There is so much more to us than human eyes can see. We all have powerful God-given potential, and in order to reach it we must intentionally improve our self-concept and mental strength. Here are eight things mentally strong people do to incorporate the 4:8 Principle into their life.
1. They recognize the true source.
Legitimate, lasting self-worth can come only from God’s love, from knowing and experiencing who you as a new creation in Christ. See yourself as a child of God. You are God’s special enterprise! Work to recognize that fact emotionally—not just intellectually. If you keep thinking of yourself the way you used to be, that is exactly what you will continue to be.
2. They forgive others without exception—and mean it!
You must forgive everyone in your life, past or present, for all the silly, spiteful or harmful things they’ve ever done to you. Life is too short to be negative. Never let an old wound fester due to excessive attention. When you carry around bitterness, hostility, and other emotional baggage, you live in the past and cannot possible realize your potential for joy.
3. They forgive themselves early and often—and mean it!
In comparison, forgiving others might be easy! However, it’s imperative to forgive yourself, without mental reservation, for your stupid choices, foolish behaviors, negative beliefs, and all other self-defeating things you’ve ever done. Because you are not perfect, forgiving yourself will be an ongoing process. That’s okay; you’re not alone.
4. They focus on their God-given strengths
Emphasize your originality by highlighting your special gifts and talents. No one else has your unique design, and God has a purpose for how he made you. Forget about your shortcoming and think about your God instead.
5. They eliminate negative self-talk and introduce joy-talk
Stop beating up on yourself—starting right now. Changing the way you communicate with yourself changes your self-concept faster than any other single method. In Proverbs 18:21, we are advised that both life and death are in the power of the tongue. The words you mutter to yourself have the power to encourage or discourage, to motivate or deflate, to generate joy or repel it.
6. They practice extreme self-care
Get into and maintain excellent physical condition. Practicing “extreme self-care” or caring meticulously for your mind, spirit and body, is a natural by-product of a godly self-concept. When you become drained, run down, or fatigued, you tend to violate the 4:8 Principle and get stuck in the negative. When you take exceptionally good care of yourself, you are much more likely to make decisions that will release your brakes and keep your tank full of joy.
7. They dwell on the person God wants them to be
There is much more to all of us than our current reality! The majority of your true identity cannot be seen with human eyes. Contemplate the wonderful and exciting plans God has in store for you.
8. They act with joy now
Anyone can be happy when circumstances are wonderful, but joy is different. Joy is proactive happiness. To act with joy now, live each hour as if your full potential has already materialized. Proceed, moment by moment, with the gratitude you’d have if your most heartfelt prayers have been answered.
Your self-concept is your personal foundation for the future. Therefore, every effort you make to fortify it will pay multiple rewards—and you will be well on your way to living a joy-filled life and having an even greater impact on the world.
This article was adapted from Tommy Newberry’s book The 4:8 Principle. Learn more about the book and purchase your copy to begin changing your perspective on life!