Even though she’s a three-time SI Swimsuit model, Christen Harper reminded attendees at a recent event that she too is no stranger to dealing with rejection. During a panel discussion at SI Swimsuit’s “Be You Women’s Empowerment Series,” presented by Maybelline, at the University of Cincinnati on Sept. 21, Harper chatted about all things mental health with fellow brand starts Ellie Thumann and Sixtine.
While being turned down for a job, for example, can be a tough pill to swallow, the 30-year-old model and wellness entrepreneur revealed that she has an incredibly optimistic outlook when it comes to rejection.
“It’s kind of cheesy, but rejection is redirection,” Harper shares. “And I feel like learning that you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be right now, and even if you heard a bunch of ‘nos,’ or you know, lost this job opportunity or something like that, realizing that that wasn’t meant for you, and something else better, like, who even knows is along way, and realizing that you don’t have to have everything figured out, is so huge for me.”
Harper noted that in addition to this life lesson on rejection, learning to ask for help has also been critical to her emotional well-being.
“It’s O.K. to be vulnerable, it’s O.K. to not be O.K. all the time,” she says, noting that she’s the person in her friend group that others often go to for advice. “... I love being that friend, but I learned that I’m also allowed to have moments of weakness, and I’m also allowed to be vulnerable. And I think, for me, it was so huge to start opening up in that way, and realizing that it’s O.K. not to be O.K.”