Do you beat yourself to be a people-pleaser?

no-people-pleaserYou cannot always be a people pleaser.
I was always among those who cannot deny or say ‘No’ to people; and end up creating lots of stories to get away from the situation.

Being helpful is nice and right indeed, but letting yourself down in order to make others happy is not the right thing to do.

I usually agree to do something, because I don’t have enough emotional courage to refuse. But once I agree, I find myself in real distress and burn all of my good deeds by back biting.
One of my colleagues and a good friend guided me in this regard; making me realize that I have a right to say ‘No’ to things that I find inappropriate. Self esteem and self respect are the two basic elements which make up our whole personality. Being helpful and kind is necessary to feel content, but feeding our own respect is way more necessary.
Therefore, I would suggest don’t let yourself get knocked down by thinking what people might think; be courageous and uphold your personal views.
Be firm on your decision, yet humble. You don’t need to be rude, or use harsh tone to say ‘No’; you can be polite and consistent.
Take ‘No’ as a powerful tool which may help you in using your positive energy in a right way.

Be firm, not defensive or overly apologetic; raise yourself, raise your esteem!

Face it or Fake it

face it or fake it

People don’t fret too much about the amount of fabric covering their bodies. But they do worry sick about the make-up that conceals their face.

The billion dollar industry of cosmetics and dermatology products rests on the self-consciousness of women in particular but men are fast catching up as well. What are the common tag lines?

  • “Enhance your beauty.” (If I am beautiful, why do I need to enhance it?)
  • “Look naturally beautiful.” (So you mean to say I am ugly otherwise?)
  • “Feel confident.” (My confidence is wired to your shampoo and lipstick? Heaven help me!)

But the problem is that the standards of the world keep changing. Light is in, dark is out. Ultra-thin is in, normal thin is out. Wavy is in, straight is out. Phew! It’s impossible to catch up, let alone enjoy the moment.

To read the rest of this article, and more, subscribe to Hiba Magazine.

The Self-Esteem Vaccine – Fosters the Life of your Child

Courtesy: www.ahealthiermichigan.org

Courtesy: www.ahealthiermichigan.org

Firstly, let’s try to understand what self-esteem really is. Self esteem maybe defined as a person’s self worth or how a person thinks of himself/herself. It usually develops from childhood and matures until we reach our adulthood.

Self- esteem in children is like a weapon in this challenging world. A child, who is loved and accepted for who he/she is, usually develops a high self-esteem; and is much capable of coping conflicts, stressful situations, and high pressure circumstances. They are better prepared to take on new challenges and live life to its fullest. They know their strengths and weaknesses; they are more optimistic, and even more realistic with reasonable expectation from others.

On the contrary, children with low self-esteem find it difficult to handle stressful situations and challenges, leading to major anxiety, panic, low performance issues, self- doubt and frustration. They have self-critical thoughts which are generalized as being “I am not good enough!” or “I can’t do anything right!”. They become solemn, withdrawn, or even clinically depressed at times.

Self-esteem originates early in life. Once we reach our adulthood, it’s difficult to change the programming we have acquired in the course of our life, or how we have learned to perceive things- old habits die hard. Hence, it would be very wise and intuitive of parents to develop and promote their child’s self-esteem early on.

The following are few tips that would boost your child’s self-esteem.

Let them take risks in life (Raise risk takers)

Let your children put themselves out there; in order to do so you have to step back. To build confidence in children, you have to let your children take chances; make their own choices and let them take responsibility for the choices as well.Throw them in the deep end and they will reach the shallow end on their own.

Let them fall (It is not about never falling, it is about always getting back up)

Sometimes, when children take their first step they fall- please let them fall, and tell them that it is okay to fall, it’s a part of life, you can’t always win. Let children try, fail, try again and fail again; but when, they finally succeed- they learn more about their own capabilities, strength and weaknesses. Many parents think that failure and struggle in life will result in poor self-esteem in children, but it’s actually a golden opportunity to help build it. The rain never stopped the itsy bitsy spider from climbing up, did it?

Unconditional Love (No terms and conditions)

Let your child know that your love is without conditions. Even if she/he makes mistakes or takes a wrong turn in life, it doesn’t make the parents stop loving him/her any less; your doors should always be open to your child- in fact your child must know you are his/her life line.

Be specific in your praise (Don’t just slap a gold star on everything)

Always praise your child in his/her achievements, but be specific. For instance, if a child gets good marks in her/his English exam, don’t just say “good effort”; tell her/him what a great job he/she has done on the essay, and how impressed you were. Do not praise the beautiful drawing your child did on the neighbour’s wall!

Let your child know how proud you are of them (cheer a little louder)

A little goes a long way. Your child needs to know how proud you are of of him/her. They need to know you see them struggle, suffer and win. You need to encourage them when they bring home a trophy- make them a trophy case and get ice cream; and when they don’t, they still deserve an ice cream for trying.

