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My TEDx Talk: Risk Forward®: The Importance of Uncertainty

Some people in life know exactly what they want to achieve.

This is a talk for the rest of us.

Many of us live in a world that is obsessed with goal setting, achieving and decisiveness.

But what do you do when you’re not sure what’s next?

When you’re in a time of transition and not knowing?

These periods of uncertainty, when a path or a project is not yet clear, are fertile and full of promise.

They are to be respected and honored.

And the key to finding your way is to Risk Forward.

Watch the talk to learn more.

Big hug,



P.S. My book, Risk Forward is now available! Unlock your hidden genius and achieve remarkable results. Click here to get your copy.


57 thoughts on “My TEDx Talk: Risk Forward®: The Importance of Uncertainty”

  1. Todd

    Simply wish to say your article is as astonishing.
    The clarity in your post is simply excellent and i could assume you’re an expert on this
    subject. Well with your permission allow me to
    grab your feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks
    a million and please continue the gratifying work.

    1. Terrial

      Inspired much by your Ted talk, though I haven’t yet acted on my dream or aspirations. I hope to, and your talk gave the freedom to. My sister in law gave me you link. She always seem to find stuff made for me.

      1. Victoria Labalme

        You are welcome, Melinda!

    2. Linda Zeigler

      Perfect message. Perfect timing. One moment in your TEDtalk, an image really was when you pointed to an imaginary wall then stepped out and could see around it. Yes! Thank you for sharing your warm and brilliant heart.

  2. Robin


    Absolutely loved your TED talk. I shared your talk with three friends and I have never done that before. You are just a delight to watch. Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. Hi Victoria,

    I also come from a theatre background and in my younger days I hoped to make my mark on the world that way. However, what I discovered was a very different way to make a contribution by working with people.

    I am keen to take this to the next level and not quite there yet. I know right now is the right time to wait – to plan, to regroup – yet I am finding it frustrating being in this kind of ‘grey’ area. So your video provided wonderful solace and sustenance for me!

    Your approach is fabulous. You are true and clear and right on target in my opinion. I have no doubt you will help many people and enjoy some well deserved success too. I hope our paths continue to cross.

    Best wishes,
    Claire Schillaci

  4. Nicole

    I ABSOLUTELY loved you Ted talk! Everything you said in that brief 17minute talk resignated with exactly how i have been feeling in my life at this exact moment! Right down to the self help meditating books before bed!

    I now embrace this time in my life where i am fortunate to be able to take a step back and re-evalute who I am and where i want my life to go!

    All the best

  5. Shelley

    You expressed that feeling of self-doubt and crippling uncertainty so well – “compare and despair”, how true – not just with words but physically too. The issues positively came alive.. I guess the references to theatre resonated with me as this is a passion I have tried to keep at some level throughout my life. Now I’m at a real crossroads for various reasons and what helped me most is hearing you say “trust the idea that leads to the idea.” It takes the pressure off having to find an “ultimate” solution. It allows you to be kind to yourself, to give yourself permission to “give it a try”, without self-judgement and move forward with curiosity and openness. Thank you!

  6. Catherine

    Victoria, your Ted Talk was absolutely inspiring and moving! I am going through many, many life changes currently in my life in my early 50’s and have often been afraid to follow my intuition, but on the occasions that I have, I’m always pleasantly surprised! Your Ted Talk is yet another strong link telling me to follow my heart and not be concerned if I don’t know exactly what my next steps will be just yet. I just need to Lean Forward, with open heart and trust! Thank you! I love your transparency and sincerity! Can’t wait to hear more!

  7. Michele

    Thank you. Your wisdom helped this stuck 62 year old. “Risk Forward”, “Trust the idea that leads to the idea”, and “What are your interests?” The last question will help me in social situations when the only question folk ask me is “what do you do?” or “where do you work?”

  8. Connie

    Victoria, it’s been a long time since some one has put things in perspective he for me the way you have.

