Not Finding Your Tribe? You Might Be a “Wolf Pack” of One (and That’s Ok)

woman-sitting-on-bench
Yes, I guess you could say I am a loner, but I feel more lonely in a crowed room

with boring people than I feel on my own. – Henry Rollins

By: Allison McLintick

According to just about everyone, you are supposed to “discover your tribe”.

Oh, that coveted tribe! That sacred group who will naturally “get you” and vibe with your very “essence.” They will “protect” you and explore life’s adventures with you and feed you with their own fingers and…I’ll stop.

My mockery betrays me. (In fact, it even smells a little like resentment.)

However, the truth is this: I’ve discovered that I’m a little bit “wolf pack of one”.

I haven’t found a tribe.

I have also discovered, that I don’t want one.

We are offered contradictory messages 1) Being deeply connected to a like-minded group is the Holy Grail of belonging. 2) only inside that safety, are we then praised for being courageous, independent and self reliant.

Huh?

If however, you are someone who actually prefers to walk alone (as I am) and find yourself outside of a group (yet, self reliant) —  you might be looked at skeptically. In fact, you may be told that you just haven’t found that tribe yet. It may also be decided that you haven’t experienced the real joy of life.

Worse yet, potentially viewed as an unapproachable loaner.

What?

My own intense reaction to the idea of “tribe” seeking, is actually a little laughable. For years, I’ve tricked myself into thinking I was experiencing profound feelings of loss and loneliness because of my “non-tribe” status. I’ve always felt like an outlier, alone in a crowded room.

I have also discovered that tribe after tribe, didn’t fit my vibe. The notion of becoming “tribal” actually made me feel strangled, forced and confined.

I found myself trying to back away.

Not sure if you prefer to be tribe-less? Here are a few things I joyfully observed about myself, being the lone wolf.

Perhaps you’ll relate:

  • Groups fail to energize you. You might hang out with a group and don’t feel like you have anything to contribute to the conversation. It just doesn’t interest you all that much.
  • The topics don’t fit. In many groups, you find the things you want to talk about are things that pretty much no one else wants to talk about. (Frankly, you are a little relieved, because they wouldn’t do your awesome topic any justice.)
  • You avoid the hootenanny. You don’t want to go to Wanderlust with a bus full of people — or discover sand in crevices it should never be in — at the Burning Man festival. (Moreover, another Young Living Oil party and drink wine on a Wednesday night.)
  • “Give me space” is your mantra. You actually love Young Living Oils (I do!,) but you would rather shop online from the privacy of your own home.
  • Just no. Shopping with another person makes you itch.
  • You are not often a “regular”. You walk into a yoga class and everyone stops talking and turns to stare. “Who is that?!” someone asks and everyone shrugs.
  • Your need for contact is “Camel-like”. You intensely enjoy a few really great people and every time you see them you think “I love being with him/her” — even if you don’t see them again for months.
  • You don’t drink the Kool Aid. When people start a conversation and it starts to go a little (or a lot) like “group think” you want to bolt.
  • You are content with doing your own thing. You genuinely do not feel a bit jealous when you see group photos of everyone’s fabulous tribes having great fun posted just about everywhere.
  • You totally, genuinely, love being alone.

For all the tribal folks reading this, please know that tribes are great if that is what you are seeking.

But, not everyone requires one.

If you are like me, try not to automatically feel you are less of a full spirit or missing out of something “sacred”. Finding a tribe may be important to many people. However, that doesn’t mean you are one of them.

Keep doing what makes you feel energized and whole.

Be that wolf pack of one.

As for myself, truth be told — my tribe consists of my son, my daughter and my husband.

Because you know what?

They totally “get” me.

Allison McClintick is a seasoned coach & speaker — specializing in influence and consciousness development. She’s a Mom of 2 (20 years & 6 years), a ridiculously talented house painter, lover of quantum physics and is currently pursuing a PhD in Psychology. To balance all that life, work and play — she’s attempting to “think” more effectively with practiced meditation. She’ll keep us updated.

Live.Work.Think.Play shares observations concerning a wide array of topics from running a company — to the fragrance. It is designed to share lessons learned from a variety of perspectives.

