Moving On From a 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 facing tense workplace situations, such as a misstep or difference in opinion, the eventual outcome can become an important inflection point. When a narrative emerges among these vital players that doesn’t reflect the real you, the situation can quickly become troubling.

If possible discuss the situation openly. Explore what might led to that point and if the situation can be saved. (This allows us to move past the impasse.) Be clear that the situation isn’t acceptable, that it is uncomfortable. Provide information to counter the confusion,

However, if you suspect that the poorly deemed decision or opinion has begun to negatively define you and cannot be revised — it may be time to reconsider your surroundings. When a negative narrative is written that 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.

Please note: I’m sharing more during the holiday season — 30 Thoughts for 30 Days!

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.


One thought on “Moving On From a Narrative That Just Isn’t You

  1. I absolutely love this post because it details when I’ve had to deal with for the last few years at a few different workplaces. I’ve been told one thing all my life ever since I started in management and another thing from several people at one company that I have recently worked for.
    Maybe it’s because I look young, but I’ve been pretty much treated like I just popped out of the Cabbage Patch a week ago. Whereas this is my 5th position I have taken in management after having approximately 20 years in the management realm, most of it being in the military or quasi military organizations. I have consistently had to tell people that this is not my first rodeo, and they are pretty shocked when I present my resume during interviews. But above all I absolutely hate not being able to use my skills and training because other people feel that I am too young to hold a middle management position.


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