To start off the year, I did a Q&A on my Instagram stories (something that I do a lot) and the topic was about the new year. I received a lot of great questions and the session was engaging.
But out of all the questions, one question got stuck on my mind to this day. It wasn’t really a question; it was more of statement. It was a simple sentence, but it bears within it an intriguing story such that I wonder about it long after I read the sentence.
The sentence goes, “I don’t look forward to 2019.”
This was said on the first day of 2019!
That sentence left me with more and more questions. What has happened in this person’s life that the beginning of something new and exciting is met with such self-destructive skepticism and subsequent demotivation?
Understandably, life is hard. Whether we like it or not, life is hard. The sooner we internalize it and make peace with it, the easier it is for us to deal with it. The acceptance doesn’t change the fact that life is hard, but it does make a difference in terms of how you stand up to face it.
At the very least, you are standing up.
I am assuming that the person is having a hard time with life. What it is exactly, I don’t know because the person only wrote a sentence without the context. So the context is mysterious, and to be honest, very enticing.
I wonder and wonder about what could have happened to a person that he is down so low to make declare that statement out loud. What did life give to him that it knocked him down so hard that he can’t get back up again?
Or at least, that is what he believes.
Sometimes that belief alone can crush you can keep you in that state. When you believe that you can’t get back up again, your body and even your environment will find a way to confirm that belief. Particularly because your belief creates a looking glass through which you will use to see the world, exclusively.
If you believe you can’t get back up again, then you will seek in the world anything that will confirm that belief. Whether you are conscious or not of that confirmation seeking, it will happen. It is one of those idiosyncrasies that we have as human beings.
Considering that we will confirm ourselves consciously or not, it is better to be conscious and self-aware of it. Self-awareness is, often times in my estimation, is the first step to building up your mental strength to face further jabs and punches from life.
Once you are self-aware of this mental trapping (one of many), you can actually fight it head on.
If you are unaware of it, it is like fighting in the dark; your enemy is in the room but you don’t know where it is. So you swing your punches blindly in the dark, hitting nothing, while your enemy is constantly hitting you on target.
Once you are aware, how do you fight? What are your punches? There are plenty of ways and my following suggestions should not limit other possible suggestions out there. Having said that, here’s how I would fight the tendency to believe that I can’t get back up after I get knocked down:
1. Life is not over.
So long as I am still breathing, there’s always another chance. This I personally believe on a fundamental level from the concept of taubah. No matter how messed up you are or how messed up you think you are, Allah’s Forgiveness reigns superior to that. Always.
2. My response is everything.
I understand that we are compelled to focus our attention on what happened. We might even go on a downward emotional spiral where we ask questions like, “Why God?” or “Why me?” In actuality, the event that happened already happened. No matter how much you moan, whine, or complain, it happened. What matters now is this…what do you do about it?
3. I can handle it.
There are people around us who don’t believe in our potential. They bring us down with negativity and “You can’t” comments. But, after everything is said and done, whatever people say about you doesn’t matter as much as what you say about yourself. Yes, there are people who don’t believe in you, but about you? Do you believe in yourself?
If you don’t, perhaps it might help for you to know that Allah thinks more of you.
“Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear…” (Qur’an, 2:286)
If you are tested with a difficulty (which you will be, because we have established that life is difficult), then by default that means that you have the ability to face it with nobility and excel through it. Otherwise, that test won’t be given to you.
It doesn’t mean that you have to handle it alone because you are human. You can ask for help and support. Nonetheless, you can handle it.
Why? Because the test was given to you.
Want to learn how to build self-confidence? Join my first online class ever on 12 Jan 2019, 8PM (MYT). Click here for info and registration: www.aimanazlan.com/unshakeable.