It's important to have a strong support network that you can rely on. How deep and how broad is your support circle or support network? As introverts we tend to keep a tight close-knit circle, but it’s important that this network exists and that it is seasoned and healthy as well.

It is a wise strategy to ensure that this aspect of your life is solid and strong.

Here’s what I mean.

Have you built your ark before the storm? Do you have strong support when you need it? Unexpected things happen to everyone. How ready are you?

Are you facing an upcoming move?

Do you anticipate a job, role, or career change?

How is your primary relationship?

Every stage of raising kids brings new learning. How is this currently going for you?

Are you dealing with grief or loss right now?

Will you be starting a big project at work or at home?

Do you handle the care of aging parents or other loved ones?

Are you healing from an illness or injury?

Are you or is anyone in your family facing addiction?

Will you set big goals in the coming months where you might need support or accountability?

It’s essential to have a support network and resources at your fingertips when you need them. Some things you can predict, but not everything. Ask yourself the following questions and jot down your answers to determine how prepared you are.

1. Family:
Who in your family is behind you all the way? Who can you call on? List the names of those people who fit this category. Who are they? Any specific areas of expertise they can help you with? What can you or would you turn to them for? (beyond immediate family members, think of extended family such as cousins, aunts, and uncles)

2. Friends:
Of your group of friends, who can you call at 3:00 a.m. in a crisis? Who can you confide in? Who can you count on? Who is there for you without judgement? Who can support and encourage you to take your life to the next step?

3. Spiritual connection:
Where do you turn to soothe your soul? This can be so different for everyone and interpreted in many ways. Do you have someone to talk to or get advice from if you need it? If you are facing grief, do you have somewhere to turn?

4. Professional connections:

Who are your go-to people for different services in your work or personal life when needed? Doctor, dentist, therapist, coach, attorney, financial planner, massage therapist, physical therapist, mentor, vet, repair person, mechanic, accountant, insurance agent, etc.

As you create your lists of supportive people you might notice some gaps in your support network. Where are these gaps? Who is missing?

Be sure to let people know that they are part of your circle, part of your treasured list of go-to people.

They’ll feel honored. Wouldn’t you? I know I do.

Similarly, how can you support these people? Take time to strengthen your connections. If you have gaps, take some time to think of who you’d like to cultivate or nurture a supportive relationship with. Reach out. Get in touch. Share what’s going on with you and find out about them.

Reconnect with others in your support circle if you’ve been out of touch. Time passes. It happens to everyone. Now is the perfect time to reconnect.

And when you find yourself in need of support, remember that it is a strength, not a weakness, to reach out and ask for help. Share what’s going on. Ask for feedback, connection, and support.

This is important for everyone. Even us introverts. If you tend to keep to yourself, I’m talking to you.

You get to design what that looks like and who you’d like to connect with.

Note: Even if none of these challenging situations are happening for you right now, I encourage you to build your circle or support network to where you feel complete.

Consider this from the perspective of being a leader. Who do you lead? What are they dealing with?

To be a strong leader this must always be in your awareness. How can you support others? Encourage them to build their network too. We all need a strong circle of support.

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