By Brandi Wesley, Area 21 Director

I am truly grateful for all of the leadership opportunities I’ve had this year and am looking forward to all that is to come. Earlier this year, I made a decision to be a part of an organization, knowing there were benefits to my personal and professional growth. But I didn’t truly grasp the impact of this decision. I joined the local Toastmasters club at work for the purpose of strengthening my leadership skills. What I didn’t realize was that not only were my leadership opportunities going to increase, they were going to increase exponentially. Just a few months after joining the club, I was voted in as the VP of Public Relations. A month later, Little ole me was asked to join a higher rank, in the district, as an Area Director. Last night, I was privileged to join a group of leaders in a day long conference that featured keynote speakers, insightful educational workshops, and a ceremony honoring individuals who worked hard to achieve one of the highest honors in Toastmasters. The Dignitary Parade marched through the hall just before the final ceremony. If you google dignitary, you’ll find this definition: “a person considered to be important because of high rank or office.” This portion of the evening involved dressing up and being introduced, one by one, as everyone in attendance clapped in honor. I was the fifth dignitary in line. Little ole me.

THIS was the highlight of my night. THIS is when it hit home. THIS is when I understood. All this time, I did what was needed to be done, contributing where and when I could, and trying to achieve my self-induced goals. Never had I stopped to see what I’d done. OMG. I not only achieved my goals, I achieved them sooner and larger than I ever imagined. THANK YOU to everyone who supported me, and those who believed in me. Thank you to those who saw something in me that I didn’t yet see in myself. Joining Toastmasters changed my life. Don’t ever doubt yourself. If you have a goal, take steps to achieve it, even if just baby steps. Each one, no matter how big or small, is a step towards what you hope to achieve. And if you’re anything like Little ole me, you’ll soon see how much you accomplished.

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