Moving On From a Negative Narrative That Just Isn’t You


“Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are part of your history, but not your destiny.”  — Steve Maraboli

The people that surround us affect our lives. Our managers, colleagues and clients — all help to create the supporting stage in which we find ourselves. When we face tense workplace situations, such as a misstep or differences in opinion, the eventual outcome can become an important inflection point. When a narrative emerges that doesn’t accurately reflect the real you or situation, things can quickly become troubling. But, What should happen next?

  • If possible discuss the situation openly.
  • Explore what might have led to that point and if the situation can be saved.
  • Be clear that what is happening is not acceptable, that it is uncomfortable and possibly destructive.
  • Provide information to counter the confusion.
  • Stay calm, yet steadfast.

But if you suspect that the poorly deemed decision or opinion has begun to negatively define you and that definition cannot be revised — it may be time to seriously reconsider your surroundings.

When a narrative appears set in stone, it can become an unhealthy place. Ultimately, you should be surrounded by those who see the best in you (and you in them).

If necessary, explore a new stage that fits.

A narrative shouldn’t define you — unless it is your own.

Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist. She is a charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program. Her thoughts on work life have appeared in various outlets including Talent Zoo, Forbes, Quartz and The Huffington Post.


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