What Kind of Person do YOU want to be? by Ifrah Ibrahim
Posted on October 21, 2014
Often times clients come to me looking to make decisions about certain aspects of their lives (their career, health, relationships, etc). What they walk away with, however, are not only decisions pertaining to those areas but also about who they are and who they want to be. I remind my clients that, if they want to impact their own lives and the lives of others they have to first focus on making decisions that are empowering about themselves.
You see, once we make solid, powerful decisions about who we are, it becomes easier for us to make empowering decisions that impact all other areas of our lives (and our world in general) positively. I want to share with you two strategies that can help us in making very empowering decisions about ourselves.1) Make a conscious decisions about who you are
Often times, most of us focus our conscious decision making for things we have to do or get but not for who we are or who we want to be. What I mean is, when was the last time you sat down and really thought about the kind of person you want to be? If it’s been awhile, today is a good a day for such exercise. Why today? Because I said so :)
No seriously, sitting down and making a decision about who we are is so important because it impacts all the other decisions we make. If we don’t consciously decide and set a baseline standard of who we are, then it becomes very easy for us to slip into behaviours and attitudes that are not befitting of us.
Who are we? Who do we want to be? Will we decide to be of those people who are grateful to Allah (swt) for all situations regardless of the outcome and as such who are not bogged down by past disappointments and failures? Will we be of those who surrender their hearts to Al-Jabbar (the amender of all things broken) to heal from past pain, hurt and disappointments?
Will we be of those who remain prisoners of past failures and hurts and who as a result lead mediocre lives. Live quietly and die quietly never living up to the potential Allah (S) blessed them with? Let's decide to be of the former and seek refuge in Allah from every being counted among the latter.
2) Define your circumstance; don’t let your circumstance define you.
As we decide who we are, it becomes very important to distinguish between letting our circumstances define us and us defining the circumstance. The events that happen in our lives have the potential to build our character and make us better and stronger or defeat us, all depending on the meaning we choose to give them. Let me give you the example of two people who are both born with a physical disability.
Person A sees all the limitations of their circumstance and thinks that they have nothing to offer to the world. Person B, will look at their circumstance and think, “SubhanAllah, Allah must’ve created my spirit so strong to give me a test like this. If Allah believes I’m strong enough to handle this [and He does, as He never tests us with more than we can bare], I can handle anything in this world. I am going to use the gifts He’s given me to benefit the ummah.”
The same situation will produce two different people. A person who might spend their entire life in self-pity and person who spends their entire life serving Allah (S) by making a difference in their own life and in the lives of those around them.
Whatever our circumstance is we have the power to give it a meaning. We decide what our circumstances mean. We can either decide it’s something we cannot overcome and that’s meant to cripple us. Or, we can decide that it is a means for us to realize the strength Allah created us with, a means for us to make a difference in the world. Either way, we decide.
Let’s make powerful decisions. Let’s decide we are strong courageous people whom Allah blessed beyond measure and whatever the circumstance or test He’s given us, it is only meant to build our character and make us stronger and better versions of ourselves.
Ya Allah we’re grateful to you for everything, even those things we may dislike because you know what’s best for us better than we do.
Ifrah Ibrahim is a life-coach, whose passion is to help Muslimahs connect with their core values and embrace their authentic selves so they can lead purposeful lives with full sincerity for His sake. She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota with her husband and two small children. You can follow her on Facebook or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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