We all live with fear. It’s just a result of our biology. And some fear is good — it’s rational.
Being afraid of getting hit by a car, for example, or of being stabbed in that dark, dodgy part of town, are both pretty damn good kids of fear to have.
But not all fear is rational.
Most, in fact, is irrational.
Like the fear of speaking English in front of someone in case you don’t do it very well.
Or to put it another way:
Fear of failure.
The fear of failure is an irrational fear. Because, ultimately, the only way you truly fail is by not doing anything. Because when you do nothing… you create the very result you’re afraid of.
i.e. you fail.
There isn’t anything more irrational than that.
Of course, that doesn’t mean everything you do will go to plan. In fact, a conversation you have might prove to be a total train wreck. But that doesn’t mean it’s unsuccessful or a “failure”.
At the very least:
* A train wreck of a conversation tells you what you need to learn, and where you need to improve.
* It provides the motivation to learn and be better next time.
* It expands your comfort zone and helps you to be more resilient next time (because let’s face it, nothing truly bad happened, right?).
I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again:
Bravery isn’t not being afraid (yay for double negatives). Bravery is being afraid but doing it anyway.
Now, with that in mind let’s get you set up with all the tools (mental and literal) that you’ll need to keep learning and pushing forward with that English of yours.
Dr Julian Northbrook