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Advice on Building Self-Confidence From Miss USA Contestants
06 May 2017

Advice on Building Self-Confidence From Miss USA Contestants

Miss USA 2017

It takes a tremendous amount of confidence to walk across the Miss USA stage. So, ahead of the 2017 MISS USA® Competition live on FOX Sunday, May 14th at 8pm ET, we asked this year’s Miss USA contestants about how they work to build self-confidence.

Many revealed that they've struggled with self-confidence in the past, and still struggle with being completely self-confident all the time. (Don't we all?) From setting goals to positive self-talk, here's some amazing advice from this year's Miss USA contestants on being the most confident version of yourself.

Miss Alabama USA Baylee Smith: “Building self-confidence, at my age, can be a challenge, but being completely sure of your thoughts, beliefs, and goals surely helps!”

Miss Alaska USA Alyssa London: “By learning new things and pushing myself out of my comfort zone and realizing that everything is a growing process. By having a growth mindset and working toward goals incrementally, I am able to grow my confidence by gaining new skills over time.”

Miss Arizona USA Tommy Lynn Calhoun: “I started to understand how important self-confidence was as a teenager when I started doing things that I was told I would never be able to do. I personally built confidence by accepting my peers’ negative perceptions of me as a challenge to grow; to get out of my comfort zone, and to never settle with the imaginary limitations and barriers set on me by others.”

Miss Arkansas USA Arynn Johnson: “Honestly, I look at my imperfections and I learn to love them. I stand in the mirror at least once a day and point out all of the things I notice that I do not like. Then I stand there until I mentally learn to love them Confidence is about seeing what you have and knowing it everything you need.”

Miss California USA India Williams: “I have built self-confidence by learning to embrace the qualities I already possess.”

Miss Colorado USA Sabrina Janssen: “Self-confidence truly comes from one's self. I recognize that there will always be someone that is better than me at something, but rather than letting that bring me down, I choose to learn from them. I choose to grow and I choose to congratulate others on their successes.”

Miss Connecticut USA Olga Litvinenko: “I build self-confidence by regularly setting goals, staying in a constant state of learning no matter what happens and persevering through all types of experiences.”

Miss Delaware USA Mia Jones: “Self-Confidence was always hard for me. Over the years I have found confidence through my art (dance, painting, music etc.). Therefore, positive experiences and interactions make an individual more confident.”

Miss District of Columbia USA Kára McCullough: “I've discovered I build self-confidence while encouraging other people. Being a basketball coach for teenage girls, I always have energy and boost their confidence during practices and games, because if my girls believe there is even one ounce of doubt in me, then it will transfer to them. Therefore, I build self-confidence in others and myself when I know I’m being relied on.”

Miss Florida USA Linette De Los Santos: “Building self-confidence comes from the little day-to-day activities we do. From waking up every morning and telling yourself you look great and you're going to have a great day to surrounding yourself with individuals who will uplift you every day. Building self-confidence is about knowing exactly who you are and staying true to yourself with whatever you do. But most importantly knowing that being YOU is more than enough."

Miss Georgia USA DeAnna Johnson: “I believe self-confidence is another word for self-love, and before you can love yourself, you must first know yourself. Discovering your purpose and your passions are vital in building self-confidence. From that foundation, I believe the opinions of others can no longer pollute how you view yourself and ultimately your worth.”

Miss Hawaii USA Julie Kuo: “Confidence is not something that came easily to me. However, as I was competing for Miss Hawaii USA, I learned that I have a very special story to tell and that I am here to represent every young immigrant who has a dream! Understanding my purpose, my goals, and what I represent helped me to build my confidence.”

Miss Idaho USA Cassie Lewis: “I surround myself with other people who are fearlessly pursuing their dreams. Their ambition, positivity, and encouragement inspire me to dream bigger and work harder!”

Miss Illinois USA Whitney Wandland: “I build self-confidence by working on my craft. It makes me who I am and it makes me unique. I know that when I embrace myself fully and show my heart and my imperfections to people, there is no one else like me. That in itself makes me confident.”

Miss Indiana USA Brittany Winchester: “My favorite way to build self-confidence is to get out of my comfort zone. By being willing to take risks and go the extra mile to achieve something scary will ultimately help me grow as a person and help instill a new sense of self-worth and self-confidence!”

Miss Iowa USA Kelsey Weier: “Self-confidence has been something I have struggled with since I was little. Growing up as a twin, Kayla and I were constantly being compared to each other. As a young girl this was a difficult battle that I had to learn to overcome. As I grew older I realized that no matter how different my sister and I were people were always going to compare us. As I got older I started to look at what made me special and different from her, instead of looking at what she was better at then me. Confidence is a hard thing to develop. For me It has taken many years and a lot of self reflecting to get to where I am today. When I start to compare myself to others I quickly remind myself of the positives in my life, and what makes me special. Do I have a lot of room to grow? Yes! But I'm proud of the strides I have taken to get to where I am today.”

Miss Kansas USA Catherine Carmichael: “I try to build self-confidence in myself and those around me by reminding myself and others of all the reasons were beautiful that don't have to do with our appearance. In todays society it is so easy to get caught up in the images we see that are enhanced, and photoshopped, and can never actually be achieved in real life. Beauty comes from within, and its our job to teach that by the way we live our lives each day!!"

