Confessions of a Muslim Coach (my perfectionism keeps me from you)
Over the last 2 weeks, I’ve been toiling with the idea of writing a different kind of newsletter or a blog post (that’s been sitting on my mind for ages) for you but I haven’t been able to.
I’ve been telling myself things that are true but it’d be a lie if I say they’re all of the truth.
As a result – I’ve been hiding behind excuses like not having the time to get back to my routine of creating a fresh new piece of content for you because of being busy with client work and student calls in BDD.
The full truth is: I’ve been scared.
I’ve been dealing with a serious case of perfectionism.
Today I want to take you behind-the-scenes into the not-so-attractive corners of my mind and share all the reasons why I’ve been stuck because of perfectionism and how it affects my life when it comes to my work of being a Muslim coach.
If you’re a Muslim coach, content creator, or online entrepreneur, you’ll probably relate to this deeply. And if you’re a professional, you can still relate to this, as well as have an idea of what it’s like for a Muslim coach to show up with new content and coach their audience consistently.
My only purpose with this blog post is to show you the very real fears and doubts I experience as I work on everything related to my mission at Muslim Empowerment… fears and doubts that you may be experiencing so you know you’re not alone.
Because, while strategy is important, overcoming these fears and doubts makes up for more than half the solution of reaching any kind of success in any part of your life. Promise.
Before I reveal all the reasons why perfectionism shows up for me repeatedly, let me share how it affects the way I show you up for you as a coach:
- I’m not always able to share my truth fully and end up only sharing what we should or need to do from the Quran and Sunnah as Muslims to level up (instead of also sharing the raw behind-the-scenes of before/ after of my transformations and the not-so-appealing emotions I had to experience and that I had to let go with each up-level.)
- I’m not able to share the ugly thought process that happens every time I have to level up and the uncomfortable phase of metamorphosis that truly everybody has to go through when making a growth transition and leveling up.
Instead, my positive-thinking approach makes me want to share only the positive aspects of getting to the next level and I unconsciously conceal the negative aspects (from the fear of repelling the process of growth resulting in readers maybe thinking, “I don’t think I could do that much work to enjoy the change I want” and scaring away readers who want to change something about their life.
In other words, thinking that I’m failing at my job of being a coach. (these are the kind of doubts my mind is playing with)
Now, here are all the reasons why perfectionism around content creation and online coaching shows up for me repeatedly and delays my work from reaching you:
- I’m afraid of being judged and criticized as a content creator on any piece of content that shows a more vulnerable and human side of me because I’m supposed to be ‘the coach’.
- I’m also afraid of not having all the answers to the questions of my audience and of being judged for not sharing answers for fiqh-related questions (even though I’ve clearly communicated from day one that I am not a scholar, and that Muslim Empowerment is not the place to get answers to fiqh-related questions you may have.)
As for being judged and criticized around any piece of content, I’ve learned and deeply understood that the more people you want to impact, the more you have to be OK with being judged and criticized.
And I’ve also learned that even if you are a ‘perfect-out-of-this-world-angel’ (which, *cough* let’s be honest, NOBODY is), the bitter truth is you CAN NOT win over everyone you’re trying to help with your coaching. And the relieving side of it is YOU DON’T HAVE TO.
I studied that even the top-level spiritual beings ever to exist on this planet whose sole job was to win people over (to the side of Allah) >>> our Prophets <<< could not win everyone over. In fact, history reveals that many Prophets before Prophet Muhammad SAW passed away without convincing more than a few souls. If anyone could have that level of influence and power, it had to be the Prophets of Deen.
I thought about why Allah designed the system of the world to be like that where you can not please everyone.
It’s probably because if any one human could do that, their egos would be so inflated they would start acting like God. Na-uzubillah. So Allah chooses to deprive humans of that infinite power of influence and rightly so.
To Allah, the effort of our Prophets were the only thing that mattered to enter them into the highest level of Jannah.
The same ‘rule of effort’ applies for everyone, and especially for the Muslim coaches.
So for the coaches, content creators, and entrepreneurs…stop trying to play the game of being ‘liked’ and stop holding yourself back from sharing your truth from the fear of ‘being judged’ (as long as the truth is in alignment with the teachings of Deen or at least not misleading in any way).
Instead, worry about building a real connection with the people who you can help and who want to learn from you. Then see how you’ll attract more of the people you can actually have a real impact on.
