Are You Sabotaging Your Own Success?


You may be surprised, as I was, to realize that many of the successes and set-backs in your life originate from your own mouth. Our words have power – they can literally create or destroy. This creative power dates as far back as the beginning of time. The first chapter of the Book of Genesis illustrates the power of the spoken word. Each time God spoke, He released creative power.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was empty, a formless mass cloaked in darkness. And the Spirit of God was hovering over its surface. Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light...

Genesis 1:1-3

God has given each of us the same creative power.  We can literally speak life or death into our situations. When our words align themselves with God’s Word, we see His blessings and promises manifested in our lives. Unfortunately, too many of our words align more with the enemy’s plan – to kill, steal, and destroy – than with God’s plan to give us abundant life (John 10:10).

The Bible tells us that death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21).  If your conversations and self-talk are filled with negative, critical, pessimistic words, then you are literally committing “conversational suicide.” You are killing your self-esteem, your potential, your dreams, your relationships, and other aspects of your life. If this sounds like you, stop it!

I will never forget the day I discovered the power of words. I, like many others, had never given much thought to my conversations. It took me a while to fully grasp this revelation. At first I thought, “Well, I’m just speaking the truth. This is how I really feel; this is how I actually look; or this is just the way it is.”  I did not realize that my words had become self-destructive tools that I was unconsciously using to sabotage my own success.

After carefully monitoring many of my internal and external conversations, I found myself making statements like I’m sick and tired of…It will take me forever to…I could never...I can’t seem to get ahead…I’m so fat…I’m worn out.

In many cases, the “facts” lined up with “my” words.  My weight was up...I was tired...  many of my goals did seem to be far off.  However, I had a choice to make. I could keep talking about my problems or I could start making faith-filled statements grounded in God’s promises.  I chose to clean up my conversations. No longer would I speak self-defeating, counterproductive words.  What a difference this has made in my life!  I can’t say that I never slip into this mouth trap, but now I’m much more mindful of its luring danger.

You might be asking, “What are some practical ways to overcome this negative habit?”  I would say start by simply “watching your mouth.” Take note of what are you saying about your circumstances, your potential, and your future?  Enlist a close friend to serve as an accountability partner.  Give him/her permission to point out any negative statements that you make.  Whenever you are faced with any decision or circumstance, immediately search the Scriptures for God’s promises regarding it.  Begin to direct and redirect the flow of your conversations to promise-driven rather than problem-driven.  Here are some examples of promise-driven vs. problem-driven statements…

PROBLEM-DRIVEN                                        PROMISE-DRIVEN

My company is laying people off;                   I’ll probably be next.

God’s favor surrounds me like a shield; I am well-respected and valued on my job.

I never get any breaks.

I am blessed and highly favored.

I can’t…

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

They are treating me badly.

I am a victor, not a victim.

God has done a great work in you and has a wonderful plan for your life. His Word is filled with truths about who you are and His promises that are available to you. Begin today to come into agreement with His Word. Believe that you are who He says you are; you can do what He says you can do; and you can have what He says you can have. Speak His promises over your life, your family, your finances, and your future.  Your words have power. Instead of using them to maintain the life you have, begin using them to create the life you want!

For the next 48 hours, monitor your conversations and self-talk.  What words are you using that could be sabotaging your success? 

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