The Power Of Your Inner Voice

When I was younger, much younger – say, 18 years old – I was a tall, slim blonde, excelling at grammar school. The world was my oyster. I breezed through my A-levels, passed with flying colours. I got accepted to several top universities. People told me, at 5ft10 in stockinged feet, I should be a model.

So do you know what I did?

None of it.

I didn’t go to uni.

I didn’t become a model.

Why? Not because I didn’t have the intelligence, looks, or the ability. I didn’t go because I was lacking that one vital ingredient for success: self-belief. I didn’t think I was worthy. I woke up and told myself I couldn’t do it. I wasn’t good enough.

Yesterday, I got signed to a model agency. The first one I applied to, in fact. A second one is now interested in signing me too. I’m not telling you this to show off (although I am a teensy bit proud of myself). I’m telling you this because one of the most important gifts that comes with age, experience, hard times, knock backs and failures is self-belief. Resilience.

Ironically, before life had truly chewed me up and spat me out I had no confidence whatsoever. Yeah, I gave it the big’un; pretended to be the buoyant bolshy blonde that everyone expected me to be, but inside I was a terrified little mouse. It was only AFTER everything went wrong that I discovered my true inner strength and confidence.

On paper I’m a failure: I work in retail for a start. I’m divorced. Childless. Single. Living alone. But for the first time I know my value, and I understand my power. I don’t suffer fools gladly. I take no shit.

And yesterday, the Universe rewarded me with a modelling contract, aged 43. I’m not the smooth-skinned, innocent 18 year old I once was. I’ve got scars and flaws and wrinkles (many, many, wrinkles). But for the first time in my life I’ve also got confidence. And muscles (don’t forget the new-found muscles). And I’m going to look down the lens of that camera, and I’m going to bloody well own it.