Assalaamu alaikum, lovelies!
Today is the second instalment of the Self Love Sunday series and I want to talk about an attitude adjustment. This is something that I believe most of us have struggled with at one point in our lives and apart from being told to get over it, there aren’t many helpful resources on how to get to the root of the issue. I’ve struggled with this myself and it’s been really frustrating trying to figure it out but I think I’m getting there. So, I’ve put together a little list below of what I’ve learned so far. This is a crucial step to self love. When we can come from a positive, easy-going, selfless mentality we make life easier for ourselves and those around us. Our relationships can succeed, our projects can flourish, and our impact can be lasting. Check it out and let me know what you think!
1) Say no to your insecurities
Insecurities lead to overthinking and sensitivity, which can cause to distrust and push others away. They make you can “energy vampire” and a burden to be around. Will cause you to react to the stories you create in your head and will cause confusion amongst everyone around you as well as put you on the path to relationship destruction. Ways to overcome your insecurities are: remember that people are not out to get you; learn that you teach people how to treat you; focus on yourself and what you’re doing rather than being nosy about others and focusing everyone else; put time into developing your accomplishments and life experiences to build confidence.
2) Control your emotions
Catering to emotions can lead to taking things personally and becoming defensive. In order to defend yourself and fight back, the attitude comes in for the kill. While your so-called “enemy” (really just a friend in the mood for a laugh) teased you good naturedly, you responded with a hurtful comment thereby taking the fun out of the moment and putting a chip in the relationship. How to even begin to reign in the wild wave of emotions? Practice patience and do not react right away. Remember that these are simply words and they can’t harm you, so there is no need to defend yourself. Don’t take anything personally. If you have to fake it till you make it, go ahead. Remember that it is not you vs. the world (or your friends/family/spouse) but a moment; whether this moment ends up being good or bad is up to you. Look into the stoic philosophy. It’s a fairly simple one that can be summed up by embracing a certain level of apathy, detaching from one’s emotions, and preparing for the worst while also taking nothing personally.
3) Be grateful
Every morning, write a list of what you’re grateful for about a person or situation that has been pushing your buttons. Choose to see the bright side in every situation (don’t ignore reality but don’t wallow in it either). This will also help you realign your priorities and get out of the self-centred mentality. When something doesn’t go your way, be grateful for something else instead!
4) Stick to your mindfulness practice
Praying five times a day, zikr, meditation, journaling, working out without music/entertainment, etc. Do these things every day, no excuses. Try to make this routine the first thing you do when you wake up so you get off to a good start. Become intentional about every word you say and every action you take. Learn to withhold reaction and separate yourself from the situation. Practice thinking before you speak. As the saying goes, “Be quick to hear, and slow to speak.” Saves you every time.
5) Embrace new challenges (and old) and find ways to make a positive impact
Taking on challenges builds character and doing good for others realigns perspective and priorities. Activities like these teach valuable lessons on selflessness, teamwork, perseverance, patience, positivity, generosity, compassion, and kindness. It also gives you meaning outside of yourself which will help put you in the right mindset to move forward and be the best version of yourself.
You can have a bad attitude and not even know it. It may only come out around a certain person or rare situation. Having a growth mentality will not help us avoid that person/situation but will allow us to recognize them as a challenge that brings out a toxic trait within ourselves that needs to be addressed. My husband brings out a lot of good in me but he also pushes just the right buttons to bring out my bad attitude some days. Before meeting him, I didn’t get a lot of opportunities to overcome this bad habit in myself because the opportunity for it rarely show up. When it did make an appearance, I just chalked it up to a bad day. I lived on my own, I was single, and nothing too serious was going on in my life that caused me so much stress that it spilled out into my relationships, alhamdulillah. But relationships with other people are essential for self-development. When you’re close with people, they show you all sides of yourself (not just the good parts). After meeting my husband, it became apparent that I had been spoiled a little bit in life and needed to work on how to respond to frustration and someone challenging me in a perfectly normal way. I had to figure out how to deal with stress when someone else is involved.
It’s been a long road and I can honestly say that I wasn’t the best version of myself. But that’s okay because we all have those moments in life. What matters is that we keep pushing forward, always with a growth mentality. What I’m grateful for is that I have Islam to show me the way, I have an amazing husband who keeps it real, and I have a lot of really cool opportunities to put into practice what I’ve learned. Subhan’Allah.