Stars2If you’re an overachiever striving for perfection while constantly questioning, “Am I good enough,” then we would be best friends.

The problem is there is no such thing as perfect.  As far as self worth is concerned, that is 100% our responsibility, and no fancy job, relationship, house, car or handbag let alone the amount of Facebook friends, Twitter followers or Instagram likes you rack up is ever going to be the kind of validation our heart is really craving—self validation.

I work full-time as a model. I’m what the industry refers to as a plus-size model because I am bigger than a size 4/6. I’ve spent years looking for validation in all the wrong places—model castings—where clients judge us based on hair color and hip size, and society, which thinks we should all be a size 2 with big boobs.

When I book jobs and build steady clients, I feel validated.  I’m busy, I’m making great money, I can post my work on social media and my friends and relatives can see me in magazines, in stores and online.

Then I lost my main client.  A new person in charge decided to shoot on smaller models.  Another client decided to hire all new models and “switch things up.” I was dropped. I was going on more castings than ever before, but I wasn’t booking the jobs.

My breaking point came when I was up for a huge national campaign that paid a ton of money.  I was so excited about the opportunity. The casting director told my agent she absolutely loved me, and thought I was a perfect fit.  I didn’t get the job.

I remember walking down Park Avenue crying.  I knew the decision wasn’t personal, but it felt that way.  I know the business I choose to work in is extremely competitive and has nothing to do with how nice I am, how smart I am, how hard I work.  Despite knowing better, I started down a dangerous spiral of, “Why don’t they like me? What’s wrong with me? What do I need to change about myself?” The “I’m not good enough” thoughts were filling my mind, and I felt my breathing start to change. I was having a panic attack on Park Avenue.

After a good cry, good meal and good conversation with a dear friend, I went home and told myself, something’s gotta give here, Kate.  I always thought of myself as one of the happiest people I know, and now here I was having a meltdown almost weekly. It wasn’t healthy.

I’m smart enough to know that happiness begins and ends with me, but I was in too much pain to shift my thoughts all on my own. 

I needed help. I prayed for a miracle. Instead of saying, I give up, I said, I give it all up to you, God. I surrender.

In admitting to myself that I didn’t have all the answers, and surrendering to something so much greater than myself, I experienced a kind of peace and freedom that I haven’t felt since I was a child.  Releasing my need to be validated by others, (which I often justified because a client’s validation of me pays my bills), and turning instead to the grace of God to guide me to love and validate myself has literally saved my life.

Being in alignment with a greater power has given me my power back.

I can relax. I trust. I know that the Universe has my back. I am taken care of, and even when it seems that things are not lining up in my favor, I quickly see how everything is happening for me.

When I get my ego out of the way, and ask for the highest energy of the Universe to speak to me and through me, and show me the way, meltdowns are replaced by miracles.

I expect them now. That desperate need to try to control outcomes has been replaced with acceptance of what is and allowing what is meant for me.

Not everything is meant for me. I am ok with that now.

Now, when I don’t book a job, I’m fine with it. The obsessive thoughts over what I could have done differently or better, or stories I used to create about not being good enough have been replaced with excitement about what bigger and better plan is in store for me.

One of my favorite mantras is, “This or something better.”

So when I don’t book “this” job, I know I’m about to land something better and perfect for me. I live in faith now, not fear. I go in, I do my best, I have fun, smile and give it my all. Then I release it. If an old thought pattern tries to creep in, I acknowledge it, take a deep breath and exhale it. I know it’s just a thought.

I begin and end each day with a guided meditation.

This commitment to stillness is manifested in inspiration, joy, peace, clear focus and creativity.

When I live my life from this place, I’m in the flow and don’t have to try as hard — jobs, relationships and opportunities just seem to open up organically for me.

For me, it is a miracle that I am able to practice self love instead of constantly beating myself up with negative thoughts that do not serve me.

That’s what I am committed to everyday. Small acts of self love to validate myself.

Going to the gym. Writing. Meditation. Prayer. Getting energy work done. Eating food that nourishes my body. Making a friend smile and laugh. Creating the space for people to live in their truth.

 I am finding that when I shine, I am giving others permission to shine, too.