Cara Delevingne Enlightens Us With Her Wisdom In A Personal Essay
Cara Delevingne, beholder of humanity’s greatest pair of eyebrows, has some words of wisdom for us, and they’re in the form of an essay she wrote for TIME magazine. Titled “Getting Others’ Approval Isn’t the Most Important Thing,” the piece argues that you can’t count on others for your own happiness. It offers a glimpse into a side of the entertainment industry that we’re rarely privy to, yet incessantly speculate about. Delevingne’s decision to write this is proof in itself that she’s taken her own advice to heart, keeping the industry from getting the best of her. Here are some of the most compelling takeaways from the piece that you can use towards your own quest for self-improvement—no matter what career path you decide to take.
Don’t rely on others for your own happiness.
“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.”
Getting approval from your peers is like guzzling candy—it feels incredible at the time, but in the long run is really nothing but empty calories. It’s completely normal to want to feel accepted and validated, but if you focus all of your time and attention on only that, then you risk losing sight of yourself and what makes you happy. You can’t please everyone and still come out content with yourself, Delevingne argues. So you may as well put yourself and your emotional health above the opinions of others.
Stay true to yourself.
“I was nearly 20 and had been modeling for several years. My vantage point had changed…and I had changed. I knew I had to reevaluate my life and my goals for my future. I didn’t want to resent fashion or my success. The process didn’t happen overnight, but it was imperative for me to preserve my integrity.”
Changing career paths can be hard, and particularly when you’ve devoted so much time to the one you’re considering abandoning. Speaking from experience, Delevingne wants her readers to know that the amount of work you’ve put into something should not be a reason to continue doing it if that doesn’t make you happy. Delevingne knows a thing or two about this; after modeling for so long, she felt indebted to the fashion industry and so continued to pose long after she had outgrown it. Eventually she mustered up the courage to switch career paths and pursue her real passion, acting. Since then, she’s landed acting roles in Paper Towns and the upcoming DC Comics movie, Suicide Squad. Acting is where her interests lie, and acting is where she’s going to stay (and slay).
Your career is not your world.
“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.”
What builds you up can, paradoxically, break you down. Mental health is just as important as physical health, yet all too often people disregard the former. Find work that inspires you, and then treat it as work, because when you let your job trickle into every corner of your life, you’ll likely lose the passion and energy that you started out with.
Delevingne’s essay helps to humanize celebrities that we deify. Even the most successful and talented among us can reach their breaking point—in fact it often is the most successful and talented who do. The false hope that fame and fortune bring instant happiness is dangerous and almost guarantees disappointment. So why not focus on your own sanity and happiness above all else?
Delevingne concludes her essay with a wise and pertinent tidbit: “After all, no matter how many people like you and your work, it doesn’t matter if you don’t like yourself.” Preach.
Stay tuned to Milk for more Cara-isms.