Fear and Acceptance – What It’s Like To Give A TEDx talk

Back in June, I gave a talk at TEDxCalgary entitled “The Language of the Creator”. I felt very lucky to have the opportunity to share the story around The Community Fusion Project, language of the arts and relationships. My greatest intent around doing the talk was that it would have some impact on folks and inspired them to think differently about the arts, cross-cultural relationships, learning disabilities and humanity. In retrospect, a bit of a tall order I saddled myself with.

I wanted to convey ways in which we can all speak a similar language and relate on a human basis in a respectful manner, through the language of the arts…the “language of the creator”.

Aside from becoming a parent, it was the scariest thing that I ever did in my life.


I was afraid of lots of things – ensuring that the story that I told truthfully captured the thoughts I had around cross-cultural relationships, that I didn’t fall flat on my face, forget my story, embarrass my loving husband, parents….or even worse, the TEENAGERS in the household.  I was afraid of trying to tell too many stories, of leaving important things out of the narrative and making sure I fell within my time limit. For me, it was very important to honour all of these relationships  and my extended Aboriginal family and friends in Canada and Australia.


A few weeks ago, Emily McManus, Editor of TED.com wrote a wonderful article on the TED Blog where speakers tell their stories about What It’s Like To Give A TEDx Talk. The resulting comments have been rich and inspiring.

I was  god-smacked by photographer and artist  Aastha Kankariya who describes herself as “Einstein by brain & Shakespeare at heart” when she wrote:

“I am a seventeen year old, and I am suppose to speak at a upcoming TEDx in India called TEDxSinhagad. I really sometimes feel I might just fail at this and not do a perfect job.

So, my mentor told me: “Aastha. your problem is that you aim about being perfect…just try to be good – its the first stepping stone to perfect…don’t get over ambitious.”

I understood that we just gotta be what we are and accept the mediocrity of our work that it may even be bad or extremely good. :)”

“…we just gotta be what we are and accept the mediocrity of our work – that it may be bad or extremely good.” – Aastha Kankariva

YESSS!…..What she said!!!

Aastha, I think you just hit “extremely good” and I feel that the future of the world is in excellent hands with you!

(You can follow her on Twitter here: @AasthaAK)

I’m so grateful for TED, TEDx and the opportunity to connect with so many wonderful, insightful human beings throughout the globe….including you.

What do you fear and accept?


Aastha Kankariya’s Blog
The Community Fusion Project – Los Angeles

TEDx Events and Information
How To Fail– Seth Godin
How To Fail Well – Michael Hyatt
How to Accept Yourself – Steven Aitchison

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Janice Tanton

    And just a sidenote? I can’t STAND to watch the video after the fact. I have honestly only watched it once since it came out, with a roomful of art students in Red Deer, who were uber-supportive and made me feel all warm and fuzzy (y’all know who you are)….and thank you for making me feel so lovely about it all….but I’m still not watching it again!

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