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FaithLife

How Having Confidence Can Change Your Life

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Think more positively about your life – understanding that the blessings you have been given are superior to the difficulties you face will give you the motivation to take necessary action to further increase the quality of your living. 

As a German/British-Pakistani, I could never raise my hand in the classroom because I used to think that the opinion of a “brown kid” does not matter in European society. I had huge insecurity and a lack of confidence. However, when I left school after my A-levels I told myself that I never ever want to be in a position whereby my voice is not being heard, simply because I had unjustified fears. 

While fears are natural and Allah has granted us this blessing to protect us from dangerous situations, unjustified fears often cause anxiety and depression. Unfortunately, due to social media and globalisation bringing human beings closer to each other than ever before in the history of our existence, insecurity and lack of confidence are on the rise. 

Influencers showing us their beautiful videography skills and entrepreneurs sharing their ultra-productive workdays, often leaves us questioning our own lifestyle. I caught myself asking this ridiculous question: “Am I living life correctly?”

I am now in my third year of law school and was able to gain a bit more communication skills. However, I remembered the promise which I made myself after leaving school that I do not want to be in the same position where my fear is the reason why my voice is not being heard. I was still not in the same position where I wanted to be. To be able to speak my mind, not caring what people will think of me. Being able to share my creativity and opinion on how to make this world a better place and promote kindness, for all those people who might want to listen to me while ignoring negative comments. I constantly told myself: “What is the worst that can happen? I am not going to die…hopefully!”

Having the anxiety of being judged by people, I decided to punch fear in the face and start living a life without unjustified fear. I said “Bismillah”, pressed record on my smartphone, and uploaded my first proper YouTube video. (Which you can find here if you are interested)

This was a huge step for me in my life. After uploading it, I shared the link in a Facebook group with 91K members, opening myself to all sorts of criticism. 

Here is what I realized. All the bad scenarios of what my friends and family members will think about me did not happen. Instead, I found my parents sharing my video on Facebook, friends giving me advice and encouraging me to keep it up, and even my university lecturer sharing the video with the entire law department. 

Upon doing more research into developing my communication skills, I found out that often people avoid sharing their opinion because we are automatically drawn towards the worst-case scenarios. Research studies have shown that our brains will try to focus on the negative outcomes rather than positive ones. 

Starting my own YouTube channel and uploading videos, really boosted my confidence. And I realized that life is so much more beautiful. Stan Smith once said that experience is the tool that tells you how to do certain things, while confidence allows you to do certain things in the first place. 

However, I really want to share a practical solution with you guys, which has worked for me, to overcome a lack of confidence and enjoy life through the countless blessings Allah has granted us. 

At the beginning of this post, I mentioned that seeing successful personalities on social media often influences us in thinking less of our own lives. In fact, it is not just social media. Personal difficulties, loss of income, our boss shouting at us, failing exams, etc. are all scenarios that can affect our belief in our own abilities. According to Oxford Dictionary, that is exactly what confidence means: The belief in your own abilities to do certain things.

Faced with one of the above-mentioned (or similar) situations our brain focuses on the negative things in life and we then start being “unhappier”. The first thing which has helped me to overcome my lack of confidence is to balance the negativity out in my life. 

Gratitude leads to positivity and happy life!

So the first thing I realized from my own experience is that as it is with many things in life: Beauty often lies in the eyes of the beholder. As soon something went wrong in my life, I used to look at other people who seemed to have no worries at all. Be it influencers, other famous people, or simply people I knew. 

However, the truth is, that most people will face difficult times at one or multiple points in their life. How confident you feel depends on how you look at it. If we apply gratitude in our day-to-day lives, we will come to a simple conclusion. 

The difficulties in life are really just five or perhaps ten percent of the overall ninety percent of countless blessings we are able to enjoy on a day-to-day basis. Unfortunately, due to our natural focus on negativity, we just don’t realize it. And not realizing the beautiful things in life will automatically lead to an unhappier lifestyle. 

So here is what to do to activate the “lack of confidence” problem.

Each time you do something, whether it is the car you are driving, the apple you are eating, the cold coke you are drinking on a hot summer day, really just take out time and use all God-given senses to understand its value. 

You will realize that little things in life are actually not so little after all. The water you drink is refreshing and lifesaving. Imagine you lived in the middle of Tharpakar in Pakistan where children have to drink dirty water from half-dried-out lakes. Imagine the water we drink was salty. Half a spoon of salt mixed in a half glass of water would already be undrinkable. 

Allah says: “Have you considered the water you drink? Is it you who bring it down from the clouds, or is it We Who do so? If We willed, We could make it salty. Will you not then give thanks?” (Quran: 56:68-70).

Understand that there will always be someone who is in a worse situation than you. 

From my experience, I know that this way of thinking will not change overnight. After all, you are working to change your years-long way of thinking – but it is important to be consistent throughout your day-to-day life to appreciate the little things to achieve a long-term result. 

Try it, It is Ibadah!

Dhikr is the remembrance of Allah. For an act of worship to be counted as Dhikr, you do not have to sit long hours and recite ayah after ayah. In fact, the single thought of appreciation, the “Bismillah” that leaves our lips before we drink water, the acknowledgment of the beauty of Allah’s creation, is counted as dhikr.

Think more positively about your life – understanding that the blessings you have been given are superior to the difficulties you face will give you the motivation to take necessary action to further increase the quality of your living. 

If you apply gratitude to your life, you will see the happy and successful personalities which used to intimidate you before, as what they are: Motivators for their followers to take steps to achieve an even better quality of living!

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