We’re getting so close to the end of the year, and let’s be honest, 2020 has been a struggle! It has been for me. Quarantine, complicated racial tension and crazy politics have led us to a lot of fear. I’ve inevitably made choices to try to limit my exposure to even more fear. I’ve avoided some hard conversations, put off work projects I’ve wanted to do, and tried to fill silence with my phone and YouTube. But this month I’m changing that!
Welcome to a new month! I’m calling it NO-FEAR NOVEMBER! This month is going to be all about stepping into scary things. Fear of failure, fear of silence, fear of imperfection… I will be making small changes and choices to combat the fear in my life. I hope this will encourage you to do the same! Do something that scares you by changing a habit (or four). #NoFearNovember
Here’s what I’m committed to this month of No-Fear November:
I am limiting time on my phone
Why: I’m addicted to my phone. Not as much as I used to be, but I am. Maybe you’re asking, “What does this have to do with fear?” Well, let me tell you. I am afraid of silence. I’m afraid of my own thoughts. And sometimes I’m afraid of my own work (And this ultimately boils down to my fear of failure… thanks for the therapy session).
As someone with a tendency towards anxiety, my phone can seem like a temporary ease this anxiety. “If I pick up my phone, I don’t have to think about this email that I know I have to respond to.” But when this is my mode, I am constantly using my phone as a crutch for anxiety. I’m never getting to the root of the problem. And I don’t have to tell you about phone usage and how it actually increases anxiety. So, I’m going to limit it!
Daily Practice: I will be deleting my social media apps every day and re-downloading them to work. These times of re-downloading will be intentional and scheduled rather than just random throughout my day.
Weekly practice: Once a week, I will be turning off my phone for 24 hours. It’s time for a phone detox, y’all!
Goal: I have actually made huge strides in limiting my phone use over the years. I’ve put away my phone before bed and in the morning completely. I’m really proud of the progress I’ve made. But, when I feel stuck or bored during the day, I don’t want my immediate response to be looking at my phone.
I am going to practice piano
Why: I’m actually a really competitive person. Not so much with other people, but I’m really competitive with myself. This competitive nature tends to be a real problem when I know I won’t excel at something.
Sports for example… I hate participating in anything that requires a ball, a goal, or hand-eye coordination. Seriously! I’m terrible. So, I just won’t do it.
The root? You guessed it, FEAR. I have a deep seeded fear of failure – or just not being good enough. One of the ways that is showing itself is in piano. I started taking piano lessons at a really young age and I used to be really good. And honestly, I’m just not good anymore. I’ve convinced myself that I just don’t care about piano as much as I used to. But honestly, I do care! I want to improve my skills and face this fear of failure. I’m only not good at piano because I don’t practice. So, I’m going to take a step this month. I’m going to practice piano!
Daily practice: At least 30 minutes each day will be devoted to practicing piano. I will be working on my scales, improvisation, sight reading and playing specific worship songs.
Goal: I want to feel more confident improvising and playing without a cord chart. Not only that, I want to improve my ease in playing so I can enter into worship while I play more easily.
I am starting a meditation practice
Why: Meditation is not my strong suit! I usually don’t have a problem hearing the voice of God. Every day I have a great routine of reading my Bible, journaling, praying and singing to worship music. But sitting completely silent for a long period of time? Yeah, that’s not easy for me.
I know all the benefits of meditation! It’s good for me, it improves mood, mental health and intimacy with God. I know… I know. But it’s also scary. I’ve done the guided meditation apps and whatnot but that’s not what I’m talking about here. A long period of time in silence? Stillness? Just my own thoughts? Yeah, scary. But I’m going to do it!
Daily Practice: In the morning after I read my Bible and drink my coffee (Otherwise I’ll definitely be falling asleep!) I will sit in silence. First, setting a five-minute timer on my phone. I will place the phone in another part of the room so I’m not constantly checking how much time is left. Once the timer goes off, I’ll go about my day. I plan on increasing my time by a minute every day.
Goal: To be more grounded in the morning and throughout my day. To take time to be calm and present with the Holy Spirit and allow Him to speak to me in this time of silence.
I will write everyday
Why: Writing is hard. Like really hard! And because of that, I have really struggled to publish content on my blog regularly. It’s all rooted in fear. Most days I feel like a terrible writer. Like today… and this blog… It’s all a fear of failure and not being good enough. And this month I plan on stepping into that fear. I will write and write and write!
Daily practice: I will type out three pages double spaced every day, Monday through Friday. Yikes! That’s a lot of writing, but it’s going to be so good for me!
Goal: Most of this writing will no doubt be brain dumping, but I’m okay with that. When I’ve disciplined myself in my writing in the past, it has made a huge difference in my confidence as a writer. Sure, it’s like free therapy in processing what I’m going through, but it strengthens my voice as a writer, the creativity flows, and I inevitably improve my craft.
I know I’m not going to be perfect in this, but I will be documenting this No-Fear November on my Instagram (which I will be limiting for myself) so be sure to follow me!
What are you going to do this month to step into your fears? How are you going to use No-Fear November? I want to hear in the comments. Use the Hashtag #NoFearNovember and tag me @hope_reclaimed on Instagram. Let’s step into freedom and reject fear this November!