Monday, 18 May 2009

Learning Psychology: Afraid of Speaking in English?

Occasionally, I do get some emails from my diligent ex-students sharing their problems with me and asking for advice, and of course, I can’t welcome more. It is a great signs of improvement and the first step is always the hardest to make, especially asking someone how to do something. Today I have selected a case that maybe some of you are also facing now, and I will then offer you some mental training to help you overcome this problem.

I have this student who felt more comfortable chatting through email rather than face to face or over the phone. Like many working for foreign companies, English is an essential part of their daily work. The problem was, the more they have to use, the more fearful they grew due to the lack of self-confidence, and so they did whatever necessary to avoid the communication with the foreigners.

Most of the time, a lot of the problems are created not by the foreigners, but by oneself. It is obvious to me. Why? Maybe you can ask the person working immediately beside you, ask them if they have the same problem as you do. It is not hard to find someone who does not share your fear despite working in the same environment. And why is this the case? Because trouble is a feeling generated by your brain, by your mind, and not by others.

If you are having the problem mentioned above, first of all, ask yourself,
“Can you not eat but feel full? Can you not drink but feel not thirsty? Can you not work hard and become rich?”

I think you would say "no". Then can you not try but speak good English? Often, you just have to bravely and boldly face the problem because you just cannot escape from it.

If you ask me which is the most important in learning English, I will say, "Passion, Confidence, Practice". If you don't have Passion, meaning your love for English; Confidence comes second, because with confidence, at least you would be active in speaking; Practice comes third, because without Passion and Confidence, Practice will ensure enough training.

What do you think about yourself? Which of these three do you have?

Since the problem comes from your mind, you must ask your mind to fix it. Try putting yourself in a dangerous situation. Man fights back at the very last moment.

Tell yourself, if you don't speak English to those foreigners, you will definitely lose your job. There is no more time for ‘later’. Would you try your very best to speak now?

Or, if you don't speak English, you can never get to earn a single dollar more because you will never get a promotion. There are so many others who can speak better than you and thus your job is not secure. If you want to prevent all these from happening, would you open up yourself and try more?

Many others are taking actions while you are still feeling miserable, and time doesn’t wait for anybody.

Remember, your character decides your destiny, so start now!

“Your future starts today, not tomorrow.” – Pope John Paul II

Picture source:

Why did I use "they" when I am talking about 1 student only?