How to Encourage Yourself – Part 1

During adversity, we need to learn the practice of strengthening and encouraging ourselves in the Lord, as David did. This is the lifestyle of the overcomer. But if you are like me, many of us were never taught one of the greatest tools we need when we find ourselves in tough spots.

I have had to learn how to encourage myself the hard way, through trial and error. Growing up, I had a real negative and pessimistic bent. I was trained in self-pity more than hope and faith, so I had to really do some rewiring to cultivate habits that would breathe life into my heart during challenging times.


Before I share the application, I have to ask you an important question that will guide everything else. Do you really want to be encouraged and strengthened or do you want to stay in the pit? Seems like an easy question, but one that many people have to honestly answer. Too many people like to stay in their problems. They  found an identity in their bondage and have no plans to make a renovation of change in their life to be free. The next steps are useless unless we answer:


If you answer yes to this, then take this practical journey of spiritual transformation that will help you become an encourager to yourself.

1. Learn to become your own best friend. 

In order to make self-encouragement effective, you are going to have to remove any hinderances that prevent you from even receiving encouragement. You have to learn to like the messenger, which is you!

If you do not have healthy love and acceptance of yourself, then you will always look for someone else or some kind of outside resource to rescue you. Friends, leaders and mentors are awesome, but we all have to face those times where its just us. And let’s just face it—if we do not have proper love for ourselves, then we will sabotage the love that God and other people send to us anyway. So we have to make a change. Ask yourself, what keeps you from coming to greater love, acceptance and peace with yourself? Here are some strongholds I have had to face:

Self-Hatred: if you struggle to accept and love who God made you to be, hate is somewhere in the mix.

Hostility: many people carry the personality of self-bitterness and self-anger, which often manifests as a very tense and angry person.

Unworthiness: incapable of accepting love that paints a better picture for your life.

Contempt: the feeling that a person or a thing is beneath consideration, worthless or deserving scorn.

Learning to love and accept yourself properly helps to hear the encouraging thoughts and words that you release to yourself.

2. Remove toxic inputs. 

In times of adversity, I need voices and input that will speak to the hope of my future. I want to hear words that reinforce the work of faith, hope and love—a God who can step into the impossible.

So I encourage you to tune down and tune out the toxic voices that speak pure doom, negativity, criticism and hopelessness. This may even mean watching the news differently, because journalism thrives off of negativity, as it grants them higher ratings.

You must realize that satan will assign people to you with toxic ways of thinking that will keep you stuck in the same garbage. You may need to say “bye bye” to those relationships that are purely spiritually contaminating.

Note: When I talk about toxic voices, I am not necessarily talking about honest voices. Sometimes we label those around us who are giving us honest and loving feedback as negative. Sometimes we need to hear the truth in adversity or we will never change. But even an honest voice can speak to hope.

3. Stop making other people or a change to your circumstances your source. 

There are many people who just don’t know how to help you in your adversity. Don’t hate on them, because they just don’t know. Plus, God is teaching you how to grow up without having relying so much on all your 911 lines.

Do not make people around you THE source for your happiness, growth and fruitfulness. We live as victims, because we want something externally to come down and rescue, when really there is something inside us that needs to change.

Too many of us live in the world of “If I only . . . .” If I only had more friends. If I only had a great mother or father. If I only had a mentor. Everyone has a list of “If onlys” they could get stuck in. When it comes to encouraging yourself, learn to grieve the lack or voids. But then let God meet you in it. Otherwise it becomes an idol.

Overcomers have learned to not be independent or codependent – they are interdependent—bringing a contribution of themselves to others, while receiving what can be given back.

How many of you are waiting for something to change before you will change inside? You may end up waiting forever.

Question: Which step can you put into action today?