In this article, I’m going to focus on
- how you can help yourself to become the producer that you already are
- become a peak performer and do really well in life
- achieve all your dreams and goals
But without all the stress and pressure and the emotional turmoil.
Whatever you’ve achieved in your life, you may have done it at the expense of your mental health, your physical health, and maybe your relationships.
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Quite often, when we’re intensely trying to achieve our goals, we compromise on our health and our relationships.
I speak from experience.
But you can achieve your goals, do great things in the world, and feel good. You don’t have to do one or the other.
Often we think that to feel good, not to feel the pressure and fear, or the discomfort, you have to give up on achieving things in life.
We think people who achieve in life and do great things, have to kill themselves to do it. That’s far from the truth.
Success does not mean you have to self-destruct.
And although a lot of people do that, you don’t have to do that.
THE 2 PATHS OF SUCCESS
If you’ve achieved all the things you’ve done in life, and you’ve just gone from one thing to another, as though it’s a necessary to-do list, then it’s come at some cost.
There’s nothing wrong with to-do lists. But if your to-do list is punishing, taunting you, and full of things that you never get done, then that list doesn’t serve you.
I’m all for productivity and efficiency and achieving great things in life.
I believe that as the Muslim who is out there professing or coaching or teaching, I’m the first one who has to be a living example of what I teach.
It doesn’t mean I have to be perfect because perfection goes against our very nature as human beings.
We cannot be perfect. The only One that is perfect is Allah (swt).
So, if we can accept that, then we can create anything we want in life.
But there are two paths to do that. The one path that many of us take is the path of stress and anxiety. Constantly pushing ourselves with fear and achieving the dreams that come from a place of fear.
The other path is to achieve those same things, those massive goals but doing it from a place of enjoyment, service, loving your journey, and really showing up in a happy way.
I’ve actually done both.
I’ve done it from a place of fear, from a poverty mindset, like poverty of time, poverty of resources, whatever it may be.
And I’ve also done it and still doing it from a place of being happy with the journey, being content with exactly what I have.
But anyway, this is about me sharing how to become that peak performer in your life without the stress, the fear, and the constant self-sabotage.
Without the constant doing yourself over every time you get things wrong and without being a perfectionist.
A lot of times our desire to be a perfectionist is one of the things that sabotages us.
You are a special person. Now, if that gives you an icky feeling, and you’re thinking, what on Earth is he talking about?
What I mean is, that you’re already that special person that you are you’re looking for. You just don’t see it.
You feel like you let yourself down, even though you achieved so much in your life.
You got this far in life, despite all the challenges and you don’t have to keep struggling. You can just submit to the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, but you feel like you need to do something to improve yourself.
You have to achieve most things you’ve set yourself to do but you feel like you have to always prove yourself.
People are so impressed by your effectiveness and what you do but then you struggle internally. And it’s difficult.
Every time you achieve something great, your bar of success goes up. And you’re constantly competing against yourself, trying to outdo your previous achievements.
This whole scenario becomes very testing, and you get tired of it.
If that sounds like you, ask yourself an important question.
INVESTING TIME AND ENERGY INTO YOU
Isn’t it time to invest your energy and your time in yourself?
Now, you might be saying, well, of course, all of this is for me. I’m doing all these things, and I’ve got these great goals and achievements.
I’ve done it all.
But let me ask you a question. Is it that you have been 100% committed to serving others, helping others doing for others?
Or is it that you were committed to creating the life that you wanted?
Which one were you committed to?
Were you committed to helping others, and pleasing others?
Killing yourself to not let other people down? Or have you been committed to creating a life where you can be happy?
And that doesn’t mean you have to be happy 24/7. That’s not realistic. I’m talking about a moderate life, a balanced life.
So, what life do you want to create for yourself?
If you’re committed to everything else, your family, your work, your clients, your achievements, your studies, and everything.
But you’re not committed to yourself, you don’t invest time in the greatest asset, you’ve got your mind and your heart, have you committed to it?
This might seem too airy-fairy or too soft. But your experience of life is happening through your mind and your heart.
That’s where it’s happening.
So if you haven’t invested your time and energy, and you’re not committed to your mind and your heart.
To clearing your mind, living from a place of ease, and contentment, if you haven’t committed to that, then you’re still going to have those achievements, you’re still going to achieve those goals.
But you’re going to do it from a place of hard knocks.
You’re going to do it through the difficult path.
There’s a difficult path and there’s a moderate path.
You can take the difficult path if you like. And if you’re reading this, that’s probably what you’ve been doing up until now.
