Adventuring Outside Your Tribe Episode #73

Aaron McHugh


Seth Godin first introduced me to the idea of Tribes. The concept of a tribe is your people of origin, the place you belong. In our modern world, we also bounce between tribes and sometimes don’t experience the same security of belonging and confidence. Recently, I’ve found myself in three different tribes, Tribe of Belonging, Tribe of Visitation and Tribe Requiring Translation. 

Using these simply categorical buckets can help apply a filtered to your experiences in and outside of tribes. I find that once I know what’s going on around me, I can settle in and enjoy myself. Try these on and see how these three tribes can help you get a better lay of the land in your Work Life Play. 

Tribes of Belonging: I feel at home

Your tribe of belonging is where you are at home. You know where you fit. You’re part of the tribe and everyone in the tribe knows you belong. You’re comfortable, safe and you can predict what will happen next within the tribe. You’re even apart of defining the rules and system of your tribe of belonging. An easy example is your family, your hometown, your sorority, your school, your place of worship and your job. You get how the system works.

It’s easy to exist within your tribe. There is very little risk. Seniority and tenure is rewarded the longer you stay.

Tribes of Visitation: I feel uneasy

This tribe is the one you visit or a new tribe you are attempting to break into. For me becoming a professional writer has forced me to enter into a new tribe of people who seem to know more than I do. At first it felt like I had “pending membership” status that was dependent upon how well I fit in and adhered to the tribe’s rules. When I watch my nephew play little league baseball, I am a visitor to the baseball tribe. I mostly get what is going on, but it’s clear that I’m not one of them.

Tribes Translator Required:
I definitely don’t know what the hell to do

Needing a translator to interpret what is happening is a sure sign that you are outside of your normal tribes. The bottom line is you don’t fit in easily. In fact, you stick out and everyone else in the tribe can fairly easily sniff you out as a non-tribe member. My friend Morgan tells a story about his first elk hunt in Colorado where he showed up in the wrong clothes, with the wrong tent, the wrong food, the wrong everything. The tribe was gracious (mostly) and a newly formed friendship served as his translator “This is what is happening right now. This is what you are supposed to do next”. 

Plotting which tribe scenario you are experiencing can significantly help to decode what is occurring outside and inside of you.

Click to Listen Adventuring Outside Your Tribe Episode #73


Seth Godin on Tribes

Watch his TED Talk
Read his book on Tribes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.