Qazi Burhan ud Deen (Allah have mercy on him) said in regards to removal of blameworthy moral characteristics,
‘Understand it by an example. A rodent drops dead in a water well and starts rotting. It pollutes the water. The smell, taste and color of water changes. The water becomes impure (na-pak). The only way to clean this water well is to first locate the rotting rodent carcass and remove it. Then filthy water has to be drained (the amount is as per fiqhi recommendation).
Attempts to clean well, for example by adding more clean water, perfumes, sanitizing chemicals, etc. , but without removing the rodent carcass will remain futile.
The rotten rodent has to be removed. ‘
Madarij as Sulook, Dr Mir Waliuddeen rehmatullah
Similar is our case. The blameworthy morals remain imbedded in our soul. They spoil all the good actions we perform. In spite of all the supererogatory (nawafil) acts of worship, like excessive remembrance (dhikr) of Allah, salah, Hajj, Umrah, financial charities and physical effort etc. our condition does not change for better. The serene and absolute submission to Allah never materializes. The indulgence in sinful continues whenever there is an opportunity and there is hope of any physical pleasure or financial or social gain or loss. God-forbid, this continues forever.
Remember Tasawwuf is tazkiyah. Purification.
The Soul has to be purified from all the blameworthy moral traits.
All the other things in Tasawwuf are ancillary to this main objective.
May Allah make it easy for us all. Ameen!