Actress and former MTV VJ Susie Castillo has been making the rounds on the motivational speaker circuit since being crowned Miss USA in 2003. "I gave a lot of talks about achieving goals, which helped me realize just how important inner strength is," says Susie, 28, author of the new book Confidence Is Queen: The Four Keys to Ultimate Beauty Through Positive Thinking. She shares her top three tips for achieving self-esteem.

  • Keep your eyes on the prize "If I start to feel insecure when I'm trying to achieve a new goal, I remember the things I've accomplished that once seemed unattainable. It helps me realize that I'm a fighter. If I did it once, I can do it again-and I will."
  • Take risks "Often, people avoid dreaming big because they're afraid to fail. But failure's nothing to be scared of-in fact, it teaches you what not to do and what to do the next time. The experience of losing Miss Teen USA prepared me to win Miss USA. The most important thing is that you always try your best."
  • Start the day right "I never, ever skip breakfast. It helps me stay alert and focused, and it gives me energy. I start with a delicious juice called green lemonade. It takes just fi ve minutes and keeps me on top of my game."