Who's In Your Circle? Creating a Network That Nourishes
Like me, you may be a proud introvert, and that is fine, but you can’t navigate the shark-infested waters called life without a support system. I wanted my system to be comprised of women I trust with various support strengths because I wanted my crew to know the difficulties that women face in today’s world and have an understanding of my experience. I call them my Sister Circle.
Growing up, my family, friends, teachers, coaches and mentors had a hand in helping shape the woman I have become. Now that I’m a wife, mother and more with a demanding career, a support circle is needed more than ever.
I have my family sister circle comprised of women who have known me most or all of my life. I go to them when I need the brutal honesty that only family can dish up. When I need guidance on a spiritual level, I turn to my spiritual circle. I have a small circle of friends that I’ve met over my professional career that I turn to when I need work advice, to vent or to party. My sister circles are a must!
Customize Your Circle
Your team must fit you. From your personality, to the ways in which you receive feedback, to your ability to trust, your circle must be as unique as you are. My favorite pair of jeans would not fit you in the same way even if we were the same size. Just the same, my sister circle doesn’t need a personal fitness expert because my exercise is walking and eating. I do not need gym buddies because faux pro tennis at the local park with my OC3 + 1 (Original Cousins 3 + niece) circle is just fine. Know your needs.
- Choose. Decide what circles you’d like and identify members. Circles can be for emotional support, health and fitness, fun and relaxation, marriage or dating support, professional/life development, or any area for which you need to be held.
Name. Give your circle a name. Ok, you don’t need to brand your team, but it’s cool if you do. You can get cool shirts and bags broadcasting your bond. Fun!
Socialize. Host cool gatherings. OC3 + 1 loves to do this.
Blend. I like to mix my different circles occasionally. It gives members of your teams insight into who you are and how you navigate the different areas of your life. Vision board parties and birthday celebrations are a good way to mix and mingle.
No Woman Is an Island
Having a great team is an essential life component. Besides stress relief, your support squad can pick up the kids when you’re stuck in traffic, pay for your groceries when your card mysteriously malfunctions, provide transportation when the car is in the shop, dry your tears, or simply listen.
Whether you’re in the midst of a personal crisis or you just want to have as many adult beverages, fatty foods and carbs as you’d like without judgement, surrounding yourself with people you can trust is golden. Note: If there’s someone you can’t trust, kick them out of your circle immediately!
With a team, you aren’t mired in a mess of chaos with nowhere to turn. Instead, you are surrounded by love, mutual respect and understanding with the freedom to be who you are. Achieving this level of trust is easier with a small circle. I recommend teams of 4-6 members, but again this is a personal decision. I have no more than five in any one of my my sister circles and members overlap. All total I have about 10 women I consider my most trusted friends. It’s just enough to have a backup if one is busy, but not so many that I lose track of them or they lose track of me.
Living a healthier, satisfying and more purposeful life is my goal. Although I’m a huge fan of alone time, I do need a group of chicks to have my back no matter what. It’s just what smart, strong women (and men) do.