The three practices below are easy ways to improve your confidence level. I use them myself and have shared them with great success with clients and students for years. They are effective, powerful tools for everyone, and will take you to the next level of personal transformation.

1. Pray. They say there are no atheists in foxholes, meaning when we're desperate we turn to a Higher Power just in case there is Something out there to answer our prayers. If you already have a spiritual life this will not be a stretch for you. But if you don't, keep an open mind to a different way to pray. Prayer is not supplication or bargaining. True prayer is recognizing the great qualities within us that are there whether we believe it or not. Begin with, "God [or Spirit, Higher Power, Universe, or whatever term works for you] help me recognize what I already am. Help me open to your Guidance and feel your Love pour through me. Give me the confidence to serve the highest good for all." God's qualities of Peace, Love, Joy, and Innocence, to name a few, are your birthright. The practice of prayer, even if we're skeptical, will release self-criticism, energize us and give us courage. Prayer improves our self-esteem and self-image; prayer helps us value ourselves more and see ourselves in a positive light. It is easier to feel confident when God is by our side.

2. Read Biographies. There are people who have accomplished the seemingly impossible in so many areas of life, that all we need to do is visit the nearest library, or search on the internet, and we can find inspirational stories of people similar to us, or worse off than us, who managed to do something we would like to do, or have a quality we would like to have. Biographies and autobiographies give us confidence that if this other person could do "it," so can I! As we read, we develop a relationship with the person we're admiring. It's helpful to photocopy a picture of that person, frame it, and put it somewhere you can see it like a loving family member or guardian angel. Often we don't have confidence because we come from critical families. All the more reason to cultivate our own "family." Imagine this person talking to you, encouraging you, understanding you.

3. Mirror Exercise. I saved the mirror exercise for last because some people can't even face themselves in the mirror, so I'm hoping you'll acquire that ability from the first two exercises. Look into the mirror and say "I love you" to yourself. Say your name, for example, "Amy, I love you." Breathe. Feelings will come up. If the feelings are positive (perhaps you feel tenderly toward yourself), allow that. If the feelings are negative, write them down. For instance, "I don't love you! You're fat, and you're stupid, and you disgust me!" Give these negative thoughts and feelings to God. Ask to see yourself through God's eyes. Persist with this exercise every day and allow the way you see yourself to change.

When you pray, read inspirational stories, and develop a loving relationship with yourself, your confidence builds despite the inner critic who tries to sabotage all of us. That is the voice of the ego, and the ego is chronically dissatisfied. As Oscar Wilde said, "Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken." We have to work with what we've got. Trust me, if you do these three confidence-building practices, you will discover you have more to be confident about than you realize.

© 2011 Amy Torres
All rights reserved worldwide

Author's Bio: 

Amy Torres is a Gestalt psychotherapist, yoga instructor, and teaches A Course in Miracles, which forms the foundation of her work. She has developed the Language of Love, Harmony & Beauty© which is a form of emotionally responsible communication, conflict negotiation, and a way of "undoing" our identification with the ego. Reverend Torres also serves as an interfaith minister and is affiliated with One Spirit Interfaith Seminary. For more information, visit