While everyone can see the beauty and glamour of competing in a pageant, not everyone realizes how stressful pageant competition can be. The schedule typically includes long hours, unexpected situations pop up during rehearsals, the zipper in your pageant gown suddenly gives out, and there’s always some unwelcome and unnecessary contestant drama. As a pageant coach, I’m often on the phone late at night, after rehearsal, trying to help contestants to stay in a competitive mindset. Often, the most beautiful contestant with the most expensive wardrobe doesn’t end up winning because the stress of competition got to her and she got derailed by the pageant drama. Learning how to maintain a positive attitude really can give you a competitive edge!
If you stop to think about it, the emotions that you feel under stress at the pageant are the same emotions you experience when you’re frustrated with something during your pageant prep or your every day life. Instead of looking at those moments as upsetting, use those situations as an opportunity to develop “no drama” coping skills to calm yourself, re-energize and get yourself back on track. You’re not always going to be able to rely on your Mom, BFF or pageant coach to help you during a pageant meltdown. It’s a good idea to learn how to work through those situations on your own, so here are some simple tips to help you practice your Pageant Positive Attitude on a daily basis:
1. Acknowledge the situation. You can acknowledge the negative aspects of a situation without developing a negative attitude. Try to identify the elements of the what’s happening without making judgments from a “right” or “wrong” perspective. Acknowledging the situation from a “just the facts” perspective will help you deal with what’s happening from a neutral, ‘problem-solving’ perspective.
2. Apply the Don’t Add Additional Drama rule. The time and energy you spend adding to any pageant drama, is time and energy you’re stealing away from your ability to compete at your highest level. It’s always best to mentally or physically separate yourself from any drama that’s happening. Whether it’s complaints about the Director, pageant staff, judges, schedule, host hotel or even drama created by other contestants, your best strategy is to stay on the sidelines and not get involved.
3. Analyze your options. Look at the facts of the situation, engage your creative problem solving skills and decide on your best strategic approach. Avoid the temptation to react emotionally and create even more negative energy for yourself. Evaluate your options based on your goals and the solution will be obvious.
4. Adjust and move forward. Now that you’ve remained calm and evaluated the situation and your options, make a decision and decide to move forward in a positive way. You’d be surprised by the number of contestants who complain during every second of their pageant prep and then complain about every aspect of the competition. It’s really no surprise when they don’t win – they just don’t have the mental toughness to compete.
Remember: contestants who are poised and confident at the pageant aren’t born that way – it’s a skill they’ve practiced in their everyday life. By combining a positive, drama-free attitude with a creative problem solving approach, you’ll be able to easily work through any issues and perform at your best during your pageant competition!
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