“Who is better in speech than the one who summons people unto God, and performed a good deed and says, ‘Truly I am of the believers.’”–The Holy Quran 41:33
As Muslims, the main source of our self-confidence comes from the fact that we are believers of Allah (SWT). In the Quranic verse above, Allah is saying that the people who are best in speech are those who encourage others to come closer to Him, who do good deeds, and who identify themselves as believers. If you are trying to fit this description, then you should be confident in yourself.
Self-confidence is not about being perfect, it is about knowing your strengths and positive qualities. The Muslim’s most positive quality is the fact that he/she is a Muslim.
One definition of self-confidence is “a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgment.” Once you realize that your main source of self-confidence is that you are a Muslim, then you can further develop your self-confidence by:
1. Becoming more aware of your abilities and qualities
2. Focusing on your strengths/successes
3. Guiding your life by the basic values of Islam rather than on the opinions of people
4. Viewing your “failures” as mere “stepping stones” to your success and personal growth
5. Taking actions towards accomplishing your goals
6. Working through and confronting your thoughts/beliefs that are undermining your self confidence
SELF CONFIDENCE REFLECTIONS: What are your current personal goals? What tiny, regular steps can you start taking today to achieve them?
Self-confidence is a quality that different people display in different ways. You must find your own way of displaying your self-confidence, but it begins with your genuine belief in your abilities and self-worth. Even though the quality of self-confidence looks different on different people, here are some generally accepted physical characteristics of self-confident people:
They make eye contact when appropriate
They speak up
They are not afraid to say “no”
They are calm and relaxed
They maintain good body posture
Another aspect of self-confidence is being aware of your limitations and/or areas for growth. No person is perfect and we do have limitations. Being aware of yourself and your limitations is a big part of self-confidence because it helps you to know what you may and may not contribute to a situation. Being aware of your areas for growth can help you to start improving yourself.
If you find that a situation is negatively impacting your self-confidence, remember to look for the positive aspects of that situation and use what you have to improve the situation.
SELF CONFIDENCE TIPS: Always look for the positives and then use the positives to improve the overall situation. Example: You are a teacher working with a difficult student. Look for positive aspects/resources. Perhaps the student’s parents are willing to do whatever they can to help. Perhaps the student likes certain subjects and behaves better when learning those subjects. Perhaps the student has a classmate who works well with the student. Use these resources! When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
Another important part of self confidence is to be yourself. Being yourself means that you are not trying to change who you are in order to gain the approval of others. Being yourself means that you understand who you really are. Understanding who you really are is a process and a journey, but it starts with self-honesty and the desire to understand the qualities that you can honestly say are yours. Once you understand and accept your qualities, you can develop them and become the best you possible.
As Muslims, the primary quality of who we are is: servants of Allah. We should all strive to put this quality first. As servants of Allah, we each have unique secondary characteristics, which is a beautiful sign of Allah’s artistry and creativity.
Many of us have good qualities. Sometimes we think we have bad qualities and that our bad qualities are who we are. In my opinion, we should try to study our bad qualities and find a way to flip them over to their good sides. We have many qualities that are actually good and bad. For example, some people are blunt and can hurt others’ feelings with their bluntness. However, being blunt may also mean that you are very honest. Honesty is a good thing. Why not appreciate the honesty in your bluntness while avoiding the hurt that comes from bluntness? Find a way to be honest and not rude.