What does an abundant life look like to you? Is it success, a great job, or a beautiful house? Or maybe you define abundance by the relationships you have around you or the milestones you’ve achieved.
However you define it, there is this gap between the life you want and the life you have. So why do some people come through adversity and arrive at abundance while others get lost and stuck?
My guest today has a simple answer to that question: faith.
Pastor Joel Osteen is a positive and uplifting voice in America reaching millions of people with messages of faith, hope, and love every week. I have been trying to sit down with Joel in person for a while, and this conversation is sure to inspire you and give you the tools you need to create confidence and abundance in all areas of your life!
Joel Osteen is the pastor of Lakewood Church, which is now the largest church in America. Since becoming the senior pastor in 1999 following his father’s passing, Joel has grown the weekly attendance from 5,000 to over 50,000 with his sermons reaching millions of people every week across television, radio, and streaming platforms.
He is the best-selling author of over 12 books all focused on helping you live a greater and more purposeful life. He’s published a new book called, You Are Stronger Than You Think: Unleash the Power to Go Bigger, Go Bold, and Go Beyond What Limits You. This book helps you believe and declare that you are strong, victorious, and able. Joel speaks on how to accomplish dreams bigger than you can imagine, overcome obstacles that seem insurmountable, and reach the fullness of your destiny.
In this episode, we discuss how to have confidence in yourself, the biggest lessons Joel learned from his childhood, how to deal with negative criticism, how to overcome the feeling of imposter syndrome, how to think abundantly in all areas of your life, and so much more.
Joel grew up as a pastor’s kid but never planned on being a pastor himself. He was shy and soft-spoken and was much more interested in media and production. But when his father passed away after pastoring Lakewood church for 40 years, something shifted inside Joel to step into his shoes.
“I felt the desire to step up and pastor the church. It didn’t make sense because for 17 years you could not have talked me into getting out there. But I knew it wasn’t in my mind, it was down in here [in my spirit]. I thought, ‘You know what Joel, you’re supposed to do this,’ and I felt it so strongly that I started speaking on the weekends.” – Joel Osteen
Joel explains that when he first started, he faced an inner critic telling him that he couldn’t be a pastor, that he wasn’t qualified, and that he hadn’t been to seminary so no one would listen to him.
“I had to fight through that, and I believe to reach your dreams, you can talk yourself out of it, or you can talk yourself into it. I’d have to look at myself in the mirror and just quote scripture: ‘Joel you’re strong in the Lord, you’re equipped, you’re empowered, you can do all things through Christ.’ I had to talk myself into it.” – Joel Osteen
Leading a growing church since 1999 has had its ups and downs and definitely plenty of critics have tried to pull him down. The more notable Joel became for his sermons, the more opposition he faced, but he didn’t let it get to him. Joel made a decision not to pay any attention to the negativity, and he hasn’t spent his energy reading and listening to it. He is confident in his calling and wants to fill his mind and spirit with positive and encouraging things.
“You can’t reach your destiny without people being against you.” – Joel Osteen
That’s an important lesson we can all learn. Some people are simply not going to understand you and that’s okay. You don’t need to waste your time and energy trying to convince people to like you. Instead, you need to focus on what you’re good at, tune out negativity and run your race. There is no one else out there who can be you. You’re one of a kind, and according to Joel, God will get you through if you just have a little faith.
When it comes to adversity, Joel likes to think of God as the architect of our lives.
“He put in us the beams that are big enough, and the foundation that’s strong enough to withstand wind and pressure. … I’ve been designed to withstand this pressure and go through it.” – Joel Osteen
Joel believes that adversity is a test. How are you going to go through it? Are you still going to treat people with kindness?
He gave the example of David and Goliath from the Bible. It’s a famous story that many may never have heard if David hadn’t had a Goliath to face. His enemy became part of his destiny.
“That’s why you don’t know what kind of a plan God has for your life. You don’t know where he’s going to take you.” – Joel Osteen
That’s why it’s all the more important to focus on your mission and purpose and not to waste your energy on distraction. We only have a limited amount of emotional energy each day — how much are we spending on negativity, unforgiveness, or bitterness?
“A lot of times we fight battles that are not significant — they are not between us and our destiny.” – Joel Osteen
Another good point we discussed is that when you start responding to critics and distractions, you actually start changing and not being your true self. You lose your authenticity and forget who you are. When that happens, your message will become diluted, and you won’t be able to help anyone. So it’s important that you tune out the negative noise and choose your battles wisely.
“You’re one of a kind, but everyone has to see themselves as one of a kind because a lot of times we’re trying to copy and imitate and it’s lessening our power.” – Joel Osteen
It’s lessening our power! Wow, that hit me. This is why mindset is so critical. It’s important to pay attention to what’s playing in your mind. What are your thoughts toward yourself? These limiting thoughts can become a barrier between you and healthy relationships, successful businesses, happiness, and health. You’ll never rise any higher than the way you see yourself. You might need to read that again!
One way to do this is to just declare to yourself: “I am healthy, strong, successful, and blessed!” The more you can affirm who you truly are, the more you will be ready for your true destiny.
One critique of Joel’s messages is that he preaches “prosperity doctrine” when really he just wants people to live a life of abundance, joy, and peace.
People can get hung up on limiting beliefs like a “poverty mindset” where they don’t believe they can ever have more than they have right now and that they don’t deserve more. The problem with that mindset, according to Joel, is that you won’t be able to ever help others if you can’t help yourself.
“It takes the same amount of energy to believe as it does to worry and live in fear.” – Joel Osteen
On the flip side, once you do become successful, it’s important to keep yourself in check. Joel suggests asking yourself questions like this:
Another key to an abundant life is to get around people who have what you want and who will influence you in the right way. Ask these people to mentor you and just be in their presence. If you want joy, peace, healthy relationships, and success, be around people who have that.
It’s also important to watch your daily diet of negativity. Joel suggests shutting off the news and taking a walk. These breaks keep you from getting sucked into a replay of negativity in your mind.
“You can’t put in negativity all day and see seeds of greatness.” – Joel Osteen
Speaking of greatness, here is Joel’s simple and straightforward definition:
“My definition of greatness would be becoming all that God created you to be. I think greatness is different for each one of us, but it’s reaching your full potential, becoming what God created you to be, taking the limits off of yourself, and stepping up.” – Joel Osteen
I also like to ask all of my guests three truths they would leave behind to the next generation if everything else they did in their lives suddenly vanished. These are Joel’s three truths:
Wow, I can’t think of a better way to lead to a path of abundance. Ultimately our own abundance overflows into other people’s lives and gives you the opportunity to be generous and have an impact.
Guys, this interview is packed with so many words of wisdom from my wonderful friend, Joel Osteen. Listen to the full episode for more, and don’t forget to share the episode with someone who needs to hear it: You could change someone’s life!
You can learn more about Joel and his ministry on his website here. You can also follow his podcast here. I encourage everyone to take at least 30 minutes and listen to one of Joel’s podcasts if you need a pick-me-up!
I want to acknowledge Joel for the gift he is to the world. He continues to show up, rise above negativity, and serve others. In everything he does — whether it’s his books, sermons, talks, or events — he is serving people. For me, that’s an inspiring thing to watch.
Friends, join me on Episode 1180 to learn about creating confidence and abundance in all areas of your life with the wise and uplifting Pastor Joel Osteen!