Have you ever been in a situation where you thought that you couldn’t fulfill a task? Have you ever felt that you were unable to do what was required from you? Did you ever start the day with an overwhelming feeling of inferiority and being inadequate? Have you experienced the disheartening “I-can’t-do-it” state of mind? I certainly have! And I am sure you have as well. Everyone feels incapable once a while, that’s normal. I could say, “that’s human.” But some people experience this demoralizing feeling of inability more than others. They are misinformed by their own mind. 

Whether you face the feeling of inadequacy, incompetency, inability, and inferiority once a while or very often, the cause is the same: your mind is misleading you. Your mind provides wrong information to your system, causing you to dread the day or the task at hand. As a result, you underperform and don’t live up to your God-given potential. Is this a modern-day phenomenon caused by the constant stream of information to our mind, or is it inherent to our human nature?


“I can’t do it!” – 3000 years ago


More than 3000 years ago, twelve scouts were sent into an unfamiliar land to explore it and bring back a detailed report about its possibilities. The land they were entering was new to them but not a blank area: Moses had already given them pre-information about the good outlook of the land. The only thing they had to do is to grasp with their mind that:


  1. God had already given the land to them,
  2. God had already confirmed that it was good, flowing with milk and honey.


The land was promised to them. They did not have to conquer it; it was already theirs. The land was flowing with milk and honey; it was a terrific land of unbounded opulence. Milk and honey refer to an unlimited and bountiful availability of great wealth and resources: the land would have plentiful and limitless quantities of all desireabilities. But when the scouts returned, the majority (10) brought a negative report, while only a minority (2) provided a positive report. All twelve scouts had the same foreknowledge upon entering the land, but their investigation produced different results. The vast majority delivered an ‘I-can’t-do-it-report’.


Misinformed by their own mind

All that the scouts had to do is to provide a detailed confirmation of the positivity of the land. On the contrary, they issued a negative report. What did their negative report say? In Numbers 13 verse 33 is stated: “We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too!”. They did not only describe what they saw (objective), but also what they felt (subjective), and -worse- what they assumed (imagination). They moved from being objective (they saw giants) to being subjective (their feelings) to being completely imaginative (assuming the people’s mind). Their minds had completely tricked and misinformed them!


The mere fact of describing the inhabitants of the land as giants was pure observation. And in contrast to the giants, the scouts were indeed small in structure; that was a plain fact. But in their comparison, the scouts didn’t describe the fact itself; they described what they felt. They felt like grasshoppers. The scouts took it one step further and said that the people in the land also saw them as grasshoppers. Could they have grasped the mind of the giants? No, they couldn’t. What they were ‘reading’ was their own mind, not the mind of the giants. And their mind was misinforming them. 


Being misinformed by your own mind causes a grasshopper mentality


We do this so often. We move easily from objective to subjective to imaginative and end up feeling bad and incompetent. Forgetting that our feelings are based on our own negative imagination. Our pessimistic mindset has negatively influenced us and caused a grasshopper-mentality; thinking we can’t do anything, and others are always better and bigger than us. We become blind to the truth.


Didn’t the scouts know that the land was good and already theirs? They did! So, what happened? Their minds provided misinformation. They allowed their minds to rule them and cause them to feel like grasshoppers.


You feel like a grasshopper when your fears, worries, and problems dominate your thinking. When you allow your negative thoughts and feelings to rule you, you give way for a negative, disabling, and self-defeating attitude. Your mind is enormously powerful, whether you are aware of it or not. God’s word says, “As a person thinks…so is he” (Proverbs 23:7a). This means that you become how you think. Your thoughts have the power to negatively shape you, change you, and let you feel incapable. But the same is true for the opposite: your thoughts also have the power to positively shape you, change you, and let you feel capable. So, change your mindset and transform from a negative “I-can’t-do-it” attitude to a positive “I-can-do-it” attitude.


Confident mindset


God wants you to be confident, positive, and victorious. But how do you become confident, positive, and victorious when your mind is telling you the opposite? By taking control of your mind. Don’t allow your mind to dictate for you, rather take control of your mind! God has given you the authority to do that. Your thoughts and feelings are both part of your mind, they do not stem from different sources. So, when you deal with your mind, you automatically deal with your feelings and thoughts.


Why is it important to know that negative thoughts and feelings both take place in your mind? Because you are not powerless when it comes to your mind! Romans 12 verse 2 says, “Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.” This means that you can renew your mind, even if your mind has been deceiving you until now. This means that you can do something about your thoughts and feelings, about your grasshopper mentality. You don’t have to remain a grasshopper. You can live life to your full God-given potential, in the knowledge that you ‘can-do-it’!


Control your mind


Controlling your mind is something you can do by yourself: God has given you the power and ability to control your mind. You can tune your mind, and as a result, the way you think and feel. This will change the way you act and react and will subsequently free you from your “I-can’t-do-it” mentality. You can redirect your mind by setting your mind on things above, not on things on the earth (Colossians 3: 2); by transforming through the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2); by receiving renewal in the spirit of your mind (Ephesians 4: 23); through keeping your mind focused on God, subsequently receiving perfect peace (Isaiah 26: 3); and by having the mind of Christ Jesus (Philippians 2: 5).


Renew your mind, so that you will be able to live in your full potential. How do you do that? How do you renew your mind? By taking in God’s truth and positivity through studying His Word. Allow God to minister to you through His Word. Allow the word of God to change you. His word is alive and powerful, it divides your soul from your spirit, it exposes your innermost thoughts (Hebrews 4: 12). Use the word of God to incite change in your life.


To achieve this, you should first eliminate every negative thought and feeling from your mind: do away with your former way of thinking. God has provided you with a tool to do exactly that: “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10: 5 KJV). God has enabled you to tear down every stronghold, including the ones in your own head!


Godly mindset


Now you are ready for the next step: fill your mind with the word of God! There are numerous bible verses which –when reading, believing, and acting upon– will transform you from a timid, downward, self-deceiving, and negative person to a bold, upward, self-confident, and positive individual. One of my favorites is Philippians 4 verse 13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Whenever I remember the truth of this verse, no matter the situation I find myself in, I receive strength and am encouraged to do it! It enables me to take the next step. It provides me the needed strength to go on and it overrules the negativity of my own mind.


You could compare the battle in your mind with a court-case where your mind tries to deceive and negatively influence you, and you are the defense. Anytime your mind tries to trick you, you should shout, “OVERRULED!”. Whenever your mind provides misinformation –being information which goes against the word of God– you should say: “OVERRULED!”.  And then replace it with the truth of the word of God.


The truth is: God loves you. God enabled you, equipped you, and created you for a purpose. Don’t allow your mind to break down the work of God in your life.


You can choose between being deceived by your own mind and being negatively shaped by your thoughts and feelings or being positively transformed by God’s truth. Choose well! Choose the truth of God for your life. When you know your true identity in Christ, and that you are His and that your power comes from Him, there will be nothing you can’t do! You will be unstoppable!


Let us pray:


Father, forgive me for every single time that I think I can’t do it, I’m not able, and I’m insignificant. Forgive me for my grasshopper mentality. I should know that You are the Rock in my life and that nothing can stop me. Today, I make the choice to be led by Your word and allow it to overrule my own mind. I refuse to be misinformed by my own mind. Instead, I choose to be changed by Your word. Help me Lord, with the battle in my mind. I choose to believe in Your word, and Your word says that I AM ABLE. I overrule the misinformation in my mind with the truth of your word. Thank You. Amen.

©2021; Christel Owoo

Read more about the formation of an inferior mind caused by the Parenting style, in Marriage, or due to Racism.


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