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Talk that Talk: Positivity by Jasmyn Wilkins

My current career is one that has been long in the making. I had dreamt about being an entertainer ever since I was young. From wanting to be the next big kid star on a Disney channel show to walking down imaginary runways in my house and studying Vogue and Fashion TV interviews on my old laggy computer, I always had big aspirations. Coming from a family of professional athletes, I was always taught the importance of hard work, prayer, and positive thinking. As I aged up into middle school, I realized that sometimes not everyone is on board with your big dream. I had people tell me that entering the entertainment industry wasn’t a realistic career and that as I got older, I’d have to give up those aspirations. I would say that was the first-time self-doubt and negative talk started creeping into my mind.

“You’re not pretty enough”. “You’ll never live up to your family legacy”. “ Just stick with the status quo and find a regular goal”. The list goes on...

I tried hard to not let that doubt keep me from obtaining my dreams. While I was a freshman in high school, I went to every local acting and modeling agency that I could find in Atlanta. Many said I was too green, some said I was too thin, some that I was too big. I even went to a modeling convention where I had to pay over $500 to be seen by agents, only to be told that maybe I should just “stick to acting”. Although I was disappointed, I never lost my drive and determination, even during those tender high school years.

Once I entered my junior year, I had shot up to 5’10 and I heard about a big casting call with Ford Models in my area. I asked my dad to come with me and we waited in line for hours to be seen. When it was finally my turn I had to walk in front of a panel of agents and memories of rejection flooded back. “Would they like me?” “Maybe this is something I should just keep as a pipe dream?. That negative talk from years before came creeping in but I fought them off and presented my most confident self. Later that evening I received a call that Ford Models wanted to sign me. It was from that moment on that I promised myself that I would never let self-doubt keep me from achieving my goals.

I went on to compete at Miss GA USA and won on my first try. I then signed a modeling contract in New York City on my first visit and then eventually cast for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition where I received a rookie spot on my first try. I’ve traveled all over the world and my dreams are unfolding right in front of my eyes. I truly believe that the reason I was able to achieve my aspirational goals was by keeping an encouraging circle around me and by getting rid of the negative talk . Living my life with a “you can do this” attitude. I’ve always hoped to inspire those looking to get into an industry they never thought they would be able to break into .

Positive thinking is such a powerful tool. It doesn’t mean you can’t be a realist, but it does mean that you should approach difficult or nerve wrecking situations in a more productive way. Don’t be your own worst enemy! Talk that positive talk.

Dream big, you can do this!


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