Are you putting off speaking in English until that moment when you’ll finally be perfect? Are you spending time on everything else BUT speaking in English? If so, follow this short Zen guide:
Remember your “why.
Why are you learning English? What do you want to be able to do? How do you want to feel? Continue to focus on that. Listen to your heart, not your head. If you listen to your head, there is always a good reason to be doing something else. (I help you define your why in our first session).
This may come as a surprise to you but my advice is this: keep on making mistakes! Yes, believe it or not, I’m encouraging you to make them. Learners who aren’t making mistakes, aren’t practicing as the two go hand-in-hand.The main thing is to not make the same errors all the time. Let’s not label things «good» or «bad» as we have a tendency to do. Mistakes are no big deal, they are simply part of the process.
Remember two things:
When you learned how to play a musical instrument or when you learned to speak your mother tongue, I’m sure you made plenty of mistakes at first: the music was out of tune, you mispronounced words or used them out of context, but you didn’t give up.
If you keep striving for perfection, then you’ll keep on feeling frustrated and procrastinating because you’ll never actually get «there». Perfection is a vague far-off finish line that keeps getting further away. By the way, does anyone actually know what perfection is?
Does the journey seem too long, too arduous, too overwhelming, too everything… to get where you want to go? Are you making up films in your head about what could happen if you don’t understand? Or perhaps you’re continually comparing yourself to others?
Stay in the Now (as Eckhart Tolle tells us so well). Remember that it’s important to take baby steps and celebrate each stepping stone instead of focusing on how far you still have to go. In other words, stop looking at the 100 things you think you might need to do in the future and focus on the 1 thing that you can do right now.
Remember the Magic
Language is unique. It isn’t a “thing” we can take a selfie of and share on our network. It’s experience, it’s opportunity, it’s excitement. It’s pure potential: a world of opportunities, a doorway to new friends, a treasure chest of different cultures and knowledge. Its horizons are limitless. So we might as well just enjoy the journey.