It is important that as we move forward in life we monitor the company we keep. Sometimes this means changing our circle. Sometimes it means outgrowing those friends we’ve had since kindergarten or college. Sometimes this means walking alone for a while. Whatever category you fall into, just know that when this occurs, it’s time to choose. One statement that always resonates with me is that everyone cannot go where God is taking me. This is so true. There are seasons in friendships and relationships just like there are with the weather. There are lifetime people and there are seasonal people, you just have to be able to decipher which people fall into those categories, which leads me to my next point. Having a spirit of discernment is key. Discernment is simply the ability to judge well. Now normally, I don’t condone passing judgment, but when it comes to the company you keep, you need to be as judgemental as possible because you become who you surround yourself with. If you hang out with people who lie, eventually, you will find yourself lying. If you hang out with someone who is always pessimistic, then one day you will look up and find yourself being a pessimist as well. In 1 Corinthians 15:33 KJV it reads, “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners”. It doesn’t get any clearer than that”.
So how do I choose this tribe Marliceia? I’m glad you asked lovies. Here are the 4 test to determine whether a person is apart of your tribe or someone you should leave behind.
1. Tribe Members are Fruit Bearer, not Barren Trees
The people who are apart of your tribe should be experiencing fruitfulness in their personal lives and pursuits. I will always go back to you become who you entertain. If you are hanging out with people who have no ambition and goals, then you may want to check yourself. You can’t be a go-getter when you are surrounded by stagnant people. When you choose to change your atmosphere, you will change your life. I know that this can be a hard decision to make when you have long-term friends, but honestly, some people we are meant to outgrow. It’s time to make those tough decisions lovies. Everyone can’t go where God intends to take you, so you have to let go and let God’s plan take precedence. Trust me, there will be people along your path specifically designated to help you along this journey. There will also be times that you must walk alone, but understand that your tribe will be known by the fruit they bear, so get to picking the ripe and good fruit and leave that rotten fruit where it lies.
2. Tribe Members are Supporters
Ask yourself, do the people I surround myself with support me? Now hear me when I say there are different levels of support. Some people will just say I’m proud of you or congratulate you on your social media. They may even give you words of affirmation and encouragement, but these are not the type of supporters I am speaking of. Tribe Supporters will not only encourage you verbally, but they will invest in you financially, help you seek out and secure opportunity, and build right along with you. They will always step in to help when you need it and pray for you. Lovies, it’s time to reevaluate your supporters.
Let me tell you a little story. When I first began to dabble in makeup, I had no idea I would become a professional makeup artist. I use to travel to Atlanta, GA with a few of my sorors to get wax services by the amazing Shannon Wrispus at Coco Beleza Wax Studio. On, this one particular trip one of my sorors requested that I do her makeup in the lobby of the salon suite and so I did. Before I knew it, ladies were asking me about doing their makeup right then and there, I immediately replied, “I am not a makeup artist”. My sorors negated everything I had just said and told the ladies, “yes she is and we will have her business cards available on the next visit”. I was sitting there in shock at that lie. Lol! They then began to tell me that I should pursue it and so I did. I began as Fancy is Flawless Makeup Artistry. It took off right before my very eyes. Here I am 6 years later and re-branded as Marliceia Chavers Artistry, still striving to be the best in bridal, beauty, and editorial makeup services.
Now, when I first began, all I offered was makeup and t-shirts with my logo on it. Some of those same sorors who encouraged me to pursue makeup artistry purchased a shirt from me and one has even received a couple of makeup services from me. Then there were a couple that never supported at all out of that group and it hurt me, but it also taught me a valuable lesson. God allows some people to come into your life to simply plant the seed and then there will be different ones who will water that seed. The ones who have never really supported weren’t meant to, but they did play an integral part in my success by planting the seed. Seedtime and harvest are pivotal moments, so we must be thankful even when the people we thought would support us do not.
I told you that story to help you identify the difference between inspirational supporters and tribe supporters. Anyone who encourages you and plants words of affirmation is important. They help to push you forward and have a meaningful role in that capacity, but your tribe supporters will be on the same path as you even if is a different field of expertise and still support you with words, deeds, and opportunities. It’s time for you to identify your tribe and have your first tribal meeting.
3. Tribe Members Believe in You
This may be one of the most important attributes your tribe members possess. When I tell you working fulltime and pursuing entrepreneurship is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. It is a hard road, but it is so fulfilling and I know it will be well worth it in the end when I reach my goal of being a full-time entrepreneur, but I need my tribe to get there.
There have been times when I have literally felt like giving up. I contemplated selling all of my makeup and tools and just saying to hell with this, but those are the times my tribe stepped in and told me; Girl if you don’t shut the hell up speaking all that negative stuff into the atmosphere. It’s a sobering experience to have someone tell you to shut up in the midst of your gloom and doom speech, but it is needed. These are the magical moments that remind you of who you are. To have someone speak life into you and say things to you that inherently make you realize that they believe in you maybe even more than you believe in yourself at times is amazing.
This my lovies is how you know that this is a tribe member at heart. These women and or men are your kindred spirits. They remind you of who you are, inspire you, and even give you new and innovative ideas with no strings attached.
4. Tribe Members Will Keep Your Secrets
As humans, we all need people we can confide in, share our hopes and dreams with, and even tell our plans to. The thing about this is that you have to be very picky about who this information is divulged to.
Understand that there are vultures out there who will try to pose as apart of your supportive tribe, but they are just there to leech off of you and steal your ideas to use them as their own, which is very unfortunate. Now, these are the times that your spirit of discernment will need to come in. Be very prayerful about the people around you at all times. Remember just like God sends people to propel you; Satan sends people to deter and derail you. I typically say a prayer that God protect me and keep away the people who satan sends in my path to try and get me off track and abort his purpose and plan for my life and to increase my spirit of discernment so that I am always aware.
My dear lovies, the members of your tribe will definitely keep your secrets and you will be expected to keep theirs as well. You will be able to feed off of one another’s energy and passion and that will push all of you to be better and aim for better in all of your pursuits. Secret keepers are so needed on our journeys.
Let me leave you with this, in all of your tribe development, be sure to be the type of tribe member you desire others to be to you. We must always strive to embody the things we desire no matter what.
Until next time lovies…keep pushing with the people who push you!