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Wellness Wednesday: Insightful TED Talks Examining Our Fears

It’s only human to reflect on what makes us afraid and imagine what could be hiding in dark corners or even our future. These TED Talk speakers take a closer look at fear and examine what we can learn from it to better ourselves.

Karen Thompson Walker: What Fear Can Teach Us

Our fears wouldn’t mean much without our imaginations to fuel them and think up scary situations that might happen. Author Karen Thompson Walker was fascinated by the story of the whale ship Essex that capsized in the Pacific Ocean and how the sailors’ imagined fears drove all of their decisions. As they chose which direction to sail to save themselves, they pictured fierce storms, islands full of cannibals waiting to eat them, and starvation on the lonely sea. How do we cope with the worries that haunt us and make choices even when they have scary consequences?

Luvvie Ajayi: Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

Activist and professional troublemaker Luvvie Ajayi decided to face her fears by zip-lining, swimming underwater, and even skydiving, but she was still afraid to speak her mind in a meeting or write and publish her opinions. In her TED Talk, Luvvie describes how she took what she had learned at the edge of the plane before jumping off and applied it to the rest of her life. Getting used to being on the edge helped her learn how to continue even when things get really uncomfortable. She also shares the questions to ask yourself to know when you need to do or say something despite feeling fear.

Alex Honnold: How I Climbed a 3,000-foot Vertical Cliff – Without Ropes

Imagine being alone on a cliff face, pulling yourself up without a safety rope or partner to catch you. It’s not a scene from the latest horror movie. Rock climber Alex Honnold tackled this incredibly dangerous challenge and lived to tell the tale. Find out why he would dream up such a crazy goal and how he faced his fear and self-doubt mid-climb.


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