I've never been graced with a great deal of self-esteem. Now I'm comfortable with how I am, often realising the extent to which I work hard and do well, but as a child and teenager this was a different story. As a perfectionist I always wanted to be and do better, although I was rarely satisfied with any final result. I always strived for more.
|Looking awkward for my sixth form prom, about three or four years ago. My self-esteem has since improved considerably, I'm glad to say.|
Nowadays I still work very hard, but I allow myself congratulation and the opportunity to feel good about myself. One specific way in which I remedy low self-esteem is by watching TED talks. How?
TED talks often demonstrate the ways in which others have overcome challenges to become more secure in themselves. Such talks give us the courage to do the same, alongside the knowledge that we are good enough. Below I'll list some of the TED talks that have most affected my self-esteem, provided me with a story to relate to, and inspired me to step up and approach life confidently.
|Shane Koyczan, a poet that speaks of low self-esteem. Image from cbc.ca|
Shane Koyczan is incredible. I first watched his TED talk, and for that matter first heard his poetry, with my boyfriend. I was looking for something to watch, and asked if he'd like to watch a TED talk that promised poetry, a violin accompaniment, and animation. How could that possibly work well?! We started watching, sniggered a little, admired Shane Koyczan's facial hair, but slowly became more affected by the performance.
There's no way we expected to be so affected by it. We stopped talking, acquired more serious expressions, and truly understood what the poet was talking about. Since then my boyfriend and I have frequently returned not only to this TED talk, but also to other poems by Shane Koyczan. His work says so much about exclusion and low self-esteem, particularly when growing up, but he also speaks of overcoming problems and gaining a strength that once seemed impossible. By all means give the poet that performed at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics a listen - I guarantee that his words will move you too.
"If you can't see anything beautiful about yourself, get a better mirror."
|Drew Dudley on everyday leadership that we are all capable of, regardless of our low self-esteem. Image from TED.|
"Because as long as we make leadership something bigger than us, as long as we keep leadership something beyond us, as long as we make it about changing the world, we give ourselves an excuse not to expect it everyday from ourselves and from each other."
|Brené Brown gives a unique take on vulnerability and low self-esteem. Image from TED.|
"Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage.Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness."
|J.K. Rowling on "the fringe benefits of failure". Image from images.ted.com|
"Some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you lived so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you fail by default."
|Amy Cuddy on faking confidence through positive body language. Image from TED.|
Still struggling with low self-esteem? You can always fake it. In one of my favourite TED talks, Amy Cuddy discusses how important body language really is. However, she also reveals how easy in fact it is to fake. What is more, the more you fake the body language of high self-esteem, the more natural confidence and assertiveness will become.
“Don't fake it till you make it. Fake it till you become it.”
Do you suffer from low self-esteem, or have you in the past? What helps you to overcome such feelings and feel confident?