When it comes to your job, church, etc. are you an outsider looking in?
Jeffrey Pfeffer is a Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, and in his book called Power gives some strong advise:
“There are two important implications of the durability and rapid creation of first impressions. First, if you find yourself in a place where you have an image problem and people don’t think well of you, for whatever reason, it is often best to leave for greener pastures. This is tough advise to hear and heed–many people want to demonstrate how wonderful they are by working diligently to change others’ minds and repair their image. But such efforts are seldom successful, for all the reasons just enumerated, and moreover, they take a lot of effort. Better to demonstrate your many positive qualities in a new setting where you don’t have to overcome so much baggage.
Second, because impressions are formed quickly and are based on many things, such as similarity and ‘chemistry’ over which you have far from perfect control, you should try to put yourself in as many different situations as possible–to play the law of large numbers. If you are a talented individual, over time and in many contexts, that talent will appear to those evaluating you. But in any single instance, the evaluative judgment that forms the basis for your reputation will be much more random. This advice is consistent with that offered on network building efforts and build many weak ties. Don’t get hung up on making a favorable impression in any single place, but instead find an environment in which you can build a great reputation and keep trying different environments until this effort succeeds.”