Before you read this, I want you to practice getting into the proper mindset for learning.
Take a deep breath and relax your body.
Now, energize yourself.
Sit up straight, stick out your chest and acknowledge that because you want to improve your English, you choose to read or listen to this article.
Now breathe again and be here now, be present.
Okay, let’s begin!
In my email course 7 Strategies for English Fluency, you learn about how important it is to have a growth mindset to become fluent in English. Becoming fluent in any language takes time, and if you are easily discouraged or have limiting beliefs about your ability to learn, you will hold yourself back from the success you truly desire.
Another important strategy to use when you are learning English is something called STATE MANAGEMENT.
State management is the ability to change a current state of mind or emotion to another, usually from a negative or nervous type of state or emotion into a more positive, relaxed and enthusiastic state – whatever is appropriate for the task at hand.
As an English coach, I work one-on-one with business and academic professionals from around the world, so I am keenly aware of the tremendous demands that are placed on people’s time these days, including work, relationships, commuting, exercise, children, and studying English.
Sometimes, it can be completely overwhelming!
Unfortunately, some people just try to soldier through it all, using brute force and willpower to wake up early or go to bed late, trying to squeeze more and more into less and less available time, including learning English.
This is stressful and it isn’t an effective way to meet your goals and live the life you desire!
If becoming fluent in English is one of your goals, I highly recommend that you learn how to get into the proper state of mind that is conducive to learning before you begin any English-learning activity, whether it is listening to a podcast on your way to work, reading a book on the train or working one-on-one with your English language coach after coming home from a hard day at work.
To get into the proper mindset for effective learning, you want to first release any fears, self-judgements and anxieties you have in general, and specifically about your abilities in English, especially regarding your speaking skills, as that seems to be the skill that most English students feel worried about.
Stop apologizing and saying “I don’t really speak English very well.”
That’s not the message you want to be giving your brain!
Instead, just take a deep breath and relax. Come into the present moment.
In order for any English-learning activity (listening, speaking, reading, or writing) to be truly effective in helping you reach your longterm goal of English fluency, you must NOT be feeling any of the following negative emotions: anger, frustration, fear, irritation, anxiety, worry, self-criticism or self-pity or stress.
And, you mustn’t be overly tired. If you’re tired, go take a nap.
Once you feel pretty relaxed, take a few seconds to energize yourself!
You want to move into a state of energized enthusiasm before you start.
REMEMBER: YOU WANT to do this. YOU have CHOSEN to do this. YOU DESIRE success in English.
Remembering that this is a personal choice, a decision that you have made, a goal that you have set for yourself (whatever your reasons) can help you get into the proper mindset that will maximize the benefit you get from spending your time doing this particular activity.
Of course, this works for the other things you are doing in your life as well.
Being able to manage your state is an essential key to success.
I urge students who are working with my in-depth English training program Success with Stories to get into a proper mindset before listening to the Stories, reviewing the Vocabulary lessons and especially before working with the Question and Answer lessons, which require you to speak out loud, automatically and with confidence.
Those who take the time to relax and energize themselves beforehand see significant progress in a short amount of time. They are able to listen, understand and answer automatically, without translating, and without a lot of effort. This builds their speaking confidence and gets them ready to interact with others, in English.
Try the state management technique for a while before you engage in an English-learning activity and then let me know in the comments section if you see a difference in how you feel during, and after, the activity, how well you retain the information you have studied and how it has affected your progress in English, and your level of confidence.
Don’t let English be another source of stress in your life.
Manage your state and enjoy learning English!