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  • Linda R. Taliaferro

3 Keys to Taking Control of the Narrative

If you're like me, there were times in your career where somebody had already written your story for you. They met you once and decided they know you, what you're about, and how far you'll get in life. Maybe based on a first impression, or a mistake, or even your race or gender, they script a narrative for you that hurts your career, and that story about you spreads.

Believe me, I've been there. I know how toxic one person's limiting beliefs about you can be, especially if you start to believe the story they're creating for you. So today we're going to talk about the ways that you can combat a pervasive narrative about yourself.

Build relationships

Nobody is an island, and you can't change the story about yourself without help. Making friends in my office and showing up as my authentic self (no code-switching!) helped me combat false narratives by letting people get to experience my personality for themselves.

Once I had people in my corner, there were voices in the room who could speak to my character when I wasn't there to do it myself. Having someone say, "Hey, I know Linda, that's not what she's like," was a powerful tool.

Resist negative-self talk

The only thing worse than someone writing you off from the start is if you start to internalize that message. When someone in a position of authority makes a judgement about you, it can be hard to resist believing it, especially if they're someone you respect. But you are the expert on you, and nobody (no matter how powerful) can control your story except you. Keep track of your thoughts and earmark situations where those negative ideas that someone else planted in your head rear their heads.

Flip the script

Once you've identified the narrative in your own heart and created some allies for your authentic self in the workplace, now you can take that narrative and flip it. You know you're qualified, you know you work hard, and you know you can do what you set your mind to. With the support of your network and your belief in yourself, the magic starts to happen. I've seen it happen, and it can happen to you.

If you need help rooting out toxic self-talk, you might benefit from one-on-one coaching. Click here to throw a free consultation with me on your calendar, and we can talk more in-depth about your specific situation.

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