Visualize Your Way to Success in Pageants
“I am a firm believer in visualizing how far you want to go in competition. If you visualize that you want to become part of the top ten, then you should see yourself lined up in the top ten” — Gretchen Carlson, Miss America 1989
Closely observe participants in the Olympics and other major sports championships and you’ll discover that winners supplement their physical training program with mental visualization. Pageant winners are no exception.
“A lot of times you see girls who are putting an awful lot into winning, but are not doing a whole lot of preparation. They’re doing a lot of it in their minds. Sure you have to see it in your mind and believe it before you can do it, but you have to do the homework too.” — former Miss Arkansas, Christi Taunton
Gretchen Carlson is a Real Life Example of How to Use Visualization
When Gretchen Carlson, host of the hit show “Fox & Friends”, set her sights on the Miss America title, she not only set about seriously training for each event for a year, she prepared her mind to win:
“I am a firm believer in visualizing how far you want to go in competition. If you visualize that you want to become part of the top ten, then you should see yourself lined up in the top ten. If you visualize yourself becoming [the winner] then you should see yourself walking down the runway. I believe that in the long run in any form of competition, maybe half of it is in the mind.”
What the Research Says About the Effectiveness of Visualization
Research has proven that performance is improved when competitors supplement their training with visualization, but their mental exercises must focus on each specific action.
A champion gymnast doesn’t merely see herself standing on the medalists’ platform; she mentally rehearses every step in her balance-beam routine.
Likewise, a pageant competitor can’t simply imagine herself being crowned. She should focus on performing flawlessly in each category of competition.
The mental images must be realistic down to the smallest detail…
For instance, to visualize your talent…
- actually feel yourself walk onstage
- see the audience and the stage lights in your eyes
- hear your music track
- feel yourself confidently play to the judges as you perform your talent
- hear the applause of the audience as the judges mark their ballots
- feel yourself nod to the judges and turn to leave the stage proudly
Perform that exercise regularly to prepare your mind to feel fully prepared and confident when that exciting moment in the spotlight finally arrives.
How NOT to Use Visualization
While such visualization exercises have helped to improve performance, relying on mental imaging instead of regular serious training will sabotage a contestant’s chances.
“A lot of times you see girls who are putting an awful lot into winning, but are not doing a whole lot of preparation,” observes former Miss Arkansas, Christi Taunton. “They’re doing a lot of it in their minds. Sure you have to see it in your mind and believe it before you can do it, but you have to do the homework too.”
Preparing the mind to succeed is a proven benefit to a good training program… but without plenty of hard work to back it, those mental images will remain nothing more than tantalizing fantasies.