How To Build Confidence And Self-Esteem

How To Build Confidence And Self-Esteem

No one ever said that being a Muslim woman is easy. In order to cope, knowing how to build confidence and self-esteem is crucial.

All throughout history, Muslim women have been subject to Islamophobia. Today, incidences of Islamophobia remain high, particularly in non-Muslim countries in the west. Displaying your Islam can be incredibly nerve-wracking in certain situations, particularly when hijab and niqab bans are put in place and Muslims are a talking point on almost every news outlet.

We’re the first generation of people to be connected to each other through our digital devices and social media accounts. Sometimes, it can get really overwhelming comparing ourselves to the fake and shiny images that people put up of themselves online. Which can be really detrimental to our mental, physical and spiritual well-being.

We’re constantly being bombarded with advertising which only serves to highlight our flaws in order to make us believe that we need to spend more money to fix them. Magazines, TV ads and influencers tell us that we need to buy certain makeup, skincare products and clothing in order to look beautiful. We’re constantly shown heavily Photoshopped images which we’re fooled into believing is reality.

On top of all this, it’s hard to build confidence and self-esteem when we dwell too much on our flaws. We all have them, but how do we deal with them as Muslim women?

Thankfully, solutions to these problems can be found in the Qur’an and ahadith. To find out how to build confidence and self-esteem as a Muslimah, then keep of reading.

Learn Your Strengths

Understand what your strengths and weaknesses are

There’s at least something that every single human being feels insecure about. It’s the human condition. It’s how Allah made us.

Our insecurities and our shortcomings differ from person to person. But don’t forget that so do our strengths.

A sure way to build confidence and self-esteem is to know what you’re good at and what you aren’t so good at.

To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge.

Confucius

To understand what your strengths and weaknesses are, make a list of them. A great way to do this is to print a personal SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) template from the Internet.

Pursue what you know you’re good at. Practice it until you become a specialist at it. Turn your strength into your hobby, or better yet, your career.

Become okay with admitting your faults. Accept them. Own them. Nothing kills your confidence like getting upset over them.

How powerful is it when you can accept that, “I’m really good at X and really not so good at Y. That’s who I am and I’m okay with that”?

Embrace Who You Are

If you want to be comfortable with who you are, don’t wish for what somebody else has. Except in two cases:

Narrated `Abdullah:
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Do not wish to be like anyone, except in two cases: (1) A man whom Allah has given wealth and he spends it righteously. (2) A man whom Allah has given wisdom (knowledge of the Qur’an and the Hadith) and he acts according to it and teaches it to others.”

Sahih al-Bukhari

From the above hadith, we know that we should look up to people who spend their money wisely. That could be people who use their wealth to perform Hajj or Umrah, or give it in charity.

We can also look up to people who are very knowledgeable about the deen. Maybe they inspire you to start learning more. They could inspire you to become a scholar or a teacher of Islam. Or maybe they just have a lot of knowledge to give to you that you can benefit from.

If you find yourself wishing to be like someone else for any other reason, ask Allah to bless them in it. Don’t let jealousy overcome you.

Say, “MashaAllah” or “BarakAllahu Feek” and mean it from your heart. Say, “Alhamdulillah”.

To be a mu’min is to be satisfied with whatever Allah has bestowed upon you and upon others.

Mahabba Is From Allah

Everyone is attractive in the eyes of whoever Allah decides them to be

Remember the story of Musa (alayhi salam) and Fir’awn?

And the wife of Pharaoh said, “[He will be] a comfort of the eye for me and for you. Do not kill him; perhaps he may benefit us, or we may adopt him as a son.” And they perceived not.
And the heart of Moses’ mother became empty [of all else]. She was about to disclose [the matter concerning] him had We not bound fast her heart that she would be of the believers.

Qur’an 28:9-10

Fir’awn was so adamant on killing any infant male that he came across, until Allah placed love in his heart for Musa.

Mahabba is from Allah. Everyone is attractive in the eyes of whoever Allah decides them to be. Allah can even make people fall in love with their worst enemy, if He wills.

You might be thinking that you’re unattractive to the object of your desire because of a particular flaw that you’re fixated on.

“Who’s going to marry me when I need to lose ten kilos?”

“Who’s going to think I’m pretty when I have acne?”

“Who’s going to hire me when I’m not good at spelling?”

But look at it this way. Just because a woman is voted “Sexiest Woman Alive” by a magazine, doesn’t mean that she can marry the man that she desires.

Plenty of women who have acne are perceived as being more pretty than a woman who doesn’t have acne.

Plenty of people with good spelling skills struggle to find a job while plenty of people with poor spelling skills find jobs with ease.

If Allah wills, someone, somewhere, will decide, “yep, you’re the person that I want to marry”, or, “you’re the person that I want to hire” and you’ll want to reciprocate their feelings. Despite your perceived flaws.

If you can work on your flaws, then do that. Strive to become the best person that you can be. But understand that at the end of the day, mahabba is from Allah.

Overcome Your Fear Of Other People

Wearing hijab while out and about can be pretty daunting. Especially if you’re doing so in a non-Muslim majority country. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the fear that somebody might make a negative comment about you.

“What if they think that I look out of place?”

“What if they think that I look like an extremist?”

Want to know how to quell your fears?

Fear what Allah thinks of you instead.

That is only Satan who frightens [you] of his supporters. So fear them not, but fear Me, if you are [indeed] believers.

Qur’an 3:175

If wearing hijab is what you want to do in order to please your Lord, then don’t let fear be an excuse to stop you from taking that action. When you stop putting your energy towards fearing what other people think about you, you’ll have a lot more energy to give towards things that you care about more so.

Remind Other People About Their Strengths

People love to receive compliments. We’re all seeking validation from something, in some way or another.

A lot of people are insecure and feel a need to impress people around them. When nobody makes them feel valued, they begin to seek validation from sources where they shouldn’t, such as:

  • Haram relationships
  • Comments, likes, followers and views
  • Expensive possessions

You can help prevent this.

Tell the women close to you in your life that they’re beautiful. Be it your sisters, mother, daughters or friends.

Compliment people about what they excel in. Make it your duty to help lift other people’s spirits.

Never downplay a positive contribution you make to someone’s life, no matter how small it is.

Narrated Abu Dharr:
That the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Let one of you not consider any good to be insignificant. If he has nothing, then let him meet his brother with a smiling face. If you buy some meat or cook something in a pot, then increase its broth, and serve some of it to your neighbor.”

Jami` at-Tirmidhi

The Journey To Confidence And Self-Esteem

Confident Muslimahs don’t bring other women down

Having confidence and high self-esteem isn’t about being a perfect person. It’s about knowing full well what your strengths and weaknesses are and doing your best to work with those.

As you become more and more comfortable with who you are as a person, your levels of jealousy starts to decrease. You become more accepting of what Allah has chosen to bless you and others around you with. It becomes easier to celebrate other people’s success.

You fear what your Creator thinks of you over and above what any human being thinks of you.

Confident Muslimahs don’t bring other women down. They strive to help lift them up. They understand the importance of making sure that others recognise their strengths that they might often overlook.

Pray that Allah continues to guide us, grants us a healthy level of confidence and keeps us firm on practicing His religion.

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How To Build Confidence And Self-Esteem