Am I Too Shy?

So I get told quite a lot that I need to be more confident but I wonder how seriously I should take this. And I wonder, what does it mean to be more confident? Does it mean that you talk more? Is it in the way you come across? Is it in the tone and volume of your voice?

Surely true confidence comes when you are competent? As in it is natural to feel less confident when you are in a new environment for the first time, around new people and don’t really know a great deal much. You’re like an apprentice as a medical student so surely it is acceptable to be a little bit nervous. However, I understand that some people look more confortable and more confident even when they do not know something. They are braver and bolder in the way they come across.

Do I really want to come across that way when I am still learning? I want to be humble and approachable. If I look like I know everything, then who will be willing to teach me? I don’t want to be arrogant as I know some medical students do come across that way and the nurses/other staff don’t like it. 

I begin to think that there is something wrong with me or I should be different when people say that about me. Confidence isn’t something that happens overnight. It fluctuates and the roots of one’s confidence can emerge from so many different factors like their upbringing, which are things that can’t easily be corrected.

I already feel deficient often as a result of experiences in my life which I perceived to be negative, so it can be a little worrying when other people point out things that are perceived as flaws for them.

I was reading a little bit about confidence today. I have a tendency to want to read about things or look things up when I feel there is an issue with me. However, this isn’t always productive. It just makes me analyse and ruminate more. So perhaps I should just let some comments pass over me, or I don’t know.

Like take yesterday for instance – I was worried about something that isn’t even an issue today as Allah resolved it overnight. So maybe that can put things into perspective inshaAllah. Not everything needs to be zoomed into on a microscopic level. There are some things that won’t be able to be seen with the naked eye. And maybe I just need to accept that, rather than try to diagnose everything. I am super analytical and critical by nature. Viewing myself through that lens can often be very painful. However, it’s just a habit.

Maybe I need to turn to Allah more instead and ask Him for guidance on how to be. I did make some d’ua for this today. I want to be a humble (non arrogant) Muslimah. I want to have hayah and I want to please Allah. But a part of me also wants to be seen as a competent medical student who will one day (inshaAllah) be a doctor. That part of me wants to have the approval and the acceptance of other doctors in the profession, though I am aware that many of them are so different to me in terms of their culture, religion and values. However, I am pretty sure and I do hope that there are doctors out there who have similar views to me and want to be as islamic as they can, but it’s so hard when you have conflicting messages/expectations of what is good.

Maybe I shouldn’t let the views of a few doctors get to me. They come from a society that has different views/expectations of how people should act/behave, so clearly they are not so trustworthy when it comes to judging me.

I should only judge myself through the lens of the Qur’an and the sunnah.


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