Everyone wants to win whether it's in a pageant, sport, relationship, or career. We want to know the winning combination to help us achieve it and we want it right now.
At times, we forget that everything in life has peaks and valleys. There's a time and place for everything that happens to us. With everything being so instantaneous in our society, it's hard to be patient; but, it's one virtue I feel is the foundation to a strong moral character and there's no better teacher of it than life events. Patience will help you rejoice when you're on the mountain top and sustain you when you're in the dark valley.
So let's talk about these peaks and valleys. We humans are physical, spiritual, intellectual, and emotional. The physical growth and changes are easy to see. In pageantry, physical beauty is key. Yes, the other areas of life are important too, BUT, it is first and foremost a physical beauty pageant so basic external components must be present to win a national title. Remember, beauty is subjective and everyone has their own opinion .
However, as I look over the photos of my life, I can clearly see periods of time when my physical make up was at its peak and when it was in the valley. Peaks for me were ages 5, 17, 22, and 38. My entire middle school years, junior high years and the pregnancy decade were definite valleys. Oh my, were they valleys!
Hair textures, body fat distribution, skin clarity, height and changes in our teeth are drastically different at various times in our life. With as much money and time that goes into pageant preparation, I feel it is important to take these changes into account.
At times, it may be better to wait to do a pageant while these growth periods take place. It’s been my experience that the most valuable personal insights and growth lessons have taken place when I was in the valley. Then when I did reach the top, my appreciation of the experience was so much greater.
If doing a pageant during this "valley" period of a person's life helps them to feel better about themselves and builds them up, by all means do pageants. But, if a young girl wears glasses, braces and struggles with her weight decides to do a pageant, and she develops a negative self image; then waiting to do a pageant until the hormonal changes are complete may be wise.
We also hit peaks and valleys in our mental, emotional and spiritual growth. So, there may be times when physically we peak, but emotionally, we may not be ready for the responsibilities of a national titleholder. Physical changes, for the most part, happen quicker than the mental, emotional and spiritual areas of our lives.
You'll have the greatest opportunity of winning the crown when you're competing at your peak than when you're in the valley. If you're in the valley, be patient and wait. Your time is coming to peak. If you're peaking right now, be humble and appreciative because you won't stay there permanently.
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When the girls were done with interviews, we went to Downtown Disney to watch the new Harry Potter movie.It was refreshing to do something outside of the pageant world that we'd been immersed in for the past 10 days.
Just taking a few hours to leave the hotel and do something "normal" (LOL) helps to break up the stress that can be felt at a national pageant. I don't know if any other mothers can relate to that.
But you want to keep the fun in your relationship with your daughter especially at a pageant. Don't turn it into a stress feast.
National pageants are very high maintenance and it's important to take a time out once in a while to help keep everything in perspective whether that means taking a dip in the pool, going out for ice cream, or to a movie. Remember; don't let things get too serious. If they do, give yourself (and your daughter) a time out.
However, I have to admit, I needed a bit of a pick me up after seeing this movie. I really missed the humorous interplay between the characters that was present in the previous films, and quite frankly it was downright depressing for me-nothing that a little sweet food couldn't cure though :).
Advent starts this week where Christians around the world start to prepare for the Christmas season. I wonder what the holiday season would look like if everyone focused on loving and giving to their fellow man with the same focus and intensity that pageant contestants use for their pageant preparation.
Plan right now to "give" one thing away each day to someone you encounter. It could be a smile, a word of encouragement, a blanket to the homeless, or a meal for someone in need. Let's see what kind of an impact we can have this December.
Rhonda Shappert is an expert pageant coach, an iPEC Certified Professional Coach, an Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner, and a member of the International Coach Federation. She created Winning Through Pageantry® to partner with pageant contestants and their support people to provide complete pageant preparation, achieve winning results in life through pageantry, and to Succeed From The Inside Out®. She has over 30 years experience in the pageantry world as a contestant, judge, emcee, staff member, mother of daughters who compete, Mrs. Ohio America 2005, and has held multiple titles at the local, state and national levels.
Rhonda graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelors degree in Musical Theater from The Ohio State University and has performed on stage in 15 countries on the Asian, European and American continents. This mother of three home educates their children and has been married 21 years to her husband Stephen, is the former mayor of her community, and serves on the Board of Trustees for the Ohio Virtual Academy. She and her husband perform original contemporary Christian music. Their music CD entitled Cana is available through www.cdbaby.com/cd/shappert or on her website. For more information on Rhonda, visit www.WinningThroughPageantry.com .