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Laura Dunn

Social Media and Communications

Wales, United Kingdom

I leaned in and said yes.

Leaning in. I didn't realize that I was doing it at the time, but looking back I can confidently say that replying with a 'yes' has been one of the best points in my ife.

My sponsor was arranging a women in digital media conference, and invited me to speak about my blog Political Style. Having only spoken publicly in lectures and seminars as part of my degree assessments, I was somewhat nervous and could easily have 'leaned back' and declined the request.

Instead, I leaned in and said yes. I prepared and perfected my Powerpoint presentation, watched motivational speeches online for public speaking inspiration and selected an outfit that would help me feel more confident.

I was naturally nervous for the big day, but as I stood before a packed room of friendly, interested and engaged individuals I immediately felt empowered. I felt empowered by my own achievements, proud of what I had worked to accomplish, and perhaps importantly, excited by what participating in this important conference could bring. The day did in fact bring new opportunities, and even lead to me starting the Lean In Circle Wales with one of my fellow speakers, Helen Reynolds. It has also lead to new freelance writing opportunities, and has been a factor in a new project that I will soon be launching.

My Lean In moment has shown me that by saying yes to a challenge, I can put my mind to anything. Leaning in has opened up new possibilities and adventures, brought new working relationships and new friends. Whilst leaning back brings comfort and safety, I'd much rather lean in and see what saying 'yes' brings. The momentum from that ‘lean in moment’ has not dwindled, and it continues to drive me forward as I embrace a new year, and many new opportunities.

Laura Dunn is a social media and communications professional and journalist who runs the blog Political Style.