Throwback Thursday: Gabby Beckford and the ‘Delusional’ Key to Success

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When you watch Gabby Beckford’s TedTalk, Why More People Should Practice Delusional Confidence, the first few seconds seem a bit paradoxical. Watching this young woman talk about confidence as you watch her tenderly nervous talking about her life experience could be seen as contradictory.

But it takes only a couple of minutes to understand that the slight tremor in her voice has nothing to do with fear or lack of confidence but with an absolute understanding of the size of the opportunity she is seizing at that very moment.

That’s what Gabby Beckford’s experience and life mission are all about.

The daughter of a travel agent and a marine, Beckford first understood the meaning of the word “opportunity” when, at age 17, her father emailed her about a $1,000 local scholarship.

The young woman applied and won. Out of 12 scholarships, only six people applied. Despite understanding that she had won “by luck,” Beckford felt not less deserving but elated. Winning was about seizing the opportunity and taking a risk, as simple as it may seem.

“The most important requirement for amazing things to happen is simply showing up,” the entrepreneur explains in her 2020 TedTalk.

Beckford calls that “delusional confidence,” the knowledge and true belief that there is absolutely no reason why we won’t be able to achieve our dreams.

After being accepted to college and traveling two weeks backpacking through Iceland, the words “journey” and “opportunity” forever merged into the life path of Gabby Beckford. She is today the person behind Packs Light, a site to inspire ambitious young women to take the adventure that is life.

The website’s resources consist of giving new generations of women and people of color resources for travel of all kinds, financing, and more.

The true goal of her business and life? To leave the world a bit brighter.