Your mind is a battlefield.
A subconscious decision to think negatively can influence how you feel, how you act and your overall outlook on life. A couple of months ago, I went out on an audition. I didn’t get it. Rejection is a part of the business I’m going into, and I had for sure felt rejection before, but somehow this time felt different. I. Was. Crushed. Crushed may be an understatement…I had lost my drive to rehearse, my willpower to eat healthy, my high heel wearing/ makeup on / hair done mentality, my energy for my daily routine (which meant I definitely wasn’t working out like I had been). I was in a major slump.
People began to notice…
My mom asked if I was depressed.
Friends would say things like “Karissa, you’re not smiling and happy like you always are,” or “You’re the most positive person I know, what’s wrong?”
In the past, even if I was feeling a little down, I was usually able to keep smiling and reassure myself and others who noticed a change in me that the sun would truly come out tomorrow. Except this time, I didn’t think it would ever come back out.
For about 2 1/2 months, I didn’t feel like “me.” I figured that this one audition I had put so much time and effort into preparing for was the only chance for me to book opportunities for the summer, telling myself, “Karissa how could you mess up on that audition so horribly to blow your one shot? You should just give up on performing completely. Why do you even try?” The thoughts got harsher as the days went on. I have always been my own worst critic, but this was a new extreme for me. I couldn’t manipulate my mind to see it any other way than how I was viewing the situation. I knew I had to do something before I sunk further down in my negative thoughts. I started reading a book by Joyce Meyer’s called “Battlefield of the Mind.” The book validated what the people closest to me were saying: Satan was using this a) as a means to distract me from my goals b) in order to get me off of the path the Lord had me on…a path to achieve what He had called me to do and succeed in every sense of the word. It was Good vs. Evil.
A negative person is no fun to be around. Fear floods the atmosphere and destroys any hope or love that would dwell in it otherwise. Doubt is a major fuel for fear and negativity. Like Peter when Jesus called him to walk on the water, I was giving in to the storm itself…the fear of rejection, the fear of not having a solid plan for the summer, the fear that not getting this one audition would make or break my whole future in the business. My mind was more focused on the distraction of the “no” I had received than the freedom in the “yes” I receive from God every day. Through Him, I am validated. My talent is enough. My looks are enough. My intelligence is enough. My deeds are enough. I am enough through Him.
The Lord shifted my thinking through Joyce Meyer’s book with one short paragraph: “The devil brings the storms into your life to intimidate you. During a storm, remember that the mind is the battlefield. Don’t make your decision based on your thoughts or your feelings, but check with your spirit. When you do, you will find the same vision that was there in the beginning.”
I had to force my mind, body and spirit to align and cooperate with one another. It was no small feat to get out of bed in the morning and get ready. But I made myself. It was hard to make myself dress like and look like “normal Karissa.” It took me about a month of voice lessons before I could stand to listen to myself sing on recordings again. I had to regain confidence in myself. Perhaps the biggest thing that I learned over the course of the past 3 months is that even when I lose belief in myself, the Lord’s plan still unfolds and His confidence in the abilities He has given me are steadfast, just as His love for you and me is as well.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.”-1 John 4:18