Prophet Muhammad (saw) taught us that modesty and faith are twins. Likewise, being humble is a virtuous act as we believe that all the good that we have and the good that we do comes – not from ourselves – but from Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’aala.
So is it advisable to consider ourselves as special? Won’t it lead to arrogance and show?
Remember Anisah from Part 4? Would we fall into that trap if we believed in our own uniqueness and special qualities?
There is no conflict between accepting our special status in the universe and in maintaining humility. Rather, it is a misunderstanding that we must relinquish ourselves of any significance to the extent that we allow society and life to batter our souls.
True – we are an insignificant speck, but we are also a soul created to worship Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’aala. A true believer does not humiliate himself on the pretext of maintaining humility.
In the context of redha (contentment) it becomes important to realize that we won’t always have everything that’s out there, but we still have something worthwhile within that is worth celebrating with gratitude. Alhamdulillah.
Fear that we are not good enough is an enemy to redha. We envelope ourselves with judgments – my teeth are crooked, my feet are too big, I’m too fat, etc. We inflict self-hate and chart our path straight into discontentment, insecurity, and depression.
Similarly, self-trust is also essential for developing redha. For example, we don’t lose trust in our abilities each time we fail. We dust ourselves off and continue with confidence instead. If you find it hard to maintain a habit, you don’t lose faith in your ability to persevere. You just try a different approach or try harder.
If we were to engage in extreme self-reproach, we are only setting ourselves up for future failure. We program our minds to believe we can never do such and such and, guess what – we can’t! And when we fail we say, “Ah I knew it all along. Next time I’m not even going to try.”
How to Love and Trust Yourself
- Sift through your hopes and expectations. Keep the ones that matter and toss out those that are going to lead to bad feelings and judgments. Always keep the bigger picture (i.e. our ultimate destination) in mind so that you don’t get swept by the current of trends and society’s expectations. Be true to yourself – what matters to you?
- Forgive yourself for messing up in the past. Learn and move on instead of conditioning your mind for more failure by obsessing over the past. Pat yourself on the back for getting up after those falls, even if you’re still limping. Everybody fails. There’s nothing calamitous about failure unless you let it bring you down.
- Remember that failure doesn’t define you. Failure is an event, not a personal characteristic. Just because you didn’t succeed once or even many times, it doesn’t mean you are destined to never succeed. It just means you need to try the same thing another way, ask for more instructions, or put in more practice.
- Build trust. This won’t happen overnight. What you need to do is give yourself small targets to attain over a long time period. Let there be no pressure. Each time you mark that tick next to your goal, you strengthen the trust that you have in yourself – whether you’re aware of it or not. Over time and as you continue to knock out these small targets you will have more confidence in your ability to make a difference.
- Have a consolation pack. By this I mean that you should know how to console yourself when things aren’t rosy. We all know that there are ups and downs in life and we need to prepare our consolation pack just like we prepare our first aid box. Learn about what helps you get through difficult times and then be prepared with it. Work on your iman, maintain morally upright friends, have good books at your disposal and, most important of all, stay in constant communication with Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’aala. If only we’d talk to Him as much we talk to ourselves inside our heads…
When you love and trust yourself, you feel comfortable in your own skin and you feel confident about fulfilling your purpose in life to the best of your ability. You neither give up nor do you lose hope. You find the freedom of contentment.
Fathima Nafla is an IT-professional-turned-online-Qur’an-tutor who left the corporate world after finding her passion in learning and teaching Qur’an. She also enjoys writing and maintains her blog at www.Believuh.com.