Sister Circle Struggles

I’ve spent a good chunk of 2020 feeling less connected to the women that I call friends.

I think we have taken this pandemic-related “social distancing” mandate to an extreme, and have become “relationally disconnected.” Because we can’t hang out in person, we have fallen into a rhythm of not communicating at all. This new rhythm has gotten me off my social flow. So much so, that for a minute, I wasn’t even missing it. Until I was.

To be honest, the disconnect started before COVID-19.

It started with busier schedules, new professional endeavors, the needs of our children, life transitions, needing more rest, having more on our plates, and plain old forgetfulness. Forgetting to call, text, and schedule a hangout, has turned into stale and failing relational connections.

Thankfully, I have a husband and two wonderful daughters that support and encourage me, but for this discussion, I’m talking about a support network outside my nuclear zone.

I’m talking about seeking, building, and maintaining connections with other powerful women that inspire and support you.

That type of relationship is unique. And unfortunately, a strong sister circle can seem elusive, unless we are proactive and persistent in the pursuit.

I am a firm believer in a good support system. Even if mine, has been sketchy in recent years. I accept the blame for some of the sketchiness. In years past, I wasn’t strategic about building relationships. I just allowed them to happen haphazardly.

I had willingness, but no real action plan. I had friendly associations, but not real friendships. That, is on me.

So here I am, renewing my recruiting efforts to establish and re-establish connections with like-spirited women. As I consider the characteristics of women that would make a stellar sister circle, I’m reminded of a podcast episode I recorded some months ago. It’s titled “Success in Life is A Team Sport: Who’s on Your Team.” So, I went back and listened.

Just like last week, I’m learning from myself again. No need to reinvent the wheel, just use the one that works.

Here are 5 types of women I wanted to recruit for my sister circle then, and the same types of women I would welcome into my circle now.

THE REJUVENATOR: These women give you energy when you are around them. They are forward thinkers and innovators. They are constantly looking for ways to enhance what is already being done. They keep things moving forward even in the midst of adversity.

THE IRON SHARPENER: She challenges you to be better today than you were yesterday. When you are tempted to complain, she reminds you of your strengths and abilities. She doesn’t rescue you from your challenges, she empowers you to handle them on your own. This type of woman encourages you to sharpen your skills, and to become the best version of yourself.

THE SUNSHINE: She shines a positive light on even the most negative situations. She encourages positive thoughts and actions, and sees possibility where others see difficulty. This woman is aware that life may dish out some negative circumstances, she just chooses not to focus her time and attention there.

THE MIRROR: She is the woman in your life that cares about you enough, to reflect your actions and behaviors back to you, even when it’s not pretty. She tells you the truth with love, care, and concern…even when it hurts. She is also the first to reflect back the good in you, when you are tempted to focus on the bad.

THE COUNSELOR/MENTOR: This woman shares knowledge and advice from a place of wisdom. She has traveled the path you are on, or has an educational background in an area you want to know more about. She can speak to your head, heart, and spirit all at the same time. She is a gentle, yet firm guide of inspiration.

This is my list, as I seek to build a sister circle that can withstand the fluctuations of life. If your sister circle has dwindled throughout the years, you should join me.

Imagine your sister circle as a part of your safety net. When you have a strong team, rest assured that you will have someone to assist you in the area that you stumble.

While you are recruiting and developing your own circle of support, also consider being recruited and rooted on someone else’s team.

Don’t forget to check out the podcast version of this blog post tomorrow, where I talk about my strategy to make this pursuit a reality.

Until next time, start connecting with your circle.

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