 

 

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Are You a Rebel? We’ve Got Some Sure Fire Ways to Harness Your Power

ctiivne Nature Park

By: Allison McLintick

I’m fairly sure that “rebel” is genetically encoded within my DNA — adjacent to the information about my brown eyes and auburn hair.

All my life, I have unconsciously felt the urge to go against the grain. I have a natural repulsion for the “herd mentality”, the pressure to pretend, play along . Even the “fake it to make it” idea, drives me to the brink.

I have tried these tactics — and sadly — it never ends well. Situations became quickly “combustible” or I would feel that I had compromised something very close to my core. Admittedly, this trait hasn’t always served me well. My youth and early adult life are littered with ill-judged decisions and (more than a few) burned bridges. It’s a testament to maturation.

I hadn’t harnessed my rebel nature — I was simply living in it.

As I refine my life design and focus on a conscious, elevated way of living, I have come to manage this source of personal power. The term “rebel” can now be accurately replaced with more productive labels such as “non-conformist” or may I venture to say — “genuinely confident”. (Even though as a rebel, I hate labels.)

If you are at all like me (and you are in need of advice), I have 4 tips to help you harness this potentially problematic wild streak into something powerfully dynamic.

Here you go:

  • Capture “you”. This exercise is imperative — choose 4 values, adjectives or catch-phrases that you want to use as a life compass and direct your attitude, decision-making and behavior against it. One caveat here. Try to keep it positive. Most “rebels” I know have robust opinions, but lack the focus to really stand for what truly matters to them. Time to figure this out. For example, personally I would want to become: 1) positively powerful, 2) enlightened, 3) perpetually curious and 4) a teacher of truths. I can fit my entire life into those 4 values.
  • Stand with confidence in what you are for — not just what you are against. Notice I said “confidence, not obstinacy, combativeness or defensiveness. No one is genuinely influenced by any individual who is notoriously negative.
  • Focus on mastering communication. Think communication is a “soft skill”? If yes, rebels will find a very tough road. Communication is the only route to influence. If you feel that internal drive to make your mark, you need to know the how/what/where/when and why’s of the written and spoken word. (Don’t worry, I can help. Message me with your most burning questions.)
  • Remember, no one owes you anything. There I said it. It is your life — and only you are accountable. “Rebels” are at their most powerful when they recognize this fact. In this way you can stand for your truths, while knowing you are crystal clear concerning where your accountability begins and ends. This insight will garner  boat loads of respect.

Not quite a rebel like me, but know someone who definitely is? Here are 4 tips to employ their greatest strengths, while helping them evolve.

  • Know that you can rely on them for the truth. Admittedly, the truth may be unsolicited. However, in many contexts, it can be a strength. We need to hear from people who will be forthright and transparent. However, gently remind them to be mindful of the situations where commentary and resistance are not appropriate.
  • They will likely not fear something different or even taking action. In my line of work, I see many people who are hesitant to make decisions, take risks or fail. “Rebels” generally, have more tolerance for this. Simply, give them some parameters and let them explore.
  • Many have a discerning eye for gaps. “Rebels” often resist what is expected, safe or the “norm”. So they often hold a perspective where they can see elements that can be improved . Find out what they’re thinking — and why. There may be a better path.
  • Engage them, but don’t expect them to change. My mind roughly functions the same way as it did when I was much younger. This is because my thinking processes are governed by enduring values. (They are certainly more refined.)

There are many “rebels” among us. I have come to love this part of my personality. It was a long haul — but I am loving my current space.

If you are a self-identified rebel, you can get there, as well.

Read more about it.* (Click on the photo to learn more)

 

Allison McClintick is a seasoned coach & speaker — specializing in influence and consciousness development. She’s a Mom of 2 (20 years & 6 years), a ridiculously talented house painter, lover of quantum physics and is currently pursuing a PhD in Psychology. To balance all that life, work and play — she’s attempting to “think” more effectively with practiced meditation. She’ll keep us updated.

Live.Work.Think.Play shares observations concerning a wide array of topics from running a company — to the fragrance. It is designed to share lessons learned from a variety of perspectives.

Why Suits Don’t Always Make the Woman & Other Clothing Tales

Lynda_Carter_Wonder_Woman

By: Allison McClintick

The other night over cocktails, my friend and I were discussing how clothing can change how you feel. Interestingly, she almost fell out of her chair — gushing over the glorious power trip of a perfectly tailored suit. She smiled slyly at me, sharing her glorious secret; that the suit made her feel like a bad ass.

