I love TED. You could probably call it a slight addiction to TED. I love being inspired. I love being informed. And I love feeling the humanity, sincerity, earnestness, and honesty of the speakers talking about their life, their passions, and their research work that is all contributing to a better understanding of us and the world we live in.
One of the most moving and inspirational talks I’ve watched is from Caroline Casey: looking past limits. I won’t spoil it (but strongly encourage you to watch it!), but it had my eyes tearing up whilst clutching my iPad.
She talks about living life without labels or limitations, and how having incredibly strong belief in yourself along with a good dose of determination can help you achieve your goals. But at the same time, she talks about how many of us believe in the wrong parts of ourselves, pretending to be someone that we’re not.
I’m sure that many of us an relate to this. We feel that our careers, love lives, or other opportunities are limited by our race or gender, our lack of qualifications or skills, our financial situation, or just by debilitating self-doubt. We won’t take chances on travelling alone, changing careers, trying a new sport, dating someone outside of our “type”, or taking the plunge on a hunch because of our fear of failure.
I often feel frustration at limits that are almost certainly self-imposed. I’m not satisfied by my current career, however I often feel like I’ve invested so much time and effort into getting this far that it would be almost a waste to try something completely different. The thought of starting from the bottom rung of a new career on half my current salary is unappealing, even despite knowing that I have another 30 years of work ahead of me, which would more than justify investment in a change.
I want to be a caring daughter, a loving and attentive girlfriend, a hardworking employee, a loyal friend, and a financially secure, independent woman. This doesn’t seem to leave much room for actually being “me”, investing time into my passions, and believing in who I am and what I am capable of achieving.
After listening to Caroline’s talk however, I’m inspired to find my vision and belief. Even if the ideas seem a bit outrageous, or require a lot of hard work and determination, I know that there is nothing to be lost in giving things a go if I’m following what I truly believe.
Watch this space!
* Image courtesy of brighternights.org