Yes… I am a pageant girl. Just like Miss “honey boo boo child,” I was a spray tanned, rhinestoned from head to toe, fake hair/fake eyelashes kind of kid.
I didn’t always want to compete in pageants. I actually began competing because my dance teacher insisted that I needed practice on my solo tap dance. She found a local pageant being held in an old run down mall.
Shy, lost, and unprepared, I walked up the stairs to the pop-up stage with my thumb in my mouth and my blanket held tightly under my arm. Not cracking the slightest bit of a smile, I turned quickly and sprinted off the stage.
A few hours later when they handed out the awards, I was dubbed the Future Princess. This had to be good, right? Wrong. That meant that I sucked! I didn’t win anything! That’s when the spark happened.
I believe we all have that pivotal moment when we get our spark. Some of us get it sooner than others and we all get it for different reasons. Whether it’s a victory we’ve had or a loss that pushes us to do better next time, there is something within all of us that makes us believe we are here for a reason.
I didn’t know my reason. All I knew was that I had the burning desire to do better. To win!
My parents hired a pageant coach to work with me. I learned how to walk proper, turn, and strut (you pageant veterans know that one). The one lesson I will always remember is to “sparkle.”
Then, after a few wins, I was simply enjoying my time sparkling with the crown on my head. Now, as I step back and reflect on my journey thus far, I realize that I learned so much more than just the word “sparkle.” I learned how to sparkle.
Here I will share with you the secret of how to sparkle. Taking it back to the origination of my pageant career, I will sum it up for you in one word, TAP.
Total package. Attitude. Passion.
In order to have sparkle, you must be a Total package. In pageant world, this means you have to be able to walk, talk, and have some sort of talent to win. A lot of preparation goes into creating your total package. Same thing goes for the real world. A person with the total package has done their research, has great knowledge about their expertise, and walks the talk. Essentially, this person gets the job, gets the girl, gets whatever it is they were out to win.
Your Attitude towards your situation also affects your sparkle. Pageants are an opinion based competition. The winner is chosen because a panel of judges with a hopefully unbiased opinion will choose her at the end of the day. In this type of situation, you must focus on the things you can control. Your attitude towards those things can be a game changer. For example, I could focus on the possibly biased panel that may not choose me and be worried I won’t win the entire time I am competing, probably resulting in a loss. On the other hand, I can focus on preparing myself for the competition so when I walk onstage I know that I have done everything in my power to be the best I can possibly be. Attitude is everything. Focus on the things you have control over.
When you have a purpose, you will have Passion. The young women that compete in the Miss America pageant are required to have a platform, some type of community service or subject they support. This subject is something they are usually very passionate about. These women spend hours supporting their cause by raising money and awareness. Think about your passion. How do you feel when you talk about your passion? To what lengths would you go for the things you are passionate about? That excitement you get, that right there is your sparkle.
Let’s face it, for most of us our days of wearing crowns on our head, throwing the winning pass, or being the big fish in the pond are limited. What goes on forever is our sparkle.
How do you get your spark?