If you’ve seen Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello‘s music video for “Señorita,” you know that Cabello exudes a ton of confidence. But it wasn’t always this way. Throughout much of her life, Camila struggled with such intense anxiety that she couldn’t bring herself to sing in front of people — especially her own family. Fortunately, her passion for performing ultimately drove her to pursue a career as a pop star anyway, and on Sunday (July 21) she took to Instagram to open up about how she conquered her fear.
Cabello began by explaining that, as a child, she simply didn’t think she had it in her to make it in the music industry. To her, it seemed like every successful musician loved performing in front of their families, but the idea of singing for people truly brought tears to her eyes. “I never ever sang in front of my parents or friends and would get flustered when they would ask me to,” the “Havana” singer revealed. “I sang in my room when my parents left for Walmart and cried when one day I saw them filming me through the crack of the door, I got teary eyed when people sang happy birthday to me because people looking at me actually made me overwhelmed.”
So how did Camila overcome her anxiety and find her passion for performing? Well, it certainly wasn’t easy. And the simplest way she found to explain it is that, according to her, there are two Camilas — one that’s anxious and prefers to play it safe, and another that has a strong desire to push through the fear and pursue her dreams. “I feel like my whole life there’s been two Camila’s in me,” she wrote. “There’s little Camila that is terrified of the unknown, is aware of all the ways everything can go wrong, (actually can picture them vividly lol), and thinks it’s safer to stay home than to play ball. Then there’s the other Camila. And she knows what she wants out of life, is aware of how little time I have to let little Camila run the show while time passes by, and grabs young me by the hand and forces her out the door saying ‘Let’s go. You’ll survive, and I’m not gonna miss out on this. Let’s go.'”
These days, the pop star is allowing herself to be who she was truly meant to be, and she wants her fans to know that they can do the same. “The truth is you decide who you’re going to be. Every day,” she wrote. “I’m not talking about talent or success. I just mean the type of person you’re going to be. If you haven’t been very brave, or very social, or wild, or an adventure seeker, if you describe yourself as the opposite of those things… it doesn’t mean you can’t be. The other you needs to grab little you by the hand, yank you by the hairs and tell you, ‘Let’s go.'”
And just because Camila doesn’t let her anxiety stop her from achieving her goals doesn’t mean it’s not something she still struggles with. Instead, she’s actively choosing to give less power to the little voice in her head that tells her she can’t do something — which is something we should all strive to do in our day-to-day lives. “Little me hasn’t left,” Cabello revealed. “I just don’t let her boss me around as much.”
The message? If you want to do something in your own life but feel like it’s out of your league, go for it anyway. And rather than comparing yourself to other people and automatically assuming you’ll be unsuccessful, believe that you’re capable, too. “I felt like sharing because I think sometimes we see other people do things and think ‘Ah, well.. that’s just not me. I’ve never been like that.’ It’s NOT TRUE,” she wrote. “I’m telling you. I went from never wanting to sing in front of my family to being addicted to performing, from being too anxious to hang out with new people to… still being a little anxious but having THE BEST time and making irreplaceable memories. … You choose who you’re going to be. Force yourself to do what you’re afraid of, always- and go after what you want and who you want to be, because you’re worth that. You’re worth the fight. It’s the most worthwhile one there is.”