Miss Universe First Runner-Up What To Do When You Don't Win a Pageant

What To Do When You Don’t Win a Pageant

So, you didn’t win the pageant. It’s okay. No one wins every time. The trick is to make sure you learn something from each competition. To do that, you need to know What To Do When You Don’t Win a Pageant.

1. Display Good Sportsmanship

The true sign that you’re ready to win is how you behave when you don’t. If you refuse to congratulate the winner or start complaining backstage, you’re not ready to win. A titleholder has to display grace under pressure in a variety of situations. If you can’t display good sportsmanship after a disappointment, you’re not ready to be a role model to others.

And, from a strictly practical perspective, someone who observes your poor sportsmanship could turn up as a judge at your next pageant. Ouch!

2. Don’t Believe Everything You Hear

The minute the pageant is over your family and friends will rush the stage to say that you were robbed. They’ll claim that the judges were biased or that the winner has close ties to the director. And you may even be approached by judges who say they voted for you and don’t understand why you didn’t win.

All of this support is wonderful. It means that people believe in you.

But it’s not helpful. Immediately you go from the stress of competition to questioning the outcome. You can’t improve from that mindset.

If you believe that you didn’t win due to politics or poor judging, you’ll never be open to the idea that you could have done something better. It’s easy to blame someone else. But if you want to win, you’ve got to look for opportunities to improve instead of looking for people to blame.

3. Don’t Make Competition Decisions

You should never make a competition decision when you’re upset. I can’t tell you how many times a contestant will tell me, “I’m never competing in this pageant again,” or, “This pageant is rigged, I’m switching to a different pageant.” I understand. They feel hurt, but they’re making a decision based on that hurt.

It’s tempting to dump the pageant and walk away when you don’t win. And it’s equally as tempting to be so upset that you stubbornly decide to compete again next year to prove that you can win. Neither is a good idea.

Your competition strategy should always be based on whether or not your strengths as a contestant are a fit for a particular pageant. It really is that simple.

So, when you’re feeling upset, disappointed, or like you might feel better if you ate an entire pizza, step back and wait. You’re not ready to make a decision about pageant competition.

By the way, if you get the pizza, order extra cheese.

4. Take A Break

So, now that you’re home, you’ve unpacked, and you’re feeling carb overload from that pizza, it’s time for a break. Don’t think about pageants, don’t talk about pageants, and don’t stalk the winner on social media.

You need to distance yourself from the emotional challenge of pageant competition. Your break could be 2 weeks, or it might be 2 months. You’ll know when you’re ready to make a competition decision that’s not an emotional reaction to your last pageant.

5. Analyze Your Results

Now that you’ve taken a break, it’s time to analyze your results. If you received your scores, identify the one area in which all the judges scored you the highest. The judges see this as your strongest skill. Next, identify the one area in which all of the judges gave you the lowest score. That’s your #1 area for improvement. For your next pageant, plan to spend twice as much time and energy working on that area. Keep working and improving the other scored skills, but focus on your improvement area.

If you don’t receive your scores, you can still analyze your results. Look at the contestants who placed higher than you in the pageant. Now ask yourself, “If I were a judge, what’s different about these contestants that might cause me to give them a higher score?” You’re not agreeing that these contestants should have placed higher than you, you’re identifying the possible reasons why a judge scored them higher. Once you’ve identified the possible reasons, pick the one area in which improvement will add the most points to your score. That’s your focus area for your next pageant.

6. Develop a Strategy

Now that you’ve regained your emotional balance and analyzed your results, it’s time to make some decisions. Based on your areas of strengths and the areas in which you want to improve, is this still the best pageant for you? If not, make a switch. If you want to compete in the pageant again, develop a plan that will enable you to improve your scores the next time around.

So, next time you don’t win a pageant, resist the temptation to respond emotionally, give yourself a little breathing room, and when you feel ready, evaluate your placement and make your improvement plan.

Oh, and don’t forget the pizza. I hear that helps win pageants too.