Competing Against a Veteran

Some of you may be intimated by former title holders, regional title holders, and maybe even returning contestants that have placed in the past. Some even think it’s unfair that their allowed to compete again. The only worry about competing against a former, a previous top 5 placement, or a returning contestant, is your own insecurities. The person that worries about this, is one that truly in their heart does not feel THEY are enough. I’m here to tell to you to stop! To NOT be! Them competing has absolutely nothing to do with you, and your outcome. The bottom line is, if someone’s going to perform better, that’s because maybe they’ve worked harder, they’re a better fit for the year and job, or it’s just in their timing.

Whether they’ve done it before or done well, does not guarantee they will do well. In fact, it just means they have more pressure on themselves to do better than their last performance. The past is in the past, because someone has placed, won in the past, or competed before has absolutely NOTHING to do with the current outcome. So do not worry, and if this is you- then it’s time to pony-up and beat no one but your last best-self! If anything I feel you have more pressure on you to do well, beat your own last performance. SO take your last experience and LEARN from it. What were the judges feedback? What things did you need to work on most?

I’ve been on both sides of this spectrum. I’ve been a previous title holder vulnerably putting myself out there again. Allot of people questioned why, but my why had nothing to do with anyone else but myself. I wanted another opportunity to better myself, to do better! Win or lose, I know I was taking that chance, but I didn’t care, the fact of the matter is, I tried my absolute best. People who are returning have even MORE pressure on themselves. So give them the respect they deserve, because if anything thy are taking a chance on not doing as well, and that’s a respectable risk. But if you are a new contestant, friend them! Use them to your advantage, ask them questions, get their feedback, ask their regrets and use their knowledge to help you! Instead of looking at them as a threat, because again it says more about you on how you handle situations.

Last year, was my first time at International. As an “At-Large” contestant, I knew I was competing against people who won their states, regional title holders that have done this multiple times, and even some of last year’s top 5 placement holders. Did I care? Absolutely not! I knew what I had to offer, I prepared the best I could, I worked hard for months ahead, I did everything I had the ability “to control”, and I played off my strengths. I brought my absolute best, that’s the only thing that matters. Did the judges know if I or the girl next to me competed before, no! They don’t care. Their job is to hire the best person for the job. So whether you’ve done this before, or this is your first time, BE that person! Prepare the best YOU can, and have no worries on whether the girl next to you has done this before, because truth is, it has absolutely NO relevance to you, her, or the outcome!

Take a look at the Top 5 from this past year. Here is proof. New contestants, regional title holders, top 5 from previous years, state title holders, previous title holders, veterans, rookies… all had no relevance on the outcome!

Turning Broken Into Brave,

Your Mrs. International 2017

Melissa Pocza


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