Something I get asked about quite often is “can I fix my reputation?” Those who ask are adult women who have had negative comments and lies spread about them, thus ruining their reputation.
It isn’t just school yard gossip, you would think once people had left school they would be adult enough not to resort to such actions. But the advent of social media has given people a platform on which to spew their gossip and lies.
It’s alarming to think that adults would resort to such tactics to harm the reputation of someone whom they dislike, or just act maliciously to remain popular.
Often people get told just to ignore the rumours and lies and gossip that has been spread about them, after all, this is what we are always told to do from an early age.
Quite frankly, I think this is part of the problem. That old adage sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me is used from the formative years of our lives. We are being told to accept the bad behaviour of other people and just carry on as normal.
That never really works.
Once we reach adulthood we have a distorted sense of what is right and wrong when it comes to how we should treat other people, and how we should react – or not act. When we decide to take matters into our own hands and retaliate with some home truths about the gossip, we become the bully.
So is it any wonder people are seeking to repair their reputation?
I’ve talked to quite a few people about this and the jury is still out. There are those people who want more than anything to repair the damage to their reputation, and there are those people who shrug it all off. Either way is fine and neither way is better than the other.
I’ve found that a sullied reputation can often be based on gossip, lies, and misinformation. It isn’t necessarily always lies that ruin a person’s reputation either, quite often it is a lack of the correct information about the person or their circumstances that lead to gossiping and the ruin of their reputation.
It’s not always worth the time and effort to go around fixing your reputation, especially for strangers. They are unlikely to know much, or even care what is being shared about you.
But what about people you don’t know, but are connected to you through work, your personal life, the school where your children attend? Maybe it is worth fixing your image. Shying away from the problem isn’t going to make it go away, so proceeding down this route is probably the best option for you.
If you want to proceed with fixing your reputation then you should start a damage control campaign. But how do you go about this?
First and foremost you really need to assess the situation. You need to take stock of what is being said about you and look at why. If you have acted in the wrong make sure you apologise for your behaviour. Admitting you are wrong and owning up to your mistakes is a great action step, proving you are sincere in your efforts to rectify the situation.
If you have been acting in a negative way towards someone, or if you are acting in a harmful way then this needs to stop immediately. You need to be acting from a place of truth and in order to do so you must put all negative behaviour behind you and focus on acting in a positive way.
The next step is to ask for feedback from your family and trusted friends. Ask them if you have acted in the wrong, do they believe this was intentional, or do they know you made a mistake? Tell them what is happening, as upsetting as it might be to repeat any lies or half-truths about yourself, sharing them with someone you trust really helps determine if it is a case of misinformation about you, or indeed lies and gossip.
Start a DAMAGE CONTROL CAMPAIGN/REPUTATION REPAIR PLAN as soon as possible. Write down an actionable plan that you can work on to show you in the best possible light.
Own up to any mistakes and misunderstandings you have made. Sometimes what we don’t know or understand can lead to us being gossiped about, which isn’t really fair, but it happens nevertheless. If you’re in the wrong, own it.
Make amends for any mistakes, misunderstandings, or negative behaviours you have engaged in. This is quite a tough one. Sometimes people aren’t willing to give us a second chance, or they don’t believe that we really did act unintentionally. All you can do is stay positive, act positive, and keep on showing that you are not your mistakes.
It’s always worthwhile in engaging in positive behaviour. This can shed doubt on any untrue claims and lies someone is making about you. Act kindly. Be positive. Do good deeds. Actions like this show that you are sincere. But don’t give up if you don’t succeed at first. Some people will think that what you are doing is all an act and they will be waiting for you to make a mistake.
Don’t gossip or bad mouth people. This can be really tempting to do, especially when someone is letting rip about you. If needs be, take a break from social media. Change your social circle if the gossip is happening within it. Remember, everyone will be watching you, waiting for you to set a foot wrong, so let your best self shine through.
And finally, it is worthwhile to remember that sometimes a bad reputation is more about the person doing the damage than it is about you. It doesn’t stop the hurt though.
Recently I’ve realised even the most well meaning people, those who claim they are forgiving and non-judging, even they fall short. It sounds quite obvious when I see the words before me, after all, none of us are perfect.
I’ll say it again: None of us are perfect.
It’s hard to forgive people who have hurt you, boy don’t I know it! But I’m the type of person who will give people a million chances, and then a million more.
People I’ve known for a long time and who I’m connected to personally, professionally, even spiritually, are some of the people I end up forgiving over and over again. We have connection. We have history. We supposedly have friendship…… I have given chances to them, even when they’ve lied about me to peers.
I have struggled with my mental health in the last three years and the ones who I thought would have my back have used my “sins” as a tool to punish me with, hence some of the lies.
I hear them preaching love and forgiveness, but I know it’s all a facade as their version of forgiveness is selective. This leads me to wondering why some people are all talk and no action, and others – usually the ones who have struggled and suffered the most – cannot bear to see other people suffering.