  9. Carol

    Came across your talk on my FB page – just had to watch (time out from work) have forwarded it to a child of mine as your message is just so right for her (and myself) at this time. Thank you Victoria for your wisdom on Risk Forward and Heart Open – I will be doing my best to stay in that place. Hugs and thanks

  10. Wonderful! I love that you risked forward. This talk was pure perfection in all ways. Thank you Victoria for all you do. We can’t wait to see you again at Rock the Room LIVE 🙂

  11. alfredo menacho

    What you teach is called Faith. Thank you for remembering me the turning point that changed my life in my 20s, and still now. Blessings!

  12. Jelena

    Hi Victoria, sorry my keyboard doesn’t work well… I think that I am already qyit brave..I did step forward I did take step into ynknown, not once byt several times… Now what inspired me here is – EVEN i AM DOING MY JOB VERY WELL, I DON’T HAVE TO WORK THAT. It is good, noble, working with children, byt I feel so tired and alone. And I don’t know if I have a srtong WILL, to do it again, to start over again..

    1. Claude

      Jelena, toward the end of her presentation, Victoria asked her audience – us – to see our self stranded on an island with one other survivor, and our days very limited but that other individual strong and healthy, yet disparaged. What one word of encouragement would we pass on?

      It’s a few decades since my 40th and in these years unwanted divorce, other severe threats to my sense of being well, and financial duress have given me a sense of impending doom. But, in all this I’ve discovered that the single subject I’d happily and confidently pass on to that other hapless individual is . . .

      Keep on Believing. It’s all about Trusting that you are here for a good reason, and the best you can do is be calm, do your own thinking, stay the course, and always seek the ways to benefit others with what you have in your hand.

      I believe with all I am that you will be a wonderful success.

      1. Victoria Labalme

        Beautiful, Claude. Thank you for your generosity of spirit in our burgeoning community here. My best, Victoria

  13. Romy Taway

    I just came across your TEDx Talk and I was awe-inspired. Love listening your presentation. God bless.

    1. Victoria Labalme

      Romy! THANKS so much for starting the comments here and for your kind words. FORGIVE my delayed reply. Just catching up…but please know that your post here meant so much…Thank you -V

  14. Oksana

    I was just having this talk with a good friend of mine who is a successful business woman. My whole life I have been aimlessly moving forward until one day I hurt my back at the restaurant I was working at and couldn’t go back to work. The world came crashing down, following by two weeks of depression, anger and feeling of uselessness. Until one day I made a decision to take life by its horns, explore different areas of interest, trying school and an internship, then a seasonal job, then marriage and honeymoon, and then anxiety about one thing that was still missing…rewarding career, a plan, a destination point, money etc. So I met with my friend, and she asked me what I wanted to do, what my plan was for 3, 6, 12 months, 5 years. And I said that I still didn’t know, that I had a few interests, but none of them really stood out. The day before, I prayed, and right away I found an ad about a new restaurant opening in my area, and that they were looking for the best team members who wanted to advance in their careers within short period of time. They were offering benefits, free food, opportunity to buy stock in the company, recognition. Immediately my heart started beating fast and I went ahead and filled out an application. After the talk with my friend, I asked her to pray for me to get the job, because I “saw” myself moving forward with that company, for the first time in my life. Something just felt right! I decided to give it one day for them to call me before I applied for another job… As I was about to press the Submit button for another job application, I got a phone call… It was them! They want to meet me! My heart leaped. Due to Hurricane Matthew heading our way (South Carolina), the interview was postponed until next week indefinitely… But for some reason, I am convinced that I will get the job when I get back, and will start a new page of my life. Because I am risking forward! Same day I get to listen to your TED talk, and it resonates with me in every way! Now I just need to wait and trust God, and have confidence that all the best is coming my way. Thank you:)! God bless you in your future risks forward!