Miss Kentucky USA Madelynne Myers: “Through self-reflection. My value isn't based on what others think, but what I think when I see my reflection in the mirror."

Miss Louisiana USA Bethany Trahan: “Self-confidence is something I lacked at a young age. Instead of finding things about myself that I dislike, I try to find a quality about myself that I love every single day. I have noticed that the more I love myself for who I am, the happier, and more confident I feel.”

Miss Maine USA Brooke Harris: “You must take control of your own self-confidence. Work towards being at peace with who you are and what you want from life and move towards that goal every day! If you live life always pushing yourself to be your best self, your pride in yourself and your personal growth will shine through!”

Miss Maryland USA Adrianna David: “As the daughter of a motivational speaker, Adrianna was taught to always visualize greatness and to never see failure as ‘failure.’ She lives by the statement: sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.”

Miss Massachusetts USA Julia Scaparotti: “I am honest with myself and I recognize my flaws. When one can accept and embrace their imperfections that is when you can truly shine and exude confidence.”

Miss Michigan USA Krista Ferguson: “I find that doing activities I love helps me build self-confidence. For example, I love to box. Boxing not only builds my strength physically but mentally. I gain self-confidence each time I become quicker, stronger, and faster.”

Miss Minnesota USA Meridith Gould: “In myself, it involves a daily workout for my mind, body, and spirit. As a student in the design school, we learn that the triangle is the strongest shape known to man because each element has the ability to rely two others for its own support. Similarly, I am a firm believer that when I exercise each component of my being (body, mind, and spirit), my self confidence cannot be shaken by the words nor the actions of those who seek to pull me down.”

Miss Mississippi USA Ashley Hamby: “I believe self-confidence is built by putting in the work. During middle school, I was bullied for being skinny to the point of cruelty and it robbed me of my self-esteem. I made a conscious choice to not focus on the negative, but to focus on being the best student, person and gymnast I could be! During this time of hard work and self-discovery, my confidence grew. I would not be the self-confident and passionate young woman I am today without what has literally been a lifetime of work.”

Miss Missouri USA Bayleigh Dayton: “Building self-confidence is something I work hard at everyday. There is a lot of positive self-talk. I have to constantly remind myself of my accomplishments, my worth and my value on this earth. If you continue to fed the soil of your soul good food, it has no choice but to produce good fruit.”

Miss Montana USA Brooke Bezanson: “I believe that in order to build self-confidence, you have to step outside your comfort zone, take risks, and face your fears.”

Miss Nebraska USA Jasmine Fuelberth: “For me, it doesn't come from accomplishments. It doesn't come from having the nicest things, the coolest friends, or the most amazing life. Self-confidence comes from knowing that you are valuable. It comes from knowing that you are special, loved, and worth more than you could ever know. When you have those beliefs as your foundation, then you are able to go out into the world with self-confidence to do anything! Self-confidence doesn't come from other people praising you. It comes from knowing who you are and that you have power and influence to change the world.”

Miss Nevada USA Lauren York: “I believe being confidently beautiful is embodying your own individual worth and value, and seeing beyond societal ideals. For me, strength and self-confidence are inseparable. I exercise every day and find that as I build my physical strength, I also build mental, emotional, and spiritual strength.”

Miss New Hampshire USA Sarah Mousseau: “For me, self-confidence is built through daily self-reflection, positive self-talk, and approval from within. In the past when my confidence has been tested and I have experienced self-doubt, I have turned to journaling, list making, songwriting, and reading inspirational books to regain the confidence that is deep within.”

Miss New Jersey USA Chhavi Verg: “I build self-confidence through Kaizen, or continuous improvement. I believe it is so important to keep learning new things and aim to become a better version of myself each day. I feel confident when I expand my mind, perspective, and abilities in some way. For that reason, I love educational books, reading inspirational quotes and stories, and trying new things! In fact, I made it my goal to try something I have never done before at least once a week.”

Miss New Mexico USA Ashley Mora: “I believe taking the time to express gratitude every day builds self-confidence because you start focusing on what you do have rather than what you don't. Speaking from personal experience and growth, self-confidence is being happy and comfortable in the skin you're in and that all starts with being grateful for what you have.”

Miss New York USA Hannah Lopa: “Building self-confidence after escaping her abusive relationship was a pivotal time in Hannah's life. She was not ashamed to seek professional help and guidance to gain a new sense of self-worth and esteem.”

Miss North Carolina USA Katie Coble: “I build self-confidence through my perseverance in chasing my dreams no matter the obstacles that lie in my path. This was evident in my pursuit of the title of Miss NC USA, as it took me 5 tries to eventually win the crown, as well as in my long journey toward being signed by one of the top international modeling agencies. Not giving up on my dreams until they are achieved gives me the self confidence that I can become anything I set my goals on.”

Miss North Dakota USA Raquel Wellentin: “Practicing and working on my weaknesses, while enhancing my strengths mentally, emotionally, and physically. To do this, I stay active by participating in a variety of activities and only worrying about what I can control.”

