• Sophie Eloise Kelly

4 Great TED talks to help you through. (Part 1)

I am a huge TED talk fan – I watch them constantly; on the bus, in the bath, when I’m cooking, when I can’t sleep, when I’m sad, when I’m bored, when I should be doing 10,000 other important and urgent things – they are my absolute favorite form of procrastination. The TED stage is full of interesting and inspiring people sharing stories and ideas from their own experiences and research – and you can find a TED talk on pretty much anything and everything. I have also found some of them to be really good for the soul and a bit of an 'anchor of sanity' when you find yourself swimming around in the middle of a crisis. So, with this in mind, I've put together 4 examples of some of life's common challenges – and a TED talk that might make you feel better about each one. Welcome to Part 1.

1) You put yourself out there, took a risk or made an investment in work/love/business -and it didn’t work out. You’ve fallen on your backside, got rejected, lost or failed and you're feeling down on yourself. Alternatively, you may be trying to find the courage to give something a go - but you're worried about messing up. In both of these instances you need; Brene Brown – The Power of Vulnerability. TEDx Houston June 2010.

This has the number one spot as my favorite TED talk of all time – and with over 34 million views on Youtube and a spot in the “25 most watched TED talks of all time”– it would appear I am not alone. ‘Vulnerability’ is a feeling that we all experience far more regularly than we realise, but it was only when I watched this was I able to even identify it, and begin to understand how important it is. Through her career as a social worker, Brene Brown began to observe there was a key emotional difference between people who reported they felt they were living out full and ‘wholehearted’ lives - and those who were not. She defined 'wholehearted' as those who appeared to be choosing to live out their genuine purpose, having more intimate and stronger relationships, trusting themselves and experiencing a strong sense of belonging. After a lot of further research, she found this appeared to lie in how willing they were to be ‘emotionally vulnerable’. ‘Vulnerability’ or 'to be vulnerable' can be defined in this case as a willingness to show up, invest or 'have a go' - in any area of life - without any guarantee of success, acceptance or return investment. The people who were living ‘wholeheartedly’ seemed to have made an agreement with this already; they knew that part of living a life that was full required running the risk of sometimes losing, failing, or being hurt - and they viewed this as courage. This is an incredible talk and by highlighting how hard we work to avoid vulnerability, she explains perfectly how true courage is about being brave enough to know you’re not perfect, there is never any guarantee of success– but you’re still going to give it a shot anyway. It turns out there is no real courage without vulnerability – and yet as a society we view vulnerability as something to avoid. To put it simply; If you can’t lose anything– then you’re not being truly brave. I’ve never forgotten this talk as it helped me realise if I was brave enough to try - then there was no need to feel ashamed of the outcome. The ‘shaming’ was from the critics and their opinions didn’t hold any validation if they weren’t out there being vulnerable too. We’re so quick to judge people when they fall yet so many of us would never dare to take the risks we’re criticising and Brene talks about that too. So if you've put yourself out there; messed up a job interview, got dumped, fallen off the stage (metaphorically or in real life), fluffed up a business proposal, had your marriage break down, failed an exam, whatever it was, you gave it a go – without any guarantee of a return. So ignore the critics, follow the link below, watch this talk and give yourself some serious credit...