Can You Inspire Others If You Cannot Inspire Yourself?

Can You Inspire Others If You Cannot Inspire Yourself?

In 1 Samuel 30, David inspired himself when his men were wanting to kill him. This is a great example of David’s ability to positively influence himself, which was the foundation that enabled  him to inspire the problematic men who gathered to him – men  who ultimately became his mighty men (“everyone who was in distress . . .  debt . . . and discontented gathered to him…” 1 Sam 22:2).

I believe the key to radically inspiring others is to be able to radically inspire yourself. If I am not excited about me, then why should other people be inspired by me? And if I cannot inspire myself and others, then I will most likely need to use negative motivational tools like guilt, condemnation, manipulation, withholding love, and other such non-empowering leadership techniques in order to “lead” and influence people.

So how do I inspire myself? Here are four keys to become the most self-inspired person you know:

  1. Use the power of declarations – It’s impossible to think a lie when you’re speaking the truth. Romans 10:17 says, “Faith comes by hearing.” Speaking life is the greatest way to move from apathy and passivity to enthusiasm and energetic forward movement. Begin to prophetically declare truth over yourself, your circumstances, and the into the atmospheres around you on a regular basis; you’ll be astounded at how powerfully things will change as inner-unity is established in what you are believing through the words you are declaring!
  2. Feed on motivational speakers – I have noticed that I can transform my emotional state almost instantaneously by listening to someone like Joel Osteen or Joyce Meyers. These aren’t the only speakers I listen to, but I’ve identified them and others as vital voices to keep me inspired. Your thinking, and consequently your emotions, create powerful signals that change the landscape of your brain. Igniting Hope Ministries is committed to being a high-level motivational ministry for you. And we believe as you feed on our content and allow it to transform the landscape of your brain, it will inspire you in great ways as well.
  3. Learn to act more enthusiastic than you feel – Enthusiasm is an emotional muscle that we can strengthen through “exercising” it. As we intentionally bring ourselves more fully into the environments we are a part of, we will find enthusiasm increasingly becoming a habit, and thus we will feel more inspired. Make a point of engaging fully in all that you have going on today, choose enthusiasm and the higher perspective when presented with the option to think negatively, and see how quickly inspiration levels increase – not only for you but for those around you also!
  4. See passivity and apathy as great enemies – Much of the Body of Christ is passive and fatalistic because of bad doctrines that believe if God wants something to happen, He’ll make it happen apart from us. It also results from a false humility that shrinks back because of a fear of pride and a fear of failure. This creates an uninspiring lifestyle that will not motivate people to the level we would hope for. Remember, faithfulness is not just showing up, but it is  how we think before we show up and how we think when we show up. What does it look like to actively partner with what the Lord is doing in and around you in this season? So often we hear people quote the phrase, “More of God and less of me,” but what if we embraced our God-given identities in His image and began declaring, “All of God and all of me”?  Something tells me we would change the world in great and mighty ways!

Our own lives are the training ground for being a person of great inspiration. This is the season to inspire ourselves so we can stir passion in others like never before!

For more on topics like this, listen to my podcast by clicking the link below.


Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.