One of our regular members, Leigh, sent through a link to a new post on her own site about the importance of finding your tribe. It made me reflect on my own consideration of tribe, of belonging and simply being around other like-minded people.
The concept of belonging has been a fundamental part of the human experience since our species became self-aware. It was once the very primal need for safety in numbers – to provide food and resource security, physical protection for children and to teach them cultural norms and provide identity.
These days in our first world society, the basics of food and personal security are (mostly) taken care of by social safety-nets. The concept of belonging to a tribe has evolved from fulfilling primitive and physical needs into satisfying our emotional and intellectual need for belonging and like-mindedness.
Belonging to a group that allows you to define your own identity is a very basic human need that reduces mental distress and loneliness. We all need social contact and a support network to help regulate our emotions and our responses to challenges – humans struggle when operating alone for long periods.
Just like sports teams attract supporters, religious congregations attract believers, craft circles gather members and kids form into separate groups in school, modern-day tribes are formed on the basis of shared experience, interests, values and ideals.
Modern-day tribes exist to provide mutual support and shared learning for their members. They help us to identify our place in society at large and help us relate to others. They provide inspirational ideals for new members to work towards and allow older and wiser members to be consulted and celebrated for their achievements.
For many people, their own family and friendship groups provide all the belonging they’ll ever need to be satisfied with who they are in the world. For others, especially those who aspire to be more than they are and to break out of an existing mold, their existing support networks just won’t cut it.
Entrepreneurs, freelancers, academics, independents and artists seek belonging of a different kind. They need social contact outside of family and friends with other like-minded people. They define themselves through self-belief, independent work and independent thinking.
Yarra Ranges Coworking attracts these sorts of people. Our work is different, our talents are different, our mindset is different, our life experience is different and our opinions are different. We are different enough to provide the variety and divergence in ideas and opinions that make a healthy community thrive.
The shared values that bring us together is that each of us believes that whatever it is that you do is better done together, than alone. We have enough shared experience that we can offer support to each other in almost any aspect of our professional lives.
I’d define our like-mindedness as being one of inclusive exclusivity. We tread a different path to most people’s career choices. We value our independence as an alternative to traditional job-based careers and we consider ourselves to be empowered, engaged, informed and successful. We know that most people don’t align with our mindset, but we welcome those who do and we’ll support you to nurture your own independent career too.
Leigh says she has found her tribe with our Yarra Ranges Coworking community – why don’t you come along to our meetups? You might just find yours as well…