Balance: the inner critic and your inner cheerleader

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I just want to say: where ever you are, whatever you are doing for your language learning, however you are talking to yourself, you are doing really well.

We all have this voice to tell ourselves that what we do is not enough, that we need to do more, that we need to be better.

I talked about this voice in my last video. I said that: When we say our English isn’t good enough, we become demotivated, we enjoy less and we learn less.

However, I also want to say…. It’s OK to have this voice.

I used to push this voice away and ignore it. In my experience, the voice then only got louder and I had to fight harder to keep it out of my head. Now I have a relationship with this voice. I listen to it…. I am always curious about what it needs.

What is this voice saying? Do I feel unsafe? Am I comparing myself to other people? Is it true: do I need to do more? What does this voice want?

It is safe to ask these questions. Normally I find the voice wants something very simple and kind.

If we don’t listen to this voice, we end up following it anyway. It follows us and comes into our day. Learning becomes more about following the voice rather than learning to enjoy, learning to improve ourselves, or simply learning to learn.

And we can build another voice. A kinder friend who will always encourage us, and point to the positive things we are doing.

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I have built this voice in me through different ways:

  1. I write down all of the things I can already do
  2. I write down all of the things I have done that day (or I list them before I sleep)
  3. I leave little messages around the house or in my bag that say nice things about me
  4. I write encouraging notes for me (for example “You’re doing really well” or “You can do it”)
  5. I talk to myself in kind ways when I am walking to work

This is not about creating a war between two voices. This is very important. Wars in your head are very tiring.

No, instead it is about balance. The voice who criticises you lives with the voice who encourages you. It is safe to have both. There is enough space for both. In fact, we have a right to have both in us. Because both make us human. And to learn a language well, you need this balance.

And that’s why: where ever you are, whatever you are doing for your language learning, however you are talking to yourself, you are doing really well.

 

Do you need help finding balance? Then send me an email or give me a call, and let’s arrange a free trial lesson today!

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