3 TED Talks to Challenge Your Thinking

blog leadership mandy b. anderson motivation personal leadership tedx May 22, 2023

The other day I was at the gym, searching for the right message to listen to that would challenge the lies and labels that were swirling around in my head. There was an unopened email in my inbox - from TED Talks - called, "The Likeability Dilemma for Women." It seemed like the perfect solution to get me out of my spiraling negativity. So I opened the email, pressed play, propped my phone against my shaker bottle and started my leg day routine on the weight machines. By the time I was done with this video, I was so inspired that I decided to slowly walk on a treadmill and watch another talk!

This is one of my secrets as a Leader: When the lies and labels drown you, find something to listen to or watch that will get you outside of the negativity and into the possibilities. It has worked for me for over a decade now, and I'm certain it can work for you, too!

Here are the two TED Talks that I watched, along with a BONUS one...

3 TED Talks to Challenge Your Thinking


This Talk really intrigued me because Robin challenges us to dig deep to discover and confront our unconscious bias about women leaders. The full description of this talk says this: " women lead, bias often follows. Documentarian Robin Hauser dives into the dilemma between competence and likability faced by women in leadership roles, detangling the unconscious beliefs and gendered thinking that distort what it means to be a good leader."

You can watch it here: https://youtu.be/T2I4tus05hI.


I've followed Luvvie on Instagram for about a year now, and I appreciate her humor and her ability to speak up on issues that matter. However, I did not realize that she had a TED Talk! So, when I saw this one, I clicked PLAY immediately. The full description of this talk says this: "Luvvie Ajayi Jones isn't afraid to speak her mind or to be the one dissenting voice in a crowd, and neither should you. "Your silence serves no one," says the writer, activist and self-proclaimed professional troublemaker. In this bright, uplifting talk, Ajayi Jones shares three questions to ask yourself if you're teetering on the edge of speaking up or quieting down -- and encourages all of us to get a little more comfortable with being uncomfortable."

You can watch it here: https://youtu.be/QijH4UAqGD8.


And finally, I have to put this shameless plug in for my own TEDx Talk from 2021...

I'm so proud of this TEDx Talk, and learning how to write and present this story was one of the biggest ways I've pushed myself and my skills this decade. Here's the full description of my talk: "Hope is dangerous. If you hope for something long enough and don’t get it, you risk being disappointed or depressed. How do you climb out of hope deferred? On the other hand, if you hope for something and it happens, it can spark change that impacts communities for generations. Discover what you need to know to ignite dangerous hope in your own life through the eyes of a woman living with a life-threatening disease called cystic fibrosis."

You can watch it (and if you love it, please share it) here: https://youtu.be/6r-tcOspJp8.

So there you have it. Three TED Talks to help you challenge your thinking - on the good days, and the hard ones, too. Pour some coffee and listen to all three as you get ready today!

~Coach Mandy