5 TED Talks to help you boost your confidence

Watch these talks to learn how to leverage the amazing power of self belief. By Satyaki Sarkar

At some point in our lives, we all come across a situation so overwhelming and debilitatingly terrifying that we completely lose faith in ourselves, and start doubting our capabilities. It is only human to stumble. But how you deal with that hurdle and the personal struggle can make or break you. Here are five TED Talks that will help you rediscover and rebuild your confidence.


1. Elizabeth Gilbert: “Success, Failure, and the Drive to Keep Creating”
Besides being the author of the acclaimed bestselling novel Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert is also a renowned essayist, writer, biographer, novelist, and memoirist. In this TED Talk, she speaks about how one of the biggest challenges, even more so than finding success, is to continue succeeding, surpassing your previous works. Prior to the publication of her book and achieving success, Elizabeth was an “unpublished young diner waitress,” who had been struggling with a volley of rejection letters. And even after achieving what she did, she kept identifying with her former self. To overcome her fear of inevitable failure, she returned to her roots, to find her passion again. She started writing again, simply because she loved it, without thinking about anything else.
Watch it here


2. Carol Dweck: “The Power of Believing you can Improve”
One of the leading researchers in the world in the field of motivation and personality development, Professor Carol Dweck of Stanford University speaks about how, when it comes to success, rather than believing in your abilities, it is more important for you to believe that you can improve them. This, she states, encourages a growth mentality, which makes you think of failures and drawbacks as just steps in the process of learning, instead of the end. She recounts a small but powerful story about a high school in Chicago, where, instead of receiving failing grades, students would receive the grade “Not Yet.” As simple and insignificant as it might be, this helped the students accept and embrace failure as not an end of the world, but rather, just a stop on the journey of learning.
Watch it here


3. David Kelley: “How to Build Your Creative Confidence”
The founder, chairman, and managing partner of the design firm IDEO, David Kelley is a widely revered American businessman, entrepreneur, designer, engineer, and teacher. In this insightful talk, he speaks about how most organisations divide people into two groups, the ones who are creative, and the ones who are not. However, he argues, creativity is not something that is only possessed by a few, but inherently present in each and every one of us. Through a number of gripping, emotional stories from his own life and career, he discusses how everyone can rediscover their own ability and confidence to create. And once they possess this confidence, they start devoting themselves to those ideas and thoughts that they had never known they could have had, thereby excelling in whatever they do.
Watch it here


4. Boniface Mwangi: “The Day I Stood Up Alone”
Photographer Boniface Mwangi is an award-winning photojournalist and social-political activist whose job was to document the nightmarish violence and atrocities in his home country of Kenya. Having been deeply affected by it and frustrated with the government’s silence, he made a plan with his friends to protest against the corruption during a large public meeting where the president was delivering a speech. However, his friends never showed up. At that point, in spite of being terrified, he knew he had to make a decision, whether he would give in to fear like everyone else and stay silent, or whether he would make his stand. It was that moment and the events afterwards that led him to the path he is on right now, and reaffirmed his belief in the saying, “There are two most powerful days in your life. The day you are born, and the day you discover why.”
Watch it here


5. Amy Cuddy: “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are”

Renowned American social psychologist, author, and lecturer, Amy Cuddy has been researching the effects of body language on others throughout her life. Not only does our body language affect how others see us, but it also impacts the judgments and inferences they make about us. This in turn can affect everything from whether we get hired or promoted to whether our opinions are taken seriously, and even how we see ourselves. In this invigorating talk, she discusses how we can change other people’s perceptions of us, simply by changing our body positions, for example, using “power posing”, that is, assuming a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel it. This can have an immense and immediate effect on not only how others react to us, but even our own testosterone and cortisone levels in the brain, thereby making us feel confident, in turn.
Watch it here 

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