My Tribe

Pictured: My "tribe" at Trinity Martial Arts.

When it comes to self-improvement, there's something people don't seem to talk about—it's not just about you.

Before self-improvement, there's a moment. An "enough is enough, I'm making a change," moment.

The way I see it, self-improvement is just being humble enough to accept the knowledge, help and support of other people.

It's about surrounding yourself with people who inspire you to be better, people who show you the tools to achieve your goal.

If the goal is mental improvement—you return to school, join a book club, or seek out a teacher.

For spiritual improvement people often seek fellowship of similar believers.

If the goal is physical improvement, you seek out a gym or trainer and read articles on nutrition.

When it comes to physical improvement, people always ask me the same thing—How did you do it?

The thing is, I didn't.

I was lucky enough to find my support system—my tribe.

I've lost 110-pounds. But I didn't do it alone.

While my tribe couldn't do the burpees for me (unfortunately!) they could sure do them with me. They answer my questions, push me that last mile and inspire me to do one more rep.

They're as proud of that 110-pounds as I am.

My coach corrects my technique, keeps me from getting hurt and reminds me of how far I've come.

My best friend is always willing to commiserate on how much we hate running (A lot. We hate it a lot!) and how much we hate kale (Also a lot!).

She will let me complain about how heavy the weight is, just so long as I keep lifting it while I complain.

Losing weight is a lot of work—but doesn't feel as hard when you're not the only one working.

I've tried every diet out there.

I've done the soup diet and all the cleanses.

Every weekend I would tell myself change started Monday.

Every "quick fix" diet pill on the market, I've tried. They all make big claims and promise spectacular results and I believed them. When one didn't work, I'd work my way down the shelf to the next one.

I failed. Every time. Over and over again, I failed.

I didn't know what I was doing wrong and every morning when I looked in the mirror and saw the same thing, I felt like change was impossible. It was something other people did.

Turns out, success is more attainable when you accept help along the way—more enjoyable when you have people to celebrate it with.

Later, someone shared a quote with me: "You can't be your best self until you find your tribe."

In my tribe, there are those that take a "tough love" approach (looking at you, coach), those who are constant cheerleaders, and those who silently come alongside me and remind me I'm not going it alone. There are those who, when I am struggling, I can look across the gym to for instruction.

Sure, there’s a certain amount of personal responsibility required (even my tribe doesn’t follow me around to slap the french fries out of my hands).

But, there’s comfort in knowing you have support.

September is National Self-Improvement Month. If you haven’t already, let this be the month you accept knowledge, guidance and support—the month you find your tribe.