As a little girl, I avoided any type of competition.  I’d taken ballet for years, but when it came time to audition for the company dance team, I was too afraid. I would have loved to be on our school’s drill team, but my fear of failure overcame me---I didn’t even try to audition.  In high school, I auditioned a few times for choirs and solos, but I never put my whole heart into the audition—I didn’t practice or prepare for it because then I would give me an excuse if I didn’t make it.  In college, I vacillated between picking a major, but only the majors that required no application or acceptance into the program.  Fear of failure was a constant theme for me.

            As an adult and mother, I was able to work with some incredible life coaches and therapists.  I recognized that I had been letting my fear hold me back from who I wanted to become. I devoted my time to improving my mental health, and as I did, my self-confidence increased.  I started to believe that I could do anything I set my mind to if I worked hard and never gave up.  And in fact, I learned to believe that anyone could do anything they set their mind on long as they didn’t give up.

I came to a breaking point where I decided that I was not going to let fear hold me back from doing something I wanted.  And so I applied to grad school to become a marriage family therapist like I’d always wanted to become---I interviewed, and I got accepted.  That experience gave me a small foundation to build on.  A couple of months later, I became certified as a High Fitness instructor.  This certification included an “audition” at the end where I had to show that I had the necessary skills and techniques to be an instructor.  I began teaching my High Fitness class, and at first I hardly had anyone show up.  For a few weeks, no one even showed up to my class and my manager decided to cancel my class.  But I wasn’t going to let that hold me back from doing what I loved.  I kept practicing and preparing myself until a new class became available to teach.  And that leads me to where I am currently: competing in the Mrs. Texas pageant against 50+ incredible women.  I will be judged based off of an interview, a swimsuit competition, and an evening gown.  This is something that is equally scary and thrilling for me.  I am deeply passionate about using this opportunity to create a platform and spread awareness for postpartum depression.  I am willing to risk “failure” in the competition because I’ve learned that “failure” isn’t really “failure.”  When we hold ourselves back from trying because we are afraid of losing, we are failing ahead of time---missing out on opportunities to learn, grow, and become resilient----and that is the real failure.

More About Sara

Sara Walker is currently running in the Mrs. Texas pageant. As part of her platform, she empowers women who suffer from postpartum depression to seek help from their community: their physicians, therapists, family, and friends. Sara teaches Barre and High Fitness, and she is a graduate student studying to become a Marriage Family Therapist. She serves as the community service officer in the Temple Medical Education Alliance and she was recently chosen to be the President-elect of the Texas Student Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.
Sara has two beautiful children and a loving, supportive husband.