Today, we’re talking about the Pageant Rut. If you’ve been competing for more than a few years without winning – maybe even placing lower than you have in the past, you know exactly what I mean by a rut. It’s the sensation of lacking confidence and general chutzpa for pageantry and life!
First, let’s define what a ‘rut’ really is. Literally, a rut is like a hole or a pit that’s hard to get out of.
+ In real life, it shows up as either analysis paralysis – where you just keep rehashing the past over and over. You obsess over the judge’s notes, you go crazy with too many options and you just sit there without movement until the last possible second when you have to finally choose something and you’re never really happy with your choice.
It’s like standing still in the sand as the waves crash over your ankles and each time the ground erodes more and more from under your feet. The stronger the wave, the deeper you sink, until finally you’re knocked off balance.
+ Or, it shows up as doing the same thing over and over but getting no new place. You keep changing your gown every year, you practice your walk over and over until your feet bleed.
Like when you’re car is stuck in the mud and the harder you push the gas, the deeper the car sinks. The more you push, the deeper you sink.
+ Or, maybe you keep repeating bad habits you know you need to change. You put off decisions, you don’t invest in your success, so you end up creating a habit of only having one foot in, and in the meantime all your money, efforts, and time are wasted on half-effort that never had a chance of working in the first place. Instead of doing what you know you should do, you’re always cutting corners, always dodging bullets and always losing when you wish you could win.
You may have heard of the frog in hot water phenomenon. If a frog is put into boiling water, it will immediately jump out to save itself because it immediately recognizes the danger of the situation. But if a frog is put in room temperature water, which is then slowly brought to a boil, the frog will stay in the hot water until it dies.
What a way to go, man!
This is an illustration of how we sometimes manage our lives. If we’re immediately dropped into a situation that’s clearly bad – a relationship, our environment, a new job, a change in the weather – we get out immediately. But, when we slowly dig ourselves into a rut, slowly it gets worse and worse, we aren’t taking inventory regularly, we stay stuck until we’re dead – physically, mentally, or emotionally.
Today, I want to give you a step by step process to leap out of the rut!
There’s only one way out of a rut and it’s to leap out onto a clear path with a solid foundation.
1. Be Aware
Awareness is being able to objectively understand your emotions, thoughts, and actions. To do this for yourself, you have to take regular inventory. Keep a journal or a day log. A former roommate of mine was in a crappy relationship. On the days it was good it was very good, but on the days it was bad, it was horrid. I told her to get a calendar and put a star on all the days that were great and a frown on the days that were bad. At the end of the month, see if the good outweigh the bad. She did. They didn’t. She cut it off. End of story.
It’s extremely difficult to do these things for yourself in pageantry – it’s hard to see yourself objectively. To my returning clients, I offer a DVD review. I watch their pageant – first I watch just them and fast-forward every other girl. And I record individual feedback. Then, I watch the full pageant in context with the other women and give additional feedback. It’s so hard to truly know what is going on with your walk or your vocal inflection or how you’re showing up to others without someone who doesn’t live in your body, think your thoughts and make your actions. You have to have a 3rd party perspective.
A few weeks ago, I did a Strategy Call with a woman who’d always had her mom and aunt “coaching” her and in about 10 minutes I was able to point out something she had never even been aware of…. Because she’s never had a 3rd party share a true understanding of what she was representing.
Now, be careful cuz this can’t come from just anybody. This process has to be done with a credible source – someone who knows what they’re doing – and one that you trust. Every one will want to give you an opinion, so always consider the source. If it applies, modify. If not, let it fly.
2. Get a Strategy
If it were easy to get unstuck or you knew how, you’d have done it by now. It’s not and you don’t. You actually have to do things different than you’re already doing in order to make a change. You’ve heard the saying that the definition of insanity is repeating the same action over and over expecting different results.
As a pageant woman, if you change your evening gown dress every year and practice your walking until your feet bleed, but still don’t win…you need a new strategy.
