Life as a pageant

Erin arrived at iHealth Center a pretty but disheveled teen. Parents and teachers described her as capable but unmotivated. Her own assessment was that she was unworthy and undeserving of happiness or success.

Bottom line, she claimed to have no confidence. Like many people she had composed a script for her life in which she perpetually fell short. So, while having just signed herself up for a local talent pageant, she was already suffering the pain of eventual and inevitable public embarrassment.

The reality is that no one lacks confidence. Rather, you are confident that you either Can or Cannot. And that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The trick is to re-define success.  For Erin that meant taking the emphasis off Winning the pageant—which can never be assured with multiple competitors aspiring one top spot—to striving toward her personal best. That led to several smaller but more specific and achievable goals.

As she prepared for the pageant, Erin learned to receive and cope with positive and negative feedback, each time refining her goals. The pageant judges could not have known that the young women who performed for them with poise and confidence still harbored some fear and doubt.

Sometimes you have to fake it until you make it. Erin’s doubt evaporated as her self-choreographed dance routine evoked an emotional response from the audience and she was voted Miss Congeniality by her peers. And, yes, she went on to win the pageant.

We cannot guarantee everyone will Win as Erin did, but when you perform at your personal best, it makes you feel like a Winner with whatever challenges face you.

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