5 Best Motivational TED Talks on Confidence

5 Best TED Talks on Confidence

TED Talks on Confidence

A while back, I published an article on the 5 Best TED Talks for Anxiety and it seemed to really resonate with people ... 

So, I thought I'd share these motivational TED Talks on Confidence as well!

Each one of these speakers has a unique story to tell, along with inspiring advice on how to build confidence and raise your self-esteem.

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TED Talks on Confidence
#1. Self-Confidence - Cece Olisa - TEDx Fresno State

CeCe Olisa always knew she wanted to be an actress.

From an early age, she shined. She was talented. She had confidence.

There was only one problem -- her weight. 

She was repeatedly rejected for roles and told she was "too big".

Before long, the talented and confident CeCe began to doubt herself. She began to lose hope. She developed an eating disorder and got a corporate job. CeCe all but gave up on her dream of becoming an actress.

But her parents' words of encouragement kept playing in her mind. They inspired her to keep trying and gave her the spark she needed to persevere in the face of rejection

CeCe managed to revive her confidence by asking herself one question:
What would your life be like if your perceived obstacle disappeared?

She imagined what her life would be like if she were skinny. What would she be doing? How would things be different?

"Skinny CeCe" would be posting a full-body picture on her dating profile. She would wear what she wanted. "Skinny CeCe" would travel the world. 

So, she did all those things. Even though she wasn't skinny. 

In this TED Talk on creativity, CeCe leaves us with this simple but powerful formula for building confidence:

(1) identify your perceived obstacle
(2) imagine what life would be like if it disappeared
(3) address the obstacle
(4) choose to live the life you imagined today


Sign up for the Freebie Library to access Confidence Building Questions, the Limiting Beliefs to Empowering Beliefs Worksheet, the Cultivating Creativity 3-part series, Gratitude Exercises and many other
form-fillable PDF downloads!


TED Talks on Confidence
#2. Creative Confidence - David Kelley

Author and Stanford d. school creator, David Kelley doesn't buy into the idea that there is a divide between "creatives" and "practical people".

He believes that we're all creative but somewhere along the line, we opt out of thinking about ourselves as creative.

How Our Creative Confidence Gets Destroyed

In this TED Talk on creativity, David recounts a story from his childhood to illustrate this point.

His classmate, Brian was making a clay horse when a girl came up to him and asked what he was making. Brian replied that he was making a horse and the girl said something along the lines of, "That looks terrible! That doesn't look anything like a horse!"

Brian tossed his clay horse aside and sadly, David never saw Brian do a project like that again.

We all must have a story like this! I remember when I was in elementary school, our assignment was to show the class a talent/hobby we were working on.

My (extra-curricular) ballet teacher and I diligently worked on a short performance for the assignment. 

Well, that day (back when there were no iPhones, etc) the teacher had technical difficulties getting my music to play so it took a while before I could do my dance, which was a very short beginner piece.

After I finished the dance, my teacher exclaimed in frustration, "That's it? We waited all this time for that?"

If you know anything about ballet, you know that it is very technical and takes lots of practice before you can do pirouettes and grand jetes!

Needless to say, I was extremely hurt and still remember that scarring remark to this day.

These are the kinds of influences that lead us to think of ourselves as "not good at" something ... the kinds of things that hold us from chasing our dreams because we have a fear of judgment.

We Can Build Confidence Through Guided Mastery

David says that we can overcome this kind of self-destructive thinking and we should - because it simply isn't true and it doesn't do us any good.

In a previous post, I discussed the concept of self-efficacy (the belief that you can do what you set out to do). This type of confidence is essential if you want to accomplish your life goals

David Kelley actually met with Psychologist Albert Bandura, who coined the term "self-efficacy" and believes that it is the single most powerful predictor of success. 

David wanted to talk to him about how he manages to cure people's phobias at an extremely high success rate, how he manages to help people overcome their sense of insecurity.

Bandura explained to him that he did it through "guided mastery".

Guided mastery is the process of taking baby steps and enjoying small successes to overcome fear.

For example, someone who is scared of snakes would first be told that there was a snake in the next room, then they would take steps toward the door, step inside the room, etc. etc. until eventually they were touching and holding the snake. 

David encourages us to take that first baby step -- you might surprise yourself! Countless opportunities will open up to you when you begin to move from fear to familiarity

TED Talks on Confidence
#3. Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are - Amy Cuddy

Social psychologist Amy Cuddy set out to determine whether you can "fake it 'till you make it".

She had already seen how body language influences power dynamics among both animals and people.

When we feel powerful, we open up and take up more space; when we feel weak, we make ourselves smaller and take up less space. 

It works both ways -- if we open up and take up more space, we feel more powerful; if we make ourselves smaller and take up less space, we feel weaker. 

