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Controlling your narrative...

Jamieson Van Loan

I have a great friend who is currently dealing with a not so great break up. Not that any break up is unicorns and rainbows, but hopefully at our age, there can be some maturity and kindness surrounding the dissolution of a relationship. In his situation, there is not. Sadly, she has chosen to spread rumors and lies about him in order to destroy his reputation. She has chosen the immature path forward. I realize the pain surrounding a break up and this desire to make a person hurt as much as you do, but there is never a circumstance, in my mind, where you have to choose to go down such a hateful path. 

This has brought up many conversations about controlling our own narrative. How do we stay calm and quiet when someone else is speaking negatively about us to the world? How do we accept a situation that is out of our control, but specifically about us? My mother would say that you should hold your head up high and continue on your path. I am a firm believer that other people's opinions about yourself is NONE of your business. But when it involves your career, your family and more, how do you stay strong enough to keep chugging along happily? 

Our conversations haven't yielded a great solution. They are rollercoasters of rage to empathy to sadness. From a business or political standpoint, when a company hits a crisis and needs to control the narrative, they always say to be ahead of the media and to attempt to control the spin by putting any information out there first. Can you apply this technique to personal relationships?

My initial thought is no. We aren't cogs in a wheel that can be manipulated by PR. But there is a slight truth to this. My advice to him was this: continue to be exactly who you know yourself to be and realize that they people who truly matter in your life have zero doubt in you. They cannot be manipulated by someone else's poor judgment and harsh criticisms. The people who matter in your life, will stand by you and dismiss lame rumors. They will stop those rumors before they have a chance to grow. The people who care about you and want you to succeed, will not listen to false gossip or be swayed by emotional retaliation. If you can stand so firm in who you are, you can find the inner strength to let the haters roll right off your back. And as embarrassing as a situation can be, you can stand in the truth that the people who believe in you will continue to believe in you. They will continue to champion you. Your strength and perseverance during a personal crisis, is how you control your narrative. 

Not allowing haters to control your narrative and bring you down is no easy task. I think for humans it is much easier to believe the negative chatter about ourselves than the positive. The best way forward is to remove yourself from situations that do not bring you joy. Marie Kondo your life, people. If if isn't bringing you joy, get it as far away as possible from you. Cut ties, move forward.

To my buddy dealing with this negative situation or to anyone dealing with someone else bringing them down, always know you make the final decision on how you approach your day. It is only up to you whether you tackle your life with love, light and joy. No one can take away that positive energy from you, unless you allow them to. Stand in your positive truth and the rest of the universe will follow. 

Stay happy and healthy this weekend, friends! 
Jamieson xo