Throughout the process of publishing my book, I had been wondering to God about what my deal was. My book had been taking way too long… it should have honestly been published months before it was. There were multiple things I could blame and use excuses for… but I know that really, it was just me. This whole time, it was me prolonging the progress and the process. I just made excuses and never took the time to ask God what was really going on, and what the problem was.
For some reason, I just decided to ask him the one night. He didn’t hesitate but replied quickly with an answer I was not expecting.
He said, “Serena, you have a fear of failing to learn new things. You are afraid that you’re going to be too dumb to understand something new. You instantly believe that it’s going to be too difficult, and you’re going to fail or mess it all up, so you instantly decide not to do it without even fully realizing why. You either completely give up before even trying, or take it as slow as you can and allow yourself to get completely overwhelmed, break down in tears, and stop trying to move forward.”
At first, I thought… “What God!?!?.......... you’re absolutely right.”
He showed me that it’s a mindset that I’ve had almost my entire life. Then in middle school when I read that book and convinced myself that I was mentally challenged, it just deepened the mentality. I believed I was a slow learner, new things were severely difficult, if not impossible, to complete, and I believed that if I failed at learning or doing the thing I was trying to do, it would completely confirm that I was a failure. God just showed me that I had the belief that my mind wasn’t capable of learning a new thing.
He said that because of that mentality, when something new comes up to the plate, without hesitation I shove it out of my mind and instantly reject learning it. There have been several moments where I have desired to learn or do something completely new but I put a pause on the thought and never bring it to action. It gets shoved out of my mindset of what is possible and into a list in the back of my mind that I’ve already written off as a failure before even beginning the learning process.
God even showed me where he had opened doors for me to learn something new but because of that deep mentality and wrong belief, I ignored it and rejected it.
For example, a few years ago I told my mom that I had a slight desire to learn the keyboard. I was thinking maybe it would help me to sing and write the songs that God blessed me with. It was just a brief thought that I mentioned to her. It wasn’t even a week later that my mom’s mom was cleaning out her house and found a keyboard that my aunts used to play and my name came to her mind. She drove it over to my house and gave it to me. (I knew it was God.) My mom even gave me a teaching about how to learn the keyboard from Andrew Ironside that she had bought for me. I was excited for a moment thinking that I was going to learn the keyboard. One night, I got my laptop out, put the teaching on, and I didn’t fully understand what he was trying to teach. I let fear creep in because I didn’t know or remember from school how to read music. That was all it took. I was instantly overwhelmed, turned it off, and now the keyboard is a dust collector under my bed.
I also really wanted to learn sign language, I downloaded an app and even paid for a few signs to learn, somehow the app updated and deleted my purchases and I didn’t believe in myself. I didn’t think that I could do it. I assumed that my brain just couldn’t learn new things, and I gave up.
I wanted to learn Spanish. I took one year of it in school, but then got homeschooled and I figured that it would be impossible for me to learn it online. The desire grew when I was in Peru, Nicaragua, and then when I went back to Nicaragua. I thought, wow it would be amazing to know more Spanish. But my mind instantly assumed that I wouldn’t be able to do it or comprehend it. I was even completely self-conscious of the Spanish I did know. I knew how to say simple things like, what is your name, how old are you, do you need prayer, how are you… stuff like that, I knew. But I was so afraid that I wouldn’t say it exactly right or I’d fail, so I barely tried. In my mind, I had written off learning Spanish, because it seemed impossible.
God showed me just now that it’s gotten to the point where I hate learning new things and I’ll pretty much avoid it. Even when it comes to board games, card games, if I don’t already know it, I won’t put in the effort to learn it because I am that afraid of failing at it and not understanding it.
God has been reminding me it needs to be taken care of. It’s time to overcome this. It is time to be free, uproot the weed, and plant a new seed in its place.
I started a list of 25 new things to learn, God showed me that the things didn’t have to be crazy hard or even important… it wasn’t necessarily about what I was leaning but just that I was learning something new. I have checked a few things off the list, and a few are still in progress.
It has been an adventure and I am discovering that learning new things isn’t so terrible after all. Once I get the hang of it, I actually enjoy it and feel proud of myself for continuously stepping out of my comfort zone.