We’re born into this world full of confidence. We think that the world is there just to serve us and to meet our every need. We call out at any time of night and day demanding our needs to be met, full of confidence that someone will come to attend to us.
Things start to change as we experience the world and learn that we don’t actually control it, and that sometimes things don’t quite work out the way we would like. In fact often it’s just the opposite! Despite this, we keep on growing and developing and want to try new experiences. We start to take teetering steps to learn how to walk, nervously at first, but we don’t let the general run-of-the-mill falls put us off. And before we know it, we’re not only walking, but running, skipping and jumping and ready to face the world.
But somewhere along the line, something happens, and we get self-conscious and fear being made a fool of or of people ‘finding out that we’re really a fraud’ and not really as good as they think we are. I’m sure most of us have been there, I certainly have, and at times like these we need to find a way to strengthen ourselves to challenge the self-doubt and lapses in confidence.
Problems with lack of confidence or self esteem are the most frequent challenges that many sisters face and what holds them back from living life the way they would like to, in pleasing Allah. So I thought I’d share a three dua` (supplications) that I have found useful, as have some of my clients, to help you go out and face the situations that you’re nervous about.
When you’re lacking in confidence, one of the main things that pulls you down is that little voice in your head that’s saying to you: “You can’t do this”, “You’re too weak to manage this”, “Don’t do it, you’ll only make a mess of it”, etc. One of the most powerful dua` to say to help you overcome this is a very simple one: “A`udhu-Billahi minna-Shaytan-ir-Rajim“ (I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan).
With this dua` Allah will increase your ability to fight against the whisperings of Satan that are putting those thoughts in your head. It’ll help you to challenge the thoughts and turn them into ones that give you the confidence you need to have a go. Instead of holding onto those self-defeating thoughts, you can change them into encouraging thoughts, such as: “I can at least try and give it my best shot”, “I may not be strong in some things, but this is something I reall want to do. I’ve prepared for it and I’m going to do it” or “It’s true, I might not do it well as this is my first time, so if I don’t do it well, it won’t be the end of the world. I’ll be sad, but next time I’ll know more about how to do it better”. There are so many ways you can fight against the whisperings!
Another cause of lack of confidence is fearing that the outcome will be something that you won’t be able to cope with. This dua` can take away that fear: “Rabbi Yassir wa la tu'assir. Rabbi tamim bil khair.” (O Allah! Make it easy, and do not make it difficult. O Allah! Make it end well.)
How does that take away the fear? By surrendering your affairs to Allah, you’ve asked Him for what you want, but realise that He will decide what the good end for your affair will be for you. If you put your trust in Allah and realise that whatever outcome He chooses it will be what is best for you, this makes worrying about outcome pointless and lets you just concentrate on doing your best.
There is another wonderful dua` you can say, especially before getting up to speak in public or starting to say something that may be difficult to say to someone. It is the dua` that Prophet Musa (alayhi assalam) recited before going to talk to Pharaoh, to help him get over his stutter: “Rabbi ishrah li sadri, wa yassir li amri, wa ahlul uqdatan min lisani, yafqahu qawli.” (My Lord, expand for me my breast [with assurance] and ease for me my task. And untie the knot from my tongue that they may understand my speech.)
I’m sure that none of us will ever have to speak to an audience that includes someone like Pharaoh, but insha Allah, reciting this dua` before you speak will help to reduce your nervousness, express your ideas clearly and fluently and create the impression you'd hoped to create, of a strong, confident SuperMuslimah!
So, see, we can still call out at any time of night and day asking for our needs to be met, full of confidence that Someone will come to attend to us, as Allah will always answer our dua` in the way that is best for us.
Do you have any dua` that you use to help you increase your confidence?