By: Abdul Malik Mujahid
- Laziness – Lack of push or motivation no Intention
- Procrastination – Intention is there but action is repeatedly delayed
- Self Sabotage – Intention, motivation and push is there at start. Motivation and push collapse before finish. Start something but are unable to finish. Sometimes lack of diligence. Whole effort is wasted due to lack of diligence. Lack of attention to detail. Refusal to think it through. Refusal to plan. Refusal to have plan reviewed.
- Depression – Lack of intention. Lack of self confidence
10 Tips to Fight Laziness/Procrastin ation/ Self Sabotage/Depression
Feeling down in the dumps, depressed, having the blues: these are just some of the terms used to describe a feeling of hopelessness and despair that can hit even the most optimistic of us at some point in our lives. While clinical depression requires proper professional treatment, the occasional feeling of sadness due to factors ranging from economic difficulty to harassment and discrimination can be helped through some simple spiritual practices. Here are a couple that can help:
This is the seventh of a series of eight articles on ‘Productive Thinking’. The series aims to address the challenges that Muslims face on many different levels when it comes to productivity. These levels include: the mental, emotional and physical levels. This series will tackle thinking and mindset on the mental level; negative emotions like anxiety, stress, low self-esteem, fear, etc. on the emotional level; and habits on the physical level. (Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6)
This article will explore the DISC behaviour profile and offer solutions on how to overcome associated self-sabotage to maximise your productivity and actualise your potential. It also includes an exercise that will help you identify your real values.
Behaviour Styles and Self-Sabotage Patterns
Your behaviour profile, or personality profile as many people like to call it, is a profile that indicates how you normally see the world and function. I think calling it a personality profile is restricting because the profile does not define who you are as a person. Besides, your personality is a combination of your values, beliefs, identity, habits, attitudes, motivations and emotions. Behaviour profile mainly shows your unconscious thinking style, behaviour and communication styles. It shows how you behave under certain situations and shows your strengths and weaknesses (areas of improvement). Behaviour can be changed, but if you say this is my personality and this is who I am, then your behaviour becomes your identity and it becomes a challenge to change.
The purpose of this section is to highlight the aspect of productivity that people rarely talk about and are unaware of: The four major behaviour styles and how each style affects productivity. It is often what we are not aware of that trips us up.
Imam Sakhawi said: “Whoever knows themselves knows their Lord”. It is only through knowing ourselves that we learn to appreciate the wisdom of our Creator. It is even more than that. It is through knowing ourselves that we can maximise our strengths, mitigate our weaknesses and reach our full potential.
By knowing the different behaviour profiles, you will get insight into why some people have challenges seeing a vision or setting goals for themselves and why some people have challenges following through.
“And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your languages and your colors. Indeed in that are signs for those of knowledge.” (Qur’an: Chapter 30, Verse 22).
It is from Allah’s wisdom that people are created to be different, everyone with his/her strengths and weaknesses, so we all learn from and complement one another and work together. It is about knowing where your strengths lie and maximising them, then learning the strength of others and how they think and view the world, so that we can model different aspects of their behaviour to achieve our higher purpose. The key is to be flexible in our thinking and action.
“The first step towards change is awareness,” says Nathaniel Branden, author of The Psychology of Self-Esteem.
For the sake of simplicity and for the purpose of this article, I will be generalising quite a lot to make the behaviour profile and patterns simple to understand. There are so many levels to this and many nuances and combinations, which is not within the scope of this article.
The DISC profile includes four main behaviour profiles:
- Dominance: the type who wants to win
- Influence: the type who wants to be liked
- Steadiness: the type who wants to be comfortable
- Conscientiousness: the type who wants to be right
An individual has a behaviour profile that is a combination of at least two types and at most three, but he/she can usually be identified by one dominant type.
Please keep in mind the following three thinking patterns (motivators) as we move forward:
• Moving away or moving towards (Pain/pleasure motivated)
• Detail or big picture thinker
• People-oriented or task-oriented
What Is Self-Sabotage?
Self-sabotage is any thought, feeling, action and/or behaviour that holds you back from achieving your goals. There is usually a conflict between your conscious desires and your unconscious patterns of thinking, feeling and behaviour.
Sometimes, it seems like there is something holding you back from reaching your goals and succeeding. Sometimes, people might even think they are being affected by magic or that someone is sabotaging their success.
Manifestations of Self-Sabotage In Your Life
Self-sabotage can occur in your work or profession, i.e. you do not go for that promotion or position you know is going to make a difference in your life. It could also affect your studies or business, when you do not put yourself out there or market your products and services that you know people need and can benefit from. It could be in your health where you keep starting and stopping, again and again, that exercise schedule or meal plan, thus preventing yourself from gaining muscle or shedding those last few kilos.
Just when you are about to have a breakthrough, something happens that forces you to start all over again. It is that resistance in starting a project or typing the first paragraph. It is that sleepiness and yawning that takes over you every time you sit down and work. You keep over-eating. People keep calling you, they keep interrupting you. Things keep getting in the way.
But no, it is you who keeps getting in your own way. It is you not saying no to the distractions. It is you not saying yes to opportunities and breakthroughs. It is you not making those decisions that need to be made.
“What comes to you of good is from Allah , but what comes to you of evil, [O man], is from yourself…” [Qur’an: Chapter 4, Verse 79]
“And whatever strikes you of disaster – it is for what your hands have earned; but He pardons much.” [Qur’an: Chapter 42, Verse 30]
You are not to blame and it is not your fault, but you are responsible. Make sure you understand the distinction between blaming yourself and taking responsibility. Blame and guilt are not healthy, responsibility is.
Nobody can change things for you; it has to come from your heart and from the inside. Once you make that commitment, take on that responsibility and decide that you are not willing to settle for mediocrity anymore, Allah will help you change anything you want.
“… Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves…” [Qur’an: Chapter 13, Verse 11]
Are You Displaying Self-Sabotage Patterns?
The following are just a few common patterns of self-sabotage:
- All the unconscious fear (See Part 4)
- Wanting to always be right
- Tolerating mediocrity and Level 3 Living (See Part 2)
- Not telling the absolute truth
- Focusing on secondary goals
- Doing things alone
- Reinventing the wheel
- Not saying ‘No’ to distractions
- Not saying ‘Yes’ to opportunities
- Controlling people
- Critical judgement of self and others
- Creating dramas and stories
*Make sure you understand the difference between striving for perfection and striving for excellence (ihsan), which is what we have been told to strive for.
Perfection is for our Creator alone, and only He is Perfect and His Book is perfect. We are not, and will never be perfect. But we can be excellent! Our imperfection is perfection in itself because that is the way Allah created us. If He wanted us to be different, He would have made us different. That, though, is a whole other discussion in itself.
I used to be proud of being a perfectionist.That was my identity: I am a ‘perfectionist’. This changed when someone I admire said: “You’re not a perfectionist, you’re an ‘imperfectionist’ because all you ever look for are imperfections, in things, in what you do, in people and in the world.”
Perfectionists do not have high standards, they have no standard. This is because their standards are so high that things are unachievable, so they might as well not have any standard. Moreover, perfection is subjective: Perfect according to whom? What is perfect for you might not be what others want and vice versa. There are many people who do not care about the small details over which you are obsessing.
“There is no worse sickness for the soul, O you who are proud, than this pretence of perfection.” — Rumi