My step dad loves Westerns. Aside from Lonesome Dove, my taste for the genre is limited. But, a quote from one of the series he watched resonated with me. It was something along the lines of 'change comes when we first take care of our own.' For so long I've focused on how I can help others around me, and the impact I can have on the big, hairy social problems, like homelessness, and abuse, and hunger, (you know, Millenial stuff), but I didn't think much about how I could help my immediate community.
It's in this vein of thinking that caused me to launch Project Pageantry. The rodeo queen community, and pageant world more holistically, can be cutthroat. Any time you get high-achieving, competitive women together and measure them against each other to determine a winner, tensions rise. Add something these women love to the mix, like horses (or a specific talent, such as dance or singing), and it's pretty much the perfect storm. But, I don't think it has to be.
What if instead of trying to undercut one another we were all focused on how we can be our best self on a given day? What if we competed not just to represent the rodeo that we love, but also with our long-term goals, and professional and personal development in mind? I think if this were the case we'd be more focused on beating ourselves than the girl next to us. Sure, judging is just that. It's an assessment by one individual on a given day and is subjective. There are other ways to judge yourself though. Did you have answers to every question that the judges threw at you? Win. Did you remember your horsemanship pattern where at previous competitions you'd messed up a portion? Win. Did you nail your speech to the best of your ability? All wins.
We all have a lot of skin in the game, we've all worked hard, and yes, ultimately there's a winner, but isn't that the case in life, too? Doesn't one person get the one position you were working for, doesn't one person get some C-level title at the company you work at, leaving you somewhere in the mix of the hierarchy? Sure. But, does that mean that there aren't other opportunities out there for you even if a particular position didn't work out this time? NO!
That's why I started Project Pageantry, with each individual girl's end-game in mind. Because I know we're all capable of doing our personal best.
How good can YOU be?