Shivani Gopal

Shivani Gopal

October 17, 2020
| Wellbeing

3 TED talks that will make you feel empowered NOW!

“In a world that wants us to whisper, I choose to yell.”

Luvvie Ajayi


You’ve got grand plans. You’ve got big dreams. You want to make them happen. But, for some reason, you feel like there’s something in the way. Something that’s stopping you from achieving them. 

There’s this niggling feeling at the back of your mind. It’s making you feel like you’re not living your truth; living your purpose; making the most of your potential. But for some reason, you just can’t seem to break through. 

Or maybe you feel like your voice isn’t being heard. You know that there are some words that need to be said; bigger forces than you need to hear the truth; a status quo that needs to be breached - but you can’t seem to take action. You can’t quite put your finger on it, but there’s something holding you back.

If you’re in either of these situations, I have something for you. I want to share three of my favourite TED talks that, I believe, can really make a difference. They’ve helped me immensely and will transform how you see the world, putting you back in the driver’s seat of your own life.



Click image above to access the video in full.

“What are the odds of you being born?” Mel asks.

“1 in 400,000,000,000 (400 trillion)!”

“All day long you have ideas that can change the world, that can change your life – and what do you do with them? Nothing.”

How often do we have these BIG ideas that simmer and bubble away in the backs of our minds, that make our whole face light up whenever we think of them or build on them, that we secretly yearn to enact, that could impact our entire lives... but that we do absolutely nothing about?

And what about the slightly ‘smaller’ ones too? Not necessarily the grand ones, but the goals that are still important to us and that we really want to achieve? Whether it’s to lose weight, find a partner, be more healthy or learn a new language?

The point is that more often than not, you need to get out of your own way to get what you want. It sounds simple, but it’s definitely not easy. The negative self-talk, the “I can’t do that”, the mental obstacles, the automatic reflex you have to hit the snooze button - all of this requires significant mental fortitude to get past. And, the simple fact is that you’re never going to feel like it, but you need to do it anyway to get what you want.

Mel Robbins is a phenomenal speaker, not to mention an Ivy-educated criminal lawyer, mother of three and one of America’s top career and relationship experts. In just 21 minutes, her TED talk, How To Stop Screwing Yourself Over, gives us the straight-talking, down-to-earth, go-get-‘em advice that we really need to hear. It’s the kick up the bum to get ourselves out of bed in the morning and take those first steps towards getting what we really want.


Click image above to access the video in full.

What do Steve Jobs, Lady Gaga and Jill Scott all have in common?

They’re all larger than life. Each one of them is a person who is so incredibly, authentically and uniquely themselves (albeit different in their own individual ways).

Have you noticed yourself coasting through life, being on autopilot, and either dialling down your personality with new people so you don’t seem too ‘extra’, or telling yourself you can’t wear that top anymore because you’re too past it/fat/skinny/[insert adjective here]? If so, this talk is that powerful nudge you need during the week. It’s the wake-up call that makes you stand up and take notice.

You owe it to yourself to discover your own unique voice, to speak and act without fear. Just think, what would your life look like if fear wasn’t part of it?

Entrepreneur, keynote speaker and coach, Caroline McHugh, is immensely inspiring with her own honest and original voice. And, in this awe-inspiring TED Talk, she will encourage you to find your inner you and give it a voice.


Click image above to access the video in full.

Speaking the truth is like that moment you’re about to jump out the plane. It’s gut-wrenching, terrifying. You nearly lose your stomach. And then you realise it’s what you have to do. 

Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where we’re up against forces that are bigger than us. Whether they are institutions or other people, they’re parties that heavily rely on our silence. 

Natural human instinct is one of self-preservation. It’s the instinct to stay silent, to take the safe path, to stay inside the plane. But, although the plane represents comfort and safety, sometimes we just need to feel the fear and do it anyway. Sometimes, you just need to jump and take that leap of faith. 

Luvvie Ajayi is an award-winning writer and speaker who has been thriving at the intersection of comedy, technology and activism for 15 years. In this highly motivating and funny TED Talk, she encourages us to feel the fear and do it anyway - to discover our core values and live by them - to speak the hard truths when necessary.

It’s the ultimate ode to speaking up – whether it’s around pay inequity, bullying or any other form of marginalisation.

And our favourite line? “In a world that wants us to whisper, I choose to yell.”

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