“The ultimate victory is over self. The one who can conquer his own self is the most resilient and unbreakable warrior,” Aristotle once said. This quote highlights the significance of self-discipline and the power of mastering our own selves. Often, our greatest obstacle in achieving personal growth and success lies within ourselves. We may have vices that hold us back or desires that distract us from our goals. However, if we can conquer ourselves, we can achieve anything we set our minds to.

In my personal experience, I have struggled with vices that prevented me from living my life to the fullest. I used to waste my time playing online games for hours, and I justified it by saying that it was a way to escape from stress or depression. However, I soon realized that this habit was actually fueling my problems rather than solving them. It was then that I knew I had to make a change and fight my desires.

Here are some tips on overcoming your vices:

  1. Acknowledge Your Vices: The first step in overcoming your vices is admitting that you have a problem and committing to making a change. Be honest with yourself about the impact your vices have on your life and relationships. Identify that the vice is bad for you, that it is self-destructive and prevents you from reaching your potential.
  2. Be Mindful of Your Outcome: Take note of how you feel after engaging in a particular behavior. If you feel guilty or ashamed, it could be a sign that the behavior is a vice. On the other hand, if you feel energized and fulfilled after engaging in a certain behavior, it could be a sign that it aligns with your values and is a healthy habit.
  3. Identify Your Morals and Values: Without identifying what you want to live for, you will steer towards your desires and vices. Identify what you value so you can devote your life towards those values such as family, community, and helping others.
  4. Set Goals: Set SMART goals to help you overcome your vices. Focus on one goal at a time and break it down into smaller, more manageable steps.
  5. Replace Negative Habits with Positive Ones: Identify positive habits that you can replace your vices with. This can help you create new, healthier routines and reduce the urge to turn to your vices.
  6. Seek Support: Share your goals with friends or family members and ask for their support. You can also join support groups or seek the help of a therapist or counselor to guide you in your efforts to overcome your vices.
  7. Be Patient and Persistent: Overcoming vices is a process that takes time and effort. Be patient with yourself and celebrate your successes along the way. Remember that setbacks are normal and use them as opportunities to learn and grow.

Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) once said: “Verily, the greatest struggle is the struggle against your own soul (nafs) and your own desires” (Kanz al-Ummal, Volume 7, Tradition 19480). This hadith highlights the idea that our desires and inner struggles can be the biggest obstacle in achieving personal growth and fulfillment. It emphasizes the importance of being able to control ourselves, and that this struggle is a continuous one.

We all have something we are slaves to. Whether it is money and fame, addiction, obsession, or serving our families and communities. It is crucial to put our morals and values first, which will help us overcome our vices. Saying “no” to ourselves is the most powerful thing we can do.

In conclusion, overcoming our vices is an ongoing process that requires self-discipline and dedication. It is a journey towards personal growth and fulfillment, and it is important to stay mindful of our outcomes and our progress. If you need help in creating a vision and action plan to achieve your goals and overcome your vices, my 12-week accountability coaching program is here to guide and support you. Remember, the ultimate victory is not over our enemies, but over ourselves.

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