Personal Development

Confidence Is A Super Power

Written by: Zanita Whittington

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I want to talk about confidence – I know I’ve touched on this in the past, but I want to share my personal story and the way I learnt about the value on confidence and how it changed how I think about myself and my place in the world.

When I started modelling, I was 18 years old and had moved from where I grew up in Esperance to Perth to attempt some tertiary studies. I was a huge fan of the fashion industry – I loved runway shows, I knew all the names of designers and the models. I walked into Vivien’s Modelling Agency, they were on the fence about signing me… I maybe pleaded just a little (alot) and managed to get myself a contract. Booya!

Next step was to start attending castings. I purchased my first EVER pair of heels and headed out. I couldn’t believe how gorgeous the girls were, head to toe in designer gear, hair and make-up flawless, amazing personal style, so graceful…  Very intimidating! From that point I basically tried to emulate any girl who’s style I admired. Naturally I was pretty insecure about my country girl aesthetic – which up until this point I figured wasn’t actually half bad.  What was worse about trying to fit into a look that wasn’t myself? Was trying to behave in a way that I felt was going to get me the gig, like these models who were booking editorials for Vogue. Fact is – I’m not really composed or cool – I’m excitable and silly, I swear alot, I have bad posture and I slouch when I sit down, I make rude jokes, I’m self-depricating. All traits I dropped for a good part of my early 20’s because I lacked the confidence to be myself.

One day I realised I’d had enough – I guess you could say I became uninspired by my not-so-impressive portfolio and lack of work, so I dropped the act. I figured if the fashion industry didn’t like me as I am – then they could stick it! Do you know what happened next? I started to book so much work! I never had to worry so much about my back pocket. I not only became happy being myself, but more confident in that people would accept me for my geeky self. I learned to speak to photographers, stylists and anyone else I worked with – on the level, which earned me more respect.

When you approach someone new for the first time, so much can be read by your body language and tone. When I met new people in the fashion industry, I lacked so much confidence that I considered everyone to be above me – and thus – gave them permission to treat me as such, that I was worth less than my colleagues. I’m not saying that anyone was cruel or rude to me, but that it’s only natural for hierarchy to occur in the workplace. It’s about energy! And who wants to pay someone to work for them that doesn’t feel worthy of their position?

I’m turning 29 this month – and I’m happy to say I’m confident in my future and who I’m growing to become.  I’m by no means perfect and I still have alot to learn! But my confidence has taught me to accept new challenges and grow from them. That’s why those who can develop confidence are those who stand out among the rest, not because they are the best – but because of their willingness to take on what life throws at them and learn. Confident people draw on their self belief, exuding positivity and other people are in turn drawn to those good feelings.

Looking forward to sharing more on building confidence! Girls run the world!!

P.S. This is me in an outfit, these pants are so great – comfortable and fun, perfectly juxtaposed with a prim blazer. I feel like this look is very me! A new favourite.

pants, Etre Cecile

blazer, Reiss 

shoes, Senso

shirt, Acne

Photos by Gustav Carlson