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  1. Thank you for this excellent piece. I am going to take up a few points and act on those.
    I have a question though: how can one gain clarity about the end values, is there a process for identifying the values?

    • Thank you for the feedback and question, bushra.
      To answer your question, yes, just follow the first link at the bottom of the article above, under the resources section there ;)

      The way to get to the end value is to keep asking, “What does being/doing or having this allow me to feel?” or “What emotional state does this give me”? Get to a feeling.
      To is the example of ‘family’ again:
      If family is important to you and no the top of your list, what does family give you?
      For some, it would be ‘love’, for others, it would be ‘support’, safety or security, depending on their top emotional drivers.

      If you’re just curious about your values and how they relate to your current behaviour and get some insights, you can do that yourself. Or with a friend or someone who can be honest with you. Make sure you both understand the process and get the friend to ask you the questions and elicit your response.

      The most effective way to do this process is to work with an NLP trained (preferably Muslim) personal development or life coach.

      If you are serious about your personal growth and want to get into the art and science behind personal transformation, emotional mastery and what makes you do what you do and, in particular, the value elicitation process and how our values play a role in the bigger picture of our life, I highly recommend you download the free ebook, Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins. http://www.tonyrobbins.com/ebook/
      This is a condensed version of his original work.

      I saw a book on values by sister Bela Khan. Haven’t got the chance to check it out myself but I think it’s on this topic. Look her up, I’ve heard some great things about the work that she’s doing mA.

      I trust that answers your question. Please let me know if you have further questions.

    • Wa iyakum, Haniza. Thanks so much, your comment means a lot. :) I’d really love to know which part or point of the article you resonated with the most? So, that it’ll help me do more of what’s beneficial for you. Jazakallahu khair.

  2. Assalamualaikum. Thank u for the amazingly beneficial article. I’ve been battling these aspects of self sabotage and didin’t even realise it. I think this article is one the few that really changes a person’s perspective towards him/herself, life and so on. Would like more of these. Jazakallahu khairan kathira and May Allah bless you

    • Walaikum salam Adlina. Wa iyakum. We appreciate you sharing your thoughts. Please share this article with your loved ones. I’d love to write more of these too.

  3. Amazing mashaallah..too many points to note down lol..my favourite point is that of a perfectionist which actually is an imperfectionist because they look for the wrong and faults in things..this made me see that is negative thinking. Which will always bring about bad results. What this whole article has done for me is to examine what my values are, see what emotion or feeling are brought on by them and determine which are ends and means..a bonus I can customise my means :)…finally most importantly I have to determine my moving towards values otherwise moving away values will take precedent. Please correct me if I didnt get something right..jazakhallah and again great article

    • Jazakallahu khairan, hafsa. Thank you for a short and sweet summary of the points that benefitted you. You got it right. It’s also about helping you see the big picture and have choice and options so that you don’t feel stuck spinning your wheels if you know what I mean.
      Now that you’re aware of yours, start paying attention to those of the people around you and see what you notice.
      Most of the disagreements, arguments and resulting feelings of hurts that happen between people, especially in marriage, are because of the unconscious rules around different values that people have.

  4. Hi,
    Could you give me more simple explanation about connection between self sabotage and values.
    Maybe using picture or doodle to explain can make me easy to more understand it.

    Thank you.

    • Salam Ahmad Amin, thank you for your comment and for giving me the opportunity to clarity further. The way I’d explain it would be when you’re attempting to achieve a goal that requires you to do something that is against your values, what you feel is important to you, then you’ll self-sabotage by not taking action or doing something to mess it up.
      Or if your goal requires you to experience or overcome one of your moving away values, aka your fears or negative emotions that you don’t want to feel, you will also not follow through on the actions required to achieve your goals.
      I trust that helps you understand it a little bit better. Or not :)
      iA, I might have a video coming up, so watch out for that.
      Thank you again for your comment. Any more question, please let me know.