Or you can take the easier path.
The easier path is when you’re easier on yourself.
You’re easier on yourself by committing to yourself, developing your mind, clearing your mind, developing your perception of life, and developing your understanding of how this really works.
Clearing your mind of all the negative junk that makes your life difficult.
Some of that junk is the rules that we’ve created for ourselves.
It’s that stuff that you say to yourself. For example, “This is me.”
“This is how I was raised.”
“These are the standards that I live by. These are the things I’ve been taught in my culture, and in my family background. This is my nature.”
Whatever you say to yourself is just the rules that were created.
It’s not your nature. You decided at some point that this was serving you.
Those rules were helping you at some point. They helped you to fit in, they helped you to achieve a lot of stuff, they helped you to not feel alone.
They helped you to be accepted, not to be told off when you were a kid maybe. It was your social norm back then.
Those rules served you in those circumstances, but they don’t serve you anymore. Because now they have you living out of fear and having a really bad outlook on life.
Even though you achieve all the things that people want in life, you do it from a place of unhappiness, fear and dread, anxiety and overwhelm, and burnout.
And whatever else you have to deal with.
So change that, because you absolutely can. All you have to do is recognise which path you’re taking.
LIMITING BELIEFS: CHALLENGE THEM
Look at your thoughts and what you believe. Look at these rules that you have for yourself.
If you say stuff like, that’s my nature, that’s the way I’ve been raised, then ask yourself, What’s your nature, what’s the way you’ve been raised?
Then write it down.
If you do that, it will become clear to you what’s managing your life.
The rules, the framework that you’re operating in. It’s all about the beliefs that you have.
If you can figure that out by questioning yourself and becoming introspective, you’re going to realise what’s driving you and causing you to feel what you feel.
And the more you question it, the more realisation you will get.
Because it’s your beliefs, your thoughts, that stuff that’s going on in your mind, that’s creating the feelings that you feel.
Two people can achieve the same things. One does it in complete calmness. And the other does it in a state of panic and fear. But they both achieved the same things.
You’ve seen it in the workplace.
People achieve great things in their profession.
Maybe they’re working on the same project and both of them do really well.
The outcome is the same but one of them is really stressed out and feels burnt out.
Needs a rest, a break, feel like they need to go on holiday, and switch their mind off, whereas the other one is fully charged and ready to go.
What’s the difference between the two?
The difference is that one did it from a place of ease and comfort, and there’s still the pressure of the deadline. But they didn’t take that to be the urgency of their life.
They took that to be a part of the journey. They took it within their stride.
The other one got all freaked out and panicked.
They get the same results, but they don’t have the same emotional well-being. Because they feel burnt out. They feel stressed out.
They feel like it’s too much. They need a break, they need a breather.
The thing is, you can choose which one you want.
It’s your choice. You just need to give up on some of those rules and reasons that you’ve created along the way.
Very often what I see with my students, my clients, and people I work with is that they feel like it’s the only way they can get things done.
To be under intense pressure, to be in a state of anxiety or fear.
And if they’re in that state, they go all in and they create the results.
But I can tell you from experience working with high achievers, that you can do it from a place of calm and ease and enjoyment.
Or you can do it from a place of hating the experience, but getting it done.
I’m going to get the results at the end of it.
I’ll be happy and you’ll be happy. Everyone’s patting you on the back.
Well done, you did a great job, what an amazing result, but you feel completely burnt out.
You’re smiling but inside you’re feeling like you need a break.
And you could do it that way. Or you could do it the other way, where you’re smiling and you’re ready to go.
You might not want to go straight away, you might want to take a break because you have it in your ethos that you create great things, and then you chill out, you have downtime, and then you go again.
There’s no burnout in that. These are the two ways of achieving great things in life.
You can do this in a good way. Or you can do this in any way you choose.
Most people choose the path of stress and anxiety and overwhelm, because if they feel overwhelmed, they feel like they’re pushed into action.
Here’s my suggestion. Decide what you want in your life right now.
If you decide what you want, look at what you have right now first, before you start going out for something new.
Become completely content and grateful with what you already have.
Enjoy what you’ve got right now. Do that first.
Accept your life as it is now. So that you don’t come from a place of lacking or I don’t have enough.
When you come from a place of I don’t have enough, you’re always going to put yourself under intense pressure, and you’re going to feel like you need to change your life.
You’re going to come from a place of fear or overwhelm.
If you want to avoid that, start from a place of I have enough, my life is enough, and I’m happy.
It’s not just enough, I’m happy with how my life is, and what I have in my life, and it would be amazing to have more.
