I had given this post some thought before replying as I knew I'd seen this before.
Then I recalled my change :)
I was where you were and know what you mean. But don't let those whispers bring you down. Pray for yourself and pray for those close to you and pray for everyone else too.
I wasn't fully practicing in my younger days, yet I wasn't sinning in bulk either. I would do things everyone else considred to be normal, which in fact was living in sin of some kind.
I used to be called out to go in Tabligh Jamaat for many years and I always said "InshaAllah" and got away with it, i.e. I didn't go.
Then one day I went to my local Markaz and then started going regularly and eventually found myself in Jamaat.
Then one night (last few nights of Ramadhan) I was in Jamaat for the first time, Alhumdulillah.
I knew I wanted to change, I knew I had to change, I knew I had to give up on the many things I loved doing.
Since I knew what I wanted, I chased it!
I gave up those silly sins that is the norm. I started giving up on those small things that were affecting me without even knowing it. I gave up listening to rubbish, I gave up my artistry, I got rid of all my collections of anything Haram. I went all the way.
I stopped getting angry, I started getting patient.
I recall the first sign of my patience and still remember when my younger sister spilt cooking oil on my new clothes and in my hair - I didn't get angry, I smiled it away. That was when my family saw a change in me.
I started to grow my beard, I started to dress in traditional clothing. In fact I started wearing my traditional clothing to University (a major change for me and my classmates and well accepted) (Not forgetting I am in London, UK)
My attitude changed. Those around me saw the change and didn't think it would stay - Alhumdulillah they were wrong and InshaAllah they will remain wrong and change for the better too.
This makes my confidence go down. Don't let it deceive you.
Before that, few years ago. I was confident enough, no one could talk to me. I was not popular in school but when I got to college, I made sure that changed. I let my otherself out, i.e. I would show off my skills in fighting (I knew I didn't want to have the same rubbish I had in school - so I let my skills out in the open and gained much respect)
Now i have reached to a point where i am busy with myself and i feel not confident. Will it be settled?
I eventually gave everything up, even my martial arts, although that kind of sticks with you just in case :)
I felt alone. I would sit in my bedroom for hours and hours and just read my books and listen to Audio tapes etc. I stayed away from the sins in the house and I knew I was being talked about. I did feel like just being with everyone again, but that would mean being sinful again and knowing the punishments that were waiting to come to me.
I would get whispers about the negatives of having a beard and wearing the Sunnah clothing and so on, but at the same time I would learn more of the benefits and rewards of doing what I was doing and then I would fight off those thoughts. My beard got longer instead of shorter, stylish "fake" beard.
I saw people that I wanted to be like and when I would hear their stories I would say to myself that I will be there in 5 years time :)
If it took them 5 - 10 years since their change, I can be there too.
Now I look back after over 20 years and I say Alhumdulillah, I am there, I passed some of them, I need to find higher goals so I can surpass those too. But I know that there will be many hurdles on the way. Those hurdles can come in the form of whispers from Man and Shaitan (Hence we ask Allah to protect us from those whispers - see here) They can be in the form of friends and family. They can be in the form of our Ego, in the form of envy, hasad and so on. But most important of all was not to give up.
I have seen some who gave up and it scares me :(
I have seen those whom I look up to and now they have let go and walked away from helping others (Selfish? Ego? Competition? maybe!)
Even members here past, present and silent readers, dual account holders, fake account holders... - they give up or let go just because of others misunderstanding. (Yes - I'm talking about you too. I know you log on everyday. I know you read my posts. All I want is for you all to be here to help in such situations where others can take the positives you can give them and forget about those tiny episodes, else I will hold you accountable for not being here when you were needed :))
And i will regain my confidence inshaAllah?InshaAllah!
Shaitan will not work on those who are already sinning. Why would he waste his time there?
His target are those who work for change.
Also, don't forget, Shaitan will not work to make you do Haram. He will distract you away from those actions that bring you closer to Allah and eventually that distraction will lead us to letting go of what is right and then get involved in sin again.
Allah will only test you as much as you can take, so be your best and fight to win!
Keep the Sunnah Alive in everything and inshaAllah all the positives will bear its fruits.
Remember the Prophet was once called the best of names by everyone around him. The moment he spoke the truth, he was called the worst of names. But the truth hurts as they say, so let it hurt "them" not us!