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Home » What Does It Mean To Be Yourself? – Carly Sotas (Transcript)

What Does It Mean To Be Yourself? – Carly Sotas (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of Carly Sotas’ talk titled “What Does It Mean To Be Yourself?” at TEDxYouth@Granville conference.

Carly Sotas, the author of Illusion, in this TEDx talk explores the complexities of authentic self-expression and the journey to find one’s true identity amidst societal expectations. She shares personal anecdotes to illustrate the struggle of conforming to perceived norms and the courage it takes to pursue one’s passions and dreams, regardless of external judgments.

Sotas highlights the unrealistic portrayals of success and happiness often depicted in media and reality TV, which can distort our self-perception and aspirations. Through her experiences, including a challenging but transformative internship in New York, she learned the importance of resilience, hard work, and the value of embracing one’s vulnerabilities. Sotas emphasizes that being oneself is not about achieving perfection but about being honest and open about our insecurities and challenges.

She advocates for the power of sharing personal stories to inspire and reassure others that they are not alone in their struggles. Ultimately, her talk is a call to action to reject the fear of judgment and embrace the belief that we are enough, just as we are.

Listen to the audio version here:


The Power of Authenticity

When I was a kid, my parents always told me that if I wanted to be successful or to feel accepted, all I had to do was be myself. I never really understood what they meant, but throughout elementary school and high school, all of my teachers and mentors said the same thing: be yourself. We’re told this all the time, right? Just be yourself. And everybody makes it sound so simple, but the truth is that learning to be ourselves is one of the most difficult things we’ll ever do.

When you look at this picture, you see someone who looks happy and confident, someone who you might mistake as a celebrity on the cover of a magazine. I can barely recognize that the person in that picture is me. And that’s because it’s not me. It’s an illusion of me. I’m not anywhere close to as flawless as this person appears to be. But you might not guess that just by looking at this picture. And what you also might not be able to see is that this isn’t a magazine at all.

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