A lot of people would like to improve their self-confidence, and there are many mind power techniques to make the process easier and more effective. Unfortunately, most people try to "force" their minds to consciously think of themselves in a more confident way. A good example of this is the use of affirmations. Affirmations certainly have their use, and can be a good technique to gain confidence; the problem is that it takes a long time to see good results in using this method.
But mind power techniques can bypass the conscious mind, and help develop a more self-confident mindset from the deeper subconscious level -- where it counts the most. Think about it: just telling yourself that you're confident and successful doesn't really have a great impact on your core personality. The reason is because confidence and self-respect come from a deeper part of the mind -- your subconscious. In order to "breakthrough" your limiting thoughts, you will need to appeal directly to your subconscious mind and those deep internal beliefs that you may not be aware of. This is where it using mind power techniques has a clear advantage.
A few examples of techniques that affect the subconscious mind would include the use of subliminal suggestion, hypnosis, self hypnosis, using "leading question" affirmations, visualization and "reframing" techniques. All of these bypass the conscious mind, and directly affect the subconscious to change your deepest held beliefs and attitudes.
Study after study has shown that hypnosis, for example, can affect a change in people's behavior, without them really even understanding why. This is because they are being affected on the deeper subconscious level. This is a prime example of how using mind power techniques can change behaviors and potentially improve our quality of life.
One recent double-blind study at an Israeli university (Hassin, 2007) displayed subliminal images of either the Israeli or Palestine flag to volunteers. The results of the study were fascinating to say the least. Individuals who were shown subliminal images of the flags actually modified their political views (and even their voting behaviors in the upcoming Israeli election) based on which flag they had been shown.
Is also interesting to note that none of the individuals who took part in the study were aware that they had been exposed to a subliminal image of a flag, and in post-study questionnaires, they believed that they had not altered their political beliefs at all, even though a preliminary questionnaire given before the study proved otherwise.
Many other studies have shown similar results, suggesting that mind power techniques such as subliminal suggestion are not only registered by the mind, but have an effect on our behavior.
The same kinds of techniques can be used in a positive way, to improve self-confidence, overcome phobias, and even lessen the effects of depression. Ever since the early days of hypnosis, it has been observed that individuals can be manipulated to think and behave in different ways based on the power of suggestion. These days, there are a wide variety of mind power techniques available, to address a wide variety of self-help issues.
A few of the most common uses for mind power techniques are to lose weight, to increase confidence, to attract the opposite sex, to stop smoking, drinking, gambling or other addictive activities, and even to attract greater success and wealth.
Unfortunately, most of these techniques have not been studied in great detail, so more research is needed before scientists can understand the most efficient way of affecting positive change. Even so, many people swear by mind power techniques such as visualization, using subliminal CDs or software or self hypnosis. And even if it is only a "placebo effect" that is causing the changes in behavior, at the end of the day, it really doesn't matter. Anything that produces a positive effect on individual's life -- like increasing confidence -- is certainly valuable and worthy of our attention.