Never Say These Four Energy Draining Phrases to Yourself – They Will Ruin Your Productivity!
What if simply talking to yourself could skyrocket your personal productivity?
A Lifeway research poll (back in 2008) reported that 65% of pastors work 50 hours weekly or more. I don’t know if those numbers hold true today, but I still feel confident that pastors and other Christian leaders need to get a lot done!
Doesn’t matter whether your church is miniature, mid-sized or mega, your to-do list stretches endlessly on! If your church falls on the smaller end of the scale, you have to do it all. If it falls on the larger end of the scale, you’ve got more spinning plates to manage.
You can find tons of productivity tips and techniques out there in articles or books titled something like How to Get More Done in Less Time. They’re all helpful, no doubt.
However, I believe your mindset more than anything else determines your productivity!
Psychologists and scripture both know that mindset and self-talk absolutely manifest themselves in the actual outcomes of your life. Consider Paul’s famous injunction:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. (Philippians 4:8 NIV)
What about the King of Psalmists, David?
“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 42:5 NIV).
He’s monitoring and reframing his self-talk, right?
Fact is your self-talk either generates internal energy and focuses it or drains your mental energy and diffuses its. So my focus is on mindset. The words we say to ourselves either propel our ministry goals or sabotage our best laid plans.
Your mind focuses either on imperfections, flaws and failures or on God, your vision and thoughts of what can be possible.
Focus on the first and you will discourage yourself and drain your own energy regularly. Focus on the latter and you will encourage yourself and constantly recharge your inner battery!
So here are five examples of specific words or phrases that drain all the air out of your tires and alternatives that you can use to keep yourself charging forward!
Energy Drain #1: I can’t...
“I can’t” sentences are guaranteed to leave you feeling powerless and defeated! It’s better to say “I’m struggling…” However, even more true is this, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!”
Energy Drain #2: This situation I am facing is terrible!
Ruminating, in psychology-speak, is negative self-talk. Frankly, it never helps. Instead, reframe that thought as, “This situation is a challenge… but by God’s grace I will get through it.” After all, difficulties create opportunities for growth.
Energy Drain #3: These people…
Yes, people can be, well, problematic. However, that’s exactly why you must change your mindset to what you can control! Say this to yourself instead: “I can’t control others, only myself. I will pray for them.”
Energy Drain #4: Well, I screwed up again just like I always do.
We all suffer from common human frailties. Sin, too. That’s a fact. However, dwelling on our weaknesses changes nothing. Here’s something I say to myself that I believe you will find more helpful: “I will do my best and trust God to fulfill the rest.”
Don’t underestimate the incredible power for your mindset to energize (or de-energize) you. Realize the energy you can create by saying things to yourself that are both true and helpful. You have a lot to do for Christ, don’t allow your self-talk to impede your progress!
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