Avoid saying hurtful things (thou shall not hurt)

Children are usually sensitive to critical comments. Parents need to be extra cautious with their use of words. Parents usually end up saying hurtful things or slapping their child- especially when they are busy. So, whenever your child comes asking for your help- though you are on the edge, stop, take a deep breath, see what your child needs and help them; if not urgent, explain gently that you are too busy and will help her/him, but in a little while. Instead of being physical or being loud to the child, try explaining to them calmly. Children who don’t feel safe, or are abused at home, are at the greatest risk for developing poor self-esteem; and they may even resort to a conflicted life.

Set Goals (brief them on objectives)

Teach your children to make goals in life, and help them accomplish them; they may take pride in their achievements which will help a lot in boosting their self-esteem. And also show them the importance of planning. You are never lost when you have a map.

Be a Great Role Model for your Child (Do as I do)

You can’t expect your children to have a high self-esteem, if you are constantly complaining about things yourself, and showing a pessimistic personality; your children mimic you. You need to nurture your own self-esteem and your children will have a great role model to look up to.

Be your child’s counselor

Be your child’s counselor instead of asking others for help. If you think your child is suffering with low self-esteem, try to figure out what could have gone wrong; sit down with your child, talk to him/her, try to listen to him/her, give him/her your undivided attention. Even if the child doesn’t want to talk initially, keep on trying, he will open up eventually. If you are consistent, you should take professional help only in worst case scenarios ,but first you must try it on your own, because you can’t substitute parental love and attention with any professional help; and if, you are not ready to guide your child, then someone else will, that could end badly.

Lastly, parents should acknowledge that promoting healthy self-esteem in children is as important as giving your child three meals and a warm jacket in winters. Healthy self-esteem is the greatest gift that parents can give to their children.

10 Reasons to Be Positive in Life

optimismIt has become a very common thing in our lives that if we face discouragement, disappointment or a set-back, we simply move towards the “negative zone”- that is towards the dark side of our existence. We tend to believe that it is the last stop of our life, and no good will ever happen to us again. But, we forget that life is a road of opportunities- one goes, other comes. Moreover, while being in the zone of negativity, we overlook the good things that have or had happened to us in our lives. This negative zone lead us to the path where we start to believe that “We are good for nothing”, and nothing good will happen to us again. It is the height of negative thinking.

Instead, after a disappointment or a set-back, people should remain positive. It will help them remain calm and composed emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. Also, it will bring a new outlook of life which will be based on optimism.

Here are the ten incredibly motivating reasons to acquire a positive approach towards life.

1. Feel Better

One of the peaceful reasons of being positive is to feel better.  During a set-back or hard time, you usually feel down and powerless, because negativity is all around you- making feel like nothing will ever change. But, if you remain calm and take that set-back or hardship as a phase which will fade away. Then, this thought would surely make you feel better.

2. Ability to cope up

Well, hardships are a part of life. They will never go away. But, with positive attitude, you can cope up with the hard times which will help you to remain strong, calm and compose during tough times.

3. Motivation

Your positive approach will help you stay motivated towards your goal or aim in life, and no obstacle or hardship will ever de-motivate you.

4. Regain self-esteem

With positive attitude- you believe in yourself; you value yourself; you do not underestimate your potential or strengths, and you trust your decisions.

5. Attain Good Health

Positive approach keeps you away from tension, depression, and many mental illnesses. It gifts you a good health.

6. Happiness all around

Optimism is one of the charms that even during hardship, it keeps you happy and content with your life.

7. Gratitude

Positive perspective makes you grateful, thankful and pleased with all the blessings and gifts you have. It creates a huge distance between you and negativity or ungratefulness.

8. Gift of Courage

While acquiring this beautiful approach in life, it grants you one of the tremendous tendencies such as courage. It helps you to remain strong against every obstacle; it gives stamina to keep on fighting and eliminates our fears.

9. Make impossible, possible

Whether it is a test, exam, interview or an assignment, sometimes we feel it is impossible to accomplish. But, with positivity we can make impossible, possible.

10. Farewell to Stress

Usually, we feel stressful during important tasks or difficult times, which disables us to remain focus and determined. But, with optimistic attitude, we can say farewell to stress and welcome a happy life!

How to Raise our Children

serviceLife is a precious gift from Allah (swt) to all human beings. It is upon us as to how we spend this gift, whether we earn the blessings of Heaven or the torment of Hell fire. The truth is that we all should spend our life according to the Quran and Sunnah in order to make our life, our homes and our society- peaceful.

As parents, we have a huge responsibility on our shoulders to raise our children and so we put in endless efforts to bring them up in an Islamic manner. But the question is that even after all the efforts put in by the parents, why don’t our children learn good Islamic manners?  After a session of contemplation and thorough survey, I ended up with the answer that since we as elders are not implementing those things that we teach our children in our lives, then how can we expect them to act upon them. And if we just say something that does not reflect through our deeds and actions, then how will our kids learn the application of those teachings in their life? It’s basically “Walk the Talk Rule” that should be followed! Hence, before anything else, we have to take care of this issue.

