When Cara Delevingne cut ties with Storm management last year at the peak of her modelling career, few understood why a supermodel dominating runways and billboards alike, would simply walk away from it all.
Now, the model-turned-actress has penned an insightful open letter, detailing the rift that formed between her changing ideas of success, and what truly makes her happy.
Zoning in on issues likely to affect anyone chasing high pressure career goals, A-lister or not, Delevingne astutely discusses the problems that come with putting the approval of others over your own happiness and work-life balance.
“I worked hard to be accepted by the fashion community in ways beyond my physical appearance,” Delevingne writes on Motto. “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.”
The model goes on to describe how continually chasing validation from those around her, simply set the scene for feelings of disappointment when she failed to meet expectations.
Despite walking in runway shows for Burberry, Chanel and Diane von Furtsenberg, launching her own handbag line with British fashion house Mulberry, of which she was also the face, and leading beauty campaigns for Yves Saint Laurent and more, Delevingne says she started to feel lost in the juggernaut that had become her career.
She notes: “There’s this moment when you’re like, ‘Wait, what am I trying to do? Who am I doing this for?’
“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.”
Explaining that she took time out to reevaluate her life and goals, both personal and professional, Delevingne says that period of reflection was vital to preserving her integrity.
“It’s taken time, but now I realise that work isn’t everything and success comes in many forms.
“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.
“After all, no matter how many people like you and your work, it doesn’t matter if you don’t like yourself.”
Read Cara Delevingne’s full letter at motto.time.com