Winning the crown means believing in yourself when those around you say, “I’ll believe it when I see it”
“You have to believe in yourself. If you don’t, that’s your downfall.” – Vanessa Williams, (dethroned) Miss America 1984 and a Grammy award winning vocalist
Be forewarned. As you are working to transform your dreams into reality, you will encounter skeptics who will not believe in you until after you’ve won. Meet the “I’ll believe it when I see it” crowd.
Ask Kellye Cash and Kimberly Aiken, who lost local pageants just months before being crowned Miss Americas 1987 and 1994. Amazingly, their judges concluded that these young ladies, who each went on to become that year’s Miss America, were not qualified to be local titleholders!
Although both were disappointed at losing, they refused to allow that panel’s opinion of them to shake their confidence. Instead, both immediately entered another local pageant, won, and shot to the national throne.
By choosing to believe in themselves when others didn’t, Kim and Kellye experienced the opportunity of a lifetime. After Kellye’s victory, when reporters asked her advice for future entrants, she responded, “Dream big because you can reach your dreams!”
Don’t Let Someone Else’s Opinion of You Cost You Your Dream
Kaye Lani Rae Rafko also encountered people whose poor opinions of her potential might have discouraged her from seeking the crown and cost her the experience of a lifetime. After she lost a state pageant, a respected judge told Kaye Lani that her Tahitian dancing was not a “real” talent and that if she hoped to win, she’d have to switch to singing.
Fortunately, Kaye Lani chose to believe in herself when others didn’t and became the first Tahitian dancer to win the Miss America title. So much for “expert” opinions!
As a young woman striving to achieve your dreams through pageants, you must refuse to allow your self-confidence to be undermined by other people’s low opinions of your potential. If, like Kaye Lani and Kellye, you encounter people who doubt your potential and try to discourage you — ignore them.
As Vanessa Williams, who was asked to give up her crown, yet became a Grammy award winning vocalist, once put it, “You have to believe in yourself. If you don’t, that’s your downfall.”
Decide to believe in yourself when others don’t. It could change your life.