So I’ve been watching a lot of RuPaul’s Drag Race recently. I’ve seen all the episodes before but you know what it’s like when you just get hooked on watching something.
A part of me has felt guilty for not doing something more productive with my time, but a bigger part of me has just needed to chill out and watch some drag queens.
As I’ve been revisiting the older seasons of the show I’ve noticed a running theme in the queens who do the best and those who get eliminated from the competition.
Here are five things drag queens have taught me about achieving your goals, loving yourself and being successful…
1. Loving yourself is a daily practice.
A huge part of finding happiness, success, fulfilment and living into your full potential is learning to love yourself.
This is crucial because loving yourself starts with accepting yourself, and when you don’t accept yourself you end up trying to be what you think you’re supposed to be instead of who you truly are.
In this state you’re resisting being who you really are authentically because you fear that you’re not good enough. It just feels too vulnerable and scary to put yourself out there and risk failing or being judged. So instead you try and be the version of you that you think people want, which just leads to a lot of stress and anxiety.
Accepting and loving ourselves needs to be a daily practice because we’re humans and as such we have fear based survival instincts. Humans need love and acceptance for survival and on a very deep subconscious and primal level, failure can feel like a life or death situation.
Not to mention that the society we live in tends to be very judgemental and critical which just adds to our fear of not being accepted by those around us.
All of this adds up to the fear of vulnerability and the lack of confidence in loving and accepting who we are and being ourselves unapologetically.
So how do we learn to love and accept ourselves?
Try looking at everything you feel you don’t like about yourself and either try out just accepting it without linking it to your self worth (being a bit different, or having and “imperfect” body doesn’t make you a bad or undeserving person). Or challenge yourself to flip your perspective on it’s head and look for reasons why those things are positive and something to be celebrated. How can you take the power back and own that stuff about you with love?
Getting to the point where you can own it is the point where you let go of the need to fit into someone else's expectation of who or what you should be.
This stage is such a peaceful one, have you ever noticed how some people get really sensitive and defensive whenever they feel criticised, or like someone doesn’t agree with them?
Imagine if you felt you needed to be a certain way to fit in and then someone comes along and says “I don’t like the way you’re being.” Of course you’d feel defensive and insecure, you’re only being that way so that you will fit in!
Now imagine that you totally love and accept yourself for who you are, that you know you’re enough just as you are, with all your strengths and all your weaknesses. You’re owning it and believe that you deserve to be here. Then someone comes along and says “I don’t like the way you’re being.” Of course it’s never nice to hear that but depending on the situation, you’re likely to either listen to whether they have a point and be open to seeing if there’s some way for you to improve - WITHOUT IT MAKING YOU QUESTION YOUR WORTH OR FEEL LIKE A DICK HEAD, or you’d see it as their issue, not yours and you’d just move on.
2. Apply the energy and mindset you have about the stuff you’re great at to all other areas of your life.
It’s possible to transfer energy and confidence, there will be areas in your life where you naturally excel or feel confident. Channel that energy into the things you want to achieve.
This is such a powerful tool, especially when you’re stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something new.
There will always be times where we lack confidence or experience and we start to question ourselves and our ability to deliver. If that’s what we’re focussing on, that becomes what we produce, the insecurity and nerves show through.
When we can remember how it feels to do the things we’re able to do with our eyes shut and we own that part of who we are, we can trick our brains into feeling courage and confidence and out of the constant second guessing of ourselves.
It takes practice but it’s a great thing to remember because you’re far more likely to nail it and succeed if you’re telling yourself that you’ve got this and you’re feeling empowered, than if you’ve already convinced yourself that you’re probably going to fail.
3. Go with your gut and stop overthinking things.
One of the most common reasons why contestants on RuPaul’s Drag Race stumble is because they get too much into their own head about things.
They stop trusting themselves and start trying to do “the right thing”, the thing they think the judges want. Not only does this totally stress them out and confuse them but it also makes it really obvious to everybody else that they’re not being true to who they are.
Trusting your gut comes from believing in yourself, which comes from loving and accepting yourself and owning your skills and talents.
It’s like the problem of too many items on a menu. You could scan over it all, trust your judgement and choose the meal that looks good without overthinking it. Or you could spend ages overthinking and agonising over the risk of making the wrong decision.
4. The ability to adapt without losing your unique frequency.
The most successful people in the world (not just drag queens) are the people who are open and willing to adapt.
If you are stubborn and stuck in your ways, there’s no opportunity for growth. When you don’t grow you become stagnant, stale and bored.
Adapting and growing is not only an attractive quality to possess, it’s also a great way to keep cultivating happiness and fulfilment.
Adapting without losing your unique frequency means that you’re able to learn, grow and push yourself out of your comfort zone without completely changing who you are to fit someone else’s view of who or what you should be.
Remaining authentic whilst being able to adapt, grow and learn is a winning formula!
5. People love to see you having fun.
This is something that’s so clear to us when we’re observing other people. Whether you’re watching someone perform, give a talk of some kind or even when you’re just speaking to a friend. If that person is having fun their energy beams out of them and it’s a powerful and enjoyable thing to watch. If they’re not having fun though, it can feel awkward and uncomfortable.
People can really sense your energy, whether you’re trying to win a drag competition, get a promotion at work, make a new friend or find a romantic partner. If you’re having fun that energy is infectious and extremely attractive.
So there you have it, my five biggest takeaways from RuPauls Drag Race (my sixth biggest takeaway is that everything is better with glitter).
They’re powerful lessons individually, but when combined and practiced as a whole they will make you unstoppable!