I really couldn’t share her enthusiasm.

There are few things in life I detest more than wearing a suit. Well, that may be a slight exaggeration. But not by much. What you wear, should be an extension of your personality. If you feel powerful in a suit, it should follow that it fits your personality (and you are not trying to compensate for something else).

The suit “thing” just does not follow for me.

One thing I have learned, when it comes to clothing that helps you feel confident and empowered — it is not a one-size fits all solution.

I have spoken in front of thousands of people. Once or twice, I have been criticized for not wearing a traditional jacket (ironically, by other women). I intentionally stopped wearing them because when I did, I felt uncomfortable — a little like a fraud. I was actually physically uncomfortable, like a child trying to pass as an adult. It totally threw me off.  My brand and my message said something totally different than what I was wearing.

Formal career wear? It just doesn’t suit me. I’ve instead opted for dressy jeans and a much for forgiving form of the “jacket” (No complaints yet. See a couple of anti-suiting options below). I let potential clients know this is how I present myself, from the start.

It is no surprise that formal suiting doesn’t work for me. I’ve been an athlete all my life. I’ve played soccer for 30 years and when exercising, I’m already planning my next workout. I practically live in yoga pants — immediately putting them on when I get home. You can only imagine my euphoria over “athleisure” earning a permanent place in the trend world.

For those of us who are dedicated athleisure fans — we know that it isn’t just a trend — it’s a lifestyle. It represents active living, a casual sense of adventure. I like to think it represents a natural sense of confidence. However like anything, there needs to be balance. In my Atheleisure efforts of yesteryear, I may have looked a bit too casual. In the last few years, I’ve evolved to choose functional, flattering options.

Flattering and functional do cost more — just as it would with a well cut suit. If your mid-weight jogging/errand jacket gives you hypothermia in a rain shower in late June, you’ve missed the mark. Brand up. I have my favorite, classic brands. However, there are many new brands jumping into the mix — many with a social conscience — that will help you feel better about spending $100 to knock around town.

Bottom line: Choose what you wear for every situation with intention. Whether at work or play.

Explore quality options that fit you and serve you well. Be mindful of your contextual expectations; however, compromising your unique brand should not be an option. You won’t feel right, you won’t “seem” right and life is too short to feel uncomfortable.

If you’re feeling the Atheleisure vibe (as I do), I’d like to share a couple of favorite brands to try. Those mentioned, qualify as brands you should love & respect.

Be your own woman. Be yourself. Feel empowered to be you.

Athleta. With a refreshed commitment to sustainability, fair trade and empowering women, Athleta provides a wide array of items that could be worn at work or play. We’ve picked a couple of jacket alternatives. They also have a travel line — that can take you just about anywhere. Find it here.

Athleta Bomber
Athleta Stronger Bomber Jacket
SuedeJacketAlthleta
Helena Suede Jacket

Sweaty Betty. I love this brand’s versatility and classic sense of style (with an edge). A real plus — they support the Movemeant Foundation, a non-profit designed to address women developing a positive body image.  Find their site here:

SweatyBetty
Enso Cullotes + Simhasana Sweatshirt

LVR is a young, family owned brand with a big heart. Handmade in the US, they give hundreds of clothing items to Los Angeles charities every year. Find more items at their website here.

LVR
Organic Pullover Cowl Tunic

Have a favorite athleisure brand that gives back? Share it in comments.

Allison McClintick is a seasoned coach & speaker — specializing in influence and consciousness development. She’s a Mom of 2 (20 years & 6 years), a ridiculously talented house painter, lover of quantum physics and is currently pursuing a PhD in Psychology. To balance all that life, work and play — she’s attempting to “think” more effectively with practiced meditation. She’ll keep us updated.

Live.Work.Think.Play shares observations concerning a wide array of topics from running a company — to the perfect gift. It is designed to share lessons learned from a variety of perspectives.

Struggling to Connect? The Beatnik Movement Offers a Simple Clue

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By Allison McClintick

At 16, I began a love affair with the beatnik movement.