  5. Jazakallahu khayr… this article means so much.. now i know why i keep sabotaging myself, when doing things opposite your value, guilt comes along…

    • Wa iyakum, iman mukhlisah. Thank you for your comment. I trust that with the awareness that you gained now, you are able to move through your blockages. May Allah SWT give you tawfeeq and reward and bless your efforts. Ameen.

    • Thank you, s.zainab for you kind words. All praise is due to God the Most High. And also many thanks to the content and editorial team at ProductiveMuslim.com for their help and feedback in making this article series possible. :)

  6. Excellent article ماشاءالله
    I have experianced this situation alot in my life, it copped since i have giving time to my Creator and making supplication from Quran & hadith it helped me alot الحمدالله
    There so many supplication already mentioned in Quran some are:

    “Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and our transgressions (in keeping our duties to You), establish our feet firmly, and give us victory over the disbelieving folk.”( 3:147 )
    “Our Lord! Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire!” ( 2:201 )
    The following dua has been related from the Messenger (upon whom be peace) for protection against laziness among other problems:
    اَللّهُمَّ إِنِّيْ أَعُوْذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْعِجْزِ ، وَالْكَسْلِ، وَالْجُبْنِ ، وَالْهَرَمِ ، وَالْبُخْلِ ، وَأَعُوْذُ بِكَ مِنْ عَذَابِ الْقَبْرِ، وَأَعُوْذُ بِكَ مِنْ فِتْنَةِ الْمَحْيَا الْمَمَ….

    O Allah, I seek refuge in You from weakness and laziness, miserliness and cowardice, anxiety and sorrow, and I seek refuge in You from the torments of grave, and I seek refuge in You from the trials and tribulations of life and death.

    Making dua is best soultion. Oh my Creator make me perfect in my worldly affairs … آمين يارب العالمين والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم

    • Jazakallahu khairan Zoia. Ameen to all your dua’. :) Thank you for your beneficial reminder. Turning to our Lord, our Creator, is the number one thing that we all must do before looking for any means to change ourselves. To Him is our end and He will provide the means. We all have to realise and be grateful for the fact that we are here reading all these beneficial articles on websites like PM or any other media, it is all part of His guidance and part of His answering of our secret prayers that we made but most of the time forget. Most of us struggle and strive to stay afloat in this sea of distractions, doubts and fears, and as soon as we’re back on the dry land and we’re good again, we tend to be forgetful of the fact that it’s always been Him SWT saving us from ourselves.
      “And when adversity touches you at sea, lost are [all] those you invoke except for Him. But when He delivers you to the land, you turn away [from Him]. And ever is man ungrateful.” (17:67)
      http://quran.com/17/67

  7. When we gain clarity about our values and determine what is important to us, and identify our end values, the means are not that important anymore. We can then consciously design our vehicles or means to meet our end values. Problems arise when we confuse the means with the end.

    I do not understand the above statement. to me it means that to pursue love as an end value you can forego family and seek love elsewhere. I have taken this example from the article for better understanding

    • Thank you, Umbreen Bader, for your comment. When I said ‘the means are not important anymore’, I meant to say that we don’t get attached to the means when we’re clear on our end values, what is it ultimately that we’re unconsciously striving to experience.

      In your example of love and family, it is to realise that family is a means for you to experience your end value love, and you can also have other means, aka vehicles, for experiencing love. It doesn’t mean the family is not important anymore and we can disregard them. Of course not.

      Rather, it is realising the impermanent nature of us human beings.. that people will leave, God can take them away anytime He wants in any means He wishes because it is He who has given them to us in the first place. Children will grow up and leave the nest. We were born alone and we will die alone… and we’re accountable for each of our own actions.

      So don’t get too attached to people, love them while they’re there but when it’s time to go, it’s time to let go and move on. It may sound harsh for some people and it may appear doom and gloom but that’s the reality. God is the ultimate end and everything is this life is a means for reaching Him. And please remember that the ultimate love of all, The Loving :)

      “Mankind, be mindful of your Lord, and fear a Day when a no parent can help his own child, nor can a child help his parent. Certainly, Allah’s promise is truth. Therefore, do not be deceived by this worldly life; and do not let the Deceiver delude you about Allah. (31:33)

      And God knows best.