Miss Ohio USA Dinaleigh Baxter: “Reading empowering books. Achieving hard goals.”

Miss Oklahoma USA Alex Smith: “Self-confidence can be the difference between success and failure. Alex developed a platform for building inner confidence because there were times in her youth in which she lacked certainty. During those times, she found that embracing music helped her to face her personal issues. Through music, she then found inner confidence. This led Alex to discover her natural musical talents as she learned to play several musical instruments and write original songs. She believes everyone has a unique trait which can be built upon to develop self - confidence. Alex also journals, she thinks it’s important to write down and embrace achievements and failures because self-awareness is a method that can lead to self-love."

Miss Oregon USA Liz Denny: “I build my self-confidence by fiercely pushing myself to set and achieve goals outside of my comfort zone.” Miss Pennsylvania USA Cassandra Angst: “In my opinion, to be confident in yourself you need to have high self-esteem! You learn to be proud of all you've achieved and what you will achieve in the future without comparing where you are in life to where others may be. Find your strengths and how they can benefit the world around you and that will make you have importance in society.”

Miss Rhode Island USA Kelsey Swanson: “The body achieves what the mind believes! Wake up every morning, look in the mirror and tell yourself one thing you love about yourself. Get to know yourself, accept your flaws and embrace them! It's important to overcome self-doubt, think positive and work towards self-efficacy!”

Miss South Carolina USA Megan Gordon: “The best way I build self-confidence is to speak positive affirmations over myself daily. When I'm not having a great day or not feeling my best, I speak of positive things to come rather than affirming my current situation or emotion towards myself. On days where my confidence levels are low I get up, force myself out of bed, do my best makeup, put on my cutest dress and choose to have a great day. Those moments have instilled in me so much self-confidence!”

Miss South Dakota USA Tessa Dee: “I build self-confidence through failure. By trying, failing, and trying again, not only am I learning and getting closer to my goal, but also, I am becoming more confident in the pursuit.”

Miss Tennessee USA Allee-Sutton Hethcoat: “Allee-Sutton builds self-confidence by setting and meeting goals, loving those around her and allowing herself to be loved in return.”

Miss Texas USA Nancy Gonzalez: “When I feel doubtful about myself, I immediately take action by doing whatever it takes to rebuild my self-confidence. For instance, if I am feeling self-conscious about my body, I analyze where I could improve and target that area during my workouts. On days where I am feeling bland, I spice up my look by adding color to my make-up and wearing a dress that makes me feel fabulous. Knowing how to build my own self-confidence enables me to help others build theirs by providing words of affirmation, sharing my beauty secrets, and reminding women that they aren’t cookie cutters; they should embrace their individuality and not compare themselves to others.”

Miss Utah USA Baylee Jensen: “I think it is safe to say for any girl, building rather than tearing down self-confidence is an ongoing battle. It has been a struggle for me. I have learned that I build self-confidence by celebrating the small successes. Rather than focusing on the big goal, I try to enjoy the process and appreciate the uphill climb. I do things that make me feel good whether it be getting ready for the day, going to the gym, serving when I can, spending time with loved ones or taking the time to recognize my strengths.”

Miss Vermont USA Madison Trimbey Cota: “I build my self-confidence every time I finish a workout. It reminds me that success is never an easy process, but accomplishment is still felt during the struggle.”

Miss Virginia USA Jaqueline Carroll: “I allow myself to be vulnerable and know, though I may not be perfect, accepting my flaws is the first step to embracing and loving them for making me different. I am an individual with quirks specific only to me.”

Miss Washington USA Alex Carlson-Helo: “In middle school I was severely bullied and worried for my life. The harassment was so serious that we had to involve the court system and police for safety reasons. Believe it or not this very difficult time helped me develop an inner confidence and calm that resonated through high school and adulthood. Through my own personal development I learned that we can't always control our circumstances but we can control our attitude and reaction to them.”

Miss West Virginia USA Lauren Roush: “When faced with an opportunity or challenge that I know may be difficult, but will make me a better person, I never back down. I am constantly pushing myself outside of my comfort zone, and this has served as my strength for building self-confidence. I consider myself resilient, tough, and determined. I have persisted despite rejection and defeat. As the Japanese proverb states, ‘fall down seven times, stand up eight.’”

Miss Wisconsin USA Skylar Witte: “The way that I build my own self-confidence, and the tip I share with the middle school students I speak to, is to set small goals every day. It's important to have a "bigger picture" in mind, but every day you should be working to accomplish something toward that goal. You should celebrate each accomplishment, no matter how small. For me if that means spending an extra 15 minutes on the treadmill, or getting through all of my textbook readings, I'm always looking to make the most out of every day.”

Miss Wyoming 2016 Mikaela Show: “I build self-confidence through experiencing new obstacles and challenges. This for me comes in the form of traveling. After living in another country I became very independent, this allowed me to become more confident in myself because I had too. There is something about being completely out of your comfort zone that empowers you to become more confident. I also think it's important to build self-confidence in others as well. I think you can do this with a simple smile or compliment, and acknowledging other people's accomplishments too.”