Darren Hardy, the publisher of SUCCESS, told me something awhile back that completely changed my mindset. This little piece of advice can apply to all areas of life, from business to pageantry. Here's what he said: "If you just do the opposite of what everyone else does, you will increase your chances of success exponentially because the average person (and beauty queen) isn't successful."
If you want to be successful, you simply need to do what everyone else isn't. So what does that mean for pageantry? Let's take a look at four common things pageant girls do and how you can change it up to be more successful.
What most pageant girls do:
1. Watch TV.
This one applies to most people in general. Watching television is such an easy and popular way to spend the afternoon or evening after a long day at school or work. With shows like The Bachelorette, Fixer Upper and Say Yes To The Dress, how could you pass it up?! While tempting, watching television kills so much time that you could be using to do something productive. If you cut out your evening TV time, you will be amazed at how much time you have for other, more important, things, like practicing for your evening gown walk! (Read: 10 Simple Ways to Practice Walking in High Heels)
2. Crash diet.
Here's another easy fix. Pageant girls see that they need to lose a few pounds before the big day, and the easiest way to do that is to cut out a lot of calories at once and watch the pounds fall off. But while this may be the quickest fix, it is also the most harmful and dangerous to your body and should be avoided at ALL costs. (Read: 5 Reasons to NEVER Crash Diet for a Pageant)
When you crash diet, your body doesn't know what is going on. You may see a few pounds fall off at first, but once the pageant is over, you will see all of that weight (and more) come right back. Instead, practice healthy eating patterns and make a lifestyle change to get the body you want. This will help you get toned for your pageant while creating a lifestyle that will follow with you long after the pageant is over. (Read: 25 Healthy Habits that Will Help You Win the Crown)
3. Make last-minute wardrobe changes.
Changing your wardrobe or simply procrastinating finding your wardrobe until the last minute is never a good idea. This leaves very little time for alterations, which are necessary to achieve the perfect fit for your wardrobe. It also leaves you stressed out when you can't find the perfect dress! (Read: How to Avoid The Top 10 Most Common Wardrobe Malfunctions)
Instead, start your wardrobe search as soon as you know you are competing. This leaves you plenty of time to find the perfect gown, interview dress, etc. and have it professionally altered with plenty of time to spare. If needed, go back for a second fitting before the pageant to make sure it still fits like a glove.
4. Compare yourself to other girls.
The last thing you ever want to do is start comparing yourself to the other contestants. Thinking things like, "Her gown is more beautiful than mine," "Why aren't I as tall as she is?" "Her headshot is flawless, I wish mine looked like that!" will not get you anywhere. All it will do is set you up for failure before you even start. Think positively about yourself and the other contestants, realizing that the best you can be is yourself. That's all the judges are looking for. (Read: 10 Beginner Mistakes Every Pageant Girl Makes)
What you should do instead:
1. Read books.
When you aren't spending time watching television, you can better yourself by reading books! There are so many great books out there. Don't think you like to read? Try something new! Look for books that will help make you a better person. There are books out there ranging from autobiographies to skin care books to cookbooks, and they can all help you in some way, shape or form! (Read: Famous Pageant Coach Jonas Gaffud Publishes a Book)
2. Create a healthy lifestyle.
No one likes to be on a diet. The word itself is so restricting! Instead of cutting calories and feeling deprived like most people do, spend some time creating a healthy lifestyle for yourself that you will enjoy following. (Read: How to Turn Your Pageant Diet Into a Lifestyle) Fall in love with an exercise program like yoga or pilates or kickboxing and commit to spending three to five days in the gym each week to start out. This will help you create a healthy habit that will last you a long time. Find recipes that you love and put a healthy twist on them! Love tacos? Try putting your favorite taco fixings into a lettuce shell. Crave potato chips in the afternoon? Sprinkle some sea salt on fresh kale and bake it in the oven until it's crispy to create your very own kale chips. Healthy swaps like these will get you on track to a healthy lifestyle in no time. (Read: Low Carb Enchiladas Recipe)
3. Make a goal to have your wardrobe selected and ready one month in advance.
Don't wait with your wardrobe. This is such a big part of your pageant score, whether you think it is or not. Think about it: If you don't find something that you love, you will not be confident in it. If you are not confident, you won't put your best self forward. If your best self isn't forward, another girl who does feel confident will win the crown. See how it all adds up? If your wardrobe is planned and altered early on, you won't need to stress about it as the pageant draws near.
4. Stay focused on your performance.
Don't even start to compare yourself to others. You are you, so sizing yourself up to the competition will never change anything. The only thing that it will do is kill your confidence and take away your chance of winning. If you don't think you are the best competitor there, then why should the judges? (Read: 7 Ways To Get Winning Pageant Confidence)
Focus on you and only you. This is one of the best things you can do for yourself come pageant day! What's the best pageant advice you've ever received? Let us know in the comments below!
Her tip is: "Enjoy networking and remembering you are competing against yourself not others!"Learn More