Siera Bearchell is one of those humans that was put on this planet to make a difference. She has a confidence and a class about her that I imagine you would notice in other humanitarians such as Graça Machel or Indira Gandhi.
Siera’s list of accomplishments is long and impressive, a true tribute to how using a platform to get your momentum started can produce amazing results.
Just so you have an idea, here’s a few…
- Competed in 7 pageants, won 4 of them and placed in the top 3 in the other three
- Currently holds the title of Miss Universe Canada 2016
- Volunteered with Operation Smile helping children with cleft palates get access to proper surgical care.
- Ran 2 full marathons, the international Big Sur & the Saskatchewan marathon
- Fun fact – she ran the Saskatchewan marathon a mere 2 days before she left for Miss Universe Canada
- Ran the Vancouver half marathon
- Co-owner & co-founder of Watered Down Apparel, a clothing line that donates 30 days of clean water to someone in need for every garment sold
- Featured & competed on Canada’s Smartest Person which aired on CBC
- Conducting a series of confidence & self-esteem workshops for girls in high school
Oh, and did I mention she’s ALSO a law student at University of Saskatchewan?
All by the ripe age of 24. She blows my mind!
I have to be honest, after doing some research on Siera, I was nervous for this interview. This girl is incredibly accomplished and someone who you can’t help but respect.
Here are the Top 5 Lessons I Took Away from Talking to Siera:
- Don’t Be So Attached to Material Objects
Siera’s family tragically lost their house to fire in 2009, and she credits that experience with helping her realize the material possessions in life are nowhere near as important as the relationships we have. “It made me want to give back to my community,” she says, “and that’s what got me into pageants”. Siera began volunteering with the Red Cross and entered her first pageant to help raise awareness for the cause. After winning Miss Teen Canada, she realized pageants could be a platform to help her achieve some of her greatest dreams. You never know where things will lead, sometimes the thing you perceive as your biggest struggle could catapult you into a different direction to help you become the person you were meant to be. If there’s something big out of place in your life right now, maybe there’s a lesson in it still waiting to be discovered.
- What we don’t know about pageants
This was a question I was dying to ask. As someone who knows nothing about pageants, I feel like there’s so much more to these intense competitions than meets the eye. “The biggest misconception is that the girls that enter are either bimbo’s or just doing it for the attention,” Siera explained, “the truth is, some of the most caring, intelligent and hardworking people are women that I’ve met in pageants.” One interesting fact as well, pageants have a very well known, and controversial, swimsuit competition component. However, any pageant winner I’ve ever seen spends no time in a swimsuit afterwards, instead she is traveling to different events, speaking to different organizations and using her platform to help raise awareness for worthy causes.
When I asked Siera if she thought her education through law school, particularly being that she’s so well spoken, helped her in the competition, she responded with “Absolutely. There’s so much to pageants that people don’t see, the interviews with the judges and how articulate you are is a huge part of it. You’re representing a country, that’s a big deal!”
- Even beauty queens get body shamed
Siera experienced extreme backlash to her body image during Miss Universe Canada 2016. People were saying she didn’t deserve the crown because she didn’t have the ideal ‘beauty queen body’ – whatever the fuck that means. This has catapulted Siera to become an outspoken advocate about how it’s so important to accept your body as it is and disregard this type of negative judgement. “It’s something I’m so passionate about,” she explained, “every woman goes through periods of insecurity with their body at different points in their life. I want to help women learn to love what they have and realize they don’t have to change for anyone.”
This is something every woman can relate to, and we all know how it feels when it appears that you don’t measure up to society’s standards of what’s acceptable in terms of body image. That internal shame is soul sucking, and for someone like Siera to experience this so intensely in the public eye and yet come out of it strong, confident and using the experience to make a change absolutely blows my mind. This girl has so much character and one of the key things I notice about her is her ability to turn these seemingly negative experiences into ways she can make a positive difference.
- Schedule your big rocks first
Looking at Siera’s list of accomplishments, it’s obvious she’s got a few things on the go. When I asked her how she manages her time, she responded “I prioritize accordingly. I make sure I schedule time with family and friends as well as running because I know that’s what gives me energy and allows me to stay balanced in other areas of my life.” This reminds me of a lesson in Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, where he talks about putting your big rocks in first. Big rocks being your top priorities, such as your physical health, spending time with loved ones, ensuring you’re prepared for tomorrow, etc. Once those are in place, organize your small rocks (i.e. your to do list) around them. Our life will often feel rushed or lacking when our most important – note that I said important, not urgent – priorities are being strained by things we perceive to be more urgent at the time, but are often temporary.
- The 2 Things She Can’t Live Without
When I asked Siera what keeps her most energized, she answered without hesitation, “yoga & running. Running gives me a great sense of community and a boost of energy you just can’t beat. Yoga allows me to slow down and return to the present moment.” This resonated massively with me as exercise is a daily routine of mine and I thoroughly believe in the mind body connection. When your body is in a fit state, you can think clearly and have the energy to perform at your best. Don’t cheat yourself out of a great life by not prioritizing your physical health! There’s always options to join a running club or free trials at local yoga & pilates studios, take advantage and go check one out!
Some fun facts…
One of Siera’s biggest dreams is to be on The Amazing Race Canada, she loves Will Ferrell’s comedy and if she could have dinner with absolutely anyone (real or fictional, dead or alive) it would be the one and only supermodel @AshleyGraham. These 2 together would be unstoppable.