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How to Deal with Low Self-Esteem?

16 March, 2023
Q I have so many psychological problems pertaining weak personality, unnatural shyness, obsessive-compulsive disorder, lack of confidence and life goals. I will mention all my psychological disorders below and I wish you answer me quickly because I'm suffering savagely and I can't endure this hard life. I'm lost. These are some of the problems I haven’t found a way out until now: lack of confidence, social anxiety, OCD, obsession with masturbation, unjustified fear from people’s reaction. I am always afraid to be misjudged. I am unable to get along with strangers, and I am extremely shy, even at work. I am afraid of anything new. I have never dated a woman although I feel in love with most women I see. I feel uncomfortable and afraid outside my home. I fear of interviews and tests to the extent that I may lose half of my concentration if someone at work criticized me or were sarcastic with me. I would stay all day and night thinking of that situation. I can't live my life normally because of these issues. Please help.


In this counseling answer:

“Low self-confidence isn’t a life sentence. Self-confidence can be learned, practiced, and mastered – just like any other skill. Once you master it, everything in your life will change for the better.”

As Salamu ‘Alaykum brother,

Thank you for trusting us with your most important questions. May Allah bless and guide you in your journey towards healing.

What you have described, which is a lot, seems to stem from an anxiety disorder, low self-esteem, and depression.

Some of what you have stated. I urge you in sha’ Allah to seek counseling as soon as possible so you can resolve these issues dear brother and live a happier and more satisfying life.

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While you did not say whether you have already been evaluated and diagnosed with all these “disorders”, I urge you to do so, if you have not already been evaluated.

Anxiety is one of the most common disorders. Your description of how it has affected your life seems to indicate that it is severe as it is interfering with many things.

You stated that you “feel uncomfortable and afraid outside my home”, which indicates to me a possible future problem with it leading to agoraphobia.

In case of agoraphobia, in its severest form, often one cannot even leave his home due to fears/anxiety. counselor recommends a technique for dealing with negative thoughts, anxiety, and fear which involves what is often called “thought stopping”.

This type of self-talk can be a very powerful tool if done consistently and with determination. states “every time you catch yourself thinking a negative statement, say something such as “STOP!” Then, consciously and purposefully say a positive truth statement about yourself; in other words, correct yourself and your thoughts.

This is called “thought stopping” and “thought replacement”. It will help you change the way your mind thinks and will ultimately change how you feel about yourself.

I suggest dear brother that you seek professional counseling to get to the root of all these fears and anxieties.

As some are natural responses such as shyness, fear during a job interview, fear/anxiety while speaking in public, yours seems to have gone beyond that.

I am happy though of your self-knowledge, your desire for help, and your determination to change your life so you can function in a comfortable and confident manner.

Inc.Edu states regarding self-esteem and confidence “”Low self-confidence isn’t a life sentence.

Self-confidence can be learned, practiced, and mastered – just like any other skill. Once you master it, everything in your life will change for the better.”

I ask you, dear brother, to please make a list of all your good qualities and accomplishments.

At least 10! Then make a list of the blessings Allah has given you.

For the 3rd list, look at areas in your life which you would like to improve upon, and list below 3 things you can do to make that improvement.

I would like you to review these lists daily, and add on to them as you grow.

Often times, seeing ourselves on paper helps to give us a better perspective on what attributes we have and our accomplishments.

It also gives us insight, in sha’ Allah, into what we need to work on. We all have areas in which we need to improve.

I would kindly suggest, dear brother, that you also begin to engage in some relaxation techniques which will help you gain control of your internal and external responses to stimuli and fear, in sha’Allah.

Additionally, self-love is important. Eat healthy foods, exercise, and plan fun social times.

Get involved in some charity work by helping others less fortunate than you.

Even though you may feel scared or shy, just start with a brief outing with friends.

Get involved with the activities at your mosque and join groups that interest you, or increase your Islamic knowledge.

Increasing your Islamic knowledge will help you understand how to conquer obstacles in life by applying Islamic prescriptions. It will also bring you closer to Allah (SWT).

Stay close to Allah. Pray, ask for forgiveness, repent of any sins; make du’aa’ that Allah relieves you of these feelings and replaces them with the peace and confidence that He wants you to have.

Make dhikr to Allah for it settles the mind, comforts the soul and will increase your ability to concentrate in sha’ Allah.

Concentration and focus will prevent your fears from overcoming you in sha’ Allah, and will help you in remaining composed during times of stress.

Remembrance of Allah is a gift we need to utilize more in everyday life and especially for healing.

Please seek counseling brother and let us know how you are. You are in our prayers.


Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha has a PhD in psychology, an MS in public health and a PsyD. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years at Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. She has worked with clients with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, panic disorder, trauma, and OCD. She also facilitated support groups and provided specialized services for victims of domestic violence, HIV positive individuals, as well youth/teen issues. Aisha is certified in Mindfulness, Trauma Informed Care, Behavioral Management, Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and Confidentiality & Security. Aisha is also a Certified Life Coach, and Relationship Workshop facilitator. Aisha has a part-time Life Coaching practice in which she integrates the educational concepts of stress reduction, mindfulness, introspection, empowerment, self love and acceptance and spirituality to create a holistic healing journey for clients. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocates for prisoner rights/reentry, social & food justice, as well as advocating for an end to oppression & racism. In her spare time, Aisha enjoys her family, photography, nature, martial arts classes, Islamic studies, volunteering/charity work, as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.