Confidence is Queen
The Four Keys to Ultimate Beauty Through Positive Thinking
Former Miss USA and MTV VJ Susie Castillo shares her ultimate beauty secret.
MTV personality, Neutrogena spokesperson, and former Miss USA Susie Castillo knows firsthand what it takes to get the most out of life: confidence. She learned this through her greatest victories, as well as through her greatest challenges. After her father left the family when she was only six years old, Susie could have succumbed to feeling discouraged and insecure. But her resilient mother taught her the power of positive thinking, which gave Susie confidence, earning her a crown and a dream come true.
Today, that positive thinking has become a way of life for Susie. In this inspirational book, she reveals the four keys to building self confidence and how to apply them to one's life. By developing spirituality, embracing relationships, taking control of health and body image, and making dreams a reality, readers will be unleashing their own ultimate beauty in no time.
We all have times when it seems like nothing's going our way—when it seems like everything we want is out of reach. Ever have those days when you'd rather stay in bed buried under your covers rather than face the world?
Me, too. Believe me—I've been there.
If you had asked me when I was a kid if I ever thought I'd be a beauty queen, I would have said, “No Way!” In my wildest dreams I never thought I'd enter—and then win!—a beauty pageant. Of course, like most little girls, I watched them on TV, but they seemed more like game shows to me—something to watch, but not actually do.
But I did do it. In 2003 I won the title of Miss USA. And even though I wasn't the most traditionally beautiful contestant, I think what made me stand out—and ultimately win—was my confidence. What made me change my mind about pageants? I realized that it was a great way to bring me closer to my goal of working in the entertainment industry. I always believed a girl like me could win one of those pageants. When I say “a girl like me,” I don't mean I thought I was unattractive. I never felt I was inferior to the other girls in any way. But I knew I was very different from the typical beauty pageant girl. In those days, most girls who won pageants were ultrafeminine Caucasian girlie girls with straight hair, who came from rich families and were really into makeup and clothes.
I am so not any of those things. I'm more of a jock than a girlie girl. My hair is supercurly. I ran track and played volleyball. My family was far from wealthy. And I'm Latina. On top of that, I had no idea how to pick out the right jewelry, put on makeup, or style my hair for a pageant. My usual morning routine involved tying my hair back into a ponytail and throwing on a pair of sweatpants before running out the door for school (hoping to make it to first period on time)!
Winning Miss USA confirmed what I had come to believe long before that point in my life: even though society may value a certain standard of beauty (like those blond-haired, blue-eyed, superthin model types you see on TV and in magazines), that doesn't mean it's the only standard of beauty. Being beautiful and discovering true beauty comes from the inside out. It's about you discovering what's beautiful about you, knowing the right tools to enhance your beauty, and then emanating it.
But soon I realized that becoming a model and winning Miss USA took a whole lot more than what I mentioned during the hour-long speeches I was giving. I began to think about what I really wanted to say to these kids and considered how I could go about saying it. I realized the message I had to impart was about how I became a beautiful and successful woman through the power of positive thinking. I looked back over my life and discovered that I had created a prescriptive plan for myself that consisted of four specific parts: cultivating my spirituality, creating healthy relationships, taking charge of my image, and turning my dreams into reality. In fact, at first I didn't even realize I'd been following a set of guidelines, but now I recognize that I've been following them practically my whole life.
I think these guidelines came about through a combination of my mother's strong principles, which she instilled daily in my sisters and me, and my own internal desire to succeed. Looking back over my life, I began to analyze events in my life and characteristics of my personality. I had always done my best to be a good person and treat people with the respect we all deserve. That resulted in a deep caring for others and a true love for myself. I've always had great support from my family and always returned that love. I enjoyed fashion and tried to look my absolute best, even if I was wearing sweatpants! I've also been writing my goals down and posting them on my wall since I was fourteen years old. But like I said, it wasn't until I became Miss USA that I was able to look within myself and recognize that all those years something extraordinary had been guiding me. That's when I decided to write this book and tell my story, which is one of hope, inspiration, and truth.
I decided to call these guidelines “keys” because that's how I see them—as keys that can unlock your true strength and lead you on a path of self-discovery, empowerment, success, beauty, and ultimately, confidence. These keys are what helped me go from being a girl from Methuen, Massachusetts, to becoming Miss USA, an actor, a radio host, an MTV VJ, a spokesperson for Neutrogena, and now a published author. They are my rules to live by and I want to share them with you. I hope they will inspire you to stay true to yourself and find success in what ever it is you choose to pursue.
