Updated: Jul 16
When I was about 19 years old, I wanted to become a model. My plan was to contact one of the top New York modeling agencies, which at the time was Ford Modeling Agency. I sent my photos to them and was very excited while waiting for their response. In my naiveté I expected a letter back saying, ‘Yes!’ I was accepted and my modeling career would begin. It didn’t happen that way. When I received their response letter, (a letter I still have today) one typed sentence stood out: “We do not feel you’re qualified for a successful career in modeling.” Needless to say, I was devastated.
When the best of the best says no, that you don’t have a chance, the typical reaction is to accept that as the final word and throw in the towel and be done with it. Your goals and dreams ended with one word. For a moment after reading that letter, the idea of me ever becoming a model seemed ridiculous.
Then something inside me still made me persevere. My drive to become a professional model was something I deeply felt and couldn’t just stop. I didn’t throw in the towel. Instead, I found another way to go forward.
Because I had already gone to the best agency, I had decided to start my Plan B and find another agent, maybe not as popular but good, just the same. I went to New Your and a friend of a friend let me sleep on his living room couch in his one bedroom walkup apartment in Greenwich Village. Everyday, in high heels, (before sneakers were cool) I walked from agency to agency looking for representation. It was exhausting. It was hard. There was a lot of rejection. I had the height, but I was being told that I was too ‘old’. Being a twenty-one year old was old in the world of modeling in the 1980’s.
As luck would have it, a very good agency decided to take a chance on me and I was signed! I had a NY rep, but I didn’t have any jobs or great photos for my portfolio. It was grueling trying to make it. Many stories and many experiences happened.
One thing lead to another. After careful planning, I decided to go to Europe to work on building my portfolio. It was a great, exciting and successful period of my life. I ended living there for ten years! And none of it would had happened if I had let that first ‘no’ stop me.
Making plans to go after our dreams is the first steps toward actualizing our dreams. If we follow our plan but hit a wall, do we stop and give up? No! Go around the wall and take a different path. Make another plan. Don’t give up with the first difficulty. Don’t let others tell you your dream won’t work.
This has been my experience. With the ‘no’ told to me from the experts, I didn’t let it stop me from still trying. I went to plan B, then plan C, etc., until my dream came true. Proudly, I can say that today I am represented in Chicago and LA by the Ford Modeling agency.
Having your goals and dreams are what you need to create the life you want. They motivate you to take steps and keep going. One method to help motivate you and to help keep on track is having a tracker/journal where you write down where you want to be by a certain time then the steps needed to reach that place or those goals. Everyday you mark off what you are or are not actually doing to move toward your dreams. It helps to see it written down on a daily basis.
We have distractions around us all the time. Our attention gets pulled in all directions everyday. It can be easy to get off track, waste time and not create what we really desire in our life. If your goals are written down and are in front of you, you’ll be able to concentrate and focus on them and take action toward them without wasting your time on distractions.
When your goals and dreams are written down and you see them daily, you are subtly programing your subconscious with images of your desires. Your subconscious cannot discern between what is ‘real’ and what is imagined. If you envision your dream often and clearly enough, your subconscious believes it. This belief is then strong enough to create circumstances, situations and events in your life to create in your life what it is your are seeing within your mind’s eye.
This is called reticular activation. This is basically a gateway to your awareness. It’s a ‘switch’ of sorts, to turn on your perceptions of ideas and imaginings. The more you use it, the more you create. For example, if you just learned you are pregnant, all you can think about is being pregnant. You will start to see other pregnant women everywhere you go. Another example, you just got your driver’s license and will be getting your own car. With excited focus, you dream about your ideal car, a Dodge Ram truck, for example. You will start to see Dodge Ram trucks every time you are on the road. It’s phenomenal when you notice it working.
These are simple examples of reticular activation. With my dream of signing with a great modeling agency and becoming a professional model, it took years to actualize that particular dream. My advice to you is, have no time frame nor time limit, just keep your dreams written down and in front of you and in the foreground of your mind on a daily basis and as often as possible. If you do this, you will help to draw towards you your dreams as quickly as possible and at the perfect time.
Create the life you dream of one day and one step at a time. Continually refocus your mind on what matters to you. Don’t be in a hurry but be patient. Stay focused. Take action. Never stop evolving toward your dreams and goals. Create the life you want and the life you dream of.
Let me know if you have already experienced reticular activation in your life or after you read this article. Start to take notice of what happens in your life. The power of your mind is unlimited. Use it to your advantage!