myself but I don’t see how to undo it.

  • Wow!! It’s as if you looked into my soul! Thank you for sharing this! I love the word tribe. ..makes me think of honor, love, and appreciation!
    NAMASTE

  • I let my tribe find me!! I created a Meetup Group and called it POSITIVE, PURPOSEFUL LIVING! and described the kind of people who the group would be a good ‘fit” for. “If you build it they will come.”

  • zbean26

    Just create the intention, open yourself up and get out there. I make friends EVERYWHERE i go, just by opening my heart to the people next to me.
    I also do a lot of complimenting of strangers. Try it, its easy, see someones purse that you like, tell them, it’s that simple. I don’t really get new friends this way, but it lights up someones life, and it helps you get used to opening up to people. It feels very good to do that. Makes the world a happier place.