You can ask Kandace Krueger
One thing I always tell my coachees is that they have to compete to win and prepare to fail. Competing to win means you have to give it your all. Preparing to fail just recognizes that the odds are not forever in your favour.
We have an interesting relationship to failure, as we attach all sorts of meaning to the fact that we have failed at something. The “Oxford Pocket School Dictionary” defines the noun “failure” as “not being able to do something”. That is all failure is, really. There were some measures you wanted to meet and you were unable to.
Off course, in beauty pageants failure is somewhat harder to take because your success depends for a great part on the opinion of others, the panel of judges. In sports you train hard for an event and after the event you know immediately whether your performance was sufficient for you to be successful. You also know which measures you need to improve in order to win next time.
Beauty pageant results are dependent on the personal opinions of a very specific group of people at a very specific moment. If you change just one of the judges, you most probably will get a different result. The opinion of those judges can also be easily affected by something very simple over which you have no control. Imagine if you will that you chose a gown colour, which is exactly the same colour as one of the judges or a judge’s date wore to the prom. Seeing that gown colour will have a whole different effect on that judge if his or her prom night was one of the best nights of his or her life or if it was a disastrous experience.
Failing at something does not make you a failure nor does it mean that you are any less than the winner. The winner was successful at meeting the measures and you and many others were not. That’s all! What you need to do is evaluate the result. You may decide that for you that one time was enough and that is fine.
If winning that crown is sufficiently important for you, do try again. Look at where you can improve your performance, make the necessary adjustments and go back on the field.
One shining example of someone who never let failure hold her back is Kandace Krueger, who won the Miss Texas USA 2000 title at the age of 24. Since turning 18, Kandace had competed in local Miss Texas USA preliminaries, doing well but never winning.
In 1999, Kandace won her first local title but did not place at Miss Texas USA. In 2000 she won her second local title and, in her first appearance in the Miss TEXAS USA semi-finals, Kandace went all the way to win the right to represent Texas at Miss USA 2001.
Kandace won that title as well and placed third at Miss Universe 2001.