UBC Student Leadership Conference: Making History

Back in January of 2016, I had the privilege of being one of the Featured Presenters at the UBC Student Leadership Conference: my first real speaking engagement in front of a large crowd.

I’ve always been very open about my story and willing to share  with the community, but this was an experience like no other.

As 2017 winds down and we look ahead to 2018, I thought it would be fitting to share the 5 key takeaways.

takeaways, get started, narrate your own story, trust the potential, be okay with "failing", no makes way for yes

1) Get started.  Do something.  Take the time to explore your interests.  In doing so, you’ll begin to find what you’re passionate about – what you love to do.  The magic happens when you're able to find the sweet spot between what you're passionate about and work.  It can take a lot of experimentation, but I promise it will pay off in the end.

2) Be the narrator of your own story.  It took me a long time to be comfortable in my own skin, and to realize that going with the status quo wasn't worth it.  I ultimately realized that I would never be truly happy with myself if I didn't live the life that I wanted to live.

Accept who you are and try to block out the naysayers that are trying to tell you how to act or how to feel.  Once that weight gets lifted, you'll feel the difference.  Because then, you'll hopefully be living the life that you want vs. the life that others want/expect from you.

As you cultivate what you’re passionate about, and the causes that you believe in, stand up for yourself.  Don’t let those external forces try to push you back into the box.

3) Trust the potential that others see in you.  Keep working hard; eventually people will notice.  And sometimes, they’ll see potential in you before you even see it in yourself.  Trust them.  Trust that they saw something in you for a reason. Grow from it.  When opportunities arise, learn from them.  Be a sponge, and absorb as much as you can.

4) Be okay with “failing”.  Life is a learning experience, and and long as you're growing as a result of your past, that's all that matters.

5) No makes way for yes.  This is easily one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned.  I always felt like saying no meant that I was disappointing someone else, but I’ve realized that by saying yes, I’m ultimately disappointing myself.

So say no to the things that you’re feeling “meh” about so that you have the opportunity to say “hell’s yes” to the things that make you excited and giddy.  You have the right to be picky because just as the L'Oreal tagline says, you're worth it.

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Until next time,

XO Natasha