    1. Victoria Labalme

      Oksana!!! This is a great story. Wow. Even if the restaurant job doesn’t transpire, just following that sense of “YES” will lead you to the right place. Keep us all posted on how things are going. And THANK YOU so much for sharing your story. All my best, V P.S. I apologize for my delayed reply!

  15. JD Miller

    I immediately forwarded this link to my wife because I knew your message would resonate with her as it had with me.

    1. Victoria Labalme

      Thank you, JD!! I hope she found it helpful. I really appreciate your sharing it. My very best, Victoria

  16. I loved your message Victoria as I have been struggling to define what my life’s purpose is. I am currently in the exploration phase which is exciting when you think along the lines of your message so now I need to stop struggling and just risk forward. Thank you.

    1. Victoria Labalme

      Yes Jo…we sometimes put such undue pressure on ourselves to “know”…and to DEFINE IT. My hunch is you already have your life purpose fully in tact. It just hasn’t been able to be NAMED in a career or plan. But if you look at some of the common threads that run through all you do — what you truly find exciting in life — you’ll begin to see a few common themes. Keep following those and exploring. Keep us posted! V

  17. Christiniam

    THANK YOU Victoria for sharing your daring way to move ahead always a bit off balance as for those who do have this courage, the Universe has got surprises and gifts full Its sleeves ! It’s only when living that Life that we can know and understand ourselves, Nature at its best and our True Nature ! No acorn comes along with needs to go to school, receive degrees from any tree around and have plans for the year to come or tomorrow… Yet they do turn out becoming the mighty oak trees that live successfully day by day for hundred of years… The day seems to come that finally Terrians be ready to step off the box and into this brilliant and fulfilling unknown ! I have had the privilege to be weird and live this type of life from a very young age. May I join you, Victoria, to encourage the darings to finally DARE ! I LOVED your talk, Victoria. I send you Love for the alignment you have with your Truth and may I encourage many to see the brilliant movie made by a French lady. It is titled ‘Being and Becoming’… This will help too. THANK YOU! Sincerely. Christiniam

    1. Victoria Labalme

      Christiniam (what a cool name!)… Thanks so much for your response here. Yes to the mighty oak and wow…how special that you “had the privilege to be weird” as you said…thx for the movie reference. I hope you will share the talk with those whom you think it can help. Thanks again for your kind post.

  18. ibolya

    Many thanks for the clear message. I had the same. I had no goal, no plan….and everybody had it. Now my life is like a lotusflower. It’s becoming clear where i am going to…but how????? Step by step! I am 50 years old…so it took a while.
    I feel now that i am not alone in my walk/path….

    1. Victoria Labalme

      Ibolya! You are definitely not alone. YES to the lotus flower. Step by step. And by the way, when you turn 75, you’ll look back at 50 and think, “Oh my goodness! I was SO YOUNG!!!!”
      All my best,

  19. Thank you so much for doing this talk. I am one of those who doesn’t have the map everybody else seems to have been given and that can often leave me feeling lonely and afraid, wondering if I’m missing out on something but knowing that it’s not for me at the same time. I’ve recently taken a leap and left my corporate cage and have just started to listen to those wisps of ideas that until now I’d been dismissing as silly, because who would want to listen to what I’ve got to say? How can I possibly advise others when my life isn’t sorted? Etc. Feeling inspired after watching your talk. Thank you.

    1. Victoria Labalme

      First, congrats on the courage it took to leave your corporate job. Second, as you know I so get that feeling of not having a “map” and thinking everyone else has it. And last …YES TO LISTENING TO THOSE WISPS OF IDEAS. This is your genius at work, so it’s whispering to you. Follow those and see what paths (often not straight paths) they take you on. Keep us posted!!

  20. Fiorella

    Thank you very much Victoria! I am so inspired by your presentation about risk forward to the point that make my heart sing! It is my desire to inspire people to risk forward and recognize their uniqueness and talents so they can reach their full potential and inspire others. I pretty much want that too for myself ?

