PAGEANTRY: The Ultimate Endurance Race

Preparing for a pageant is a lifestyle choice that helps you become the best version of yourself. From leading an active lifestyle and choosing healthy foods, to leading a life of service and being a community minded leader, preparing for your pageant is an ongoing process that takes focus, passion and dedication.

Pageant week, however, is an endurance race. It becomes a battle of stamina and mental stability. How can you stay focused during pageant week and avoid the pitfalls of self-doubt?

1. Remember that this is your "dance." The only person you need to please is you. Leave it all out on the stage, and don't hold back. You have nothing to lose, so go for it!

2. Set realistic goals. Everyone should play to win, but at the end of the day only one woman walks away with a crown. Know where you started in your pageantry journey and give yourself props for how far you've come. Maybe you've worked really hard to improve your swimsuit body, or perhaps you used to be terrified to speak in front of an audience. The lessons you've learned along your journey will serve you in life, long after the shimmer of the rhinestones has faded.

3. Surround yourself with positive people. Let's face it. Sometimes our pageant glory can be diminished by mean girls, jealous boyfriends, or other well-meaning members of your support team. Know your limits. Give yourself the space you need to focus. Remember that it's not about pleasing anyone but yourself.

4. Have a pre-game routine. Whether you are preparing for interview or hitting the stage for talent competition, know what you need to stay focused and calm your nerves. Some girls like to chat with their friends and be social. Others like to put their head phones on and sit quietly in a corner. What ever your style, own it and stick with it.

5. Stop asking for permission to realize your own personal greatness. Speak with passion and conviction and know for sure WHY you want to be the title holder. If you live a life that reflects the values of the crown you seek, you will shine on game day. Eliminate self-doubt and the sky is the limit!

Ultimately, take time to reflect on the big picture. This is a time you will likely look back on as "the time of your life." So enjoy the journey and cherish the relationships you foster. After all, if you can walk across a stage in 5 inch heels and a bikini under blinding stage lights, you can do anything!

*Amanda Beagle is a former Miss Ohio and a New York City based pageant and talent coach serving girls nationwide. She maintains locations in New York City and Youngstown, Ohio.EMAILfor details!

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