Imagine that your name has been called to a stage.
You are competing against other competitors to be selected as the new face for an ambassadorship. It is now the public speaking section of the competition.
The stage is set in front of your family members, friends, supporters and other competitors families. You walk up three stairs and turn to your right, where a lone microphone sits in the middle of the stage platform and bright, white lights are shone into your eyes to illuminate your presence to the audience.
This is just one part of the experience for most ambassador competitors.
But let me explain it in depth.
As you walk up the stairs, your heart pounds in both excitement and terror as you play worst-case scenarios in your head.
You remember that in a few moments you will be asked a question and your response will be ranked by a panel of judges, just as all of your categories have been.
“Can I do it? What if I say something stupid? What if I don’t answer the question? What if I don’t know the answer?” Are each questions that swirl in your mind because your mind is working a mile a minute in panic.
As you walk to the microphone, you try your hardest not to look into the crowd because you were advised not to as noticing faces in a crowd might distract you. You straighten your posture and swallow as you remember to breathe while your walk to the microphone goes on forever. Your palms begin to sweat as you realize that you are under the scrutiny of not only the judges, but an entire audience.
You almost forget why you did this to yourself in the first place.
But, the moment that you question yourself as to why you’re there is the make it or break it point.
If you can remember your purpose and your goal, you will be successful. But if you can’t remember your purpose or goal, you will lose yourself to yourself. That is precisely why the saying “you’re only competing with yourself” is a saying.
And it is very easy to sit in a chair and watch someone else on stage, and it is even easier to pass a judgement from the same position. Which is why more often than not, we are hard on those that represent us because we may not be aware of what their title holds, or just how difficult their duties are.
Standing in front of an audience while knowing that every single ear is judging you, is the most daunting experience that any public speaker, or ambassadorship competitor can go through.
That is why it is incredibly beneficial for ambassadors to have a strong sense of support.
Six Nations has welcomed five new faces to the facets of our ambassador program, and each have undergone the trials of becoming the new title holders. They are more than deserving of the crowns that they will wear for an entire year.
I hope that they receive encouragement and support, as they will represent this community on the front lines as Six Nations youth and undergo scrutiny that some do not have the courage to face.