Oh, that's gotta hurt! My whole body ached as I watched the Olympic skiers, one after another, get tossed around like rag dolls on the slopes the other night. Inspired by the winter Olympics and the record levels of snowfall this month, I've been talking about the blocks that get in the way of your pageant success.
Some of my favorite Olympic moments are when they do the human interest stories. I love hearing stories about how these elite athletes faced incredible challenges; and against the odds, overcame them to reach their dream. Sometimes the blocks were external; and other times there was an inner war raging. The element that seems to separate the Olympians from other great athletes is their mental approach and reaction towards the obstacles that are presented.
Two weeks ago I spoke about the outer blocks. Last week, I shared one of the four inner blocks. This week I'll cover the remaining three insiders that can get between you and success.
- Only tall, thin blondes win the crown.
- You must have expensive designer clothing in order to win.
- There's only one perfect answer to the onstage question.
These statements are examples of beliefs that some people perceive to be facts because they've heard them from friends, the media, or the allusive group of "they". These limiting beliefs, when left unchallenged, can hold you back.
Daniel Daza/Columbia Pictures
From left, Forest Whitaker, Dennis Quaid and Matthew Fox in the thriller "Vantage Point." 2008
The third inner block is our interpretation of a situation. A movie that well illustrates this is Vantage Point. It's about an assassination attempt seen differently through the eyes of the main characters. In pageantry, you may think a judge dislikes you because of the expression on his face during the interview. As a result, you avoid eye contact with that judge for the rest of the pageant. Maybe the lights in the room were giving the judge a headache and that was the reason he was squinting. You just don't know.
The fourth block is the inner critic, or the Gremlin. In the 1984 movie, Gremlins, Gizmo is an intelligent and loving mogwi as long as you don't get him wet, expose him to sunlight, or feed him after midnight.
Then one day by accident, a friend of the family spills water on Gizmo and after a painful scene several fur balls pop from his back and turn into more mogwi. These mogwi seem cute and loveable like Gizmo but they have a mean streak that only Gizmo sees. After tricking Billy into feeding them after midnight, the evil mogwi turn into cocoons overnight and later hatch out as the scaly skinned green Gremlins, led by Stripe, that become chaotic, destructive creatures.
Our inner critic can have a similar effect on us,tearing us down in a debilitating way that leaves us feeling defeated. It tells us that we're not good enough, so why bother.
Comments such as:
I'm not pretty enough, or thin enough, or tall enough.
My breasts aren't big enough.
The other contestants have more experience than me.
I'm not good enough to be a national queen.
I've been first runner-up so many times. I just don't have what it takes.
One negative self-talk statement leads to another and another and before you know it, you have triggered an emotional avalanche capable of destroying and burying all the positive energy you had.
How many times have you seen a pageant contestant that seems to have it all, not win the crown? Chances are that it's due to one of the four inner blocks. There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance; eagerness and desperation; and, enthusiasm and abrasiveness.
So when your inner voice is talking to you, is it Gizmo or Stripe? If it's Stripe, give me a call so we can work through that block to help you move forward.
Blocks can affect every aspect of our lives. "I can't change careers because I'm too old", "I'm walking away from this relationship because there's nothing I can do", and "Why bother exercising. I'm so overweight; I'll never be physically fit again". Which gremlin, assumption, interpretation and limiting belief is holding you back? Get started today moving these blocks from your path.
Rhonda Shappert is a pageant coach, personal development life coach, and owner of Winning ThroughPageantry™, a business she created that not only helps her clients achieve winning results in pageants, but helps them Succeed From The Inside Out™ in their lives. In the pageant world she has held multiple local, state and national titles. 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,who home educates her children, has been married 20 years to her husband Stephen, is the former mayor of her community, and is 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.