Pageant winners recognize that winning a pageant involves so much more than having the right looks for each portion of competition and having the right answers in interview. In order to excel in the high pressure environment of pageantry, you need to have the right mindset to handle the stress of pageant week.
To win the crown, you want to walk into pageant orientation already thinking like a winner. Here are seven ways to think like a pageant winner from podcasts by Alycia Darby, pageant coach and host of the iTunes #1 Pageant Podcast, WinAPageant.com.
1. Know Who You Are
If you've ever worked with a pageant coach, or read articles about pageant interview, you'll hear this over and over again. Why? Because before everything else, it is absolutely vital that you have an understanding of who you are going into pageant competitions. Winning queens must know who they are in order to confidently and coherently communicate that identity to others. Get to know yourself. In Alycia's Podcast, Know yourself enough to Win, she asks six questions that help you to better understand yourself in way that you can concisely communicate it to others.
These include, "What do you spend your time doing?" "What informs your life the most?" "What do you know that you are absolutely great at?" Spend some time reflecting on who you are and what makes you unique and be thankful for the special talents and traits that make you who you are. Not only will you be one step closer to thinking like a pageant winner, but the interview questions about yourself will be fun and easy for you to answer. (Read: How to Succeed in Pageant Interview)
2. First Impressions
First impressions are about so much more than the outward appearance. They start on the inside. You want your inner beauty to be so striking to people that your outer beauty simply accentuates who you are on the inside. What you leave people with is a lot more than a picture. You leave them with a feeling. When you engage and interact with others, whether it's your classmates or your co-workers, you want them to leave feeling encouraged and supported and to feel better having been around you. Your thoughts are closely associated with your actions, so it all starts with a positive mindset. Focus on something bigger than yourself. Look for ways to help others, encourage them, and energize them, rather than dwelling on the things in your life that may not be going as planned. When you live out a lifestyle of seeking to bless others and aren't tripped up by the issues that come up in your life, you'll be naturally prepared to do that during pageant week, and overcoming the high stress environment of the pageant will come to you a lot more readily. (Read: The 5 Secrets of a Pageant Winner)
Once you have a better understanding of who you are and have the mindset to make a stellar first impression, the next step is knowing how to communicate. Pageant winners are star communicators. The key to communication is about how the person or people that you're communicating with are understanding you. To communicate competently, you need to know who your audience is and how your message will most effectively be conveyed to that particular audience. Think about what it is that you want to project and in what ways can you effectively communicate that in your context. This is a vital interview skill, but also a life skill that pageant girls implement in their day-to-day lives. (Read:How to Market Yourself in Pageant Interview)
4. Make Decisions as a Role Model
"Make decisions based on the responsibility that you have as a role model to others," Alycia Darby said. "Try it out and see how well it fits." If this isn't your typical way of thinking, try it out. How does it change the way that you get up in the morning? How does it change how you interact with others on the street? Making decisions like a role model will help you to gain the mindset of a pageant winner long before the actual pageant. (Read:How To Be a Role Model)
5. Maintain Your Energy
"Conserving energy is key in pageantry," Alycia said. Pageant winners know how to manage their resources. Thinking like a pageant winner means not wearing yourself out during pageant week before the actual competition begins. It means thinking through where you are going to need the most energy, and being prepared to exude that at the right time. Don't drain yourself. By having excellent planning you can avoid worrying about details at the last minute and focus on preparing yourself mentally and emotionally for the competition. One of the biggest drainers on your energy is comparison, so don't do it. Focus on your ability to perform and compete well, and leave it all on the stage or in the interview room. When it comes to the other contestants, seek to encourage and build them up as other women rather than evaluating yourself up against them. With the mindset of a pageant winner, you'll be one step closer to winning your next pageant. Your mental preparation is huge when it comes to pageant readiness. Taking these steps to think like a winner will help you to feel like one when pageant week comes around.
Good luck, queens! For more information on Alycia Darby, or to listen to her pageant podcasts, visit WinAPageant.com.
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