Kendall Jenner on setting boundaries for herself after being ‘extremely overworked’ as a young model

·4-min read

Kendall Jenner is opening up about finding her happiness.

The model and reality star, 26, sat down with Jay Shetty on his podcast, On Purpose, where she spoke about how setting boundaries for herself created unexpected avenues for joy.

Jenner, made famous from her family’s hit reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians, began modeling when she was only 14 years old. Just a few years later, she became one of the most sought-after models — walking the runways for New York, Milan and Paris fashion weeks in 2014 and 2015.

When reflecting on that time now, Jenner says she nearly caved from the pressure.

“There was a long period of time, I’d say the core five years of it, that I was extremely overworked,” she recalled. “Not my happiest — not because I wasn’t doing what I loved, but just because I was overwhelmed and I felt like I was saying ‘yes’ to everything because I felt really, really grateful and really honored to be in the position. So I was always saying ‘yes’ and it just took a lot out of me to the point where I just wasn’t happy anymore. And so, I had to set those boundaries for myself.”

“I said I want to continue to do this because this is what I love, but I need to start saying ‘no’ when I can and prioritizing me and prioritizing, like, you know, my happiness and my well-being — and it has done wonders for me," Jenner said. "I feel like I can show up better for myself and I can show up a better person for the people that get to be around me that day and that I work with on that day.”

The model says she reached a point where she was on the brink of losing herself.

“I just knew that if I had gone any further I was going to lose myself,” she explained about learning to say no and set boundaries. “I was on the teeter-totter edge of that point of where, had I gone any further, I was probably not gonna be great. It was so important to me to feel good, that I just knew it was something that I had to do [even though] here were so many people around me that had told me not to say ‘no,’ told me not to stop.”

“There were people who had worked for me who didn’t want me to stop because it might have benefited them,” she continued. “But I got to that point and I just knew I had to do it.”

These days, the model says she's come a long way. One of the ways she was able to build a healthier mindset was through words of self-affirmation.

“I love just sitting [in front of a mirror] and reassuring myself of who I am, because that’s another thing with me: There’s so many false narratives," she said of the mischaracterizations about herself in the media. "So many people think they have you figured out when they don’t even know the half of it."

“It can feel really unfair,” she continued. “You can be reading something that someone is saying about you, or hearing something that someone is saying about you, and being like, that is so unfair because that’s not who I am, and that really gets to me sometimes. That really sucks. But then looking at myself in the mirror and being like, ‘But I know who I am.’ Why does anything else matter? My friends know who I am. And my family knows who I am. My dog knows who I am. My horse knows who I am. Why does anything else [matter]? Everything else is just noise.”

“It’s not always easy,” she said of practicing self-compassion. “We live in such an interesting industry and in such an interesting time with social media, but it can be very hard sometimes. You can fall victim to so many things that don’t serve you and that don’t make you happy. If your happiness depends on the actions of others, you’re at the mercy of things that you can’t control — and that’s never where I want to be.”

“Me and my therapist talk about my higher goddess, my higher self,” she explained. “I always wanna live there knowing that when I’m there, you can’t take that away from me. That’s mine. And no matter what, you can disagree, you can agree with me, I’m not changing. I’m no shifting. I’m here. I’m in my higher goddess."

She added, "I strive every day to live in that place."

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