The Power of Pushing Past Uncertainty
Recently, I told you Nichelle Sublett, a #MovementMaker who’s raising awareness about infertility and why women should #StartAsking their doctors about fertility well before they want to get pregnant.
Nichelle’s choice to become an advocate goes hand in hand with another pivotal experience in her life: deciding to enter Mrs. North Carolina pageant — and then winning the title.
‘I Was Tired of Putting Things on Hold’
Nichelle, a resident of Charlotte, N.C., didn’t grow up doing pageants. But a friend who had been Mrs. Georgia a few years before told her that it had been a wonderful experience and that she thought it would be a great fit for Nichelle.
Based on her friend’s recommendation, Nichelle began learning more about the pageant organization. She liked what she discovered, and she thought it would be a way to empower other women. But there was something holding her back.
“It was in the midst of a rough time,” she says, referring to her experiences with infertility. Each year she thought about entering, she figured the timing just wouldn’t work — that she would either be pregnant or going through fertility treatments.
But then she had a realization.
“Whatever happens, I’m just going to do it,” she remembers thinking. “I’m just going to see what happens. I was tired of putting too many things on hold.”
That turned out to be a momentous decision. On November 11, 2017, Nichelle was crowned Mrs. North Carolina.
‘A Bigger Voice’
The title opened some exciting opportunities for Nichelle. First, she had a new platform a new sense of urgency for spreading her message of infertility awareness (see my earlier article about Nichelle for more on her work). “It gave me a broader audience and a bigger voice,” she says. Her new crown helped get people interested in her cause.
Her passionate advocacy also challenged some familiar stereotypes about pageants. “Unfortunately, the misconception is that it is just about looks and beauty. And it’s empty, and the women don’t have a cause,” she says. Seeing that Nichelle had a vital message helped others better understand pageants.
And then there was competing for the Mrs. America title in Las Vegas. “I met some of the brightest women in the country,” she says. “Everyone had a purpose and so much depth.”
Both pageants she participated in “celebrated all types of women and what we bring to society.”
“We were able to do so much,” she adds. “As a collective, a lot of times you can accomplish more than just one person.”
Nichelle says her pageant experiences also changed her life by helping her develop greater confidence and discipline. One of her biggest takeaways is that you can’t wait for the right time or the perfect situation to go after your goals. “Don’t be afraid to try something new,” she says.
Who out there needed to hear those words today? I hope that you’ll take them to heart and start pursuing your big dreams the way that Nichelle did!
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