      These two talks by Sr Yasmin Mogahed will help you get some perspective iA.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgwjGwmcqbk

  8. When u decide to do a good action, go ahead and rush to do it before shaytaan creeps in and whispers into your ears and heart, making u delay it for the next day. Who knows Tomorrow may never happen? Who has seen Tomorrow? Do not adopt laziness too, one of the qualities of our enemy shaytaan.

  9. Jazak Allah Kheiran!! I noticed since certain time ago that i was a procrastinator but reading this article i noticed that i am doing a really self – sabotage because has no clarity in my goals from the simple ones to the big ones simply because i have not a clear scale of those values that need to change or be enforced. Now i have to make a stop for rethink and drive in a different way many things. :) alhamdulillah for people like you and crew of productive muslim.

    • Wa iyakum, Manaar. Thank you for sharing your experience. Yes, having a clear vision of what you want to achieve and being clear on your values are important. I trust that with this awareness, you can make some positive changes now iA. Part 7 of this series will give you further insights and awareness on another level. It would be great if you can share your insights there as well. Jazakallahu khairan.

  10. Alhamdulillah am so glad I came across this article! JazakAllahu khair for writing this! May Allah bless you in dunya and akhira! I found this super helpful.

  11. assalum o alikum
    i’m not very clear on the end values and mean values.can you clarify the examplke further of the buisness woman you gave?if the end value was love,so what ?what did it change?I think most of the working ladies can relate to this example whee they give priority to family and in the process career suffers.so what is the solution?

    • Walaikum salam dr farah, thank you for your question.

      Well, in the example that I gave, what changed was her awareness and clarity about what’s holding her back in her business. Now that she got clear and realised that she was sabotaging her business success because she was unconsciously thinking “business success = no time with family”, she could prioritise her values in a way that her business success would give her more time with family.

      The solution is to get clear on your values to see if there’s any conflicts between what’s important to you and what you’re working towards. If there are any conflicts, then they have to be prioritised and reinstalled so that the most important values are supported by their subsequent values. To use your example, for sisters who have family to take care of and are also working, it’s important to get clear on your career values (what does the career, which is a means, give you or allow you to experience, i.e. ‘end value’?) so that you can start looking at different options. Find a way. Find many ways. Especially, with the Internet, social media and online webinars, there are many possibilities… you just have to be open and start looking.

      Eg, if someone’s ‘career’ is teaching, and their ‘values’ are contribution and sharing what they know, traditional ‘teaching at a school’ is just one way of the means. They can find ways to teach online. They can start their own business tutoring. The same goes for many other careers and professions.

      This man is an inspiration.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gM95HHI4gLk

      I hope that helps. If not, please let me know. :)

  12. JazakAllah for this great article. I am at a stage in life where I am following my passion of helping others through voluntary work. Alhamdulilah opportunities seem to be rushing towardse. But I feel quite overwhelmed as there are many branches I’m interested in including speech therapy, children with special needs,family support, Dawah etc. Decision making has always been a weakness for me. What I dont want is to end up nowhere! But Alhamdulilah your article has helped me put things in perspective. I think the key to any goal is intention which we must keep checking at every stage.

    • Wa iyakum, Gulshan. Thank you for your comment and sharing your journey :)
      You might want to start putting your goals on a time line, starting with your ultimate vision -> who do you want to be and what kind of life do you want to lead in, say, 10 years time.
      Then, have 5 year goals, then 3 years, then 1 year.
      Get them prioritised.
      Then, break them down into quarterly and weekly projects.
      Then, focus on the weekly.
      :)
      Keep making decisions and keep moving forward.
      Work with a coach to help you get clarity and help you with your limiting beliefs.
      May Allah SWT bless you, your endeavours and make all your dreams come true. Ameen.

  13. Thank you for the enlightening article. I am a person who used to gather all the informations yet did little about it. I also realized that the whole while I was adopting the fixed mindset.

    I am now moving towards embracing the growth mindset which is I believe the core of being a Muslim. Thank you very much :)