Maureen Bridget Rabotin
“The Culture of Fear: Facing it with Courage and Curiosity”
2nd Annual TEDxWilmingtonWomen
Thursday November 2nd 2017
The Mill Auditorium  MORE INFO

Maureen Rabotin for TEDxWilmingtonWomen, TEDxWilmington, Wilmington Delaware

Photo: Alessandra Nicole for TEDxWilmington

November 3rd, 6:39 a.m.
I do what I have been doing every morning for the last 30 days: I roll over and start to recite my TEDxWilmington talk. I mentally edit a word here, a word there with that incessant hope of trying to get the most impactful message of an idea worth spreading come to life with Pace, Presence and Pause.

But today, the words don’t come to my mind. A feeling of panic grips me. I can’t remember my talk, then finally words do pierce my foggy yet focused mind: “It is Nov 3 rd . It’s over. You delivered your talk yesterday. Relax”. So as relief rolls over me, my mind drifts back to a sleepy state allowing me to revisit yesterday as I entertain my new morning ritual. Start to follow some of the advice from Victoria, the 96- year young woman who spoke of the aging process then, a leisurely breakfast at 9:30 with some fellow (or should I say female?) TEDxWilmingtonWomen speakers. A warm sense of belonging to some kind of speaker tribe envelops me in my dreamy state. Isn’t that what we, as humans, all seek: to belong?

November 4 th , 5: 12 a.m.
Now you have probably guessed it. I’m not much of a sleeper. The adage of the “early riser catches the worm” was ground into my routine at a very young age. This morning as I rolled over, the lines of this third blog came to mind, now replacing the thoughts where my TEDxWilmington talk once lived.

The incessant cycle of self-assurance boosting me to levels unknown of high energy and back to doubt where low-energy consumed me was a learning cycle of growth that I could not have imagined when I accepted the invitation to talk at this TEDxWilmingtonWomen event. What goes into a successful TEDx talk? The secret sauce is made up of a variety of ingredients: morale boosting from family and friends, Ajit George, the organizer’s clearly outlined process then the discreet way Ajit has of warmly accompanying his TEDx speakers with his righthand man, Evan Bartle at his side. Evan’s role among many was to kindly send us individually addressed emails about an overlook or readjustment as if each speaker was the only one.

The day of the event, the amazing TEDx tribe, all those volunteers, coming out from behind the scenes, gave me that feeling again: one of belonging. For an organizer, getting that balance right between disciplined processes and a delicious desire to be part of something bigger than your craziest imagination is at the foundation of a successful event. I have always wanted to give a talk which, up until Nov 2, 2017, was unimaginable. Yet, the desire to do so was never about me, it was and always will be for the very essence of what TED and TEDx means to me: Hope. Bringing people together across cultural, linguistic, generational and gender divides to share what it means to be human: a sense of belonging to a better world. Thank you for letting me be part of this adventure. Now, I know, it’s only a 300-word blog so I’ll stop here even though going over a minute doesn’t matter anymore. Thank you.


Maureen Bridget Rabotin, Executive Coach, Author and Keynote Speaker is founding director of Effective Global Leadership. Her experience and knowledge come from her natural inquisitive nature along with certifications in various coaching methodologies (Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, Appreciative Inquiry, Systemic – ORSC and Values- based coaching). READ MORE FROM MAUREEN