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3 Things I learned from my TEDx Experience

So you want to do a TEDx?

We all are unique and if you are reading this, you are used to being top of the class. You are striving for more and are often called upon to lead others. In any case, you have something to say and you want it to reach more people, right? Well, a TEDx is a great way to share your ideas and there are independently organized events all over the world to help you do it! The main reason to do a talk is that you want to share one big idea. For me, the idea formed over time.

After a decade of traveling all over the country as a physician in various settings, I heard the same things from top earners at the lunch table, in meetings or conferences. So many of us were struggling. There is the imposter syndrome, where you ask yourself, ‘Am I good enough? Do I belong here?’ Then, we were burdened with obligations and this constant state of busy while validating ourselves through our work.

Once I became an executive coach, there was a recurring theme from hundreds of professionals that often gets in the way of your success and fulfillment. My clients reported frustration and exhaustion from always sacrificing for the greater good. Whether it is for the family, it’s your life’s work or a nonprofit, this noble idea was not leading to the intended result. You set out to improve the lives of others. You want to make a lasting impact, but it’s a never-ending cycle with little appreciation. Martyrs, traditionally, are those who sacrifice for their religious beliefs. In our daily lives, in the corporate world, I find that so many of the leaders that I work with are tired of being martyrs. I call it the Martyr Mindset™ and we are over it!

What’s the Big idea?

So, my TEDx big idea was that success and sacrifice do not equal self-worth. We thrive when we break free of validation from others and the burden of outside expectations. My clients are more effective, productive and feel a lot more energized after they adopt my validated systems and take on a new approach. Imagine having more time for what you want to do? What about being a better leader, spouse, parent or friend because you are cultivating what really matters to you and not just spinning your wheels being busy? 

You are not your career, just as I am not my white coat. It does not define you. There are many other things you want to do, but your approach is getting in the way. All your good intentions are killing you softly, keeping you up at night and your bank account does not reflect your true hourly rate or the time invested.  Answering emails at three in the morning, waking up exhausted, using your vacation days to clean up or take care of other people, it doesn’t add up. So, that idea was the basis of my TEDx talk and it resonates with so many of us who are caregivers, business owners, or work in the service industry. 

You may think you have to create something magnificent in order to get on stage and make a lasting impression. However, TEDx is a platform to share information on how you liberate yourself, and possibly someone else. So many are experiencing moral injury, or suffering with burnout. Emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, low sense of personal accomplishment are all signs of burnout. You can be smart, talented, have everything going for you on paper and still get to a place where you have to use your power to save yourself first. You can lift a burden from others by sharing your truth and make a difference in a lot of people’s lives.

Check out the full TEDx Tips video

Hopefully, you have seen my TEDX talk, ‘Overcome the Martyr Mindset™ and Soar to Excellence’.  

For more answers to your questions about the TEDx journey, we created a few more videos that include additional information regarding: topic choice, delivery, your audience, what to include and finding an event that is right for you. Visit our YouTube channel for more updates, recap video and also the full TEDx Tips can be found there. Subscribe to be the first to hear about our upcoming community events! If you want to connect with me, schedule a Soar to Excellence™️  Assessment at

Toni A. Haley, MD is a bestselling author, speaker and certified executive coach for high performing women. She is also the founder of Soar to ExcellenceTM Coaching. Dr. Toni is sought after by clients for her 25 years of experience in healthcare, wellness and finance. Her proven strategies have helped hundreds of women break through personal and professional barriers, such as Martyr MindsetTM, Perfectionism, and Imposter Syndrome. Dr. Toni has committed her career to empowering others to achieve greater prosperity and fulfillment beyond success.

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Dr. Toni A. Haley

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