This comes from: Productive Muslim
This post was submitted by Sister Khafayah Abdul-Salam,a mother of four, works as a fulltime payroll manager, but more known for her great achievements as a DiscoverU LifeCoach, her motto “Empowering the muslimah across the globe.” She joins us today in this first of a 3 post series about ideas/thoughts that hold us back from achieving our dreams. A must read for everyone! You’ll find details of sister Khafayah at the end of this article.
â€œwhether you think you can or whether you think you canâ€™t, youâ€™re right.â€
“..Be mindful of Allah, you will find Him before you. Get to know Allah in prosperity and He will know you in adversity. Know that what has passed you by was not going to befall you; and that what has befallen you was not going to pass you by. And know that victory comes with patience, relief with affliction, and ease with hardship.”
I often liken the way we wade through life like an airplane that has to be sustained in the air and has to be in constant motion. If it drops a bit the pilot brings it back into control. This is how our lives operate. We are on continuous watch and are very scared of taking the nose dive, because we donâ€™t know how to recuperate, and most importantly what will people think?! Then our subconscious inner chatter box whispers us â€œYou are a failureâ€
What holds us back is what we think ourselves capable of, the moment we believe we are limited in knowledge, a skill or ability or anything â€“ we have just stopped our growth potential. Brian Tracy, an world-renowned author and speaker, said, â€œWhatever we expect with confidence becomes our own self-fulfilling prophecy”.
Have you found yourself in situations where you have done something silly? And perhaps said to you, â€œI will never do that again.â€ Then you find yourself in a similar situation and you repeat the exact same thing again. A limiting belief! Or you find you say â€œNobody loves meâ€, â€œI am a failureâ€, â€œI am too old to memorise the Qurâ€™an.
The thoughts that we think will either help us achieve our dreams in life or stop us dead in our tracks.
In life there are numerous life traps that hold us back and in most cases itâ€™s attributable to the thoughts and ideas that swim around in our heads, thoughts we believe in and how we let these thoughts control us and shape our lives.
Some values and beliefs give us great strength and empowerment, these are the ones that serve us and help us achieve our dreams, and some beliefs no longer serve us and are more of an enemy of progress.
Sometimes our friends and family hold us back, out of their concerns for us. They tell us it can’t be done, based on their own fears, doubts, values and limiting beliefs. Regardless of their intention, the problem is, if we buy into what they say, we end up giving up on our goals and dreams altogether.
Over the years, we have been told different stories that we believed in and have enacted as a part of our life whether it is true or not. We have been told many different reasons why we can’t do certain things and we have believed them without question.
I tell you a story, Mohammad said to his wife â€œWhy do you always dispose off the head of the fish?â€ Zaynab replied â€œwAllahu alam, we just do that in our familyâ€. Mohammed took it upon himself to get to the bottom of this matter; he took a trip to his mother â€“in law. He asked â€œUmm Zaynab why do you not cook the head of the fish in your family?â€ Umm Zaynab replied â€œI donâ€™t know, my mother always did and I never bothered to question the reason whyâ€. â€œHow amazingâ€ replied Mohammad? It was time to visit grandmother. When she was asked she said â€œoh! That, in our days I only had a small pot, it was impossible to fit the whole fish in the pot, I decided to get rid of the head because it had more bone than fish!â€ This just demonstrates how a family of three generations just did what their grandmother did without question, only Allah knows how many fish heads have been wasted!
Limiting beliefs can be divided into various categories; I will mention a few;
1. Hopelessness: my goals cannot be achieved under any circumstances.
2. Helpleness: My goal can be achieved, but I lack the ability and willpower to achieve it
3. Worthlessness: I donâ€™t deserve to achieve this goal, because of something I am/am not or have/have not done. E.g., I donâ€™t deserve this job because I am not smart enough!â€
4. Fear of the unknown the future, fear of failing and taking risks.
5. Blameless: Blaming external events or situations. E.g., -â€œI canâ€™t setup my own business due to the current economic climateâ€ this is a cover for hiding our self esteem.
