Accumulation of Confidence
Having lived with several types of cancer it is not unusual for people to ask how I cope with it. These days I get many questions from newly diagnosed folks as well as from others who have lived with blood cancer for an extended period.
At this point in my life, very few days pass without someone bringing up a deep fear about cancer and then dropping that fear in my lap. Most often, they are really asking if I can help them get rid of the fear surrounding a cancer diagnosis. These days, my answer is “NO, I cannot get rid of fear for you, but you can certainly get rid of it yourself.”
Cancer and fear
I believe there are several things that need to be understood when it comes to cancer and fear.
First... Fear is a terrible master. Once it takes hold it easily sets up expectations that can be unrealistic and immobilizing.
Second... Fear has a way of preventing us from having a positive expectation that is big enough and strong enough to draw some level of confidence into our lives.
The small voices inside our heads
Consider this example. How many times at the end of the day have you said to yourself “That did not work out well for me today?” Or perhaps you said, “That did not work out as I had planned.” We all have those small voices in our heads that speak to us and guide us in ways we do not realize. If we add in an element of ongoing fear into our self-talk, it is very easy to become overwhelmed by a load of negative “what if scenarios.”
Now bring those fears with you into the next day, and the next, and very soon the ever-increasing load of negative concerns will weigh us down emotionally and physically.
The good news is that with a focused effort we can change that direction by adding in the power of positive self-talk. I like to call this process "The Accumulation of Confidence Factor.” The same way reinforcing negative thoughts can weigh us down, reinforcing positive thoughts can help rid us of fear.
Infuse thoughts with positive energy
The key is to apply a premium level of positive commitment to our everyday thoughts. Doing so allows us to get an infusion of positive energy which in turn allows us to envision positive outcomes that are both appropriate for where we are in life and make sense.
Redirecting fear to inspiration
I believe conquering fear is not always about overcoming it. Rather it is about getting into the challenge fear presents at every level. There are trying moments in our lives that lead us to the good. They can and do wake us up in ways we never expected. Facing fear and adversity allows us to discover that now may be the right time to find the inspiration and motivation needed to make certain changes.
Rather than looking to replace what we lost in our lives, perhaps now is the time we should be looking for something new.
If we look for the good that comes out of negative challenges perhaps, we can develop a new self-awareness that makes us stronger than we were before. Perhaps, the new challenge and the adversity we are facing can offer us opportunities for self-understanding and can bring us to the right place at the right time in our lives.
As tough as it sounds there may be many “thank goodness” moments hidden in the fear and adversity we face with a blood cancer diagnosis. Looking deeper perhaps what we are experiencing is an opportunity to reach a new level of awareness we would never be at without it.
How long did it take to be properly diagnosed?