As a fat, pimply thirteen year old I remember watching in awe as my older sister walked across the stage to compete in beauty pageants.  Oh my God, I thought, how could I ever complete with that?  I never believed I was pretty or for that matter think I would ever be beautiful.   Now fifty years later I look into the mirror and see lines, gray hair, and a sense of self; a very confident woman.  This self-confidence came from setting clear goals, a lot of hard work and due diligence, not being afraid to takes risks, and most importantly...  seeking out positive role models in my life.  As a former school superintendent, published author and now associate professor, I have touched the lives of many and received considerable feedback; most of it positive.  One thing I now know for sure... my sense of beauty comes from the self-assurance that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to.  I recently had to give an important speech and on the day of the event a big, red pimple presented itself smack dab on my nose.  As I walked across the stage to deliver my message I thought back to those days of my sister and the beauty pageants.   I was having a good "hair day", my outfit felt good and my spirit was glowing.  Walking proudly toward the microphone, I felt the radiance and satisfaction a pageant winner must briefly experience.  It was at this moment I was pretty darn sure that I had finally come close to winning my own beauty pageant.




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January 9, 2017

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© Dr. Marilou Ryder Author and Leadership Consultant