Talks to give you a confidence boost

Feeling a little down on yourself? These mental tricks and pearls of inspiration will give you a lift.

  1. 7:18
    Elizabeth Gilbert Success, failure and the drive to keep creating

    Elizabeth Gilbert was once an "unpublished diner waitress," devastated by rejection letters. And yet, in the wake of the success of 'Eat, Pray, Love,' she found herself identifying strongly with her former self. With beautiful insight, Gilbert reflects on why success can be as disorienting as failure and offers a simple — though hard — way to carry on, regardless of outcomes.

  2. 11:46
    David Kelley How to build your creative confidence

    Is your school or workplace divided between the "creatives" versus the practical people? Yet surely, David Kelley suggests, creativity is not the domain of only a chosen few. Telling stories from his legendary design career and his own life, he offers ways to build the confidence to create. (From The Design Studio session at TED2012, guest-curated by Chee Pearlman and David Rockwell.)

  3. 21:02
    Amy Cuddy Your body language may shape who you are

    Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy argues that "power posing" — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don't feel confident — can boost feelings of confidence, and might have an impact on our chances for success. NOTE: Some of the findings presented in this talk have been referenced in an ongoing debate among social scientists about robustness and reproducibility. Read "Criticisms & updates" below for more details as well as Amy Cuddy's response.

  4. 15:08
    Adam Galinsky How to speak up for yourself

    Speaking up is hard to do, even when you know you should. Learn how to assert yourself, navigate tricky social situations and expand your personal power with sage guidance from social psychologist Adam Galinsky.

  5. 8:16
    Isabel Allende How to live passionately—no matter your age

    Author Isabel Allende is 71. Yes, she has a few wrinkles—but she has incredible perspective too. In this candid talk, meant for viewers of all ages, she talks about her fears as she gets older and shares how she plans to keep on living passionately.

  6. 10:28
    BLACK My journey to yo-yo mastery

    Remember the days you struggled just to make a yo-yo spin, and if you were really fancy, to “walk the dog”? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Japanese yo-yo world champion BLACK tells the inspiring story of finding his life's passion, and gives an awesome performance that will make you want to pull your yo-yo back out of the closet.

  7. 7:20
    Boniface Mwangi The day I stood up alone

    Photographer Boniface Mwangi wanted to protest against corruption in his home country of Kenya. So he made a plan: He and some friends would stand up and heckle during a public mass meeting. But when the moment came ... he stood alone. What happened next, he says, showed him who he truly was. As he says, "There are two most powerful days in your life. The day you are born, and the day you discover why." Graphic images.

  8. 19:30
    Jane McGonigal The game that can give you 10 extra years of life

    When game designer Jane McGonigal found herself bedridden and suicidal following a severe concussion, she had a fascinating idea for how to get better. She dove into the scientific research and created the healing game, SuperBetter. In this moving talk, McGonigal explains how a game can boost resilience — and promises to add 7.5 minutes to your life.

  9. 8:03
    Joe Kowan How I beat stage fright

    Humanity's fine-tuned sense of fear served us well as a young species, giving us laser focus to avoid being eaten by competing beasts. But it's less wonderful when that same visceral, body-hijacking sense of fear kicks in in front of 20 folk-music fans at a Tuesday night open-mic. Palms sweat, hands shake, vision blurs, and the brain says RUN: it's stage fright. In this charming, tuneful little talk, Joe Kowan talks about how he conquered it.