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Article: Defying Doubt by Design

Defying Doubt by Design

Defying Doubt by Design

Have you ever felt the pull of your passion calling you away from the familiar path? Most of us have something in our lives that we’re incredibly passionate about, but very few of us try to pursue that passion in our everyday lives. I’ve spoken to many people on this topic in the past few years and the common thread is that most people don’t believe they can, or they’re afraid of what others might think if they do try to pursue their dreams.

Starting on the path to following your passions inevitably brings doubt from others. But what I've learned is that having confidence in yourself, and in overcoming your own self-doubt, makes it easier to put others’ opinions to the side and create a life for yourself where you can follow your dreams.

I would like to share with you my journey from finance to fashion and the invaluable lesson I’ve learned about maintaining self-assurance in the face of doubt and challenges.

I grew up in a small regional community on a farm. I’d always been quite the all-rounder, enjoying academics just as much as my creative outlets. As I approached the end of school, I realised I wanted a creative career in fashion. However, I was full of self-doubt, I felt like it was a constant battle between my head and my heart, deciding what I was going to do when I left school. I couldn’t believe that I could be a fashion designer, and many people around me didn’t believe it either.

So, like most people do, I started down what I thought was a safe career path in finance. I began a degree and ended up working in an accounting firm. But about three years in, I reached a breaking point. I couldn’t fathom sitting at a desk doing tax returns for another day, so I quit. I found a flexible work-from-home, casual job as a bookkeeper and enrolled in a Bachelor of Fashion Design program in the city. I finally felt like I was tackling my self-doubt by taking a step towards my dream. But with that, came a lot of doubt from others about whether it was the right decision for me.

"Why would she throw away a stable job in accounting for fashion? The fashion industry is cut-throat; you’ll never make it. You’re a country girl; you don’t belong in the fashion industry." The list goes on.

I went on to graduate with bachelor and postgraduate qualifications in design and fashion. In my final year of study, I founded AUREI LÚA, a luxury womenswear label, and officially launched the brand in 2022. Since then, I've been offered opportunities all around the world, including showing my brand at New York, Paris, and London Fashion Weeks, and given the opportunity to pitch my brand to one of Europe’s largest online fashion retailers.

The greatest lesson I learned through my journey over the past four years is that overcoming self-doubt is one of the greatest life skills you can have. It makes you unstoppable.

When we doubt ourselves, our goals and outcomes tend to become a reflection of our circumstances and external factors. While external factors will always be present in our lives, learning to navigate them with self-assurance, means we don’t let these obstacles stand in the way of our dreams or define who we are.

It's hard enough to find the confidence in yourself to take that first leap of faith, let alone retain and build that confidence as we face setbacks along your path. We can‘t rely on wins to build our confidence, or we will find it difficult to keep moving towards our goals in the long term, and it can make our self-worth reliant upon success. Which is not sustainable.

Reframing our thinking can help us get to this point of self-assurance. The way I’ve learned to look at obstacles placed along my journey is seeing them as stepping stones. These adversities give us a clear path forward if we’re willing to see it.

A tangible way of doing this, is to write a pros and cons list. Instead of comparing the two, we want to take a moment to acknowledge the cons and the fact that perhaps things didn’t work out the way we had planned. Then we want to solely look at the pros. What actions can we take from these pros to continue to propel us in a forward direction. What positives can we build upon? Make sure it’s realistic and actionable, the idea here is to learn from the experience without being fixated on the idea of something not working out in our favour. This is where we need to be focussing our energy to move forward with confidence in our decisions. This is how we build and strengthen our confidence when we face adversity.

Making a habit out of reframing your mind in this way helps you realise that no matter the decision you make, there is always a way forward. And what a relief it is to know that you can make mistakes and wrong decisions, and it’s not actually going to set you back; rather, it gives you a clearer direction. It helps you grow your confidence with time, rather than wear you down.

So if you’re sitting there with a dream in your heart, I want you to know that you were given that dream for a reason. And if you can find the courage to take that leap of faith and learn to create unshakeable confidence in yourself, the sky is the limit.

For those who missed my TEDx talk, here's a recap of the journey from finance to fashion and the lessons learned along the way. Remember, your dreams are worth pursuing, and with confidence, you can overcome any doubt.

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British Vogue feature, January 2024 Issue

British Vogue feature, January 2024 Issue

AUREI LÚA is proud to announce it's feature in the January 2024 issue of British Vogue. Our Spring/Summer 2024 collection, 'Iridescence' features in the Designer Profile section of the popular maga...

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