Children are great imitators. Therefore we should give them something great to imitate. And the most important point to remember in raising kids is that we should not scold them if they do any mistake. Instead we should stay calm and try to teach them with great love. This will build our respect in their mind. And if they start respecting us, they will respect other people also.

A mother is better than a thousand teachers. It is said that home is the first school of a child. So we should make our home the house of Allah (swt) by instilling Islamic teachings in it and inculcating them in every single aspect of our life.

When a kid is in early childhood, he or she is very sensitive and is building a whole personality which thoroughly depends upon what environment he or she gets at home and what lessons are being taught. So we should give them self confidence by treating them nicely in front of others. We should trust them so that they never lie to us and make ourselves their best friends so they love us. And whenever we do something for them, our intention should be that we are doing for the sake of Allah (swt) and not to receive any kind of future reward from our kids. As a result, you will see how Allah (swt) helps you and makes life easier for you.

There is no better companion for a kid than a mother- the most pure and sincere relationship in the world. And there is no better guide and mentor for a child than his father, but everything should be done in a limit and only for Allah (swt).

We must appreciate kids when they achieve something. This will make them happy and give a robust to their self-esteem and help them put trust in their own abilities for further achievements.

Little angels are interested in stories so we should tell them the stories of our prophets, his companions (Sahaba) and the Islamic history so that the love for Islam nurtures in them.

These are the little things I feel that if we implement and apply them, our lives will be very peaceful and our kids will Insha’Allah become good human beings and true Muslims.

Are You Comfortable Being a Muslim?

strangersWe as human beings are most likely to give into the pressures of the society and perform deeds just to please the Nafs. Why do we give in? So that someone else can approve of our actions? Our own Nafs can give us some form of appreciation? Surely appreciation makes one feel excellent about oneself and feel motivated to do things with a robust energy. But the question is: Do we tend to bask too long in this “feel good” moment? And the answer comes in positive from within!

Islam is often emphasized as a religion of peace and brotherhood (which surely it is), whereas it also obligates that we follow its injunctions properly in order to enter the fold of Islam completely – as mentioned in the Quran. However many of us cling on to the part of maintaining brotherly ties and goodness way too tightly; when it comes to take a stance and do what is right, we find ourselves agonizing over the reactions of the people: What will my aunt’s cousin say? How will I show my face to the community?

Very conveniently we assume that Allah (swt) will understand and so we beneficially choose a path that is more compliant with the norms of society and our family’s expectations.

Well, do we see something wrong in this picture? Yes, of course! We aren’t worrying about Allah (swt). We really don’t care about Allah’s (swt) approval. Very conveniently we assume that Allah (swt) will understand and so we beneficially choose a path that is more compliant with the norms of society and our family’s expectations. Everything else seems to take precedence over our obligations as Muslims and we become more complacent in the matters of our Deen rather than pondering as to what can be healthy for our Iman.

This complacency results in a lower self-esteem and confidence as Muslims. There is a negative aspect to everything associated with the word “Islam”; Islamic teachings: my parents don’t agree with them. Islamic dress code: I will be ridiculed. An Islamic lifestyle: Oh! It’s too difficult to adopt; I’d rather live comfortably the way the society expects me to. Hence, we slowly edge away from the actions that boost our Iman .We start convincing ourselves unconsciously that our Deen is not good enough and as a Muslim, we are unable to function as a “normal” human being. However, in reality, this is far from the truth. Islam enables us to move beyond the cultural hang up and petty disputes that come with being a “normal” human being. It liberates us from the chains of ignorance gifted to us by our society.

While many elements convince the masses (Muslims included) that Muslim women are oppressed and Muslim men are complete savages, I strongly feel that we as Muslims are buying the stories they concoct about us. Whenever some negative image is portrayed about us, we tell ourselves: “Islam is the religion of peace”. Inwardly, we feel afraid as if someone is pointing at us and our confidence abandons us to openly proclaim our identity.

when someone calls us strange and outdated, instead of feeling ashamed or hurt; ask Allah (swt) to give you the ability to enlighten others with the spark of your Deen and prove yourself to be a blessing in disguise for the humanity

It is true that being the “strange” one in the crowd can be intimidating and we want someone to relate to us. But let’s not become complacent as Muslims, searching for some form of appreciation or comfort from the people. It does not mean that we break ties and turn into hermits. Rather ask Allah (swt) to make His Ordinance our foremost priority. Ask Him to fill our heart with the concern to uplift the plight of this Ummah and give us the strength and confidence to carry out our identity proudly like the companions of the Holy Prophet (sa) and some contemporary examples we find in the form of scholars and some legendary Muslimeen. Lastly, when someone calls us strange and outdated, instead of feeling ashamed or hurt; ask Allah (swt) to give you the ability to enlighten others with the spark of your Deen and prove yourself to be a blessing in disguise for the humanity. May Allah (swt) accept our prayers. Ameen.

In the end, I would like to quote this Hadeeth:

Narrated Abu Hurairah (ra), the Messenger of Allah (swt) said: “Islam began as something strange and will revert to being strange as it began, so give glad tidings to the strangers.” (Muslim)