    1. Victoria Labalme

      You are welcome Fiorella! I’m so pleased the talk made your heart sing and YES to helping others Risk Forward and recognize their uniqueness. What a terrific desire– to help others. Thanks so much for your post! V

  21. Deena

    Hi Victoria

    Thank you for your meaningful, transformative talk.

    Your question ‘ what’s your through line – what’s the essence that’s driving you’ really resonated with me. It made me realise that I would like to look at my ‘though line’ more closely and change my current driving force from a fear-based energy to an empowered, conscious motivator.

    With thanks for that gift, Deena

    1. Victoria Labalme

      Deena. THIS IS SO WONDERFUL…first that you realize you may have been operating from a fear-based Throughline. And second, that you want to shift it. What will help is to put your focus on serving. Focus on taking your gifts/talents and using them either to delight yourself and/or to help others…and see where that takes you. Keep us posted. VERY EXCITING. You’re going to feel so much better as this unfolds. MY VERY BEST, V

  22. Thank you for your wonderful, inspiring presentation. I have been so fortunate in my life to have pursued and fulfilled all the goals I set but now have come back to that question of purpose, new goals and direction. I love your Risk Forward, Heart Open, characterization and appreciate your validation of just following the throughline with the pleasure of knowing it will take me to new opportunities without the pressure of trying to determine, in advance, what they may be. The idea of taking a path without knowing where it will lead, seems now more exciting than taking one whose ending is predetermined.

    1. Victoria Labalme

      Madeline – I love how you phrased this: “The idea of taking a path without knowing where it will lead, seems now more exciting than taking one whose ending is predetermined” YES…. And you’re right, it’s an interesting phenomenon when you reach your “goals” and then wonder…Hmmm. Now what? YES to following your Throughline and seeing where that takes you. Keep us posted, please. It seems we’re forming a community here and you will be a key voice in it! My best and looking forward – V

  23. Claude

    With a few of my years now behind me at 71, my sense of being well has been no better at any time of my days. Why do I have this sense of being a mere 20 something?

    Prostate issues surfaced a year ago so that is hampering me with a permanent catheter that all the medical providers seem to assume will keep me bed-bound, but I’ve had maybe two days in 11 months where I succumbed and one additional hospital bout. Why all this rarin’ to begin my life, though?

    Still, I feel harnessed, tied to the starting blocks, immobilized by . . .?

    Jeff Walker sent me here. Love What he does, but I was wondering how I missed unsubscribing from his eMails, but this one slipped through. Could it be the one I need most?

    Sure loved your point, Victoria! What a name, too!


    Shared your TEDs link with a friend.

    1. Victoria Labalme

      Claude, I love your honesty and your humility. Thanks for your post. Sounds like you are in a rebirth of sorts — with some new horizons ahead. We all have those harnesses and elements that immobilize us — and we’re all learning to let them go. Keep following what lights you up and LET IT PULL YOU FORWARD. Thanks for your kind post and let us know how things unfold as you follow your interests, curiosities, excitements. They carry a lot of wisdom and direction and may just melt the harnesses bit by bit.

  24. Living “in the gap” is what my mentor called it. People resists it but it’s the only place to be.

    1. Victoria Labalme

      Absolutely, Larry. It’s a pretty great place to be…though unnerving at times. Thx for your post! My best, Victoria

  25. Ann

    Unbelievable timing! Stu sent me the link to your talk. Just this morning, I was listening to our daughter’s frustration about college focus not being what she wants to do but afraid to take the direction she desires most. When she left for work, I checked my email and watched your talk! I sent her the link immediately and she will watch as soon as possible. I do not know where this will lead, but now we feel freedom in the choosing! Thanks so much!!

