To raise brave girls, encourage adventure
Recommended by Kristin Poinar
My life changed when a friend taught me that even though we were adults, our personalities aren’t locked in. It sounds obvious, but with some intention, we don’t have to be the same people we were at age 16, or 21, or today — we can grow, learn different skills, and alter our feelings. My life changed when I realized it could change, but it took me 25 years to see that this was possible. What Caroline Paul offers in her TED Talk is the idea that we can give children, particularly girls, a head start on the growth mindset by encouraging them to take risks.
Right off the bat, Paul says she had “absolutely no talents” as a teenager, and from that self-deprecating point she builds her theme of bravery and self-belief. As she gains the awe and appreciation of the audience, she makes a powerful case for why we should encourage girls to take risks, feel exhilaration and access their bravery from a young age. This inspirational and resonating talk is for anyone who ever skinned their knees, wiped out on their bike or swung higher and higher on the swingset — or wishes they had. A grown-up version of a child like that is onstage, and it feels really good to see her in the spotlight.
My hero is a no-nonsense woman who does big things in stride. Maybe someone like Caroline Paul is your hero, too.