You know, we spend a lot of time celebrating the “winners” here at Pageant Junkies – and that’s a good thing (I’m a firm believer in celebrating successes)… But today I want to talk about the rest of us who don’t walk home with the crown on our heads…
Yup. I’m one of you.
I only competed twice for the title of Miss Kansas… The first year was amazing. The second year, not so much. I decided to sit out my 3rd year, and ended up taking a job, moving out of state, and getting on with my life, during my 4th and final year of eligibility.
Here’s the deal.
Obviously, there’s a much larger population of people who’ve lost their state title – than there are those who’ve won a state crown. 🙂
Quick tangent here – Yes, Yes, I know… I can hear someone out there cringing at my last statement – dying to give me those positive affirmations right now… Something along the lines of…
“C’mon Carrie! Don’t say you lost! We’re all winners… “
“You know – I’m a firm believe that you never lose if you learn something… “
“Look – I’m sorry this happened… but maybe it’s just not meant for you… “
“You don’t need this! God/The Universe/Someone else has something bigger and better for you… “
Look – Those are all well-meaning statements – Usually said by some very, very, very nice and well-meaning people, who probably love you A LOT. But let’s be honest. Even if those things are true, they don’t take away the sting from falling short of your goal. And believe me, I know all about the sting.
Now, while falling short of a dream with a deadline is painful, it’s not nearly as painful as selling yourself short because 5/7 people subjectively decided “it’s not you”.
And that’s where the real-life-application stuff begins.
Allow me to explain.
I can spot winners. And I’m not talking about whether or not I pick you for the Top 5 in your state pageant. I mean, I can spot which women will be the strong, confident, successful people in ‘the real world’ – whether a pageant judge sees them that way or not.
And ladies – listen to me when I say – There is NO NEED to get ‘stuck in a moment’ where someone said “it’s not you.” Here’s why…
Many times, I feel the ladies who AREN’T selected as their state titleholders, are the ones who go on to prove something. They’re the ones who won’t allow the opinion of 5 people to be the final judge and jury of their lives. In fact, time and time again, I’ve seen the pageant “losers” go on to become much stronger, and much more accomplished people, than the “winners” ever were.
Further (and I’m very sorry ladies, but this is the truth) – Throughout your life, you’re going to find times when you don’t get what you worked for. Even if you deserve it. Even if you might be better than the person who did get it. There will be times when things don’t work out the way you want them to – and what’s worse – sometimes, there are no answers! No reasons why! Unfortunately, rarely is there ever a legitimate explanation that makes everything better – when you know you could’ve been AMAZING at whatever it is that you’re not going to be doing.
Dwelling on a “why” that may or may never come is not a good idea. Instead – the key is to keep going.
Case in point.
And as I sat at the Miss Kansas Pageant a few weekends ago, watching the 4 ladies who were each crowned Miss Kansas during my 4 years of eligibility, something smacked me in the face.
Everything I’ve done SINCE those years, is my success.
Not my pageant history.
I never won the title of Miss Kansas, but I’m proud of what I’ve achieved since those days. Not to toot my own horn too loudly, but I worked my way up the corporate ladder at a publicly traded company on Wall Street. When I was named a General Manager, I was the youngest, and the only female GM in the company, serving in the number 4 market, and we were one of the largest grossing revenue clusters in the nation. Later, I became the VP of Sales for a different organization – again as the only female and the youngest in the room. Further, my husband and I started a non-profit organization which helps orphans in Africa, after adopting our son from Rwanda. And I’m a hog-farmer’s daughter, from a town of less than 150 people (graduating class = 14).
But I never won the title of Miss Kansas.
So – as I sat there, in the audience, watching the lovely ladies who wore the crown and the sash all those years ago, I wasn’t upset or jealous or envious of what those other ladies had achieved.
Because I knew my success wasn’t their success either.
20 years ago, I thought I needed to be one of those ladies who walked on the stage as a “former” in order to prove my success.
Turns out, I was very, very wrong.
Winners are easy to spot. They’re the ones who believe in themselves and their own ability to achieve whatever they choose to achieve. And many times, that kind of person doesn’t have the best talent, or the best interview, or the best body.
What that person has – is an unrelenting belief in themselves.
Now – I realize that sharing my story may not necessarily take “the sting” away from you either. As I said earlier, I know all too well about the sting. It’s very real.
However – I do hope that by sharing my story, you’re able to see something that perhaps you’ve lost in the past few days/weeks since your state pageant…
Somewhere inside you – You’re still the same vibrant, exuberant, confident young woman, who walked into your state pageant. That person – the one who was ready for the job of Miss fill-in-the-blank… She’s still in there! You saw her once – Heck, you WERE her once! Only a few days/weeks ago!
And you know what? That person – The one who believes in the possibility of her dreams – That person is DYING to get out and show the world what she still has to offer.
Do yourself a favor.
Let her out.
And watch her shine…
To see more Thursday posts like this one, just click here…
Carrie Lakey is kind of obsessed with Miss America…
So are 17,000 of her closest friends.
As an avid fan of the Miss America Organization, Carrie began
publicly predicting pageant winners over 10 years ago.
Now, she’s galvanizing an online movement of fans
known as “Pageant Junkies”.
Learn more about the Junkie Nation
by clicking here.