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Professor at columbia business school it. Her twenty nine thousand nine tedtalk britney pacman a writer activist podcast hosted and former teacher. So when i was a little girl told us about a very special object. A book sat on the coffee table and are living just steps from our front door and the living room is a first impression. That room had to stay perfect. But i would risk messing up that perfect room every day. Just to see that book on the cover saddle woman named team clark. She sat in perfect profile with her face. Raised to the sky should perfect salt and pepper corn rows planet down the sides of her head and pride and wisdom just emanated from her dark skin. Sim card was an activist and educator. A woman after whom. I'd eventually model my own career. But more than all the word she ever spoke that single portrait of sesame clark it defined confidence for me before i ever even knew the word confidence we talk about it all the time. We know how important it is that it matters and yet she still thinks we underestimated. I'm completely obsessed with. Confidence is been the most important journey of my life. A journey that to be honest. i'm still on. Confidence is the necessary spark before everything that follows. Confidence is the difference between being inspired and actually getting started between trying and doing until it's done. Confidence helps us keep going. Even we failed. And it's not something you're just born with britney believes you can build it in others and in yourself. She outlines how in this talk in a way that is especially relevant for people who don't have role models that look like them then after her talk. I'll be back to share another technique to build confidence that has made all the difference for me at work and beyond so let's get back to brittany and that book. The name of the book on that coffee table was i dream a world and today i dream a world where revolutionary confidence helps bring about our most ambitious dreams into reality. That's the kind of world that. I wanted to create in my classroom when i was a teacher. Like a willy wonka world of pure imagination but make it scholarly. All of my students were black or brown. All of them were growing up in a long comes circumstance. Some of them are immigrants. Some of them were disabled but all of them with the very last people. This world invites to be confident. That's why it was so important that my classroom be a place where my students could build the muscle of confidence where they can learn to face each day with the confidence. You need to redesign the world in the image of your own dreams after all. What our academic skills without the confidence to use those skills to go out and change the world now is when. I should tell you about two of my students. Jamal and regina now. I've changed their names but their stories remain the same. Jamal was brilliant but unfocused. He was squirming his chair during independent work and he would never stay still for more than three or four minutes. Students like jamaal can perplex brand new teachers because they're not quite sure how to support young people like him. I took a direct approach negotiated with jamal. If he could give me focus work then he could do it from anywhere in the classroom from our classroom rugs from behind my desk from inside his classroom locker which turned out to be his favorite place. Jamal least subject was writing and he never wanted to read what he had written out loud in class but we were still making progress. One day i decided to host a mock two thousand eight presidential election in my classroom my third graders had to research and write a stump speech for their chosen candidate barack obama hillary clinton or john mccain the heavy favorites were obvious but one students chose john mccain. It was jamal. Jamal finally decided to read something that he had written out loud in class and sure enough. Jamal stunned all of us with his brilliance. Just like jamal's. John mccain was a veteran and just like jamaal protected him. Jamal believed the john mccain would protect the entire country. He wasn't my candidate choice. But it didn't matter because the entire class erupted into applause a standing ovation for our brave friend. Jamal showed up as his most confident. Self for the first time that year and then there was regina. Regina was equally as brilliant but active. She'd inevitably finish her work early. And then she gets on about the business of distracting. Other students walking talking passing those notes that teachers hate the kids love. Despite my high ideals for our classroom i would too often default to my baser instincts and i would choose compliance. Overconfidence regina was a glitch. In my intended system a good teacher can correct misbehavior but still remain students champion. But i'll one day in particular. I just plano chose control. I snapped and my approach. Didn't communicate to regina the she was being a distraction. My approach communicated to regina regina that she herself was a distraction. I watched the light. Go out from her eyes and that light sparks joy in our classroom. I had just extinguished it. The entire class became irritable. And we didn't recover for the rest of the day. I think about that day often and i have literally prayed that i did not do irreparable harm because as a woman who used to be a little girl. Just like regina. I know that i could have started the process of killing her confidence forever. And a lack of confidence pulls us down from the bottom and weighs us down from the top crushing. Us between a flurry of kant's won't end impossible's without confidence we get stuck and when we get stuck we can't even get started instead of getting mired in what can get in our way. Confidence invites us to perform with certainty. We all operate a little differently when we're sure we can win vs if we just hope we will. This can be a helpful check. If you don't have enough confidence it could be because you need to readjust your goal. If you have too much confidence it could be because you're not rooted in something real not. Everyone lacks confidence. We make it easier in this society for some people to gain confidence because they fit our perferred archetype of leadership we reward confidence in some people and we punish confidence in others and all the while far too many people are walking around every single day without it for

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