These four keys helped me develop what I call “true beauty.” True beauty isn't about how you look—it's about so much more than that. True beauty starts from the inside. It's the part of you that is loving, giving, positive, and contented.
You've probably seen people with true beauty—they exude radiance, like the sun, and shine with self-esteem and a positive attitude. They also have the ability to make those around them feel good about themselves with an ease that seems to come naturally. Overall, what they possess is confidence. Confidence is what equals true beauty. It may seem like these self-possessed beauties were born with that attitude, but I can tell you they probably weren't. Having a strong sense of confidence takes practice—plus, most important, you need the right tools. And that's what I want to pass on to you: the tools that shaped who I am today.
Throughout my life, the four keys have helped me transform from a young girl unsure about her place in the world, wondering whether or not she fit in, to a woman who knows exactly who she is, what she wants, and that she has the power within her to do anything. I've found that, while this transformation to true beauty was my end goal, I couldn't be in this place without taking the small steps that led me here. You've heard that saying about how it's the journey that really matters? I think that's true. The path I took to become Miss USA was just as rewarding as the night I got crowned. Following these keys will send you on your own journey of self-discovery—one on which you'll discover who you really are and how much power you have within you to achieve what's important to you. I'm certain that if you follow these four keys, you'll find—just like I did—your own confidence, your own “true beauty.”
Whether or not you want to be a beauty queen, what ever your hopes, dreams, and aspirations are, I believe these keys can guide you toward finding your own beauty. They can help you achieve any goal you set out to accomplish—from getting into a great college, to becoming a successful CEO, to being a good friend, wife, and mother. You can use these keys to help you create a personal belief system, to become more positive, to give back, to tighten family bonds, to make (and keep!) friends, to get healthy (inside and out), to make your dreams come true—to become a content, confident, truly beautiful you.
And once you've attained that, you can really do anything you put your mind to. Somehow when we're confident and positive, all kinds of possibilities and opportunities present themselves to us. It's like the law of attraction: depending on how we present ourselves to the world, we can attract positive or negative things to our lives.
You know bling, designer clothes, a fancy car—none of those things shows off the inner you, which is the most beautiful part of you. Believe me, I've met some of the world's most famous celebrities, who have all the right clothes and may appear to be beautiful on the outside, but deep down, some of them are the ugliest people I've ever been around. By knowing who you are and believing that you can achieve your goals—despite your family situation, how you look, where you live, and what people say—you can show your beauty to the world.
This book will guide you through the four keys and show you step by step how to employ them in your own life. Within each section I reveal the tips and tools that helped me master each key. I also share with you my personal experiences and tell you exactly how I implemented those tools in particular situations to become a more confident, in-control, and beautiful person, so you can see firsthand how and why the keys work. I've also included some exercises and recipes that will make using the keys in your everyday life, not only simple, but fun, too.
The keys are organized in such a way that you will be able to start practicing them right away. Once you start to follow them, I'm sure you'll see a big difference in yourself almost immediately. Each key builds upon the next one, so be sure to start with the first section, in which I show how to develop your spirituality. After you've learned how to feed your soul, you'll move onto the next key where you'll find out how to nurture the relationships with the important people in your life, whether it's your family or your friends. Next, I tell you about the beauty secrets that helped me win Miss USA, led to my being named one of the most beautiful by People en EspaÒol, and keep me looking my best each and every day. Finally, I reveal how you can turn your dreams into tangible, actual real-life accomplishments, just like I did.
If you follow these keys, I guarantee you will transform your life and become the beautiful, confident and successful person you've always dreamed of being. Use this book like a guide to your new self, and refer to it whenever you need encouragement, a pick-me-up, or advice from your long-lost sister—me! Remember that I'm here for you as you begin the journey into your new way of living, thinking and relating to the world and to yourself.
I'm writing this book because I want to share with you what worked for me. I know if the four keys could transform me, they can transform you, too. Here's why the four keys work: because they're all about you. Based on your life, your experience, what you need and what you want. I know they work because I followed them to help me become Miss USA, and I follow them to this day as my career continues to unfold.
Let's get started so you can start following them, too!
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