Inspired by the ghosts of Henry Miller, Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, my friends and I wandered unwashed around downtown Detroit with backpacks and Doc Martens. Nights filled with Henry Rollins, open mic poetry slams, exotic tea in dark, dirty coffee houses and Black & Tan’s in darker, dirtier bars than we should have been able to frequent.

I loved how the legends of angst could bring everyday life “home” to the seeker in all of us. Just recently, I read an article in Lion’s Roar magazine interviewing Gary Synder; poet and author (and possibly inspiration for Kerouac’s On the Road). He was asked about being a Westerner traveling in foreign lands — and the inherent challenges that posed. His simple answer on the topic was the following:

“As long as you speak the language and have good manners, you can go anywhere.”

Beside the obvious literal reference — I was struck by the profound meaning this statement can offer concerning both communication and connection.

Everyone is coming from somewhere.

Their experience and perspective could be similar or vastly different from yours or anywhere in between. However, if you really intend to connect with someone — you must understand who/what/where/they are. Assess their context. To effectively communicate you must be aware of and speak the language of their “world”.

As a coach who helps other build influence, I find that “people complaints” are often hot topics of discussion. Where as you might guess, problems with communication are a common offense. While most people understand they could improve this skill — more often than not — they reflexively point to other people as the culprit when signals get crossed.

What I have observed is that while we may believe that we are communicating clearly, we may not be “speaking the same language” as the individual. This includes failing to appreciate the context of their words and actions.

As an example, one of my clients is a project manager for a large construction firm — he’s a detail oriented, organized, efficient and forward thinking individual. He is also, however, a little rigid, micromanaging and reluctant to delegate. He is struggling with issues with a long-time contractor who is excellent at his job and close to retirement. Needless to say, the contractor functions on his own timeline (and this is usually met with great results).

However, in this case urgency was an issue for my client. And urgency wasn’t a language this contractor spoke. Pressing him for updates and detailed time-lines, only exacerbated the conflict. It didn’t compute with his own “context”.

To meet this issue, my client thoughtfully scaled back his requests and attempted to meet the contract “where he was”. Although the final results were not perfect, things did improve.

Try the following when you are challenged with differences in context:

  1. First, know where you are really coming from. If you don’t know yourself — you cannot listen non-judgmentally to others. Knowing yourself requires that you are aware of your triggers, passions, your biases and how you generally communicate. This is a TALL order. However, if you aren’t aware of all of the above, you’ll have a rougher road to travel. Pushing your own agenda rarely works, when you are struggling to find shared ground.
  2. Ask questions to determine what language they are speaking. The art of inquiry is priceless. Unfortunately, it occurs far less than necessary. I train and coach hundreds of people a year and when we examine how many questions they are really asking, everyone is stunned to learn that they really aren’t doing this enough. The only way to know what language someone speaks, what framework they use to make sense of data, is to explore it. The only way to explore? Ask questions.
  3. Pose questions based upon active listening. Active listening is anything but passive. When you are listening with intention, you should be working to really hear what someone is expressing. From there, the questions you ask should be aimed to capture their “language”(perspective) so you can find what you need to make things happen.
  4. Drop the ego. Ego isn’t welcome here. When you determine the language someone is speaking — you may find it isn’t yours. When this happens, your defenses could threaten to rear their ugly head and spoil the process. When we learn someone’s perspective, we might find that we don’t like or agree with it. Apply wisdom and do not judge. This means refraining from generalizing, accusing, assuming, shut-downs, tangents, “talking at”, writing off, marginalizing, projecting, scape-goating or attacking.

Connecting with people can be complex. However the way through can be simple. You must be willing to do the internal work.

If you’d like some help in this regard — look for me in my beret, clutching my weathered copy of Howl and smoking a Clove cigarette.

Snap! Snap!

Live.Work.Think.Play shares observations concerning a wide array of topics from running a company — to the perfect fragrance. It is designed to share lessons learned from a variety of perspectives.

Allison McClintick is a seasoned coach & speaker — specializing in influence and consciousness development. She’s a Mom of 2 (20 years & 6 years), a ridiculously talented house painter, lover of quantum physics and is currently pursuing a PhD in Psychology. To balance all that life, work and play — she’s attempting to “think” more effectively with practiced meditation. She’ll keep us updated.