5 Reasons Why Your #SquadGoals Are Dead & How to Change It


#Squad, #SquadGoals, #Tribe, i.e., "Friendships," the latest trending item that has become commercialized and celebrity-fied, in a world where perception about who is at your dinner table, social events and selfie opps, has overshadowed the importance of building trusting, loving and challenging relationship dynamics. 

Are #SquadGoals about growth, shared success (such a subjective word, of course) combined with a sprinkling of say, spiritual, emotional and mental connection? I'm not exactly sure, as what works for me might not exactly work for you! But, can we all agree that creating sustaining relationships are just as important in moments of incredible joy, the in-between and some down-in-the dump life experiences? 

In a recent conversation with a mentor I was stunned by an ultimate aha moment as she ever so casually said, "Klay, these young people just do not know who their friends are - so as they ascend to the top they have no idea what support looks like. In a time and space that we currently live in, it's ever so important to know not only where you are going, but who is coming along for the ride." -Well, damn. 

I mean, inherently, I think most of us have thought about this, at least on a surface level, but as we shared in this insightful conversation, several thoughts played out in my mind about #Squads. Could it be that our #SquadGoals are dead, because:

  1. We are dead - inside that is, looking for others to define and create a woven tapestry of who people think we are or should be, because deep down inside, we have no idea who we are.
  2. We do not know the difference between Product Acquaintances vs. Process Relationships, because we never understood that quality relationships support us in living out our purpose. Product acquaintances are those connections that do not have the propensity or depth to journey with us through all levels of life experiences. Weathering all four seasons are not for these shallow acquaintances. You might laugh, joke and often toast bubbly at #SundayFunday brunches, but this deadly form of #SquadGoal spaces are only good for one thing: celebrating the end result. Process Relationships are those fall, winter, spring and summer connections. These folks have the ability to be supportive along your purposed-filled journey, as you venture through the cold chill of winter all the way to new life found in spring.  
  3. We do not know how to stand on our own two legs. Sometimes, it's not them, it's us. Expecting our tribe to be our everything, is unrealistic and frankly a burden - to place our life's responsibility on someone else. Supportive #squads can only be as emotionally expansive as our individual will of working to be anchored in self. 
  4. We have become obsessed with the false understanding that a smoke and mirror life validates. Within each of us, rather large or small is a desire to be a part of something. And, sometimes that "something", is more about image rather than substance. So, we might look up and remember every vacation group selfie, happy hour sampling or Instagram like from our #squad, yet then wonder why in those moments of uncertainty, no one can be found. To sit on the edge of a cliff with lots of fabulous photos to share is amazing, but to sit with said photos and a friend in real life, is rewarding. 
  5. We are afraid of being vulnerable. The idea of allowing others to see our not-so-together spots, moments of sweat-life-attacks or struggle, is unthinkable for a lot of us! 

Let me be clear. #SquadGoals are not just about being there for someone or someone being there for you. It goes beyond the idea of constantly supporting someone! But, as you move about this incredible earth and experience the seasons of life, you are forced with a reality that cannot be ignored: valued and substantive community increases joy. A life to explore, a life to share and a life to examine is best experienced together. The capacity to grow, to be challenged, loved and be love is a gift. 

Of course, there's a bit of homework here. (Duh! Have you met me?) Think about your friendships and ask yourself: 

  1. What is important to me when it comes to sharing my life with others and why? 
  2. Do I show up in the fullness of who I am when I'm with my people? If not, what do I hold back and why? (This might tell you why the friendship that you thought was all "deep" is not or your answer could give you further gratitude for the blessing of this relationship).
  3. What do I celebrate about the relationships that I have? Why are they so special to me? 
  4. Who are the folks that I call to celebrate as well as ponder the uncertainties of life? 
  5. In addition to my own self work, who are the folks that challenges me to not only be better, but actually want to be better? 
  6. Do I really show up for others? 
  7. Am I growing in my relationships? 

When growth is your goal, the above questions and more will be your ultimate guide in better understanding the foundational truth of where you and your #Squad stand.