    1. Victoria Labalme

      Wonderful, Ann! So glad this made its way to you — courtesy of the one and only Stu McLaren. 🙂 Yeah – it can be very challenging after college — and your daughter is FORTUNATE to have a mother like you to be patient and supportive. Keep us posted on how things unfold with her…and you. Thanks for sharing here. MY VERY BEST, Victoria

  26. rheed

    enjoyed watching you on tedx getting the spiritual connection and seeing Marcel Marceau within you too ..Brings back a great time.. peace and fun… cheers

    1. Victoria Labalme

      Oh that’s very kind. Marceau was such a huge influence on my life…so thank you. My very best, Victoria

  27. Loved the talk and the #freedom of that statement: “this could be the idea that leads to the #IDEA” !! 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing your work and ideas x

    1. Victoria Labalme

      Thanks Tracy!!! Yes, this key principle “Trust the idea that can lead to the idea” is a game changer and opens up such opportunity. Thanks for your post here. 🙂 My best, V

  28. Loved your talk. Risk Forward is so true. Giving to my daughter as she is currently struggling with her job. I told her life is to short to be stressed all the time. Do what you love and follow your heart. I truly believe if you follow your heart it will lead you to your purpose. Just as you have talked about about.

    You come from the heart and it show through. Simply loved your story and inspiration!

    Forward on!


    1. Victoria Labalme

      Thank you, Debby!!! Your daughter is lucky to have you as a mother. And you’re right. Life is too short to be stressed all the time. My guess is she’s comparing herself to her peers AND/OR to some expectation set somewhere of what she thinks she “should” be. I get that. I had it, too. And it’s somethingwe can all struggle with at times in our lives. Having people around us telling us to follow our heart is so needed. So as I said, she’s lucky to have you! Forward on and Risk Forward! All my best. V

  29. Tamsen Browne Reed

    Victoria- I have often said there is beauty in not knowing. Fascinating that your current talk is around this truth. It is not easy to always trust and throw your path out to the Universe. It takes strength and integrity. Traits I hold dear to my life. There have been some trials for me personally in the last few months.. enough to compel me to get another tattoo saying Keep Right On Dancing. Actually lines from a Jackson Browne song “For A Dancer.” This song is about the beauty in not knowing. It is okay as we cannot know everything in life. Believe. Embrace your life with passion. Trust in the power and your place of this great Universe. Always Tamsen

  30. Great talk Victoria! I first saw you speak at the international RE/MAX Conference in Las Vegas and have always looked forward to your message. Awesome talk as always.

  31. Ah ha Victoria, I still have the lip balm that you gave me when we sat next to each other at Brendon Burchard’s Expert’s Academy. Delighted to hear from you and to watch your video. You look as great as I remember you.
    My advice to that young person when I’m about to die? “Rowing comes first!”

    Note the change in my email address. I’m closing down the one you emailed me on that begins [email protected]

  32. Dear Victoria,

    Your talk touched me so deeply. I got tears in my eyes because I recognized so much of your story. Thank you for inspiring me.

    This is what I said to myself on the desert island: ‘Get everything out of life that is in there’!!

    I am doing what I love to do despite of what the insecure voices in me are trying to convince me off. For example they tell me that I am not good enough and the biggest one of all: ‘Your are still living on wellfair. Almost 20 years now! So much for living the live that you love and being worthy’!!!

    Sometimes this voice dominates me, but most of the time I can feel that is just not true! I am worthy! I can achieve more then I was able to the last years. Just taking one step at the time. After many years of living with depression and anxiety/panic attacks I know my strength and I know what I love. And I also know that I have to be careful and feel what is right for me. Your story helped me to feel my strength once again and I love the excitement that filled my heart!!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

    The Netherlands

  33. Victoria & team: Thank you so much for the wonderful webinar. I loved it and learned so much!! Grateful regards from the Netherlands, Savannah

  34. I appreciated your willingness to reveal you didn’t have it altogether. I was home with my kids for 21 years and have now been divorced for 3 years… and still wandering around trying to find my way. I gain a little clarity and then it seems to evaporate. One visual you painted was stepping forward enough to get beyond the wall that is hiding your intuition. Thank you, that was really good!

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