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FaithHealth

7 Things To Remember When You Think You’re Not Good Enough

When you feel that you’re not good enough, remember you’re here and alive because Allah (SWT) has willed it. You have a purpose to fulfil and value to add.

When you feel that you’re not good enough, remember you’re here and alive because Allah (SWT) has willed it. You have a purpose to fulfil and value to add.

Who will lend to Allah a good loan which Allah will multiply many times over? It is Allah alone who decreases and increases wealth. And to Him you will all be returned.”

[2:245]

On those cold and lonely nights, you might feel like you’re the most hopeless being on this planet, left alone to rot in the dust of your own despair. Not to sound depressing, but that is exactly how I feel at times.

Oh, we’ve had plenty of those moments, don’t we? Why do we feel like we’re not good enough when Allah SWT Himself is The One who made us? Isn’t it an abomination to think that we don’t deserve some of Allah’s most beautiful gifts like a good, pious spouse, well-mannered children or that beautiful house on the hills?

Why do we sabotage ourselves into thinking we don’t deserve Allah’s gifts on this earth because we are not good enough? I have always wondered this question myself. According to experts, the major reason traces back to our childhood. As children, maybe we weren’t treated with the best love and compassion at a time when we were the most vulnerable and dependent. Therefore, we developed certain limiting beliefs about ourselves as coping mechanisms. Whatever the case may be, we must always remember that if our parents are not ill-intended, they have simply done their best in raising us. I mean, no one is perfect, right? Let’s forgive, forget and move on.

So, how do we move on knowing this tiny piece of information? First and foremost, we must take responsibility for our own well-being from now on and face our problems head-on. As we embark on this journey to cure our ‘never feeling good enough’ disease, let’s look to the Quran and Sunnah as guidance for us to fix our problems.

1. Allah SWT Always Thinks You’re Good Enough

Allah SWT created you perfect just the way you are since the first cell of your body was formed in your mummy’s belly. Isn’t that fascinating? It means that no matter what you look like, your personality, your genes, and everything He created you with is already perfect since the beginning. You shouldn’t want to change a thing! Sure, in some rare medical conditions or special cases, we may need to make surgery or something, but that is beside the point. My point is you need to love yourself with all your being because Allah SWT, Himself, is the One who created you in the perfect design. Embrace yourself and learn to love yourself unconditionally.

Indeed, We created humans in the best design.”

[95:4]

2. Shaytan Wants You To Feel You’re Not Good Enough

Whenever you feel like you are stuck in that hole of never feeling good enough, it is most probably the work of Shaytan as well. He whispers to your chest things that you may be insecure about in order to pull you into despair. If you lose hope and give up, he has successfully deterred you from running back to Allah SWT and becoming a stronger believer. Do not let him succeed. Fight him with all your might! Whenever that feeling comes, continue doing the worthy deeds that you know would please Allah SWT. That’s the only way you can fight him, by constantly running back to Allah SWT and striving to be the best slave you can be for Him.

Did I not command you, O Children of Adam, not to follow Satan, for he is truly your sworn enemy.

[36:60]

3. People Who Make You Feel You’re Not Good Enough Are Insecure About Themselves

“They have contempt towards their own vulnerability that needs arouse, and therefore, contempt towards those who would render them vulnerable.” – Chip Dodd, PhD

It is unfortunate that we encounter many negative people in our lives. Sometimes they can even be our parents, whom we very much love and respect.  Sad as it is, we must accept that they are a part of our lives, so how do we navigate our relationship with them as we are trying to recover from feeling not good enough?

Firstly, you have to understand that some people who are hurt tend to hurt others in return. Maybe they have been mistreated in some way, and so they developed this distorted sense of self. Their inner critic or self-talk has become negative. So this reflects in their actions towards others. Knowing this, you can develop a sense of compassion for these insecure people because they are essentially hurting themselves. However, as you continuously work on increasing your self-esteem and ditching the ‘never feeling good enough’ disease, you need to set proper boundaries for these people because they can invade your rights. In order to love yourself, you need to first stand up for yourself. Don’t let people trample all over you; take care of yourself, and people will develop a sense of respect for you. If these negative and insecure people are your close family members, respect and treat them well but limit your contact with them so that their negative energy does not influence you. But if they are outside of your circle, ditch them altogether! You’re better off without them. You can make dua for them from a distance.

