The Tribe Mentality That Holds You Back

I had to have a little pep talk with my daughter a few weeks ago about the “tribe mentality.”

She had been getting upset because her cousins laugh at the way she speaks (apparently posh) and she doesn’t talk “street language,” not in normal everyday conversation anyway.

So I had to explain to her about the tribe mentality.

What Is The Tribe Mentality?

To understand the mentality of the tribe, you have to first understand the tribe.

The tribe could be your family, religious institution, school, place of work, ethnicity, country you grew up in and the list goes on.

The tribe is a kind of control unit or group … unconsciously determining what is or isn’t possible to group members … in other words, they “keep it real” within the boundaries of the tribe!

Being a part of a tribe isn’t a bad thing since it establishes common ground and can be beneficial to survival, but the problem arises when a tribe member wants to go “out of bounds.”

This is when the tribe mentality kicks in and says “you can’t do that!” What they often mean is “this tribe has never done this before and we don’t understand why you would want to do that … and we’re trying to protect you!”

The tribe mentality effectively indoctrinates individuals into the tribe’s beliefs, which ensures they all believe the same.

 So when the beliefs of the tribe are challenged, they either do the protection thing – “don’t do it, you’ll get hurt” – or they’ll get offended or they’ll jeer because you’re not behaving like them.

Only “posh” people go to private School right? Wrong! But this is what the tribe believes.

Only “posh” people pronounce their “t’s” and don’t use “street language”  right? Wrong! But this is what the tribe believes. 

Only “posh” people can afford to live in certain areas (and I got this one thrown at me yesterday)? Wrong! But this is what the tribe believes.

And don’t get me wrong, the tribe can also be the rich and influential in society who think anyone below them are common and not worthy of being a part of their tribe.

But there are also benefits to being part of the tribe in that it establishes common ground. It allows us to make certain assumptions about events, people and places without the need to overanalyse. Things get tricky when what you thought about events, people, places etc are based purely on the assumptions and knowing how to break the assumption cycle. 

Thinking Outside Of The Tribe

If you want to be successful in your own business, you must! 

You must break free from the tribe mentality and start “thinking outside the tribe.”

This is the reason mentoring and coaching can be so powerful. They’re not just about telling you what to do and how to do it, it’s about helping you think outside of the tribe. A challenge to think about what you’re thinking about.

If you want to start a business, you wouldn’t get advice from someone who has no ambition to start their own business and likewise, if you want to be a millionaire, you would hopefully get coached by someone who will help you think like a millionaire.

Yes, progressing from one stage to another could be like moving from one tribe to another, but each tribe should at least want to attain bigger and better things. It’s when the tribe is happy to maintain the status quo that big challenges for the individual arise.

So you have to ask yourself, which tribe is holding you back and what do you need to do to start thinking outside of the tribe?

This responsibility is down to you and it’s up to you to get whatever help you need to shift you from one dimension of thinking to another.

Tribe Mentality Impact On Your Business

If you want to become successful in business, being able to think right is going to lead you to act right and when you act right, you’ll get the right results.

As Einstein said, 

Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them

And no matter what level of thinking you’ve reached, some tribe mentality is always in operation, and so you have to consistently and consciously challenge your thinking at every level.

The question is, what tribe or tribes are influencing your thinking? And what thought processes do you think has to change so you can think outside the tribe?

Trust me, it can be a lonely place when you decide to think differently, but rest assured, there are always new champions on the other side of your thinking.

Until next time,


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