Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Habits to Live by: Proving People Wrong! (dealing with naysayers)

My sister knows someone by the name of N who works with her. N apparently came out one day, shyly admitting that she too wants to create beautiful things. She too, has a stirring welding up in the depths of her being....she has a dream, and her dream is jewelry.

She has never had her own business, and her craft is still in its beginning phases, but she decided to attend my sis out on a day she went supply shopping in NYC. 

Apparently, N told her on multiple times that her friends don't seem to support her.  They don't think its a good idea. Obviously it was getting to her.

When I heard this, we both ranted for 2 1/2 seconds on how she should just ignore them and go for the gold right? Eventually, I realized how much I have changed.  All my hope, drive, confidence has really been cultivated only in the past year or so. Before, I was not like this. I used to announce my ideas to those I felt closest to and constantly ask their opinions...

Like a child showing their mother their first scribble, I wanted approval and someone to just say it for me...

"Go for it, Girl!"

Instead, I received the following reactions: 
  • Pursed lips.
  • Periods of silence. 
  • Uncertain head nods (you can literally feel it permeate the air as their internal clocks of doubt spin to find a way to "kindly" respond to you)

What I will never forget is that most if not 97 percent of those people always expressed doubt or some kind of negative response. Sometimes I was questioned vigorously by those with NO experience in the dream I was expressing, as if they had lived it themselves and could then "test" whether I was ready or not. Oddly enough, I was surprised and yes even offended. Had I not proved the people in my life my ability to conquer obstacles. Was I not capable enough? 

Often, I stepped back and hid from myself. Myself, being the inner child that knows no boundaries. I built up brick walls around me and my dream started to rot. My sadness creeped in and I lost myself. The biggest naysayer in my life (or perhaps it was because I valued his opinion so much) at that time was my then husband (now my ex). At the time I wanted to paint and sell my work, and on one trip he followed me into the art store and talked me out of buying the canvases. 

Ill never forget that day, well I am trying to now. But I think I cried when I tried to tell him how it made me feel.  

A Breakdown of the Average Person.
  • The average person is someone who avoids risks. 
  • The average person is someone who lets fear and doubt guide their decisions.
  • The average person lets money and supposed stability guide their life. (Allah swt is the Provider, the Sustainer)
  • The average person wants you to be safe and guided similarly,  which means giving you advice on being just as average as them.
  • The average person could be your blood, or your parents or even the person you share a bed with.
  • The average person has a list of dreams and aspirations buried deep within them that they no longer care to visit. It would be too heart-breaking because they have already resolved to defeat.
  • The average person will try to prove you wrong UNTIL you prove them wrong! 

My sister who is also my co-founder, has from the time I met her, been the biggest supporter every time I poured my heart out to her. If I told her I wanted to be the first hijabie to climb mount Everest, I don't she would have doubted me for a second. As I sat there reminiscing my transformation from self doubt to becoming my own cheerleader, I remember the very few loving faces who echoed the same positive responses in my life. I need to let them know how much I love them for breaking down my walls, and lending me a helping hand to finding myself.

I have learned (trust me I am still learning) to do an ultimate battle against such people in my life.

unsheathes sword*

Honestly, it is a battle. There are lots of people on this earth and lots of new relationships that will be created and broken in our lives. Ive learned that there will be no shortage of naysayers and doubters out there, which is the reason why I wrote this article. Proving people wrong is a habit; one that you must build and practice in order to get where you are going. Here are the my weapons against the naysayers and negative nancys:

