If you are like me…there is always something in your own habits or character that bugs you and that you want to change.

The thing is…wanting to get rid of negative habits and trying to adopt positive ones is a good thing! However, there are two ways you can do this…

An example…

Here is an analogy I want to give you first…
Imagine a little girl working on something and and in this process going through a rough time.  On the one hand this child has a coach. This coach cheers her on when she makes even the tiniest progress. The coach encourages her and lifts her up when things are tough. This coach gives the little girl some tough love when she needs it, but is absolutely on her side. They both are a team!

On the other hand this little girl has an adult in her life who has always something negative to point out. The girl’s wins and efforts are never good enough and there is a lot of criticism especially when things are not going very well. This adult constantly brings the little girl down. Even if she had the desire to bring positive change, her optimism dies down pretty quick by the negative talk and the pessimistic view of the adult.

YOU my dear sis…can be either of these two to yourself. We all have a little voice inside our head that is speaking to us all day, every day. Have you ever noticed this voice? That little voice inside your head can be your inner coach or it can be your inner critic.

Connecting it to the example I gave earlier. That inner voice can be the coach that absolutely lifts you up, encourages you, and motivates you. Or it can be that adult who always criticizes you and brings you down.

Which one of those do you think will help a person move forward?


For many of us, it is clear that in Islam we are required to have a positive and kind conduct with the people in our lives. It starts with our own family members, our neighbors, co-workers, the people in our community etc.

It is quite shocking to me, however, when I speak with so many sisters who don’t even have kindness to themselves on their list of priorities! Somehow, somewhere in the past, culture has shaped our mindset in a way where caring for ourselves, is not even a priority! Can you believe that? It’s looked upon as something selfish. And so when simply caring for ourselves isn’t considered a priority, kindness and compassion in how we speak to ourselves are even less likely to be on that list. To kick start our journey of being kind and compassionate to ourselves, it is important to pay attention to that little voice in our head.


From a scientific point of view it is clear that a positive inner voice can lead to numerous benefits, for example: lower levels of anxiety and depression, higher levels of life satisfaction, and greater success in achieving our goals. When you adopt a positive inner voice, you are better equipped to face challenges and overcome obstacles.

So…how can you cultivate a positive inner voice? A coach-like voice that lifts you up? Rather than a critical voice that brings you down and discourages you no matter what you do and how you do it.
The first step is to become aware of your negative self-talk. Just becoming aware of the way you speak to yourself, will put you on the road to kindness and compassion towards yourself.

Once you become familiar with the patterns of speech inside your own head, it is time to re-frame your mindset around addressing yourself. If you find that inner voice to be negative more often than positive, consciously choose and decide to be that coach to yourself, rather than the critic.

For example, if you have a rough day with your children. You keep your cool, throughout the day, but by the end of the day the stress has built up and the tension is so high that all of a sudden you snap! You find yourself yelling at your children and not being the best version of yourself in the word choices you make. Alright…from here there are two roads you can take.

You can beat yourself up about it in the days that come by talking in a negative, shaming way to yourself. That would be the critic version of the voice inside you. And remember…the critic really does not have a whole lot of positive impact on us. In fact, it does damage, rather than repair.


You can choose to use the coach-like voice inside your head. Remember, it is absolutely ok to feel guilt and remorse about your actions. In fact, you don’t want to brush your mistakes off and say: “Who cares!” Instead you can say: “I feel so bad I screamed at my kids and used the words I used. But I am a human too, and I can make mistakes and lose my patience. I will ask Allah(swt) for forgiveness first, then I will apologize to my kids, and will try my best to not take that path again.” And then make du’aa to Allah(swt) to help you and put barakah in your intention to become a better version of the amazing mother you already are!

It’s so important…

To remember that change takes time and can feel difficult. If the default mode of speaking to yourself has been the critical way, it will take time to learn new and better ways. WHILE it’s taking time to learn this coach-like way of speaking to yourself…be gentle and patient with yourself.

How to learn to speak like a coach to yourself?

Imagine making a mistake. Now imagine the Prophet(saw). How would he(saw) talk to you about your mistake? In what tone would he(saw) address you? What would his(saw) word choice be? Would he(saw) give you a coach-like attitude or a critic-like attitude?

See sis, the problem isn’t that we don’t know what the coach-like voice and attitude is like. The problem is that we are conditioned to be very critical about ourselves. So when you find yourself speaking to yourself critically, immediately picture the gentleness and immense kindness of the Prophet(saw) in your mind…. Use that method to speak to yourself. And again…the more you practice this way of speaking to yourself, the more that will become the automated response in your brain.

Alright dear sis… I ask Allah(swt) to bless you with a beautiful attitude and beautiful words towards yourself. I pray that Allah(swt) blesses you in your efforts and your intentions so you can be a kinder and better version of yourself: to yourself first and through that to the people around you!