All of us are going to experience adversity in our lifetimes. Human beings have an incredible ability to grow through challenges, and storytelling is a great way to showcase this innate resilience. Research has shown that autobiographical storytelling exercises can have a positive impact on the psychological and physical health of a speaker.
Jeff Ber is a testicular cancer survivor who now occupies the role of Vice President of Operations at OneBall — a charity dedicated to providing meaningful assistance through the testicular cancer journey. As a motivational speaker, Jeff Ber believes that sharing your story can not only have a measurable impact on others but on your overall well-being. He is here to outline the innumerable benefits of sharing your personal story of triumph and perseverance.
Sharing Your Story is a Reminder That You are Not Alone
When you receive a troubling diagnosis, lose a loved one, or go through any challenging time, it can be a very lonely experience. Jeff Ber claims that storytelling can serve as a reminder to others that they are not alone. Whether it is through public speaking, an online forum, or through a blog post, storytelling can promote connection with others. Knowing that someone else has been in a similar situation and have come out on the other side can be enough to get an individual through a tough time. Ber explains that it also allows you the opportunity to share tactics, coping mechanisms, and tips for how to remain strong even when it feels like all hope is lost. He points out that you never know who your story might impact.
Reflect on What You Have Learned
Sharing your story allows you to thoughtfully reflect on what you have been through, what you have learned, and how you have grown. Jeff Ber explains that before sharing his journey with testicular cancer, he had not previously considered how impactful the experience was in motivating his current trajectory as a motivational speaker and as the VP of Operations at OneBall. Understanding your own story can act as a source of inspiration for others, but it can also be a powerful reminder of what you are capable of. He points out that most people do not actively take time to reflect on their experiences, and that doing so can encouraging learning and growth.
Re-Affirm Your Values and Priorities
It is not until we go through difficult times that we truly appreciate what is important. Sharing your story allows you to re-affirm your values and priorities, understanding that challenge can be a source of strength. When Jeff Ber was first diagnosed with testicular cancer, it put everything in his life into perspective. Weaving this experience into his story, he hopes that it will inspire others to reflect on what is important at this moment, instead of waiting for life to do that for you.
Lastly, sharing your story can be cathartic. Jeff Ber underscores the fact that storytelling can help you work through the trauma of what you have experienced — it can be a form of therapy. Even if you do not publish your story on a public platform, he encourages you to try writing it down.