You need to know what you can do that will actually move the needle in your performance. Changing your outfit or putting the other hand on your hip won’t – I promise. Women waste hours and hours of precious pageant prep time on these silly things when they ought to get a strategy for getting media and appearances that will stack their success.
3. Take Fast Action to Stack Your Success
The first goal of every great superstar is to catch momentum. These greats know that as soon as you catch momentum, everything else will be easier.
Lady Gaga was a song writer for years and years before recording her own song to perform. When she hit the scene she took immediate action to ensure momentum – she created her brand of crazy-cool with the wild dress and big personality. Immediately, she was invited for interviews, her social media boomed, and she performed all over the nation for millions of people on tv and in concert – she stacked her opportunities for success, which set the stage for a long career on the early momentum. If you’ve seen documentaries on her success she describes how she studied celebrity to understand how to quickly make a name for yourself and she implemented the strategy and it worked!!
That was 10 years ago, and we still know who she is today because of the fast action on the strategy that led to momentum.
Once you have your strategy, you have to take immediate and fast action and soon the snowball appears. The larger it gets the easier it rolls on it’s own.
Lori is a great example of momentum. When she first created her legacy project – a children’s book – I insisted it was excellent. We were back and forth with the concept and the details and she had to seriously trust God in the outcome of this process. She did and it has multiplied! She left me this fun voice message over email and I wanted to share it with you…
It’s Amazing what can happen when you follow your God-sized dream and put in the work to get momentum!
The final step is to…
4. Start Immediately
The more time you have, the more progress you’ll make. One of my pet peeves as a coach is when pageant women wait until closer to their pageant to start getting coaching. Listen, I am not a magician. If you wait until 2 weeks before your pageant to get coaching then I will give you a weak strategy that you’ll be able to implement in 2 weeks.
I’ve had women, in fact right now – there are women on my calendar for their Strategy Call 1 week before their pageant. If that’s you, I need you to go to the email you got and reschedule that thing for sooner.
The week before your pageant should be stress-free, not learning new strategies and stressing yourself out to recreate the wheel. If you talk to me the week before your pageant, you will be disappointed because I can’t do much with you then.
The same goes for women that get excited about the strategies we talk about on their call and then they wait like 3 months to implement anything.
Most of my successful clients have started their coaching programs at least 9 months before their pageant. Retong in South Africa started 15 months before her pageant – that’s over a year! She knows Miss South Africa is a highly competitive pageant and she’s wanting time to rise to the level of competition. Alyssa started 11 months before her pageant.
I do mock interviews every Friday over Skype. Ashley got on last month and her pageant was 6 months out. I was able to give her so much feedback, homework, ideas, and strategies to implement because she has the time to really grow. I just got an email last week from one of my client’s mom’s asking ‘My daughter’s pageant is 2 months away – is it too early to do a mock interview?” I think she wanted confirmation so she could ping her daughter to light a little fire under her to finally get in. It is Never too Early to get started. The more time we have, the more feedback I can give.
If you do your mock interview a week before the pageant, I can only give you feedback that you can actually implement between now and then because it’s just not enough time to develop new skills and shift habits.
Whew….ok. Wow, thanks for letting me get that out there. Not starting immediately truly is one of the biggest things that women don’t realize is killing their strategy.
Stop spinning your wheels. Please do not let the warm water around you turn into a boil. If you are in a rut – in pageantry or in life – you have got to leap out of that mess before you shrivel up and die.
Become aware by getting a 3rd party perspective.
Get a strategy that aligns with your goals.
Take fast action to stack your success
And Start Immediately!
Because, that, is how you win a pageant.
If you haven’t done your strategy call yet, now is your opportunity. I’m going open up a few more time slots. Even if your pageant is a year away – start now!
Strategy Calls are no longer available. But, you may like our new course “Pageant Interview Game Plan.” Click HERE to learn more!
For more great pageant training, enroll in the Free Pageant Course