When we see successful people, especially celebrities, we are quick to jump to the conclusion that life has always been kind to them. We assume that they have gotten everything on a silver platter or that luck has been on their side. We are so in awe of the stars that we start believing their lives are perfect. They have no worries, and their world is full of colour and glamour. But we tend to forget the fact that success never comes easy – be it for celebrities or anyone else aiming to fulfil their dreams. If these celebs live a lavish, luxurious lifestyle, rest assured that there has been a lot of struggle, hard work and determination behind it all.
Supermodel Naomi Tara Lievens‘ life is no different. Ever since she was a kid, her life has been a rollercoaster ride. Losing both her parents at the age of four was quite traumatising for her. But what scarred her even more was when her uncle – whom she had moved in with soon after her parents’ demise – passed away after six years. Naomi had no option but to go and live with her aunt. Life was not easy thereon, and she ended up in an institution. While it could have been a turning point for people for the worse, it actually worked in her favour. In that institution, she learnt some major lessons that shaped her personality and helped her find balance in life.
As a teenager, Naomi Lievens was so depressed that she tried ending her life twice. She constantly sought validation or attention, which was a cry for help, but she did not know how to ask for it. There came a time when she had to move in with her best friend’s family, and that’s where she understood the true meaning of a family and the bond they share. The family took her in like their own and showered love on her. Naomi got to experience respect and emotional support – everything a family stands for.
Naomi realised early on that she was on her own and had to take charge of her life if she wanted to survive. Hence at the age of 15, she started modelling even though it was not something she really wanted to do. But she needed to support herself financially and emotionally, and that is why she took on any assignment that came her way. In no time, she started getting offers from industry giants, and she became the face of Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Dior Beauty, and Guess. Apart from that, she’s worked with Philipp Plein, Karl Lagerfeld, and the list goes on.
Over time, her influence grew, and she became a household name. As her followers and fans increased, she realised there was so much more she could do with her fame than just modelling. She wanted to make a difference and therefore started using her voice for mental health issues because she knew what it felt like to struggle constantly. She realised that you could create a lot of awareness for the right causes when you have a bigger audience to communicate with. She knew from her own experience that she could help people in different ways than others as she went through similar situations in life. She could easily identify the blockages people created in their minds while helping them understand their pain, process things, and work on the solutions all the way through.
Naomi is of the view that people might go through the same trauma, but they tend to react differently. She believes that when each individual is different in their response to any kind of trauma, the treatment or the healing has to vary from person to person as well. By following this strategy, she has helped countless people overcome their pain, deal with their circumstances and start afresh.
During this time, Naomi also went through the heartache of infertility. She couldn’t conceive for 10 years due to a tumour in her brain overproducing hormones. It was a miracle that she had conceived after a decade. Though she was initially unprepared for it and struggled with her health and career-related issues, she fell in love with her child during her pregnancy. In fact, Naomi realised that it was the best thing that had happened to her in her entire life.
Having a tumultuous childhood, a rocking career and then embracing motherhood after a long battle with her health, Naomi’s mantra of success is to stop asking for permission or validation from others. She encourages youngsters to find their passion and pursue it irrespective of what people around them think or say. She sees a lot of young talent with so much potential not going for their dreams because their family or friends ask them to stay safe. Although safety is of prime importance, more than that, she believes that balance is the key to life. Balance in your lifestyle, balance in your dreams and balance in taking on life with passion and zeal. Naomi Lievens’ life is an inspiration to all those struggling in life, battling mental health, fighting childhood traumas or striving to make it big in their respective fields. She teaches us to be strong-willed, passionate and optimistic – traits that make life successful and meaningful!