It's amazing to think that both friends and family can try to convince you to quit. But this is exactly what happened to me on my road to Miss America. Yes, it took me 5 years of competing in the Miss America System to finally win a state title to get to Miss America. That can be a long road of endurance and perseverance to work for a goal or dream that may never come to fruition. However, it's not always in the winning that we truly achieve. The path, or journey, can be totally worth it n the end regardless of the outcome. It's also not anyone else's path but your own. NO ONE sees your dreams and visions the way YOU and GOD see them...so it's totally possible for your most sincere and honest friends to not understand your path. I can recall numerous times that friends and peers pulled me aside to tell me to stop competing. They were all well intentioned but they just couldn't see that all of my hardwork and dedication was well positioned. I even had a friend who took me out to lunch just to have the conversation about why I should stop. The important point here is that I didn't take their advice. I didn't get mad or even cry when they pleaded with me. I didn't let my emotions get the better of me...I simply listened, evaluated, and then made a choice for myself to continue despite their opinions. It's ok for oth
ers to advise you and most of the time...it's coming from a place of love. However, not every piece of advice is for you in that season of your life. Learn to take the advice and criticism. Let it all be put on a shelf to: Evaluate, Execute, or Eliminate. After I won Miss America 2000, one of those friends wrote me the most sincere letter of apology for trying to persuade me to change my path. He said,"...thank God you didn't listen to me!" Be grateful for those who are trying to help...even if it means not taking their advice.