Yes! You are afraid. You are afraid to speak English fluently. You are afraid to make mistakes in English. You are afraid to succeed. If you continue to be afraid…. and keep telling yourself, ‘I can’t speak English.’ You NEVER will. Below you will learn what fear is, how to identify it and try to overcome it.
What is fear?
An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
Fear can be a small negative voice in your head that keeps telling you
• “No one understands you”
• “Stop wasting your time. You will never learn to speak English.”
• “Give up!”
• “Why are you even trying to speak English?”
Fear can also create physical symptoms in your body. Fear can appear as:
• a stomach ache
• a blank mind
• over thinking or worrying
If you let fear run any part of your life or your English studies you are likely to fail. If you let your fear determine what you do, what you think, you will continue to experience failures or only small successes in your language acquisition process.
How can you overcome fear?
When you are speaking English and you start to feel afraid or nervous, ask yourself… Why am I afraid?
Identify why you are nervous, anxious or afraid.
• Do you think others will laugh at you or make fun of you?
• Did you forget how to say something in English?
• Do you not understand what someone said?
• Are you afraid to talk to native English speakers?
• Do you feel stupid when you speak in English?
• Do you feel like you don’t have enough words to say? Or the right words to say?
• Do you not have enough things to say to keep a conversation going in English?
Only once, you identify what is causing your fear or negative thoughts; can you start to solve your problem.
What is the worst thing that could happen?
So, say the worst thing that is going to happen if you say a word incorrectly in English is that you are going to have to repeat yourself or think of another way of how to say something.
Is that really so bad?
No one (that I know) is going to hit you or throw something at you if you make mistakes in English.
Just do your best. Try your hardest. You are learning something new.
If you ever want to speak English fluently and effortlessly you are going to need to make a lot of mistakes.
Three steps to overcoming your fears of learning/speaking English:
1. Identify your fear
2. Think of the worst thing that could happen if you do the thing that you are afraid of
3. Be positive and take action. Say ‘No!’ to fear.
STOP being afraid to speak English. RIGHT NOW!
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