Storytelling is a superpower. Did you know that some stories are causing FEAR and OVERWHELM?

Fear and overwhelm is what happens when survivors tell their stories of happy life, then cancer (which is when people focus on the negative) then happy life.

After someone has offloaded their inspirational story, there is a moment of lightness, peacefulness and hope. Until later than day, when the negative thoughts come rushing in.

The unconscious mind naturally attaches to negative thoughts and even though it (the mind) has heard all of the good to come from cancer it attaches to the negative.

Every story has the same basic structure. Introduce the CHARACTERS. They have a secret, a colourful history, a superpower, etc., and then something happens. The CONFLICT (insert drama here, break-ups, blow ups and challenges, etc.). The RESOLUTION then there is a happy ending, the hope.

The CONFLICT is where the drama, the negative, the downside effects of cancer happens. It’s the part we unconsciously hold onto (unless you coach yourself differently). The CONFLICT is the part of the story that is causing cancer carnage.

The CONFLICT is usually about the downside effects of cancer and drug therapy. It’s usually about the negative things that are happening throughout the cancer experience.

This blog is a story.

INTRODUCTION — I am introducing you to the beauty of stories and how they give hope

CONFLICT — I am sharing with you the pain that some storytellers are creating

RESOLUTION — I am telling you there is another way to tell stories

The cancer carnage starts with the conflict. The juicy hard parts draw the listener into the story, and they start feeling for you. BAM — You have pulled them in and they start rescuing you and wanting to know more, and that is feeding your significance. The feeling of importance.

And so begins the roundabout of dramatic storytelling because you get more attention if you have a hard story and spread the glitter of hope.

You are not different to other people if you tell a ‘survivor story’ that explains the pain and then the hope. That is what everyone is doing.

If you want to be different and make sure your stories are good for the people around you try this:

INTRODUCTION — Tell your listener, a little bit about yourself and how you responded to the diagnosis. Check out the 7 Stages of Cancer Acceptance for some great words.

CONFLICT — Tell the listener what areas of your life were crappy before you got cancer. Your relationship with your kids and partner perhaps or how you used to complain about the small things.

RESOLUTION — Tell the listener how cancer has improved your life and relationships. How you are learning about yourself and how you didn’t realise how resilient you are.

If you do this you are reducing fear and overwhelm, you are not drawing them into the drama that is going to hurt them, and you will still draw an audience.

Your story may not have the same dramatic pauses that make you look like you’re a superhero ‘getting through’ cancer with all that courage — but at least, your story won’t be creating cancer carnage.

Become part of a wave of people who are focussed on the upside effects of cancer and cancer treatment.

Think about all of the people who won’t go into depression because you have carefully sprinkled your stories of joy?

Now go and spread Cancer Confident stories.

Originally published at on April 17, 2016.

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