Tongue promote backbiting

How to Develop your Self Esteem

Esteem means honour, respect. Self-esteem is not a static condition and is always a matter of degree – no one is entirely lacking in positive self-esteem. One way to measure self-esteem is to evaluate your ability to authentically be your true self. Self Esteem is the value that we give ourselves and the opinion we have of ourselves. We shouldn’t bow down to an imperfect system when we have a perfect way of life sent to us and a perfect example to follow. Positive self-development and activities can give a major boost to self-esteem. Allaah says:

إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ

“Indeed, the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.” (Surah Al-Hujuraat, Verse 13)

Self-esteem is defined as how much you like yourself. Self-esteem is important because high self-esteem leads to greater happiness and more positive actions. High self-esteem as a Muslim will lead you to do more good deeds because you feel good within. Many counsellors believe that the main cause of poor mental health is low self-esteem. So jot down all your worthy habits and characteristics, and also the negative ones. The best references for evaluating yourself are the Quran and Sunnah. Allaah says:

حَسْبِيَ اللَّهُ لَا إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ۖ عَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ ۖ وَهُوَ رَبُّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيمِ

“Sufficient for me is Allah; there is no deity except Him. On Him, I have relied, and He is the lord of the Great Throne.” (Surah At-Tawbah, 9:129)

Start from within. Ignore any and all destructive criticism or insults, including any from your past. Your opinion of yourself is the most important opinion of all because you know yourself better than anyone else. Many of us have been hurt by others at some time. It is crucial not to internalize that abuse and let them continue to hurt us because that means the other person wins. If we let go of the past, ignore hurtful negativity and make ourselves happy, then we win. Allaah says:

وَقَاتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ الَّذِينَ يُقَاتِلُونَكُمْ وَلَا تَعْتَدُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ

“And fight in (the) way (of) Allah those who fight you and (do) not transgress. Indeed, Allah (does) not like the transgressors.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:90)

Steps to Developing Self-Esteem

Self-esteem does not just appear out of nowhere; it takes conscious determination, a spiritual connection with Allah, and emotional balance. You should take one step at a time and build gradually on the quota of your worth. Mingle with the righteous who acknowledge your worth, help you identify your weaknesses, and are indulged in productive and wholesome habits. Thank Allah for the good and ask his forgiveness and help from the bad. Allaah says:

قَالَ أَنَا خَيْرٌ مِّنْهُ خَلَقْتَنِي مِن نَّارٍ وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِن طِينٍ 

“I am better than he, You created me from fire, and You created him from clay.” (Surah Sad 38:76)

Self-esteem is respecting yourself for who you are, despite your faults and shortcomings. You realize that you’re just human, that you have good days and bad days, that you have faults as well as virtues. You’re not living in a dream world where you think of yourself as awesome and more worthy than others. You know perfectly well what you are, and respect yourself anyway.

Here are some steps to developing Self Esteem, supported by Islamic teachings: 

  1. Observe and record the changes in your attitude
  2. Speak calmly and articulately, assertively
  3. Remove your negative Self-Esteem
  4. Develop positive skills and habits
  5. Don’t always try to please others
  6. Don’t try to copy anyone else
  7. Develop a Muslim psychology
  8. Develop your defence
  9. Avoid negative people
  10. Create daily affirmations
  11. Perform personal strengths
  12. Grow from your experience
  13. Stop the negative thoughts
  14. Learn to appreciate yourself
  15. Accept yourself, flaws and all
  16. Don’t worry about being “perfect”
  17. Reward yourself when you succeed
  18. Start with small steps to gain confidence
  19. Be aware of what causes low Self Esteem
  20. Face your fears and learn from your failures
  21. Practice positive to help improve your self-image

Islam distinguishes the most successful living strategies; if you measure your self-worth by Islam and not by society, and synchronize your life with your faith, you can overcome the self-esteem deficit soon. Practice good posture, without being arrogant. Make a list of all the things you like about yourself and another for things you can work on. Allaah says:

يَا بَنِي آدَمَ خُذُوا زِينَتَكُمْ عِندَ كُلِّ مَسْجِدٍ وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا وَلَا تُسْرِفُوا إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُسْرِفِينَ

“O Children (of) Adam! Take your adornment at every masjid, and eat and drink but (do) not be extravagant. Indeed, He (does) not love the extravagant ones.” (Surah Al-A’raf 7:31)

We cannot achieve the maximum productivity we want to achieve for the sake of Allah and we won’t be able to accomplish all the things we plan to accomplish if we don’t have confidence in ourselves. When you don’t look good, it changes the way you carry yourself and interact with other people. Find things that you like and in return, you will like the way you look. Practice humility, and at the same time cultivate respect for yourself, an amazing creation of Allah. Allaah says:

وَلَا تُصَعِّرْ خَدَّكَ لِلنَّاسِ وَلَا تَمْشِ فِي الْأَرْضِ مَرَحًا إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ مُخْتَالٍ فَخُورٍ

