Do you ever work so hard to win something, but even when you win you don't feel satisfied?
“I'd risk the fear of falling just to know what it feels like to fly.”
These are the words I repeated to myself every day leading up to the Miss Tecumseh 2016 pageant. It was six short months after beginning my own daily self care practice that I found myself winning a local pageant title where I would be an ambassador and a spokesperson for the town of Tecumseh at numerous events for an entire year.
As the months went on, I quickly learned how the pressures of being a pageant titleholder can alter your relationships, your mentality and your overall way of life, especially if you are not taking care of yourself. Not only had I stopped completing the practices of my daily self care routine, which included daily meditation, exercise, and journaling, but my boyfriend of two and a half years had also broken up with me, and shortly after that I found myself grieving the loss of my grandmother.
It was about six months into my reign and after I'd gone through these losses in my life that I began to wonder, 'Okay... What the heck happened to you Maria?' I was in my fourth year of nursing and feeling more pressure than ever to determine what I'd want to do with my career, I was stressing every week wondering why I wasn't doing more events with my pageant title, and I had reverted back to my old self-destructive habits that included spending too much time around negative people, eating junk food in excess, and not completing the practices that nourished my mind, body, and soul. Six months of not consistently practicing the self care routine which lead me to accomplishing one of my biggest achievements in life, at the time, and I found myself unmotivated, exhausted and burnt out.
Why isn't winning enough?
I thought that winning this coveted and highly respected title would give me the validation I needed in my life to move forward without keeping up with my self care routine and without facing self-doubt or unhappiness again. Wrong. Whether it be winning money, a competition, a medal, or even a pageant title, these are all achievements that will have the glitz and glory wear off over time. Of course these will be accomplishments you will always be proud of, but if you do not find a daily practice that allows you to live each day happily, then at any point when bad circumstances strike you are much more likely to fall in a downward spiral of stress, anxiety, or depression without knowing how to get back up.
Do not let these accomplishments change the way you live your life or your definition of happiness. Allowing yourself to bask in the fame temporarily before humbly returning to the practices that keep you grounded each day is what the GROWTh lifestyle is all about.