4. Your Only Purpose In Life Is To Please Allah, Not Your Own Nafs Or Others

You might feel like you are not good enough because of what people say or the standards they put on you. I say, who cares?! Only Allah’s pleasure matters. Your sole purpose on earth is to be the best slave and Khalifah (vicegerent) to Allah, not anyone else! If you keep thinking about what people think or what they say about you, you will go mad. Put Allah SWT’s pleasure as your number one priority. Everyone else’s opinions have to be in accordance with the Quran and Sunnah in order for you to accept their opinions.

As you live life not caring what people think and channel your priorities towards Allah SWT, you will be a free person! Don’t get me wrong, though, you most certainly have to respect people’s opinions, hear them out and see if it is aligned with the Quran and Sunnah, which is what Allah teaches us. But you don’t have to believe or adopt them into your belief system without first internalizing them.

It is not your wealth or children that bring you closer to Us. But those who believe and do good—it is they who will have a multiplied reward for what they did, and they will be secure in elevated mansions.

[34:37]

5. Everything That Happened In Your Life Is A Test To Make You A Better Person

You can question all you want – why am I in this situation, why does Allah not love me, why do bad things always happen to me, and so on but at the end of the day, everything that happens to you in your life is merely a test to make you a stronger believer. If you truly believe that Allah SWT only wants what is best for you and that He would never put you through trials you couldn’t handle, that way, you have sabar and trust in Allah in these moments and show your level of iman. Sure, we are not perfect, and our iman fluctuates all the time, but as long as we keep running back to Allah in times of need, we have already succeeded insyaAllah.

We will certainly test you with a touch of fear and famine and loss of property, life, and crops. Give good news to those who patiently endure, who, when faced with a disaster, say, “Surely to Allah we belong and to Him we will ˹all˺ return.”

[2:156]

6. If You Love And Accept Yourself, It Means You Are A Grateful Slave Of Allah

Allah loves those who are grateful to Him, yet since He is the One who made us, He knows that we are inclined towards ungratefulness. Our nafs or desires would always push us to want more without being grateful and acknowledging what we already have. What you have in your possession right now – your body, looks, health, wealth – everything is from the Al-Mighty. If you don’t accept and love any part of who you are right now, it just means you are not being grateful to Him. Sometimes we may receive gifts that we don’t particularly like at first, but we can learn to love them over time because there is good in everything. Learn to find the good and fix the bad. Do not complain, as it is a clear sign of ungratefulness. If you want to develop self-esteem, which is having a good perception of yourself, you need to embrace and love yourself exactly for who you are today. It starts with gratitude. Praise and thank Allah for everything He has given you so far.

And remember when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will certainly give you more. But if you are ungrateful, surely My punishment is severe.”

[14:7]

7. Always Think The Best Of Others to Boost Your Own Self-Esteem

Relationships are a remarkable part of life. Our ‘Hablum Minannas’ relationship with our fellow brothers and sisters is one of the biggest influences that make or break us. Do you know of the story of the woman who perfected her Salah, fasted, and did many good deeds, such as charity but was mean to her neighbor? Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said she would enter Jahannam because of her mistreatment towards her neighbor.

Sometimes we may feel as if we know what people are thinking about us, whether they are good or bad, we judge people all the time. But when we judge others negatively and assume the worst, that will determine our consequential actions – how we treat them, perceive them and interact with them. And so, if you want to feel secure in who you are and not feel like you are never good enough, treat others the way you want to be treated first.

Genuinely believe that the people around you are innately good and that they have the best intentions. Unless proven otherwise, there is no reason for you to be suspicious of anyone. Allah warns us that if we spy or backbite someone, it is as if we are ‘eating their flesh’. Be careful, my sisters and brothers. This is a reminder for me, too, of course. Always think the best of others, and you will improve your self-esteem insyaAllah.

O believers! Avoid many suspicions, for indeed, some suspicions are sinful. And do not spy, nor backbite one another. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of their dead brother? You would despise that! And fear Allah. Surely Allah is the Accepter of Repentance, Most Merciful.

[49:12]

Concluding Thoughts

And it is Allah’s Will to lighten your burdens, for humankind was created weak (4:28). Occasionally, feeling like you are not good enough is a normal phenomenon. We do not have to hide from it.
The most important thing is for you to develop the necessary skills and mindset to get you back on your feet and continue to be an awesome slave of Allah and Khalifah on this earth insyaAllah.

Any good from this article is from Allah, and any evil is from Shaytan and me. May Allah forgive our shortcomings in practising His deen. Wa billahi tawfeeq wa hidayah (All successes come from Allah and His guidance).

The article was first published on this website and has been republished here with the author’s permission.

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