“And (do) not turn your cheek from men and (do) not walk in the earth exultantly. Indeed, Allah (does) not like every self-conceited boaster.” (Surah Luqman 31:18)

Although you must remember to always remain humble and not extravagant. If you’ve made mistakes that prevent you from believing that you deserve to be happy, take measures to relieve that guilt. Apologize to people you may have hurt (if possible), learn from those mistakes and forgive yourself. Use the Quran as your ultimate guide through this learning process. Allaah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَاءَتْكُم مَّوْعِظَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَشِفَاءٌ لِّمَا فِي الصُّدُورِ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ 

“O mankind! There has come to you good advice from your Lord (i.e. the Quran) and a healing for that which is in your hearts.” (Surah Yunus 10:57)

People who have a negative attitude that may rub off on you are not good for you. If you are timid, loud and aggressive people are probably not good for you, and vice versa. Whatever you do, do not compare yourself to others. If we have knowledge of self, then it enables us to see our wrongdoing, which leads towards a feeling of remorse within us if we are connected to our souls. There cannot be true tawbah without having remorse. Just be the best that you can be. Allaah says:

وَنُنَزِّلُ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ مَا هُوَ شِفَاءٌ وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَلَا يَزِيدُ الظَّالِمِينَ إِلَّا خَسَارًا 

“And We send down from the Quran that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe…” (Surah Al-Isra 17:82)

We only fail when we do not make the best out of adversity. When something doesn’t go the way we would like it to, there is something to be learned from that, which can be applied next time you are in a similar situation. Get up and try again. Repentance (Tawbah) is a spiritual necessity in Islaam. As humans, who are not infallible, we will commit sins, and we will make mistakes, even with good intentions. Allaah says:

وَلَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ نَسُوا اللَّهَ فَأَنسَاهُمْ أَنفُسَهُمْ أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ 

“And be not like those who forgot Allaah, so He allowed them to forget themselves; these it is who are the transgressors.” (Al-Hashr 59:19)

Treat yourself to something nice in the glow of your successes. Believe in yourself as a Muslim and others will also believe and trust in you. The best thing you can reward yourself with is an extra prostration (Sajdah) in front of your Lord. How you feel about yourself affects every aspect of your life including your place of work, in your relationship and as a parent. It is the key to success or failure and instrumental in understanding yourself and others. Allaah says:

لَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ فِي أَحْسَنِ تَقْوِيمٍ

“Verily, We created man of the best stature (mold)” (Surah At-Tin 95:4)

Allah has created you for a purpose and instead of thinking bad and low about yourself, you must strive towards finding the purpose for which Allah Almighty has created you. If you don’t give up you will definitely find your purpose in life and that will bring peace to you. Allaah says:

أَفَحَسِبْتُمْ أَنَّمَا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ عَبَثًا وَأَنَّكُمْ إِلَيْنَا لَا تُرْجَعُونَ 

“Did you think that We had created you in play (without any purpose) and that you would not be brought back to Us?” (Surah Al-Mu’minun 23:115)

Everyone has strengths, weaknesses, habits, and principles that define who you are and can make you distinctive. Spend more time focusing on the qualities about yourself that you like and that is praiseworthy in the Deen. You can better accomplish this by taking up hobbies and projects that you can do which will make use of your strengths. Additionally, starting on some projects that emphasize your good traits, it will keep you busy so you will end up spending less time thinking about your weaknesses. Allaah says:

وَإِذْ تَأَذَّنَ رَبُّكُمْ لَئِن شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ وَلَئِن كَفَرْتُمْ إِنَّ عَذَابِي لَشَدِيدٌ 

“If you give thanks, I will give you more; but if you are thankless, lo! My punishment is dire.” (Surah Ibrahim 14:7)

Aiming for perfection in life is a lost cause because the term means different things to different people. Nobody is perfect in the eyes of everyone else. Instead, seek to achieve goals and know that Allah alone is perfect. Try positive thinking on for size. If you constantly tell yourself you are stupid or that you will never achieve success, you will in turn act as such. Improve what’s within yourself, have pure thoughts and aim for your Deen, and you will see a change within yourself. Allaah says:

يَمْحُو اللَّهُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَيُثْبِتُ ۖ وَعِندَهُ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ

“Allah eliminates or confirms what He wills, and with Him is the foundation of the Book.” (Surah Ar-Ra’d 13:39)

Pray, ask for forgiveness, repent of any sins; make dua that Allah relieves you of these feelings and replaces them with the peace and confidence that He wants you to have. Make dhikr to Allah for it settles the mind, comforts the soul and will increase your ability to concentrate In Sha’ Allah. Concentration and focus will prevent your fears from overcoming you In Sha’ Allah and will help you in remaining composed during times of stress. Remembrance of Allah is a gift we need to utilize more in everyday life and especially for healing.