Choose to Shine
I’m always talking about the importance of having that inner strength and resilience, yet I never quite delve into the nitty-gritty details. So I thought I would share with you all a little bit about me...
2016 was a tough year for me, I struggled, I lost sight of my main focus.
I was surrounded by a lot of negativity, and a lot of this was my own, don’t you worry.
I was angry, frustrated and found that breaking into the acting industry was harder than I ever expected - and I had expected it to be hard!
In my mind, it felt like no-one wanted to take a chance on a nobody. And after countless attempts, I was out of ideas of how I could get my foot in the door.
I was frustrated with my look because I was your “standard Aussie cliché”. It was even pointed out to me in casting rooms that I was “a dime a dozen”. My look worked great for modelling but not so great for the edgy acting roles that were popping up.
I felt like the world was trying to eat me, but it didn’t like me and kept trying to spit me out. I became sad within myself.
My acting career that I was working so hard towards, came to a halt, my positivity became non-existent and I started to veer off my path. I found that I stopped putting myself out there for the fear of failure.
I decided to focus more on the modelling side, however, I started to notice that I had begun to put on quite a bit of weight which was unusual for me. I became heavier than I had ever been, even though I was exercising regularly and following healthy eating patterns. It was then that I was diagnosed with a health condition, which had caused a major hormone imbalance that resulted in this weight gain.
At this point I became miserable. It felt like I was failing in both industries that I was pursuing. It didn't help that everyone thought I was kicking goals when in reality, it felt like the complete opposite of that. Consequently, I found myself contemplating walking away from the life that I had chosen.
I decided to step back and take a break to re-evaluate some things in my life. It was then that I realized, that we, ourselves, are the only people who have the power to change things in our own lives by controlling our mindset. There really is power in positive thinking.
I decided I didn't want to be a part of my own pity party so I took control. First things first, I made sure to get on top of my health condition, then followed my mental health, my physical health, my social circle and my career. Whilst I’m pleased to say that my health issue is now under control and I am now gradually getting back to my normal self, I also want to stress that body image is still very much an issue in today's society.
A woman’s weight naturally will fluctuate, it is not up to you to point this out, you do not know what people are going through - therefore, you should never comment. Keep an open mind and be kind to everyone whether this is on social media or in person. There’s an old saying I was brought up on: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” :)
My advice to you is: Know what you want out of your life. I know for me it helped that I re-evaluated my values, what I wanted, what was and what wasn't working for me and what needed to be prioritized.
Everyone speaks about having goals set for the new year, I think this is great and very healthy. I know for me my 2017 goal was to get old Kaily back, when I say this I’m talking happy, bubbly, positive Kaily. The person I was when I first moved to Sydney and started to pursue my dreams. I knew for this to happen, I had to get my mind right and that then everything else would start to fall into place.
I realized that it’s just as important to focus on the things you do when you’re not working towards work related goals. Hobbies, friendships, exercise is just as important and plays a vital role in cultivating the life you want. Find things you love doing and do them relentlessly! Quit the things that no longer serve you and help you grow - I distanced myself from the people who didn’t see the value in ME, I ask you to have enough respect for yourself to know when to do the same.
By removing the anger and negativity from my life, I’ve found that I’m back on track - more motivated than ever - and good things have already started to manifest. I’m moving in a direction that I feel excited about and the best part is that I finally feel like my old self is starting to shine through!
One of the biggest things for me this year was finding my drive again. Naturally, this just so happened through a glimmer of hope. I met with an acting coach who gave me some pretty top notch advice. She told me:
“Imagine you are sitting on a beach, and you see a tsunami. It washed over you so quickly and forcefully, you’re slammed to the ground with sand and water filling up your nose, and ears and you're gobbling it down so fast you can barely breathe. Do you let it keep you there until you die (this represents the anger) or do you choose to fight for your life and get back up (releasing the anger). You get back up and another wave hits as you go back down.”
Her point was, in life and especially if you're in the acting industry, you're going to get knocked down. You will get knocked down so many times but you can’t stay down, you need to get back up. You need to go out and make it happen for you! Create, have that drive, believe and RELAX because every “no” brings you closer to a “yes”.
So to all my actors & actresses who I know go through the motions just as much as the next person. To all my women who struggle with societies unattainable standards, I say this: At the end of the day you lack nothing. Everything you need to succeed is already in you. You need to know what you have and know how to use it.
“Choose to shine.”