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Home » Own Your Mistakes: Cristel Carrisi at TEDxZagreb (Transcript)

Own Your Mistakes: Cristel Carrisi at TEDxZagreb (Transcript)

Cristel Carrisi

Here is the full transcript of Singer-songwriter Cristel Carrisi’s TEDx Talk: Own Your Mistakes at TEDxZagreb conference.

Listen to the MP3 Audio: Own your mistakes by Cristel Carrisi at TEDxZagreb


So, it’s hard to talk about failure, isn’t it? It’s probably one of the most uncomfortable topics that you could bring up. No one likes to admit to them, and yet, it’s the most relatable topic.

Everyone in this room has failed at something at some point. There is the little things, like failing an exam, or a driver’s test, a diet regime, and then there is the big things that touch us all in life, like the failure to keep a family together, getting fired, failure to keep sober, or to raise a child properly.

I’m half American and half Italian, and in the United States, failure is something that’s talked about. It’s accepted; it’s woven into the fabric of social experiences. So it’s something that even, at times, is glorified, yet it’s still really only cool to talk about failure from a point of success or power.

I, however, grew up in Italy, and Italy is a country where failure is an absolute stigma. It’s embarrassing; it’s shameful; it’s taboo. There’s also the constant threat of the “brutta figura,” which means, in Italian, to lose face or to look bad, because we think that failure makes you look bad, in Italy and in many other countries too. In my particular case, this was a little more exasperated by the fact that I grew up in the public eye.

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