What life-changing strategy has Alcoholics Anonymous, Weight Watchers, Overeaters Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, and every 12-step program out there embraced to truly make their programs a massive success? They’ve harnessed the power of community + connection and leveraged it into a way of living for their members that helps these people overcome addictions, abuse and pain.

Now you might be saying: “That’s fine and dandy, but fortunately I’m not in the need of such a support group.” Yes, you might not need AA or Weight Watchers, but the life-changing strategy of leveraging community and connection can be just as life-changing for you. How so? Well, people who have support and connection in their life find themselves happier and more successful. These women also are typically healthier physically, more confident, and seem to more effortlessly follow their life’s passion. However, most women today have gotten away from the old ways of when women had to rely heavily on each other for child-rearing, food supply, spiritual growth, and emotional support.

Women our age find themselves in the role of the lone ranger tackling their life’s issues on their own. And, let’s be honest, it’s just not a lot of fun tackling all of our life issues on our own. It’s draining, frustrating, depressing and overwhelming. That’s where the concept of a modern day woman support circle comes into play. We’re just giving the 12-step programs and other support groups a makeover to make them into a game-changer for you. Here’s how you create a community for you as the modern woman:

• Shelve the advice from family, friends and colleagues. If we’re honest, most of us reach out to our partner, family, friends or colleagues for when we need help or advice. However, if you get totally real with yourself, do you necessarily like or want to take their advice for your career, relationships, health, finances or personal issues? A good question to ask is: “Do they really have what I want?” If the answer is no, then shelve their well-intentioned advice for the time being – gracefully. The overall intent is that you want to start seeking support that will nourish you and make you feel good. That’s why it’s great to start practicing self-support through establishing boundaries around what doesn’t serve you.

• Seek out women who have what you want. So now that you’ve put some great boundaries around the well-intentioned, but not highly-desired advisers, you start to form a circle of women who motivate and inspire you. I’m not talking about celebrities here. I’m talking about women who you might come in contact with in your day-to-day activities, at conferences, spiritual gatherings, at networking meetings, volunteering, or who your friends have mentioned and praised. Write down their names. Do research on them. Write down exactly what about them you aspire to. You’ll notice that I’m just focusing on women. There’s a reason. Wouldn’t you rather hear how a woman in a similar position took things on? And, how about those sports analogies that men typically use about situations or goal-setting? Do you even know what the terms mean? You want someone who has walked in your shoes.

• Reach out and form your group. This is most probably the scariest step. We fear being rejected. Yet women are born collaborators and love when someone reaches out to them for help and support. Let her know that you would love to learn from her and admire what she’s accomplished in her life. Yes, there might be some ladies you reach out to who do not have the time or space in their life at the moment. But there will be others who feel honored that you reached out to them and are happy to support you. Your support group can take on a two forms:

1. You have a group of women who aren’t connected in any way, but they still are your support circle. You draw upon their support and advice when you need it.
2. You create a formal circle in which the ladies connect via phone, in person or a community forum at a given date and time. Everyone contributes to the group and equally support one another.
The important part is to actively seek out women who have what you want or aspire to. Don’t just settle. You need women who will help you stretch beyond your current limits.

Community-building and forging connections with women can truly move you toward happiness and joy. It’s the most underutilized tool in a woman’s toolbox. Our women ancestors knew this. It’s time for us to bring this back into our everyday living and get out of that lone ranger mode!

Author's Bio: 

Marion Chamberlain helps women that are always "desperately seeking" something learn what it is and how to claim it. Visit her website for more information on her spiritual coaching program that allows you to experience freedom, connection, and independence. http://marionchamberlain.com/krafting-with-marion/