It would be amazing to create more in the world. But I am happy with who I am. And how I am.
If you’re not happy with who you are and how you are, then you need to look at what makes you unhappy about yourself.
A lot of times we are not happy with ourselves because we’ve given ourselves a picture of what life should be like. And we beat ourselves up with that picture of life.
We should be like this. And if we’re not like that then we’re unhappy.
The easiest way to undo that, and I say it’s easy, but it’s not easy, it’s a simple way.
It takes time, it’s a process. That’s what we do in the transformation.
The simple way is that you get rid of that picture that you are beating yourself up with.
You fully embrace the picture of your life as it is right now.
You love your life for what it is right now.
If you look at your life and ask yourself what you love about your life, you’re going to find things to be really happy about.
But if you say to yourself, what can I possibly be happy about? How can I be happy with this life?
When you ask yourself those sorts of questions, the answer is going to be reflective of the question itself.
You said, how could I be happy with this life?
In other words, what you’re saying is, I can’t be happy with this life.
You’re saying, what have I got to be happy about? In other words, you’re saying, I don’t have anything to be happy about.
So if you change what you’re saying to yourself, change the question you’re asking yourself, and ask yourself, What can I love about my life right now?
What do I love about my life?
What can I love about my life? Your answer will be different.
You’ve got to come from a place of you are happy in whatever you’ve got in your life right now.
If you’re struggling, you need to accept your life and love your life for what it is right now. That’s the first thing you need to do.
Because when you do that, you will become eternally grateful.
You will see the blessings that you don’t otherwise see. This is the fruits.
Most people are ungrateful. They don’t even realise it, but they’re ungrateful for all of the blessings that they have.
They don’t even realise they have them until they’re taken away.
When they lose one of those blessings, it’s only then that they realise, Oh, my God, I had this amazing blessing, and it’s gone.
Now what am I going to do? And then they spiral down even more.
So be aware of the blessings in your life right now.
The second thing is that you have to decide what’s important to you.
What adds the most value and well-being to your life?
Don’t make the common mistake of deciding what’s important by making everything important.
People often decide that everything is urgent.
“I’ve got this huge list of things that are really important to me.”
When everything becomes important to you, it becomes unachievable, overwhelming, and burdensome.
It will be a burden on you. Your own bunch of important things becomes a burden on you.
You’ll realise that they’re not all important, because the minute you question which of these adds value and well-being to your life, you will know.
Which of these gives me the quality of life?
Those are the important things.
If you appreciate and focus on all of the things that are giving you the quality of life, then you will get the important things done.
Don’t think for a second that all those other things that you’re not taking care of won’t be taken care of.
Allah (swt) takes care of all of his creation.
It’s not your responsibility, or mine, to take care of all of His creation.
So take care of the things that are important, and add quality to your life. Add quality to the lives of those around you.
But don’t go to those around you until you’ve dealt with your home.
If your home isn’t in a good place, then you can’t help your neighbours.
If you’re in disarray in your own home, how can you help your neighbours?
So fix your home, and then go out and help the neighbours. That’s how it works. Start with yourself.
That’s why it’s so important to invest and commit to yourself. This investment in themselves challenges most people.
They don’t want to invest their time and energy in themselves. They don’t want to commit to themselves.
But they rather commit to other people, because that’s way easier.
It’s way easier to commit to other people than it is to commit yourself. Because when you commit to yourself, you give yourself a really hard time. That’s what most people do.
So choose quality of life over all of those “important things”.
The last thing I want to share is that you don’t have to do this. You don’t have to do anything. Nothing in your life is a have-to-do.
I know you tell yourself you have to do it. But you want to do it.
Take action on the things that you want to do. Be kind to yourself.
Give yourself time, and just get them done. Enjoy doing them instead of telling yourself that you have to do it.
When you tell yourself that you have to do everything, then essentially you start beating yourself up over it.
You put yourself under pressure. You don’t have to do any of these things. You’re choosing to do it.
That means you can choose not to do them. So, you do it because you want to do it. You might say it’s an obligation.
But who says so? You choose to make it an obligation upon you.
Tell yourself the truth that you want to do it and you’re going to be able to enjoy the process.
You want to look after your family, you want to feed your kids, you want to show up in the world and help people and serve people.
You want to serve the Creator of the Heavens and Earth.
You do it because you want to do it. No one’s forcing you to do it.
It’s a choice.
Switch that thought in your mind from I have to do it to I want to do it, and you’re going to have a way more enjoyable experience.
You’re going to enjoy your life and the process.
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