How Non-Verbal Communication Influences Our Confidence

And this non-verbal communication not only influences how people think of us but also how we think of ourselves

Role changes shape the mind -- animals who are forced into an alpha role have higher levels of testosterone and lower levels of cortisol (higher levels of testosterone and lower levels of cortisol are also found in powerful people).

So, in her study, Amy had people hold either high power poses or low power poses for two minutes. Their saliva samples were taken before and after. 

She found that the people who performed the high power poses had decreased cortisol, and increased testosterone. 

And those who performed the low power poses had higher levels of cortisol, and decreased testosterone. 

Here are some power poses to practice if you want to give it a try:

It's amazing how such tiny tweaks can lead to big changes!

So, in this TED Talk on creativity, Amy says that our:

-Mind changes our body
-Body changes our mind
-Mind changes our behavior
-Behavior changes our outcome

She concludes that you shouldn't "fake it 'till you make it" but rather "fake it 'till you become it".

TED Talks on Confidence
#4. Meet Yourself - A User's Guide to Building Self-Esteem - Niko Everett - TEDx Youth @ Bommer Canyon

Niko Everett saw herself as embarrassing, awkward, and unlovable.

She was desperate to have anyone else's life but her own, to be anyone else but herself. 

So, she tried to hide away the parts of herself she didn't like. She lied about her mother who was a former drug addict and envied her friends who seemed to have perfect lives.

One day, Niko was talking to her friend about how envious she was of those friends, how they were all so amazing. Her friend interrupted her and said, "You need to meet yourself."

Related: Get to Know Yourself- 71 Insightful Questions

This was a pivotal moment for Niko. She realized that her perception of herself was not the same as others' perception of her. 

You can probably see how this is true in your own life. It's easy to think of a million nice things to say about someone else, or a million justifications for their behavior. But when it comes to ourselves, we are not so kind and forgiving!

To Be More Confident, Shift Your Perspective

In this TED Talk on creativity, Niko counsels us to step outside of ourselves to build our self-esteem. After all, our self-esteem is based on our thoughts about ourselves. Since we can control our own thoughts, we should be able to build our own self-esteem. 

Of course, this is much easier accomplished with the help of others, as Niko discovered when she began working with teens and helping them to build their self-esteem.

An extremely effective exercise was when she had one of her students stand in the middle of a circle surrounded by all the other students.

Each person in the circle would say something positive about the one in the middle, who would only respond with, "thank you". (a great exercise for people who have trouble accepting compliments!)

This kind of affirmation from others can influence the way we see ourselves. It can spark a change in our perception of ourselves and prompt us to change the negative self-image we've been harboring.

Niko counsels us to:
(1) spend time with people who make you feel good
(2) turn up the volume on positive messages and turn the volume down on negative messages
(3) give compliments to others, and 
(4) look others in the eye and say thank you when they compliment you

She concludes by giving us a little exercise to perform and I think we should all do this, even if it is challenging at first: Identify your unique strengths. Write down 10 things about yourself that you admire.

TED Talks on Confidence
#5. How to Love Yourself to the Core - Jen Oliver - TEDx Windsor

Jen Oliver counsels us to stop looking for external validation of our worth and love ourselves to the core.

She advises us to replace competition and scarcity with compassion and kindness -- what she calls "magnanimous love".

The average person thinks 70,000 thoughts in a single day. And 80% of them are negative, either towards ourselves or someone else.

Did you know that positive emotions actually strengthens the heart? And that negative emotions harden our arteries?

Be Kind to Yourself

Jen gives us good advice in this TED Talk on creativity- don't be your own worst enemy. Trust that you are worthy because of who you are on the inside. Replace your negative thoughts about yourself with positive ones. 

Replace your limiting beliefs with empowering ones. Build new neural connections and lift your vibration. Breathe into your heart and feel the love. 

Keep trying, even if you think you can't at first. "Innercise" is just as important as "exercise".

Jen leaves us with the secret ingredient to loving yourself to the core -- gratitude


Sign up for the Freebie Library to access Confidence Building Questions, the Limiting Beliefs to Empowering Beliefs Worksheet, the Cultivating Creativity 3-part series, Gratitude Exercises and many other
form-fillable PDF downloads!


TED Talks on Confidence

*Bonus*#6. How to Become More Confident - Till H. Groß

This is another inspiring motivational TED Talk on confidence.

It centers around "comfort zone challenges" where you put yourself in situations that make you insecure.

Till's version of "feel the fear and do it anyway": lay down in the street for 30 seconds!

Drawing on cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy, Till advises us to retrain our autonomic nervous system by confronting our particular insecurities over and over again. 

I hope these TED Talks on Creativity helped you! Got any other suggestions? Leave a comment!

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About the Author

Kalliope Archondis, JD, LLM. πŸ‘‹Hi! I'm Kalli, lawyer turned freelance writer and founder of 3dsuccess.org, a personal development blog dedicated to helping you reach your goals and achieve your definition of success - without all the stress & anxiety. You can read more about me & 3D Success here.

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