Jessica Paxson has been on a number of magazine covers and has consistently been a top IFBB Pro. Many would assume a beautiful woman like Jessica is always confident and never experiences self-doubt. She opens up to share her own insecurities and shares a friendly reminder to not only competitors but all women.
Confessions Of An Insecure Competitor
By Jessica Paxson
I was recently asked by a client, “How do you keep from comparing yourself to other competitors backstage at a show/how do you keep yourself calm before going on stage?”
The first part of the question reminded me of being back stage at the 2005 Jr Nationals. I remember looking around at all of the amazing competitors with tears welling up in my eyes, I felt I didn’t measure up at all! I was wondering what I had gotten myself into. How did I think I could step on stage with these amazing competitors?! The negative self talk kept coming.
I called my coach (Mike Davies) very upset. He said to me “Jessie, nobody ever won a show sitting backstage”. Isn’t that the truth?! I got myself together, and I went on to win my class and my pro card at that show! I don’t say that to sound arrogant, but only to illustrate that we can be our own worst enemy at times, and get worked up over nothing!
I have never been the most muscular, lean/hard competitor. I have to confess… I would struggle with insecurities that people would look at me off the stage and say “how is she even a pro?”. I would look at other competitors or even women in the gym and covet their more muscular arms. I would get so down on myself! As a competitor and as women we need to stop comparing ourselves to others! God has blessed us each with qualities both physically and otherwise that make us beautiful and unique in our own ways! Know that and own that! It has taken me YEARS to come to this realization and I have such a peace about it! I just wish I could have taught my younger self this lesson!
Take the time backstage at a show to pray and thank Him for the blessing of health and being able to compete, visualize yourself calmly presenting your hard work on that stage with confidence! Take a deep breath and take your time presenting your physique that you have worked so hard on and ENJOY yourself! Your time on stage will be over in the blink of an eye! Stay present and in the moment. Take in the crowd, the judges, the feeling of being on that stage, smile (and mean it! ).
Know that you are fearfully and wonderfully made! So, shine! Whether it be on stage or in life in general!
Stay fit and God bless!