Are you a prisoner of others past experience with you? (Part 1) by Roz Usheroff

 . . . your brand is the sum of every experience others have had with you.

In the introduction to the first section in my book The Future of You! Creating Your Enduring Brand, I talk at length about the importance of understanding the past experience others have had with you in terms of how your brand is perceived.  In other words, have your past words and actions created a positive or a negative experience by which your present day value will be judged.

Obviously if you have a glowing track record based upon you’re leaving a trail of wonderful experiences, such confrontations with facts are not going to be an issue.  But let’s be honest, not everyone is going to like you or feel that their encounter with you has been a positive one.

Not Like You!  How can anyone not like you?

Not Like You! How can anyone not like you?

This is why the question is at once both simple yet complex.

Simple in that the answer is usually fairly obvious.  Complex in that facing up to the answer may for some be a less than comfortable experience.

It is upon this latter point that I would like to focus.  Specifically, how do you deal with being viewed in a negative light?  Can you handle the truth of someone else’s discontent, and look for a way or ways to not only address the issue but build upon it in a positive manner?  Do you attempt to defend your actions and ultimately dismiss another’s criticism as being an exception and thus conclude that the problem is theirs as opposed to yours.  Or has the old Don MacLean song went; Everybody loves me, what’s the matter with you!

There is of course a fine line between learning from the past and becoming a prisoner of the past.  How you respond to criticism and the negative experiences others have had with you will determine upon what side of this fence you will find yourself.

In Part 2 of today’s post I will delve into the way your reaction will either set you on the right path for success or create an unwanted detour into disagreement and self-criticism.

In the meantime, have you ever had a negative experience with someone?  How did they respond when (or if) they found out, and did it make a difference in terms of how you viewed them?

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