I would tell you to choose to be honest with yourself. Choose to accept that ignorance is a quality for the failing, who don’t use failing as a force for growth and alchemy.

When you arrive at the foot of your wisdom, that you truly being to live with compassion, knowledge and pure honesty.


If you’ve ever tried to write an ‘about me’ or description of yourself you may become stumped for words. I too found it tricky to write about myself – before cancer.

There is a stigma associated with talking yourself up. Phrases like ‘being up oneself’, ‘you have a big personality’ and “you’re too over the top” are just some of the things that confident people are told. It was when my 14 year old step daughter said to me “you’ve got tickets on yourself,” that I realised the lack of confidence that we see in social media (minimising every pore and the obsession with the perfect angle) manifests as outward remarks and sharp put downs, in an attempt to dilute a person’s confidence.

THE PROBLEM WITH CONFIDENCE – you may be perceived as arrogant and self-important which is a dead giveaway of a person with low self-worth and low self-esteem. That leaves us is stabbing in the dark for just the right amount of confidence. Nurturing magnetism, humility and wisdom, without being overtly charismatic, charitable for show and always needing to be right.

When I wrote about myself before cancer, I defined myself using titles to describe my character that sounded like I was an ‘expert’ or ‘authority’ on a subject. Apparently, the more titles you have the more qualified you are and the more you will be trusted by the people you want to build relationships with. What I know now, is the more titles I had the less confident I became. Titles like; professional certified coach, consultant, leader, executive, step-mother, choreographer, director, creative director, entrepreneur, business owner, vegan, teacher, educator, lecturer, writer, author, dancer, performing artist and event director – would clog up my ‘about me’, in an effort to elevate my profile by stating how qualified and experienced I am, and all it did was make me feel completely inadequate and the opposite to confidence because the labels don’t really describe who I am. Who I am and what I do are separate things.

THE PROBLEM WITH CONFIDENCE is we are looking for it in all the wrong places. That we think we need to ‘build it.’ That in just 10 steps, we can be confident. We are associating confidence with image (way, way, way too much). We’ve been brainwashed that ‘boosting confidence’ by losing weight, is somehow sustainable. We think that we feel more confident when we lose weight, and we believe that confidence is a thing that you get when you ‘do something’ that is worthy. That’s when I realised the labels that people give themselves are to boost their own confidence.


– is that we don’t always think we are capable of it, consistently, all day, every day (without the labels). I have led more than 20,000 young people, leaders, parents and entrepreneurs for 20 years and they mostly say the same thing. I am confident ‘sometimes’. That sometimes is associated by the validation they get from others and this is the very thing that kills confidence – the labels.

I will always tell you the truth. I will always encourage you to change and transform your thoughts, language and behaviours which will ultimately improve your quality of life, your business and your relationships. I think everything in our lives is a result of the quality of our relationships and if you do life like this, you will have consistent, unbreakable confidence that is sustainable for years to come.

That’s it. That is my ‘about me.’ What about you?



Melissa is a social entrepreneur working to transform the cancer experience. Twenty years in leadership, educational and consultative roles has readied her with relentless drive, and adaptability. She is the founder and force behind Cancer Confidence© ,The Cancer Confidence Movement, and Beyond Cancer War, a game-changing approach to the lived experience following a cancer diagnosis.

Melissa started a coaching business from 2011 and immersed into writing and researching in 2014 after her diagnosis – combining these strands into the Cancer Confidence initiative. Her rich career background in coaching, executive level management, dance education and performance informs her work. Melissa intends to pursue research and development in Australia and the United States to change the cancer conversation stop the war-like language normally associated with cancer and improve the quality of the lived cancer experience.

DIRTY CANCERING – I’VE HAD THE TIME OF MY LIFE is Melissa’s first book and describes how she managed public reactions and how she talks about ‘doing cancer’ rather than having cancer. This book is less about her story and more about how to make your own experience a memorable and peaceful one.

Melissa lives in Sydney with her partner and step-children.


Diploma of Coaching (2011 – 2013)

Advanced Practitioner in Life Coaching (2013)

Certificate IV in Business (2013)

Certified Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, The Coaching Institute (2012)

Certified Practitioner of Deep State Repatterning, The Coaching Institute (2012)

Certified Behavioural Profiling Expert, Extended DISC Accredited Consultant and Trainer, (2012)

Certificate IV in Life Coaching (2011 – 2012)

Level 1 Yoga Teacher, Inspired by the Jivamukti Method, Samadhi Yoga (2010)

Graduate Certificate in Event Management, University of Technology, Sydney, graduated with a gold award for Event Management (2008 – 2009)

30 years working professionally in dance education, events, onstage and behind the scenes.