Refine Your Own Story

A supplement to an article titled “Valuing Ourselves: What Does That Even Look Like?” published in the January/February 2022 issue of OfficePro Magazine, written by Heather Larson.

Stories are everywhere. We grew up hearing them. We like to tell them. They keep people entertained and listening. They make us think.

What is your story? Everyone has one. It’s a narrative you’ve built from your life events. But it’s also the source of your self-worth.

“I love the emphasis of owning your own unique story,” says Sonya Ponds, an HR specialist in learning and development for the U.S. Agency for Global Media. “Don’t lose authorship of your chapters—when you sell your rights away for personal gain or because of self-defeating prophecies. Control how you show up and change the narrative on your own terms.”

As you craft your own story to use in developing your professional image, keep these tips in mind:

  • Keep it simple
  • Have a beginning, middle and end
  • Leave out unnecessary details
  • Improve your storytelling with practice
  • Stick to the truth

Ponds cautions you to also remember the three C’s when telling your story, even to yourself. Stop comparing yourself to others; instead, look for more companionship and collaboration. This is how you amplify your value, she says. One small step has the same imprint as a large step.


OfficePro Magazine is an award-winning publication from IAAP. Each issue is filled with useful content, special offers, and association information.

About the author: 

Heather Larson writes from her office in Tacoma, Washington, about all kinds of business issues. She can be reached at

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