I wish I could have written a competition update sooner (when my thoughts and feelings were crisper), but my mom’s dial-up internet from hell in Phoenix made that all but impossible. Well, let me get this out of the way first – I did not place well. At all. There were 20 girls in my class, which was the largest of all of the bikini classes. There were three callouts, and I made the second one. However, when the full results came out, I placed 10th…along with 10 other girls. So, I basically tied for last place with 10 other people.
It stung. I’ll even admit to getting a little bit teary eyed at some point a couple of days later when reflecting on everything. My placing felt like confirmation of all of the things that the critical voice in my head (i.e. the shit bird) had been telling me all along. I’ve worked really hard to get out of my comfort zone and to be more confident, and it felt as though all of that was suddenly snatched away. I also competed as part of a team for the first time, so in addition to being disappointed in myself, I felt that I let the team down (even though none of them gave me any indication that was true – on the contrary, everyone was very supportive). Most of my teammates made first callouts and many won trophies. It kills me to know I didn’t contribute to the team’s overall success, at least not in the way I wanted to.
I was very confident leading up to the show…but once I got backstage and saw all of the other incredibly stunning girls who were competing, my confidence plummeted. I felt like there was no way I had a chance against any of them. I didn’t realize my confidence was so precarious. I made every effort to block out the other competitors and turn my negative self talk around, but it was extremely difficult. However, one of my superhero powers happens to be the ability to perform well under pressure and to exude confidence even if I don’t feel it, and that’s exactly what I did. When my coach showed me some of the pictures he took of me onstage, I was taken aback by how confident I looked, knowing full well how insecure I felt on the inside.
So, competing was a bit of a wake-up call. I have more work to do, mentally more than anything else. I’m doing my best not to get hung up on my placing – it’s silly to let the subjective opinions of a panel of strangers alter my own sense of confidence and self-worth. I’ve improved tremendously since my first competition a year and a half ago, and look better than I think I ever have. So instead of having a pity party or throwing in the towel, I’m just going to use this as motivation to work even harder and do better next time. The biggest obstacle I need to overcome is the apparent fragility of my confidence. Diet, training, posing – I can do all of that. But I absolutely cannot defeat myself before I’ve even stepped on stage. It would make a great comeback story to place last at this show and then place top 3 at the next competition, don’t you think? So, Charlotte Cup, here I come!