  • Remember, not everyone deserves to hear your dream-If you are still beginning, protect those thoughts because not everyone deserves to hear it. Honestly it is not everyone's business. Because as soon as you tell people, they feel the need to offer their opinion. If you don't value their opinion, then don't tell them. If you feel that expressing your dream to the public is the best thing to achieve it, then learn to shield out the negativity vigorously.
  • Recognize your supporters, stick with them- There are so few people that will be there for you. They don't know how deeply they affect you. Subhanallah. If you have any, never forget them. They are God's gift to you. Stick with them, become their friends. Talk with them. And let them be a part of your journey so they can inject you with a boost of hopefulness when things get difficult.
  • Learn from the experts, not the inexperienced-Some people will try to offer you advice. Without expressing positive nor negative reactions, they instead try to "help" you. If they have no proven record of going after their own dreams then take what they say with a grain a salt. Sometimes advice is a laced way to instill doubt or fear of failure. If it is your dream, truly something you want, trust that you will do the necessary work to achieve it without having everyone stick their hands in your future. 
  • Realize, not everyone is coming from a bad place-It is very scary to decide to do something that means the world to you. Often, those dreams scare those around you. "Its not possible. Its too expensive. Its not practical. Why not do this instead?" Success stories are like fairy tales to those who have given up. They are collecting dust next to all the other child hood readings left in the past. And growing up means growing past them. You have to keep yourself positive but also courteous to those people. Instead of adapting a combative attitude (which is what I used to do), take it as a challenge or as a favor. "Hunny, I'll show you!" Some of my naysayers have turned into supporters the more I rigorously worked hard on my goals. Not only are they starting to believe, but they are starting to vocalize their own dreams and goals to me now! 
  • Never forget what you have already achieved- The best thing I feel anybody looking to go the distance can do, is to recognize what they have already achieved big or small. It will require you to take a critical eye in your past, and finally become your one and only cheerleader. Say it to yourself, as if you are reciting your resume. Realize how, even without even feeling it, you went after things and achieved. Not everyone had the opportunity or the inner ability to do what you have done. My own achievements: 
    • I speak 3 languages (the extras I taught myself)
    • I got into a prestigious school and lived abroad for a year
    • I organized and led a All Muslim women's stand up comedy which still continues to be "copied" on my campus to this day
    • I have led and been elected to leadership positions over 10 times in my life. One of those positions was president over a 200 member club. One of those was a state position over a business club in Delaware.
    • I have won a national research award and achieved the highest grades in Spanish language in the entire state of Delaware in 2005. 
    • I had a beautiful daughter who now knows 3 languages
    • I survived a heart-breaking divorce and a year of homelessness.
    • I survived child-hood abuse that lasted for 19 years of my life.
    • I have people that love me, some of which I haven't seen in years, some of whom I have never seen before. 
    • I have this blog, and you, my dear reader have taken the time to read this article. That's an achievement! 
My brothers and sisters, readers, and critics, do not be an average person. In that, I mean do not forget the things that stir you deeply. The things that make you smile till it hurts. No matter how silly it sounds, or how ridiculous you must must protect your innermost dreams and desires!  When everyone turns their backs, turn back to your dreams. Water them, cultivate them, talk to them, until they grow so big and fabulous, everyone will turn to admire in disbelief!

Prove them wrong.


  1. I told you I LOVE reading your blogs babe! As I know I'm secretly one of your biggest fans, I can't help but wonder if I was one of those who made a weird face when you first told me about this dream of yours? I sure hope not cause' that's deff not the face I meant to make. I do remember thinking how much we had in common, or, how similar our dreams are. I guess that's why Allah brought us together. You have a drive in you that gives off a feeling of "Jump on or Get out the way!!!!". Your deff going places &, inshaa Allah, I'll be here every step of the way <3 I love you! The princess (who STILL has not gone to sleep) & I send you big, slobbery boosa's =)

    1. Since, believe it or not, you were one of the few that made me feel like I could do it! From the very beginning when it was just mere thoughts in my head...and I love you for it wallah. ahhahah I am excited to see you go for yours! Ill make dua for you to deal my offspring HAHAHHA!

  2. MashaAllah sis a good read. Sadly we are living in times when very few are sincerely happy for other people and their aspirations. Your provisions are with Allah and He will give you all that you need and work for. May He protect us from envying eyes and souls that find it hard to be happy for others.

    1. Thank you Sanaa for your beautiful dua! I guess it took me awhile to understand that people are like that. I think I learned the hard way :) Inshallah I wish you all the best as well and for you and your family to be protected.

  3. what a beautiful and inspiring post masha'Allah! may Allah preserve your drive and passion and grant you success in all that you do! ameen :)

    1. :) Thank you for taking the time to read it Sarah! I am so glad you liked it alhamdoolilah!

    2. Salaam,

      Umm Sultana,

      I loooovveeee you

  4. mashallah such uplifting words may Allah SWT keep us all focused and enable us all to reach our dreams and goals in a modest and islamic way.


You are AmaZing


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