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The Biggest Loser

By Jillian Teta

For the last couple of months, I’ve been blogging concurrently about getting ready for my pro debut at the IFPA Pro Bowl and happiness/emotional freedom. Well, the Pro Bowl was this past weekend and it was fantastic. Besides staying at a super-posh hotel, everything came in perfectly: my dehydration went well, midsection looked great, suit, hair, makeup, everything was spot-on. My stage presence was there and it was the best package I’ve ever brought. I was so pleased.

Beautiful ladies: The Tough IFPA Pro Line-up

I didn’t make first callouts but that was OK. A couple of days later, just the other day I checked the website to see what my final placing was. There I was, scrolling down the list – “Oops, didn’t make top ten. Ah well…..hmmmm – where am I?”

My placement was last – dead last – bottom of the barrel. At first, I was stunned. Clearly this is every competitor’s worst nightmare, right? To not top at least one person? Then, I took a huge breath and laughed.

Before me was an opportunity to actually practice what I “preach”/aspire to. It is so easy to be happy and positive when things are going your way and everyone around you is acting the way you want them to act and you are just racking up the wins and high placements – it’s so easy to be “all good” when everything is all good – but can I keep my head right, keep my attitude right, when I was the worst on stage?

It’s a whole new crunch-time. How can I be in this world when things DON’T go my way, or the way I think I want them to? That is where the true power is….the true freedom.

Three years ago – heck, a year ago, I would have been sobbing. I probably would still be in bed, nursing my wounds (read: wounded ego), thinking up all of the justifications I possibly could: silly judges, my posing, my suit, I don’t really want to look like the winners anyway, I got my carb-up/pump-up wrong, etc. Just a million excuses for last place, including gathering a “team” around me who agreed with me and thought I deserved a higher placement.

Not this year. No way. This year, I own it. I own it, and I own the responsibility for the thoughts, feelings and emotions that come with it and how I move forward. By constantly checking myself I can laugh at something today that in the past, would have brought me to my knees and possibly even kept me off the stage.

A la’ Wayne Dyer: when I change the way I look at things, the things I look at change. Instead of this being a crushing blow to my self-worth and self-esteem (it easily could have been, and no one would blame me!) I am using this as a vehicle to hone my feelings of self-worth by taking responsibility for how I feel.

It’s not about right or wrong or blaming or disagreement, just the idea that I get to choose how I relate to this. I get to turn it around and use it as a gift. I get to practice being happy, content and positive when things do not go my way. In my eyes, this lesson is invaluable.

In the words of everyone’s favorite California governator: I’ll be back.  See you next year, Pro Bowl :)

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