My “sin” is that when shit gets real for me I hide away from people who I am supposed to trust. But trust is not something I can easily slip into when PTSD comes a-calling. Trauma victims often shut down and go into survival mode, where there is no room for anyone but themselves. It isn’t personal, it’s trauma related behaviour.
I’ve been labelled as distant, cold, hard-faced, incapable of feeling, etc when I’m in survival mode. This is quite a shocking thing to hear when someone you believe has your best interests at heart says this about you.
It doesn’t help with the trust issues, but reinforces that trauma related dialogue that goes on inside your head. It reinforces your belief that you are everything your abuser or attacker said about you. It reinforces that lack of self worth you have honed over many years of hating upon yourself.
It is a very difficult cycle to break. Our minds are constantly churning out thoughts and if we allow the negative stuff free reign, it quickly takes over.
There was a time when I would believe I was unworthy of love and friendship. I would believe that if this person wasn’t willing to forgive me then I must be awful. Or if that person wasn’t willing to forgive me I must be a truly shitty human.
I know I am not.
I know I am worthy of love, happiness, friendship, peace, and much more.
I can’t change the past, it happened. I can’t change how I acted or reacted, it’s in the past. I have apologised to the people who I hurt, whether they forgive me or not is up to them. I have forgiven myself for feeling bad about how acted when I was in the midst of a PTSD episode. I have forgiven myself for acting in that way.
I believe that to truly forgive people you must first learn to forgive yourself.
Feeling empowered is not an indulgent whim, I think we all should embrace this feeling, and here’s why.
When you feel passionate enough about something to take action you are feeling empowered. You allow this empowerment to let you take action and make your world a better place for you and others.
We all know that 2020 has been a right doozy of a year, some have thrived whilst others have barely survived, and yet there are others who have muddled through. There is nothing wrong with anyone from any of these categories, people handle a crisis in different ways.
I’ve felt a sense of empowerment sweep over me these last few weeks and it has lead me to realise that feeling empowered is a very useful tool in a soul love teaching sort of way.
Sometimes we are led to believe that empowerment means we must jump aboard the latest trend – whatever that may be. We are led to believe that to be empowered we must be fighting for a cause greater than our own needs.
There’s nothing wrong with fighting for your own needs. There’s nothing wrong with feeling empowered about circumstances you want to change in your own life, never feel ashamed of putting yourself first. We all know the “put your own oxygen mask on first” analogy, and we can all agree that this is a wise move.
The reason this analogy gets used so much is because we all need to take care of ourselves first. We cannot pour from an empty cup. When you stop to think about this it makes total sense.
Thus it is the same when we need to feel empowered. We need to champion our own cause first and foremost. Taking care of our own needs is not selfish. How are we supposed to get truly passionate about any cause if we cannot even get passionate about our own lives?
To be empowered about improving our lives is an excellent starting point. As we move through the pandemic and other turbulent events that are happening around the world we need a sense of purpose in our own lives to get us through.
Empowerment is the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling your own life. It allows you to set healthy boundaries and really see where your energy leaks are coming from. It allows you to find purpose and manoeuvre your life towards a path that you really want it to take.
Most of all it gives you a passion for living your best life, which in turn helps you to focus on causes that are dear to your heart. That’s when you move onto being empowered about other things. But first you have to tend to yourself.
If 2020 has taught us anything it is that life can change dramatically in the blink of an eye.
We are trying to rebuild our lives whilst the world is still falling apart all around us. I believe this is a must for us all, despite what this extremely weird year has brought for us.
Holding on to pain and suffering is not going to bring us our lives back as they once were. The way things were is dead and gone. We have to use the pain and suffering as stepping stones to out new way of life.
We owe ourselves that much. We owe ourselves the honour of getting to live beautiful lives. We owe it to the people who haven’t survived this crazy year.
Live life, passionately, fully, with gratitude and enjoyment. Create the life you want for yourself, use the crazy energy that this year has left to propel you forward on a new venture.
There is a YES coming your way. This card is one of the most auspicious cards in the deck; it’s a very positive card and suggests something new and exciting is developing.
The message from the Universe is that you’re starting all over again in some way. If you’ve been feeling stagnant in any area of your life, this card is reminding you that life goes in cycles and you’re moving into a new cycle now.
This is the time to wipe the slate clean. You will soon start to feel more hopeful about the direction your life is going to go in.
This has been on my mind a lot lately. I’ve been doing a couple of collaborations with some folks, and yep, you’ve guessed it, I’ve questioned my ability and my right to be there.
I’m as qualified as everyone else, but I can’t shake that feeling of being a fraud. Everyone is telling me that I am welcome and worthy and wanted. It’s just my thoughts that are trying to catch me out.
It’s got to the point where I’m having panic attacks before I do my role and I’m feeling stressed out. So I’ve been working on my self esteem and making sure to do some breathing exercises beforehand.
As always, be kind and gentle with yourself if you are going through similar.