Cara Delevingne has made a name for herself in the modeling and acting world (and on social media for her wacky sense of humor). Although the success she worked for eventually materialized, it didn't automatically translate to self-acceptance. In an essay for TIME magazine's Motto, Delevingne revealed her struggle for validation in the industry and how she later realized that gaining outside approval isn't really that important after all.
The supermodel recalled the beginning of her modeling career at age 16 and how it took a while to establish her career.
"I worked hard to be accepted by the fashion community in ways beyond my physical appearance," Delevingne wrote. "In no time, though, I found myself surrendering to the industry's approval process. I felt like I needed validation from everyone. As a result, I lost sight of myself and what it meant to be happy, what it meant to be successful. I think it all stemmed from a deep-down feeling of wanting people to like me and love me."
Despite her best efforts at pleasing everybody, Delevingne noted that there were still people who were unhappy with her work. And that made her think about what she was trying to do and who she was working so hard for.
"Over time, I came to realize that work and getting others' approval isn't the most important thing. Yes, your career is very important — but it's not the most important. Of course I was proud of my accomplishments, but I wasn't genuinely happy," she wrote, emphasizing the importance of having a life outside of work.
"It's taken time, but now I realize that work isn't everything and success comes in many forms," Delevingne wrote. "I've opened my mind, and now I embrace new things with a childlike curiosity. I'm spending more time doing the stuff I love. And I've been able to do better work because of it."
"When you're coming from a place of living just to work, it's never as good as you want it to be. It's never as authentic. When you have balance in your life, work becomes an entirely different experience. There is a passion that moves you to a whole new level of fulfillment and gratitude and that's when you can do your best… for yourself and for others."
Cover image via Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com