- I don’t particularly enjoy being wrong (as one does not), especially around what I share as a content creator and coach. And I know that when you share all phases of your journey openly to inspire and lead, you may be sharing some things that will no longer be working/ true/ relevant at a later stage in life and you’ll be looking back and saying “I wish I hadn’t posted that”.
I fear a mistake like that would invite unnecessary criticism that I won’t know how to deal with.
But I know that being wrong is being human. And no matter how many times I recheck everything that gets published, I may still end up making mistakes.
The only thing that will keep on the right path is admitting to my mistakes, learning from them, and constantly working on myself as a Muslim and as a coach.
- I feel the burden of reaching my high level targets for every piece of content I create. The overwhelm of always doing things in a fresh, different and unique way.
I’ve learned it’s OK for not every piece of your work to be the best thing you create.
I’ve learned it’s OK sometimes to not create content that is inspiring or motivating and is even below your average standards.
I’m learning to be OK with creating content that may not be the best but is helpful even if in a small way. I’m learning the goal is always Ihsan but there’s a margin of human error that we have to learn to be OK with or else we’ll burnout and start resenting the work that brings us joy.
I’m afraid of unconsciously stepping over the line between sharing and oversharing. I really dislike the social media trend of oversharing and I think it does more harm than good.
Plus our Deen teaches us there’s always hikmah in not sharing the things that are not supposed to be shared by a Muslim, especially from the fear of misguiding people who follow you.
I also fear losing my humility and indulging in conceit by sharing any success I’ve had, even if my intention is only to inspire people and show them what’s possible.
I’m now creating SOPs of what is considered sharing and what is oversharing, what type of content is helpful and inspiring vs. what is conceited, and boastful even if it’s helpful.
- I used to really work hard to be everything for my audience and the people I help online, but I’ve realized that it’s a disservice to the people you help if you try to be ‘everything’ to them as a coach.
Meaning, it’s more effective and helpful if you pick a handful of things, take your time to master them and make it your mission to learn the most about them and teach them in the best way…than if you dip your toes into everything your audience needs help with and try to teach it all.
That’s because there’s limited time and resources we all have. And if we’re teaching a little of ‘everything’, we are putting in a little time and energy in each of those things.
The rule of energy is “the grass is greener where you water it.”
So with the ‘little of everything’ approach, the grass all over the field is…I don’t know, yellow?
The way this becomes a disservice to your audience is they could gain a lot more learning something from someone who has spent a lot of time mastering those things versus from someone who knows only a little of everything.
For the coaches, a simple switch to be made here is finding the niche within the niche you want to serve (you have had personal results, it’s profitable, and you enjoy working with this group) and just hammering down on it.
This is by no means discouraging to anyone who wants to do a lot of things in life or to a coach who wants to expand their expertise.
Focus your maximum energy on a handful of things, and keep teaching them to more and more people while refining your skills – that’s how you become an expert in anything. Knowledge + practice = Skill.
Phew. That’s all the reasons behind my serious case of perfectionism!!
👋 Parting Note
I’m not sure how to close this blog post because it just started as a blog for the public but turned into a diary.
All I know is this:
While all these reasons keep me careful and conscious of what I post (so I don’t simply rant about my own life or just regurgitate all the same info available online and take the time to double-check everything that is reference-backed), this cautiousness has resulted in one other thing: it has kept me stuck in my own mind for too long and kept me from sharing my best content with you.
Today I want to say that I will show up and share my truth on top of giving you all the value that I normally go out of my way to give to maintain the high standards of the content we produce at Muslim Empowerment.
Even if this means opening the door to more critique and judgement. Even if it means losing a part of my audience. Even if it means losing potential clients and sales.
Even writing this post had me doubting myself and I seriously hesitated before hitting publish. But I know if I am to have any success at sharing my truth, I have to commit to it with you first as your coach.
Calling out to all my coaches in the audience…
You can not win results for your students/ clients or for yourself if you’re not speaking, living and practicing your truth. But not just any truth…Faith-aligned truth.
If you got to the end of this blog post – thank you for reading it. If you feel that this post could help an entrepreneur or coach you know, please share with them.
I’m not sure if anyone will actually be interested in more candid confessions from a Muslim coach.
Over to you
If you are a coach (or you want to become one), and you want more behind-the-scenes of online coaching and learn how to become a profitable online coach without compromising your values as a Muslim — just DM me with ‘COACH’ on instagram (@muslimempowermentofficial) or via email (email@example.com) will do.
Thank you. I appreciate you. I pray Allah helps us all stay on the right path always. Ameen.
assalam alaikum i want to get all the updates and i want to be a friend of yours