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How Do I Get Over My Difficult Upbringing to Become a Self-Confident Person With a Fulfilling Life?

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Question: When I was growing up I faced constant humiliation. It was so bad that by the time I was a teenager I was almost completely mute, incredibly self conscious, completely lacking in confidence, and I had isolated myself from others.  My inability to speak or do anything when I needed too resulted in many missed opportunities, and as I approach my middle age years I have no-one and nothing. I took my Shahada over 10 years ago and I have prayed perhaps 2 months worth of prayers in that time and have never completed a Ramadhan either. If everything that happens in life is from Allah to test your sincerity and see if you will turn towards him, why have I been denied almost everything? I feel like my existence is empty. I’ve recently started praying again, but I’m not sure how long that will last before feelings of hopelessness overwhelm me again and I sink into a swamp of morose self pity. I feel like I’m at my breaking point sometimes.

Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Dear Brother,

Assalamu alaikum,

I pray you are doing better.

Let me be frank. At age 42 you cannot afford to spend another second in self pity. If you are a healthy, able-bodied male, there is so much you can do for others.

You absolutely must heal from what others did to you when you were a child. Allah will hold them to account for every slight, every put-down they sent your way. Don’t waste another moment letting them dictate who you are today.

Why ruin your relationship with the Eternal One who will be there when everyone and everything else is gone?

This is Ramadan. Resolve to turn over a new leaf. Fast. Pray. Take your meal with the community and reach out to someone. Volunteer. If you start to care about others, insha’Allah, Allah will care about you.

Be well,

Zaynab Ansari