Here is the full transcript:
Hi. This is Paul Urwin from BusinessEnglishCommunity.com, and in this video, I’m going to be talking about your English-learning mindset and sharing some of my secrets for getting to the next level. Is your mindset holding you back? Let’s find out.
So, first of all, don’t forget to subscribe. We’ve got some really, really good videos on the way. Also, if you like this video, please give me a big thumbs up. Finally, if you would like a free training session, check out our website. It’s www.BusinessEnglishCommunity.com.
Okay, well the first thing I’d like to talk about is perfection. Lots of English learners, like you, believe that their English needs to be perfect and that absolutely is not the case. In fact, even considering native speakers, native speakers, we do not speak perfect English. Even business English coaches, like me, we do not speak perfect English all of the time. Of course, we aspire to get to a very high level. Many English learners need a high level, need an advanced level in order to be successful. But I think it’s important to understand the difference between an advanced level and attaining perfection.
Aspire to perfection, absolutely. But accept that you’re going to make mistakes while you are learning. Making mistakes is part of the process. If you don’t make those mistakes in a live environment, how are you going to improve? So, that’s really, really important. Don’t be embarrassed. Don’t be embarrassed about making a mistake in front of someone else. What’s the worst that could happen? That someone could possibly laugh or something? What’s more important to you? That you make a mistake in front of someone else or that you improve and you really take your business English to the next level, you really achieve success in your career? And having a great level of English is obviously important in achieving that.
So, just remember, you don’t need to be absolutely perfect at English. You need to improve. Focus on improvement, not on perfection.
The next thing I want to talk about is achievement. As you move towards your goal of attaining an advanced English level, it’s important to understand that barriers that barriers stand in your way, and what is possible and what isn’t possible. Well, absolutely, you can achieve a very high level in English, and I’m going to tell you exactly why now.
Let me give you an example. When it comes to running the 100 meters, the world record is under 10 seconds. However much I train, however much I practice, however much I dedicate my life to running the 100 meters in under 10 seconds, I know that I am not going to be able to achieve that. It’s simply unrealistic. I’m not an athlete. I’m a business English coach. So, I’m not going to be able to achieve that goal, however hard I try.
I also know that there’s some other things in life that are extremely easy. If I want to learn three new words in French, I can learn three new words today, right now, and that is the kind of culture in which we live, that instant gratification culture. Can I have it now?
Well, what’s the reality when it comes to learning English? Let me tell you right now. It’s certainly not impossible. Let me also tell you, you’re probably not going to get to the level, which you want to get to, in one day. It’s somewhere in between. It requires a constant focus. It requires dedication. But know that it is possible, if I set myself a challenge to learn another language, I know and you should know right from the beginning that this is absolutely possible, that it is absolutely achievable, and that you can definitely do this.
I think it comes down to removing the excuses. Is learning English or learning business English to an advanced level, is that a priority for you? What other sacrifices or what sacrifices in your life are you prepared to make in order to make that a reality? Is this one of the things that you want to achieve this year? If that’s the case, you can definitely do it. It’s not difficult, but often people have other priorities in life. If you have other priorities, well, you know what? That’s okay. Not everyone needs or wants to improve their level of English. But if it is a priority, then absolutely it can be done.
Age is another factor that often gets mentioned. I hear lots of people say, “Well, I’m 55 now, Paul. How am I possibly going to learn? I’m not a young person anymore. This is going to be extremely difficult for me.” Well, there might be some truth in the fact that people of different ages learn languages in a different way. I’m not going to deny that. However, I think what is much more important is dedication and application. Older learners can definitely be successful. I’ve worked with many of them over the years and it really comes down to applying yourself to the task. When people go to school, they often take language classes four times a week, they also have to complete homework, and they also study languages for a number of years in order to get to an intermediate or an advanced level. So why do older learners believe that studying English once a week is going to be enough to help them achieve their goals? If you want to achieve this, you can, but be clear on how you are going to achieve it.
That leads me on to routine. Routine is so important in many areas of life and learning English is no different. If you can set up a routine, whether it’s once a week, twice a week, or more, you are likely to be much, much more successful. It’s like going to the gym. Someone who goes to the gym every once in a while is not likely to achieve the physique that they are looking for. But if someone goes to the gym three to five times a week, it is likely that they are going to show or achieve significant progress over time. And, again, exactly the same with English. Don’t expect instant results but set yourself up with a routine and you will get results over time.
What do many students do, unfortunately? They study English for three months. When it gets to three months, they stop. They’re tired, they’ve been getting up early every day, they’ve been dedicating one hour a day to studying English, and they don’t feel that they can go on. They have improved their level in that time, but then they stop. What happens next? Their level simply drops back off again because, as we all know, if you don’t practice and use a language, your level will decrease. That same person then decides the following year to start studying again and they go through the same routine. Three more months of dedication, three more months of study. They increase their level again and then what happens? They stop again. Their level simply drops back down again. This is where commitment comes in. If you are able to commit in the medium term to learning English, your level will improve dramatically.
Do you have the right mindset when it comes to thinking about your routine? Have a think about it. Don’t overdo it. It’s also important that you set up a level of study that can be incorporated into your life. It’s no good saying, “Well, I’m going to really learn English now and I’m going to study for four hours per day.” Well, I can guarantee you that after one week, you’ll be tired and you won’t want to spend any more time learning English. So, set yourself up with a routine where you can incorporate your English learning into your current activities. You don’t need to stop anything, you don’t need to stop going to work, you don’t need to stop going to the gym, you don’t need to stop going on holiday. You can incorporate your English learning into your daily life. The people who manage to do that are the ones who are successful in taking their English to the next level.
I think it is really important not to expect immediate results. In a world of instant gratification, learn English now, people sometimes are under the impression that English can be learnt in a very short period of time. Well, if by a very short period of time you mean three to nine months, then yes, you can achieve spectacular results in that sort of timeframe. But if you are talking about learning English in a week, then no, that is definitely not possible. Don’t expect immediate results.
Also, please understand that sometimes language learning or improvements in language level can go in steps. It’s not this constant increase over time. You’re not going to feel a jump in your level for every extra hour that you study. But after studying for a month or two, then suddenly you’ll feel that little jump, that little step up. That requires a little bit of patience. Your increase in level can go in steps, so stick with the program and you will succeed.
A lot of people also give up just before they are going to succeed. They’ll study English for a certain amount of time, and then they’ll just give up. Really, this is about having a constant approach, sticking to the plan, staying in this, stay with me for the medium term, and you will definitely get there. Remember what I said earlier, this is not anything that’s impossible. This is not about running the 100 meters in under 10 seconds, which is difficult and only a few, a handful, of people in the world can do that. This is about a perfectly achievable goal. A goal that you will achieve if you stick to the plan.
I want you just to take a moment and consider your own mindset. Are you thinking in the right way in order to take your English to the next level? Are you taking the right kind of action in order to improve?
Thanks very much for watching. I’m Paul Urwin form BusinessEnglishCommunity.com. Don’t forget to subscribe. If you like the video, please give me a big thumbs up. Until next time, bye.