Have you ever been inspired? Had the “aha” moment that you hear about, and never knew what it was until it happened to you? That moment happened for me in my career in 2010, where I was able to attend the Saskatchewan Young Leaders Conference. The theme of the conference then was “The Future is in Your Hands”. And that theme still applies today, and that’s where I learned that I wanted not just a job, but a career that I worked hard for to be where I am today, and where I want to go in my future.
We all need to work hard for what we want in life. And sometimes that means stepping out of your norm or your comfort zone to really find the inspiration that’s in you. And that’s what I did to move forward in my career – I stepped outside my comfort zone and applied for a committee position on the Saskatchewan Young Leaders. That committee saw in me what I now see today in myself – hard work, determination, passion, and ambition to move our thoughts and ideas forward.
The first meeting of SYL, my initial thought when looking around the table was “I don’t belong here.” I wasn’t a manager. I was working hard every day to climb the corporate ladder (or rather lattice as we learnt at our conference this year). There was no way I could contribute to the caliber of what was expected. But instead of those thoughts winning me over, I did what I knew I did well…and that was to listen. I listened to all the thoughts and ideas around the room, digested them, understood them, and then offered my thoughts. It turned out I was my own worst enemy, and the committee welcomed my ideas and my actions. ☺
There’s a quote – “Sometimes you can’t see yourself clearly until you see yourself through the eyes of others.” These words are so true, and a huge part of my decision to run for Chair of SYL in 2014. My fear of not belonging faded as I became more confident in myself and seeing that there really is “more to me than I can see” – a great quote that I took away from our conference. I was elected as Chair from my peers, and have learned that Leadership is not about titles, it’s about the trust and influence and motivation that you can bring to your group.
I am honored that I could provide the leadership to the Saskatchewan Young Leaders in 2014. However, I’m more proud to say to myself “I did it!” because it was so important for me to see that confidence in myself. Of course, I had an outstanding team alongside me every step of the way! I consider them confidantes and very good friends – something I didn’t expect when I first started.
Our closing speaker Joe Roberts quoted “There’s more to you than you can see.” Believe it! My best piece of advice I can give anyone – Believe in yourself. If you believe first in yourself, the confidence follows, and so does the success. And if you’ve ever watched the movie “Yes Man”, then you’ll know…“Every time an opportunity presents itself…you’ll say “Yes”. SYL is recruiting for four term positions starting January 2015. See this as your opportunity to stand out and become the leader that you know is in you.
Samantha Larsen, 2014 Chair of SYL