Self-Esteem and Pageantry



By Laura Ashley Cliff, MA, MHC


How does your self-esteem affect the outcome of your pageant competition?


Self-esteem is more than liking yourself, it’s what you believe you’re worthy of; it’s a direct result of how you view yourself. The self-esteem trifecta is that your self-image affects what you believe you are worthy of, and the two together impact your confidence (what you know you are good at or capable of). Low self-esteem is at the root of almost all mental health disorders, including major depressive disorder, eating disorders, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders.

If your self-image is built on a shaky foundation, the stones you continuously throw at your own glass house are sure to shatter your self-esteem.


It’s natural in an all-female environment to compare yourself to others, to think that others are prettier, skinnier, smarter, and more talented. While comparison is innate to everyone, the ability to challenge those negative thoughts does not come as easily.


Negative intrusive thoughts are called “Cognitive Distortions,” AKA your anxiety brain is lying to you!


Ask yourself, “What are the facts that truly support that this person is better than me?” and “What are the facts that contradict this thought?”


You might find that the facts contradicting the thought, like “I don’t know her and I’m making an assumption,” validate that it’s your own negative perception of yourself that is providing the skewed thought context.


Also asking, “Is this situation really as black and white as it seems? Is one of us truly better than the other?”

I’d like to say NO to that question. No one is “better” than anyone when it comes to competing. Every person coming into the competition is there for the same reason, to win a title and change the world. What differs is your unique abilities, education, skills, and experience. Have you ever thought that while you’re perseverating on where you perceive yourself to fall short, others are wishing they had the qualities that YOU possess?


Again, your self-esteem is what you believe you are worthy of. So, if you’re letting those cognitive distortions take over all of your thoughts about what you can’t do or who is better than you, do you really feel that you are worthy of the crown? Even more, how do you think these negative thoughts will impact your confidence on stage? Wallowing in those pesky cognitive distortions will only leave you feeling like a self-fulfilling prophecy. You are worthy of what you believe you are worthy of.


How you view yourself and your abilities directly impacts what you believe you can achieve and can obtain. Radically accepting yourself as a unique individual who believes she is worthy of everything her heart desires is how your confidence shines through to the judges and wins you that crown.


The Still She Rose program includes a workbook that helps work through and reframe cognitive distortions, increase self-esteem, and hopes to instill into every woman the confidence of knowing she has already won.


BECOME A WELLNESS AMBASSADOR


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