I am going to be completely transparent with you. I have "those days" too. I get tired of trying sometimes, I get scared, I get overwhelmed, and I want to give up. BUT- I don't....and here is why. I have learned through my own life experiences, that I can either let fear and self-doubt hold me back, or I can use it to my advantage...use it as a tool to push myself harder and push right through whatever I perceive the obstacle to be.
This past week, one of my children (who shall remain nameless because he would be mortified that I am using him as my example!), began struggling with an obstacle and I heard the words "I can't do it. I am terrible and I am quitting". Now, as a mother, of course I tried to gave him the supportive pep talk (which only seemed to fuel his frustration), but then I took another approach- complete honesty. I shared with him how hard it had been for me to juggle family, work, surgeries, owning a business, holding the Mrs. Ohio title, and completing my education. I told him there were times I made up my mind that I was going to quit. I couldn't keep up and I didn't feel good at anything because I was spread so thin between too many things. I was afraid of failing at one thing- or everything altogether. And, I told him it would have been a lot easier to quit then to push though all the tough stuff. But, I didn't, and I can honestly say that I am proud of myself.... Not just because I accomplished my goal, but because in the process, God helped me see what I am truly made of!
As I have been going through this trial with him, and as I have been meeting with contestants and helping them prepare for the upcoming pageant, I felt a nudge to share this message. Why do we give up when the going gets tough? Why do we step out of our comfort zone, set a goal, commit to something and then quit? Here are some reasons I have come up with that I think many of us can identify with:
1) It Got Hard- We all want success to come easily. We want instant results. We want to work out one week and have a swimsuit perfect body or become instantly rich by winning the lottery. But the truth is, nearly everything in life takes patience and a ton of hard work. When we don't get the instant gratification and the results we are seeking, we quit. Be the person who perseveres!
2) It Got Scary- Failure is a bad word in our society, and the fear of failure keeps people from even trying something new. You dream of being on that stage, you picture yourself with the perfect swimsuit walk, and how amazing you feel in that gown....but then you doubt yourself and picture humiliation...you fall, trip on your gown, stutter through your on-stage question, and then the ultimate rejection when you aren't crowned the winner. So, you decide not to take the chance, not to subject yourself to that pain, and you stay with something safe.The truth is that failure is healthy. You might have to fail multiple times before you succeed...not only will you experience a vast amount of personal growth during the process, but imagine how much sweeter that success will be. :) Be the person who feels the fear and does it anyway!
3) It Got Discouraging- Let me tell you something. Not everyone is going to understand your dream, and that's o.k.! Your friends, and maybe even our family member, might think you are crazy for wanting to do a pageant. "Why would you do something like that?" "I would never do something like that". And then they will politely tell you all about the downfalls of pageantry and give you a hundred reasons why this is a bad idea. And just like that, these negative people take the wind out of your sails. Why do they do this? Well, people are entitled to their own feelings and opinions about things. But, often times, it is from a place of their own insecurities and fears. It is much easier if you remain "stuck" with them. Be the person who is on a mission, and let's nothing and no one hold them back!
Ladies, we are three weeks out from pageant weekend. This is the time that you need to dig in your heels (no pun intended! lol) and remind yourself daily that God has equipped you with everything you need to follow this dream! Remember that F-E-A-R has two meanings:
- FORGET EVERYTHING AND RUN.....or
- FACE EVERYTHING AND RISE
The choice is yours!
As we enter these last few weeks before the pageant, please know that I am here to help you if you need anything, and I am cheering all of you on! It has been such a pleasure to work with many of you and see your personal growth. I am looking forward to seeing you all in a few weeks!
Mrs. Ohio 2013