6. Uselessness: Why bother getting a degree now? It wonâ€™t earn me anymore money than I already do.
How many times have you said to yourself â€œShe/he will never marry meâ€, â€œI am too old to lose weightâ€, â€œI will never get that jobâ€, â€œI always mess things upâ€, â€œI will never be able to memorise the Qurâ€™an or speak Arabicâ€, â€œI feel powerlessâ€, â€œLife is unfairâ€ â€“ the list is endless.
Your values and beliefs control what you think about, the people you identify with, the way in which you handle money, your level of self-expression, your self-esteem, your confidence and the people you choose as friends and companions…and the goals in which you aspire to. Most of us adapted these long ago from our parents, family, teachers, friends or media… and, although they may mean well, often the messages, values and beliefs they instill in young people are fear-based and limiting. They’re also very difficult to erase once they are deep rooted in the subconscious mind.
Thus, our minds tend to become “over-crowded” with negative thoughts and Inner chatter, deeply ingrained bad habits, and old programs that keep sabotaging our effort to bring positive change into our lives. We will be discussing later how to get rid of these negative thoughts and beliefs by adopting the right mindset.
How do I know or identify what beliefs are holding me back?
â€œWe are what we think. With our thoughts we make our worldâ€.
The most intimate relationship is the one you have with your thoughts. Sometimes we can easily identify what thoughts or beliefs that are holding us back, and sometimes this could prove a challenging task, since our limiting beliefs have away of hiding from us. Much like the metaphor of the iceberg, what is beneath the surface is more substantial than what is apparent. We are most driven by our subconscious thoughts that have accumulated over many years of our â€œLife Historyâ€. Where would you be without your story?
Itâ€™s the thoughts in the subconscious mind that we need to realize and bring to the surface, they like sitting in the background. These hidden thoughts are generally negative memories that cause us depression low esteem, self sabotage and fear patterns where we get frightened to take action or try something new.
In order to identify hidden beliefs you have to question your thoughts; ask yourself are these thoughts true? Why is this goal not achievable? Why donâ€™t I deserve this job? Why am I a failure? Etc.
The more you question your thoughts you will be able to start to unravel the beliefs that stand between you and your goal. You will realize that once you are aware of them you they become powerless and gradually fizzle away as you replace them with self affirming positive thoughts, by saying to yourself I will achieve my goals and be successful.
Question 3: Why do I need to do anything if it has all been decreed?
There is a lot of confusion around the belief in Qadar. We need to understand that the outcome of anything is dependent on the performance of the efforts that are necessary to procure it. In other words, it has already been decreed, for example, that some people will be rich in life, however this will not occur unless the individual takes the appropriate actions and puts in the efforts.
So even though we believe in divine decree, we must at the same time strive all we can to ensure that the desired goal occurs. And du’a is the means that one uses to achieve the desired goal that one has, and this in no way contradicts the destiny that has been written for us. This is made clear by the Prophet Salalahu Allaahu alayhi wa salaam said:”Nothing increases one’s lifespan except good deeds, and nothing repels divine decree except duâ€™a. A person may be deprived of sustenance due to a sin that he does” (Ibn Majah)! In other words, the performance of good deeds is a cause of increasing one’s lifespan. So if a person puts in the necessary effort, the results will be achieved, and this is also destined.
So both the means to achieve a goal, and the fulfillment of the goal itself, are already decreed. Allahâ€™s salvation will not come if we do nothing – as in the story of the drowning man who drowned to death because he was waiting for Allahâ€™s salvation and would not except help from anyone.
At what point are you drowning in your life NOW?
If you’re a sister and interested in being coached by sister Khafayah, build your self esteem, self-confidence, self worth by achieving your biggest dreams. Help banish beliefs that hold you back, get rid of procrastination,find direction and focus in your life and finally being the change you want to be! Then e-mail sister Khafayah NOW and book a lifecoach session with her. Quote ProductiveMuslim.com when you e-mail. Her e-mail is:Khafayah@discoverulife.com