During this time of year, I get always seem to get messages and emails from lots of ladies preparing for their state pageants. Interestingly, many of these emails and message contain the same basic questions, thoughts and concerns… So much so, that I’ve developed a name for these “feelings”…
I call them – “The Ugly C’s” of Pageantry – and they always seem to rear their nasty heads during the weeks leading up to a major pageant competition.
What are The Ugly C’s? Well – in short, The Ugly C’s are the negative voices inside your head… Those thoughts that constantly cause you to doubt your own abilities and make you feel like someone who’s never going to be successful at anything… Yeah… Those are the Ugly C’s.
So today, I thought I’d write about The Ugly C’s. Once you check them out, you can determine if any of these little boogers have snuck into your line of thinking in recent weeks…
Ready…? OK – Here we go…
Comparing the Competition
Pageants are a funny thing… You’re there to do your personal best – however, it’s only human nature to look around and compare yourself to others who are also trying to do their best.
Let me start by saying, having a healthy sense of your own strengths and weaknesses is a great thing! Frankly, I don’t think there’s enough of it in the world! I feel terrible for the people who audition for American Idol and have never had anyone tell them they can’t sing. 🙁 It’s ok for you to know you’re good at “chemistry” and not good at “water polo” or whatever.
It’s one thing to understand your strengths and weaknesses. But it’s quite another thing to constantly compare yourself to your fellow contestants on stage. Some are obvious comparison questions like, “Is my talent better than hers is?”
Others are a bit more subtle, such as – “Dang – Look at the way her dress moves on stage!” Or… “I bet she’s really good in interview… Maybe I should try to answer my on-stage question more like she did…”
Hear me when I say – All of these thoughts are nothing but a trap. Thoughts like these, do nothing – and I repeat – NOTHING to improve YOU. In fact, comparing yourself to others contestants is the single quickest way to fall off your own game and spiral downward in a hurry!
If you find yourself playing the comparison game, the best thing to do is change your thoughts by reminding yourself what you did to get here. Take time to appreciate where you’ve come from and the hard work it took to get yourself to this point! That’s a totally different mindset than comparison – and I guarantee it will be a much more productive mindset when walking on the pageant stage.
Chasing Success by Changing Yourself
This one happens all the time… You watch someone else gain success for themselves, and you chase it. Why? Because we want that same kind of success for ourselves! And if that’s how she got it – then, I should copy it, right?!?
Trouble is, when you chase someone else’s success, you change who you are. And walking on a pageant stage trying to be someone you’re not, is going to end with nothing but disappointment.
Lots of ladies “Chase and Change” every year – And most of them don’t even know they’re doing it…
Don’t get me wrong – Chasing and Changing is the easiest thing to do in a pageant! Trust me – it’s MUCH harder to stand up in front of the judges, show them who you truly are, and risk being rejected for it! That’s Tough!
But just because being true to yourself is the harder road – it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.
Therefore, instead of Chasing and Changing, why not challenge yourself to be one of the few contestants who doesn’t fall into the trap. Be True to You. Try to win as Yourself – Not as a fake version of who you think the judges are looking for. You are worthy of the win – when you are willing to be yourself. 🙂
Caught up and Consumed
Ugh. If I had a nickel for every young woman who gets “caught up and consumed” by pageantry!
Ladies… If you find yourself riding the roller-coaster of emotions more often than you would prefer – You’re Caught up and Consumed.
“But Carrie! You have no idea what people in my state are saying about me! They’re spreading these awful rumors – and my talent costume doesn’t fit – and I can’t find the right jewelry for interview – and I just found out I need a black cocktail dress for state – and all my favorite protein bars are sold out – And my boyfriend and I just had a huge fight – and I’M OUT OF EYELASH GLUE…” AAAAHHHHH!!!
Look. It’s ok to have a few hours (or a day) when you experience a mini-breakdown. But if your “few hours” turns into “every other day” – You are officially Caught up and Consumed and it’s time for a reality check.
News-Flash! Pageants are supposed to be FUN! In fact, lots of ladies describe their state pageant week like it’s like Summer Camp for college girls! You don’t have to be “stressed out” now – or going into your state pageant! In fact, it’s actually possible to have the time of your life during state pageant week – and make amazing memories that will last forever!
If you find yourself Caught up and Consumed – Stop. Breathe. Realize there is a whole lot more going on in the world than butt glue and hairspray. Truth is, the rest of the world will still be turning long after your butt glue and hairspray days are over. Take a moment to chill out, find a way to center yourself, and look at the big picture.
Crisis of Confidence
Look – your pageant years are tough. They’re some of the most formative years of your life in general, and then you put yourself out there on a pageant stage to be judged by 5-7 complete strangers, who see you for… What, like a total of 14.5 minutes?
It’s ok to have moments of self-doubt. We all do from time to time. But if you find yourself constantly thinking things like, “I’m not good enough this year…” or “I’m just not ready…” or “I don’t belong here with all these other ladies who are so much more put together than I am…” – Then it’s time to re-program your brain.
Whenever you find yourself thinking something negative about yourself, you need to change the conversation in your own head. Give yourself a pep talk! More than that – tell the chick in your head to shut up and listen to the following sentence:
I can. And I will.
Those 2 phrases will silence the critics in your head in a heartbeat and completely re-focus your thoughts to ones that are more positive. We’re all our own biggest critics – But you know what? You should also be your biggest cheerleader too! The next time you have a Crisis of Confidence, remind yourself that you can – and you will.
And there you have it! The Ugly C’s of Pageantry – And a whole host of ways to spot them, and stop them!
It’s my hope that you have the BEST WEEK OF YOUR LIFE during your state pageant! The more excited and happy/relaxed you are during your state pageant – The more likely you are to perform well! And nothing would make me happier than knowing everyone in the Junkie Nation had a wonderful state week, worthy of remembering forever!
Until next week!
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Carrie Lakey is kind of obsessed with Miss America…
So are 15,000 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.