I stood in front a room of 20 people and started speaking. I’d done several seminars before this and had spoken about all kinds of topics.
But this one was different.
It wasn’t done in English, my first language.
It was done all in my second language.
The content isn’t important.
What matters is that just a few years ago I was struggling because I couldn’t speak my second language–Japanese–well.
But standing in front of those people?
I felt nothing but calm.
The panic I used to feel was totally gone.
At school, we’re taught we’re taught English with outdated methods and punished if we make mistakes. We end up with a fixed image of what we should look and sound like when we speak English. And when our speaking fails to match that image we’re left feeling frustrated and embarrassed.
Like we’ll never be good enough.
The problem is no one ever teaches us the stuff that works in the real world.
I’ve been there.
And it wasn’t until I was forced to master Japanese that I finally understood the way to master English.