“Is it raining out?”
“No — for once! Everything’s wet, but at least it’s not falling from the sky!”
This was a conversation I had yesterday evening with a woman in my building as I came back from the shop.
A very typical conversation.
But you know what?
The me of 15 years ago would have panicked that my hair looked greasy and therefore looked wet. I would have worried and felt stupid.
To be fair, my hair was greasy.
I didn’t get around to showering that morning… but that almost definitely wasn’t the case (and if it was, who cares?)
The point is, how we interpret situations is largely to do with what’s going on in our heads.
We make assumptions.
And we associate (connect) current experience to previous (normally negative) experiences.
Someone says “pardon?” after you say something in English, so you instantly assume your English was wrong (but maybe they just didn’t hear?). You make a mistake, and you assume that everyone thinks you’re stupid (but they probably didn’t even notice). You go for a job interview and get rejected, so assume you’re shit and no good (or maybe the interviewer is a racist prick?).
… and on and on and on.
Over the years I’ve identified 10 “Mental Baggages” that many English learners have. These come as a result of bad experiences, as well as believing things people say without ever considering he valid that is.
You have some of these “Mental Baggages”.
And they hold you back from speaking great English.
So if you want to move forward, you’ve going to have to identify the mental baggage, the assumptions you have and the bullshit you tell yourself… and learn to REASSOCIATE the things happening RIGHT NOW with positive ideas, not negative.
This is the second Accelerator:
Suddenly a mistake becomes a spring-board for improving in English faster. A rejection becomes a chance to avoid something that wasn’t right for you anyway. And a “Pardon?” becomes a chance to say something again, in a different way.
It’s not easy.
And it’ll take time.
Which is why we start this right from Week 1 and 2 of the MEFA course (which, of course, implements all 9 of the Accelerators ー though not in order; they’re built into the 12 weekly sessions).
If you want a place in the next group, go here:
Dr Julian Northbrook