I had the pleasure of attending the annual American Counseling Association Conference & Expo a couple weeks ago, which unsurprisingly, met and exceeded my expectations (At Realizing Aptitudes, we jokingly refer to ACA as “the mothership”).

Beginning in the opening ceremony with keynote speaker, Dr. Irvin Yalom, I felt an electric energy and sense of connection with my colleagues that continued throughout the conference.  Sharing insights, challenges, and knowledge and skills with each other left me feeling invigorated, creative, and brimming with positivity.

As I reflect on my experience, I’m reminded of the importance of “finding your tribe.”

Though we have different specialties and titles in the counseling field, we all share a common mission to empower others to accomplish their goals, enhance the quality of life of society, and promote respect for human dignity and diversity.

Importance of Finding Your Tribe


People desire to feel connected to a group—it’s one of the most natural aspects of being human. Put simply, a tribe is a group of like-minded people that share common interests and are accepting, understanding, and supporting to one another—personally or professionally.


A group of people you feel you can be your true self with. Where you feel you belong. It’s not an ‘us and them,’ mindset or a superior/inferior thing. It’s a natural gravitation to others like you.


Bestselling author and blogger, Seth Godin, describes,

“A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.”

In our world of increasing technology and pace of life, feeling connected to others is more important than ever. Humans were designed to be social beings.

Though we have more opportunities to connect than ever before, loneliness has been described as a modern day epidemic.

The things that you’re interested in and care about, environments you’re drawn to, and type of lifestyle that you desire all lead you towards your tribe. For instance, if you’re a big fan of hiking and have a passion for eco-friendly initiatives, you might enjoy being a part of an environmental sustainability nonprofit.


The key is being open to exploration and willing to get out and meet people.

Have you found your tribe?


If you have, what are some characteristics of people in your tribe? What kind of interests, values, and lifestyle does your group favor?  What does this signal about the type of work you’d be best suited for?

Still looking for your tribe? Check out these 7 Tips for Finding Your Tribe for advice on how to attract the unique community of where you feel at “home”.


“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.”

— Jane Howard



Ashley Flynn, M.A.
Career Coach & Outreach Coordinator

Known for her optimism and zest, Ashley empowers young adults to discover and shine a light on the best parts of who they are, identify ways they can positively contribute to the world, and plan for thoughtful next steps along their journey. Ashley earned a Master's in Clinical Psychology from the University of Central Florida and a Bachelors from Florida State University. When she's not at work, you can find her enjoying live music, hiking, running, or skiing in the beautiful state of Colorado.