It takes real effort to create a squad (clique, sphere of influence, tribe… whatever you want to call it) that provides real support, guidance and motivation. In fact, I believe that we have to be intentional in forming connections, that inspire and motivate us towards our goals. Most of the time, we want to bring our current circle of friends with us. Why? Because, it’s easy to think that good friends make good supporters. But this is sometimes the furthest thing from the truth. Sometimes those closest to us are the ones that will try to talk us down from our goals, not always with a negative agenda, but out of love or concern (for the obstacles or challenges you may face). When we embark on a new endeavor, we need others to be a part of that journey, lifting us up and helping us navigate through it all.
Often, we feel the need to go it alone because we don’t want to deal with the opinions of others. It’s easy to feel that we don’t need any help; that we have everything under control; that we can handle it… by ourselves. To be quite honest, I am guilty of this one hundred percent.
I understand what it means to be self-empowered. I am a firm believer that there is a lot that we can handle on our own; and that we shouldn’t feel ill-equipped if we have to go it alone. But, I’ve also learned that there is power in your squad. Once you understand how much more you can accomplish with the right people around you, you are empowered to seek out those types of relationships. But you have to first come to a consensus with yourself. You have to decide and take action to build strong relationships that are conducive to your growth and success!
Side note: Not all criticism is negative criticism. Sometimes you need a fresh perspective to shine light on something that you may have missed or overlooked.
You have to first come to a consensus with yourself to build strong relationships that are conducive to your growth and success!
In order to start creating a winning squad, you have to first evaluate the one you have. One of the realizations that you’ll quickly discover is that not everyone can handle the weight of your dreams! Be prepared that this may include those closest to you.
We all have friends or family members, who try to subliminally talk us out of pursuing big goals. They’re the ones who ask a thousand questions. They’re the ones who try to pick your idea apart. They’re the ones who pepper you with:
“Are you sure that you’re ready for that?”
“Maybe you should wait until the kids are older.”
“I thought you were looking for a job.”
“How are you going to fit that into your schedule?”
These conversations start on a high note and end with you either questioning your own abilities or leave you angry and drained! Either way, there’s nothing productive about it. If you’re like most, you welcome constructive criticism, you’re open to little back and forth about why your project is legit… but what’s not so welcome is doubt, negativity or an underlying motive that undermines your idea.
Sometimes we need a little help with creating Squad Power in your life.
How do I assemble a killer squad that propels me forward in life?
1 – Evaluate
Evaluate your current circle of friends, your colleagues and even family members that are generally privy to anything new that you decide to do. Talk to them briefly about your new venture.
Pay attention to what they say and what they do:
- how did they react to your idea(s)
- what advice (if any) did they offer
- were they indifferent or uninterested
- do they ask how they can help or support you
- were they positive or excited
Now, think about how you felt after the interaction and decide if it’s a feeling of being empowered and motivated, or if you were left feeling defeated and doubtful. As you take stock of their reaction (and your feelings), make a decision as to if this a squad-worthy relationship, or not.
2 – Eliminate
It’s time to eliminate those, in your circle, that are negative, doubting and unsupportive. Being selective about your squad is the only way to ensure that you surround yourself with people that only want the best for you. You have to be willing to come to terms with the fact that not everyone is meant to go on this journey with you – and some won’t want to. But, before you panic… this does not mean that you are about to experience an ugly breakup with your best friend or favorite cousin. Not at all. Your relationships will stay intact. It simply means that you will limit the communication – concerning your plans – with those specific people.
3 – Expand
This is the part that only you can put in motion. You have to strategically ‘expand’ your squad by intentionally seeking out connections that are aligned with your goals and the life that you desire to create for yourself. Most of the time these are not people that you already know. Your objective should be to cultivate relationships with people that have already achieved (or are on the path to achieving) the type of lifestyle that you are striving for.
Get ready to attend networking events, conferences and even going through the process of finding a strong mentor to guide you along the way. No matter where you start, it’s just important that you don’t take Squad Power for granted. You’ll thank me later.
I’d love to hear your success stories on created Squad Power in your life; or if you have tips on how you connected with a strong group of women and how those relationships have helped you along the way, tell us about it in the comments.
P.S. Need a little auditory reinforcement? You’re in luck. This entire topic is available as a podcast episode (plus a lot more of my opinions, examples and personal stories) right here for you.