The start to autumn has hit our family hard. As the leaves begin to turn, welcoming the changing season, we have been dealing with the reality of death and the growth of new life. The duality of holding both at the same time hangs heavy on our hearts, while bringing us a sense of peace and purpose for all that is ahead.
Through it all, we stand strong because of the relationships we’ve developed: Our community. The people that are there for us through the hardest and the best times. Whether they are natural family or the closest of friends, these are the people that provide a sense of belonging that holds our lives together, no matter the circumstances. Let’s take a moment to explore the power of community together.
Our life is built on finding significance and belonging. We need to need each other. That’s the power of community. For some, it’s a close-knit family. For others, it’s a group of friends that forge a bond closer than blood. It’s our tribe. Our people.
But what if you haven’t found these people yet or your family relationships are strained?
In Brené Brown’s latest book, Braving the Wilderness, she explores the paradigm of true belonging and highlights the courage it takes to stand alone instead of hustling to simply “fit in.”
She shares: “As it turns out, men and women who have the deepest sense of true belonging are people who also have the courage to stand alone when called to do that. They are willing to maintain their integrity and risk disconnection in order to stand up for what they believe in.”
While feeling disconnected and alone, they maintain their integrity. They stand strongly rooted in their core values. They forge connections from this grounded place as they seek like-minded community.
When you choose to fit in instead of pursuing true belonging, you sell out on what matters most.
When you have the courage to stand in your integrity instead, you may be alone for a while, but also create the space to find your tribe.
As a mother and entrepreneur, I know how lonely life can feel and how important it is to forge authentic relationships and find your tribe. There are days that feel so full of everything from loads of laundry to designing marketing strategy that I need others who get it and can champion me when I’m stuck or feeling isolated. I’m selective in the types of people who are in my tribe so I can build the type of community I want my children to grow up in.
What areas are you trying to “fit in”?
What values are you selling out on?
How have you sought out people who share your values so you can find your tribe?
What’s one thing you can do better as you seek genuine belonging?
Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen examples of true connection and service in its rawest and realest form as everyday citizens came together to help those affected by the many natural disasters.
Neighbors coordinating donation drives to obtain necessary goods.
Strangers willing to host displaced families.
Monetary contributions made to those who lost everything.
People reaching out over barriers to care for other people as they strengthen the community even more.
This is the very essence of true community: to meet each other where we are at right now and show up together to make a difference.
During these times of service in action, there are days (and weeks) that feel heavy and hard. Some days, I just wanted to crawl back under the covers to be shielded by the warmth and security that the darkness and stillness offers. To be alone. Unbothered. To cry. To rest. To heal.
You may also have tried to isolate yourself when life feels like it’s too much. Yet the desire to shrink and hide only makes us play small and eliminates the beautiful opportunity we have to influence and serve our community, even when we’re hurting.
We are not made to exist in isolation. Every single person needs connection, encouragement, and relationships to enrich our lives and so we can contribute on a broader level. We need community.
Life does not happen while we’re hiding. It happens when we choose to show up, despite the circumstances. Pull off the covers and start where you are.
Be part of something bigger than yourself.
I can’t, but we can.
Be the Revolution,
Leslie Bosserman, M.Ed., CPCC
Executive Coach + Lifestyle Strategist for Millennial Leaders + Managers
Originally published at leadwithintention.com on November 1, 2017
Leslie M. Bosserman, M.Ed., CPCC, is an Executive Coach + Lifestyle Strategist designing customized leadership solutions for Millennial Leaders and their Managers. With a background in strengths-based leadership development and applied positive psychology, she runs a multi-disciplinary practice called Lead With Intention where she coaches, trains, and consults with clients around the world.
Leslie works with a variety of clients ranging from top executives at worldwide corporations to creative entrepreneurs and non-profit teams. She is an avid artist who also enjoys traveling, karaoke, cooking ethnic food, writing in local coffee shops, and practicing yoga.
Leslie lives in Northern California and travels internationally for coaching, organizational trainings, and retreat facilitation. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Medium or send her an email at [email protected] to learn how to partner together.