When I was young, I was sure I would grow up to be a famous fashion designer living in New York. From the time I was two, I would pick out my own outfits (often ones that no one should have let me out of the house with) and soon began to fill up notebooks and binders of my original designs.
I would watch shows like Project Runway and What Not to Wear to gain inspiration and gain more knowledge about fashion.
Year after year I would ask my parents for a sewing machine to start making my own clothes until they eventually gave in. I loved going shopping and creating outfits for myself and my mom.
I spent my summers creating collages of beautiful clothing and piecing together outfits from magazine clippings and print outs. I would proudly tell anyone who asked me, I was going to be a fashion designer when I grew up.
Eventually, I changed paths from a fashion focus. I was told by many people that I was not good enough, didn’t have enough experience, or that I was being unrealistic.
At a certain age, people stopped thinking that it was admirable for me to dream of being a fashion designer and instead asked me what my actual plan was.
At first, I used this rejection to motivate me and push me towards my dream. But as the years went by, I started believing the comments that people were making and lost the interest and love that I had for fashion.
While I am happy where I am today and would not change anything, I do wonder what it would have taken for me to fulfill my dream and become a fashion designer.
When it comes down to it, I think there are five very important attributes that would have been key: dedication, creativity, leadership, confidence, and having an overall goal oriented attitude.
Dedication is important in any life track. For me, dedication means devoting your time to improving upon yourself and learning new skills to help obtain your goal.
It also means shaping your lifestyle in a manner that leads you in the direction you would like to go. Without dedication, goals are non-existent and dreams are just imaginary.
Dedication is what makes us who we are and is what sets us apart from the crowd. If I continued to dedicate myself to fashion design, I believe I would have worked hard to get into a fashion school, move to a larger city, and place myself among those who could help me push forward and up.
To become a fashion designer, being creative is a given. Fashion is all about art, creating it and influencing it. Not only is it important to be creative, but it is critical to take your creativity to the next level and stand out as unique.
Among the millions of people who have artistic talent, only a percentage of them will be able to take that talent and make it their lifelong career.
An even smaller percentage will become hugely successful and/or famous for their art. Creativity means thinking outside the box. It means seeing treasure where others see trash. It is about making your own happiness in whatever form that may be.
Fashion designers, or at least big-name fashion designers, often work for themselves. This means that they have a team of people helping them create their clothing and sell their work.
To run a team, you must be a leader. Leadership is about making an impact and standing out as an influence for others. It is about having respect for those who work for or follow you but also demanding respect for yourself and your ideas.
This is where my dream took a turning point. I did not have the confidence in myself or my abilities to ignore the negativity that was surrounding me.
I reached a point where I internalized all of the comments that were geared towards pushing me away from my goal and succumbed to them. Confidence is crucial to becoming anything.
Even with skill and talent, the world will eat you right up if you are not able to present yourself in a confident manner and have faith in yourself.
Confidence is about believing in yourself and showing others that you believe in yourself as well. It is also important to not take this confidence too far and turning it into conceitedness.
At that point, it is hard to take constructive criticism and advice. Confidence is about maintaining the balance of knowing your talent as well as being able to build upon it, knowing that you can always improve.
Five- Being Goal-Oriented
Lastly, and most importantly, is being goal-oriented. Having all of these attributes is fantastic, but, if you do not have your eyes set on your goal, it may be impossible to reach it.
This is an attribute that many lack, often putting off steps they need to take thinking that it will one day all fall into place.
Being goal-oriented means knowing that nothing is given to you and that you have to shape your own future. It means that if you want something out of life, you must make decisions every day to aid in achieving it.
I did not find myself in fashion design. I am not living in a beautiful loft in New York City and my art is not walking down a runway.
However, all of these attributes are still important to me and have found themselves in my new path. Many of us dream of becoming something amazing when we are young but find ourselves losing the spark and passion we once had. That is okay.
That is simply part of growing up. What is important to keep with you from childhood innocence is faith in yourself. Eventually, you will find yourself creating your own decisions about what attributes are important for you and implementing them into your everyday life.
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