Let me tell you a little secret.
Sometimes a little attitude adjustment is all you need to be your best.
Abu Bakr said, “I was with the Prophet (ﷺ) in the Cave. When I raised my head, I saw the feet of the people. I said, "O Allah's Messenger (ﷺ)! If they look down, they’ll see us." The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "O Abu Bakr, be quiet! (For we are) two, Allah is the Third of us." [al-Bukhari & Muslim]
Words impact attitude!
One day the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) entered the mosque. He saw there a man from the Ansar called Abu Umamah. He said: What is the matter that I am seeing you sitting in the mosque when it’s not time for prayer?
He said: I am entangled in worry and debt. He replied: Shall I not teach you words, when you say them, Allah will remove your worries, and settle your debts? He said: Why not, Messenger of Allah?
He said: Say in the morning and evening, "O Allah, I seek refuge in Thee from worry and grief, I seek refuge in Thee from incapacity and laziness, I seek refuge in Thee from cowardice and miserliness, and I seek refuge in Thee from being overcome by debt and being subjugated by men."
He said: When I did that Allah removed my care and settled my debt. [Abu Dawud]
Attitude impacts performance!
An optimistic attitude is required to be your best you. When faced with trouble and turmoil, maintaining a hopeful outlook can be the difference between success and failure.
Sometimes we let out worries get the best of us. We become overwhelmed with doubt. We lose hope. That is often the result of a very negative and toxic internal dialogue we have with ourselves. We allow our feelings to turn into words of pessimism and end up convincing ourselves that what is within our grasp is miles away. We say things like, it’s too hard, it’s too much, it’s impossible. With our own words, we talk ourselves down instead of pumping ourselves up.
Fleeing for their lives, the Prophet (ﷺ) with his companion jumped in that hole to evade their would-be assassins. The Prophet (ﷺ), in that cave, was filled with trust, confidence, and hope. His closest most faithful companion in a very stressful moment wavered and let his negative fears slip out! He was silenced immediately and reinforced with words of positivity! The result... They arrived in Madinah unharmed.
Abu Umamah, a faithful companion, let his worries get the best of him. Sequestered in the masjid, he had all but given up. The Prophet (ﷺ) helped adjust his attitude with words of prayer and positivity. By the favor of Allah, with those words he was able to pull himself out of his slump, regain hope, and overcome his challenges.
Narrated Abu Huraira: I heard Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) saying, "There are no evil signs. The best of signs are the favorable ones." They asked, "What is a favorable sign?" He said, "A good word that one of you hears (and takes as a good sign). [Ahmad, Al-Bukhari, Muslim]
Positive words are powerful. They help shape optimistic attitudes and ward off hopelessness and defeat.
Ibn Abbas said that the difference between optimism and pessimism is that optimism is the way to adopting a positive opinion of Allāh whereas pessimism is nothing but evil and therefor disdained.
We were reminded last week of Allāh’s words as narrated by the Prophet, “I am as my slave expects me to be…” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
A positive attitude strengthens resolve and drive, it brings happiness to the heart and comfort to the soul and helps you form a positive opinion of Allāh. When you are confident that Allāh will deliver you, it will be so.
On the other hand, negative words are destructive.
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “If you hear someone say, ‘The people are ruined.’ Know that he is more ruined.” Some of the scholars of ḥadīth also thought that he could have said, “He has ruined them”. [Al-Bukhari, al-Adab al-Mufrad & Muslim]
They plant the seeds of doubt and pessimism setting you up for failure before you even get started. Negative words are like a disease. In the word of an Arab poet,
O You squawker and your disease,
what will come of you, already sick.
Blinded from their crowning dew,
you only see the thorns that prick.
An evil culprit most impure,
before getting started, you’re ready to leave.
The one who himself has no allure,
the world’s beauty, he cannot conceive.
To be your best you, a positive attitude is at the top of the list of must have tools. As people of faith, it’s important to remember that its all good!
Abu Yahya Suhaib bin Sinan (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, "How wonderful is the case of a believer; there is good for him in everything and this applies only to a believer. If prosperity attends him, he expresses gratitude to Allah and that is good for him; and if adversity befalls him, he endures it patiently and that is better for him". [Muslim].
To help manage your attitude and the attitude of those around you, practice the WOW concept; watch our words.
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: the Prophet (ﷺ) said, "He who believes in Allah and the Last Day must either speak good or remain silent." [Muslim]
Try and keep track of what you say and review your words on a daily basis. Being mindful of your words will help you control them and enable you to make the necessary changes to your attitude to be your best you.