I Am Pessimistic & Lost My Confidence

Question and answer details
V (19ÜfemaleÜIndia)
I feel like a total loser. I know I have wasted my high school years when I should have been focused on academics by getting involved in other stuff. A girl always used to comment about my looks and that I was not milky fair and had been gaining weight and everything. I wallowed in self-pity and felt like a loser. I am a brilliant student; all my teachers and family say so, and they had great expectations from me. I did not feel any pressure; in fact I used to be motivated to fulfill them, but then my grades went down and I feel I have let everyone down. I was a topper student; I know I am still much more intelligent than half the world out there. I just don't feel the motivation to work since I am always feeling that there can never be any good that can happen to me. I feel like this all the time. Why did I turn into such a pessimist? I feel terrible but don't have the guts to commit suicide.
Aliah Azmeh, MSW

As-Salamu ‘Alaykum Sister,

Thank you for sending us your question. I am going to start my answer by addressing your last comment about committing suicide. Do NOT ever think about committing suicide; you are a valuable person and you would be doing yourself and the rest of the world a great injustice if you did that. Whenever you get that thought, push it away!

It seems like you had a difficult time in high school. The girls constantly made fun of you and put you down. I am sorry that happened to you and it is very unfortunate that this kind of bullying and humiliation is taking place.

Unfortunately, many teenagers are in your same position. No matter what country you live in, you can find that bullying is a huge problem in schools, colleges, and even families. More efforts should be made to address this issue on a community, national, and even international level.

Sister, you said it yourself “I am a brilliant student; all my teachers and family say so, and they had great expectations from me.” Believe this about yourself, because I am sure that it is true.

What you need to do is to spend some one-on-one time with you and yourself. Ask yourself, “What do I like about myself? What do I want to become? What are my strengths, and what are my weaknesses?” Really dwell on the answers that you give yourself and start from there.

In the meantime, try to keep yourself away from people who put you down and keep company with people who care about you. You need time to rebuild your confidence and most importantly, you need to trust yourself.

Every human being makes mistakes, but the successful people are those who continue to believe in themselves and feel good about themselves - even if they fail over and over again.

You are 19, you are intelligent, and in sha’ Allah you can certainly have a bright future. Believe that about yourself even if you don’t really “feel” it right now. Give yourself some time to heal.

During your healing time, keep good company and focus on yourself. Some suggestions would be to write in a journal, spend time with friends and family, being physically active by exercising or playing sports, learning a new hobby like painting, cooking, sewing, etc.

Nurture yourself in order to become independent and strong. Once you regain your confidence and strength, you can go back to actively pursuing your goals.

I would also recommend that you see a counselor. A counselor could be a good source of guidance and can help you gain more insight about your thoughts and feelings. I ask Allah to give you strength and determination to allow you to overcome your fears and to reach your full potential.


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About the Counselor:

Aliah F. Azmeh is a licensed clinical social worker who practices in Detroit, Michigan. Aliah graduated with a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan in 2007 and has experience working in the United States and overseas. Aliah currently works as a clinical social worker and provides individual, family, and marital counseling at Muslim Family Services in Detroit, MI.

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response reflect an attempt from the counselor to deal with the case, based on the limited information provided in the question with no responsibility whatsoever on the website. You are strongly advised to seek face-to-face counseling and consult your physician or therapist when making a drastic change in your lifestyle in terms of behavior, medication or diet etc.