Behati Prinsloo, on her advice to aspiring models on casting calls. Vogue, 2014
Where does one find the courage to be oneself? How do you transform the insecurity you feel about anything that sets you apart, into something that gives you strength? How do we turn obstacles into advantages?
There is an entrepreneurial key that guarantees success to everyone with the guts to use it; It’s also how cancer survivors endure the ugliness of treatment with a smile on our face. Here’s the truth:
Every struggle you face isn’t one that will make you weaker. Despite it’s physical ramifications, every obstacle in your life will strengthen your soul, and so it is to your advantage to endure it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a job lost, a cancer diagnosis, or an extra 20 pounds to lose.
If you go through the work for it, you will come out stronger, better, and brighter than any competitor – including your own doubt – because you will have seen more, learned more, overcome more, and grown more. Your disadvantage is actually your advantage, because it sets you apart by stepping you up. You must only rise to the occasion not because you have a choice, but because your life (and happiness) depends on it.
As Behati, an international model and VS Angel, so wisely says, to be a Vogue model, a girl can’t fit a mold, even if she has to fit a sample size. The top fashion magazine in the world looks for uniqueness, individuality. It looks for something that sets her apart. And if on your big chance to shine in front of the camera, you hide that special quality that maybe you’re self-conscious of, you’ll blend right into the shadows instead of stepping into the light.
To ‘be yourself’ means to embody all that you’ve been through (good and bad), all the places you’ve come from, all that you’ve been instilled with physically and emotionally, and to let that shine through. Your crooked nose is as essentially you as every adversity you’ve ever overcome.
The same goes for bigger challenges than casting calls. If you recoil in the face of a diagnosis, you won’t survive. If you cower at your chance to prove your place in the job market, you’ll be passed right by. If you let your fear of your love handles get in the way of your own self-appreciation, you’ll never get the casting call, the prince charming, the feeling of being totally and incredibly and infinitely your SELF.
Isn’t it funny that we call it feeling ‘self-conscious’ when we’re embarrassed or timid? Really, to be self-conscious, we’d have to be conscious of our ‘self’. But if we were to be conscious of our Self, the true beauty of our nature and the profound unique energy that emanates within us, we wouldn’t be timid. We’d be awestruck. We’d be flabbergasted. We’d be overwhelmed and astounded. How do you do this? Notice what’s making you feel self-conscious. Redefine it as your strength and not your weakness, and that in this moment, you are being offered an opportunity shine in a way no one else can, to see yourself as beautiful beyond your wildest dreams. Don’t fear it. Embrace it.
Be SELF conscious. Consciously, fully your own Self.