Some days, you just feel depressed, annoyed and frustrated.
It happens to all of us. It can be short-term, like when we’re exhausted or bored, or we’re embarking on a new project but have no idea where to start. Other times, it’s a little more long-term, like when we feel like we’re tapped out of good ideas, or stuck in our careers. Where should you go from there? In times like these, we all have our own coping mechanisms. But if what you need is some words of wisdom and a little motivation, check out these TED talks below.
“Success, Failure, & the Drive to Keep Creating” by Elizabeth Gilbert
Length: 7 min. 14 sec.
Before she authored the book Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert was an “unpublished young diner waitress,” devastated by rejection letters. And even after she published the book and it became a huge success, she found herself identifying strongly with her former self — and feeling the urge to quit the fame game and move to the country to raise corgis. In this TED talk, Gilbert reflects on the strange and unlikely psychological connection between how we experience great failure and how we experience great success. She then offers simple (though hard) advice for making sure your creativity survives its own success.
“The Power of Believing You Can Improve” by Carol Dweck
Length: 10 min. 20 sec.
Carol Dweck starts her talk off with a short but powerful story about a high school in Chicago where students didn’t receive failing grades. Instead, they received the grade “Not Yet.” The grade implies that not passing the course doesn’t mean you’re going nowhere, but rather you’re on a learning curve. Dweck uses this story to frame the rest of her TED talk, where she talks about her research on “growth mindset” — the idea that we can actually grow our brain’s capacity to learn and to solve problems. She talks about two different ways to approach a problem that’s just a little too hard for you to solve: Are you not smart enough to solve it … or have you just not solved it yet?
“How to Live Passionately — No Matter Your Age” by Isabel Allende
Length: 8 min. 16 sec.
I’m a long-time fan of Isabel Allende, author of (among other wonderful books) The House of Spirits. She’s 71 years old, but says she’s still 17. Hey, why let society decide when you’re old? In her TED talk, she talks about how we all experience age differently. She talks about her fears as she gets older, and shares how she plans to keep living passionately. Through aging, she says she’s gained freedom — mainly, the freedom from having to prove things to people anymore. “My body may be falling apart, but my brain is not, yet,” she says. “I love my brain. I feel lighter. I don’t carry grudges, ambition, vanity, none of the deadly sins that are not even worth the trouble. It’s great to let go. And I should have started sooner. “
These are some of the best TED talks to boost your self-confidence.