Hey! It’s Hadar.
Welcome to my channel.
This is the end of 2019 and today we are going to talk about the things that you have to stop doing if you want to reach a breakthrough in English in 2020.
Now, if you happen to watch it not at the end of 2019, this is still relevant if you want to reach a breakthrough in the next 12 months.
Now, you already know all the things that you do need to do in order to improve your fluency and your confidence.
But, what about all those things that you need to stop doing if you really want to reach a breakthrough? And this is exactly what we’re gonna talk about today.
Now, this video is for you whether you’re just a beginner starting to learn English and to communicate in English, or whether you are an advanced speaker and you’re looking to really reach the next level.
Wherever you are at, this is a must watch for you.
The first thing you need to stop doing is – stop judging other people.
As speakers of English as a second language sometimes we find ourselves listening to other speakers of English as a second language, and judging them in our head.
Am I right, or am I right?
So, for example, you may hear someone that makes a mistake, and you were able to pick up on it. And you’re like: ‘oh, they made a mistake’, ‘oh, they sound so funny’, ‘oh, their accent is so thick’.
‘Why do they sound like that?’, ‘they don’t speak English well’, ‘they should have been better by now’.
All of those thoughts that you direct towards other people are dangerous, because that critic in your head criticizing other people is the same critic that will show up when you speak.
When you direct your judgement towards other people that judgment is going to be reflected and projected onto you.
And this judgment is something that is definitely holding us back as we’re trying to communicate clearly and fluently.
So, even if you recognize that someone has just made a mistake, instead of judging them for not being perfect or clear, appreciate them.
Replace judgment with appreciation. And appreciate for what they’re doing, and what they have to say, and what they want to share with you.
Appreciate the fact that they’re communicating with you.
Appreciate the fact that they’re trying.
Appreciate the fact that they are doing their best even if it’s not up to your standards or up to the standards of spoken English, or native speakers.
We are just communicating as people, so replace judgment with appreciation and respect the people around you who speak.
Because when you judge other people that judgment sooner than later will turn around and hit you right up your… bottom.
The second thing you need to stop doing is stop waiting for the right opportunity to come.
A lot of people say to themselves: ‘okay, I will start really improving my English when I get a job offer’. Or ‘I will start really improving my English when I buy that ticket to travel to the US’.
Or ‘I’ll start really improving my English when I need to apply to the university’.
Why wait? The opportunity will come and then you will not be ready.
Stop waiting for a good enough reason to start really focusing on your English, or really working towards improving your English, if you know that this is something that you should achieve at some point.
Because when you wait for the right opportunity it’s already too late.
And let me tell you this: if you’re not ready, it’s very likely that the opportunity will never come.
Opportunities come our way when we are ready for them, when we know we can do it.
Stop waiting for the opportunity to come that will motivate you to start learning English.
The third thing you need to stop doing is stop avoiding. Stop avoiding opportunities that do come your way.
Let’s say, a meeting that is supposed to take place in English.
And you’re like ‘I’m not gonna join’, or ‘I’m not gonna speak, because I’m not ready yet’.
Okay. So the opportunity has already come, but instead of you just like jumping into it and speaking as much as you can (even if it’s not perfect), you’re saying to yourself ‘I better not attend cuz I’m not ready’.
Stop thinking like you will be ready one day. You have to start before you’re ready.
And you have to jump on every opportunity that comes your way to speak, and communicate, and advance yourself in English.
When you avoid, that’s when you signal to the world and to yourself that your English is not good enough. And then, you actually don’t have the right opportunities to practice.
Let’s say, there is a meeting, and you need to speak up and say something in English.
And you’re like ‘I’m not gonna do it’.
Or, maybe, there is a big presentation, and someone offers you to present in English.
And you’re like ‘I’m not gonna do it, because I’m not ready yet’.
You have to always start before you ready. Start the sentence before you know how it’s going to end. Or start speaking, say ‘yes’ to presenting, say ‘yes’ to participating, say ‘yes’ to meeting new people. Because you will never feel ready. That’s the truth – we never feel ready.
We are born perfectionists, and we always want to be prepared.
So if the opportunity has already come – take it!
#4 – stop with the ridiculous expectations.
Why are you expecting yourself to speak perfectly – like a native speaker – in English?
And when that doesn’t happen, you feel horrible, and bad, and stupid.
How can you expect yourself to speak like a native speaker, if you are not a native speaker?
I’m not a native speaker, and I don’t expect my English to sound like a native speaker.
And if you constantly expect yourself to perform perfectly, and to speak with no mistakes without getting stuck, I mean, those expectations are crippling, and it causes you to freeze and not take action, or to avoid (we talked about that in #3).
You have to stop with the ridiculous expectations, and accept yourself with mistakes, with getting stuck, as you are.
At least, you are communicating. At least, you’re speaking.
The good news, the more you do that – the better you become.
The more fluent you become – the less mistakes you make, and the less times again stuck.
That’s a magic cycle. But, you have to start with realistic expectations.
Ones that you can actually fulfill and feel accomplished.
#5 – stop procrastinating.
Let’s say, you know that you need to practice. And let’s say, that you’re really motivated about learning English. But you just can’t find the time.
Why? Because it’s not high up on your priority list. Because you are constantly procrastinating your practice, or what you need to do, or when to take action.
So, you say to yourself, ‘I need to improve my English, I’m not waiting for anything. I’m ready to do it. I’m just really really busy’.
It’s not that you’re busy, it’s just that you’re procrastinating learning it, and doing the work that you need to do.
Start doing the work, or start your English practice first thing in the morning.
It can be by reading out loud a paragraph, or scheduling a quick call with someone in English.
But you gotta do it, and you have to stop procrastinating. Because when we do, other things get in the way, and then we really don’t have time.
So, you’ve got to make it a priority. And you have to schedule it in a way that all the urgent stuff don’t get in your way and prevent you from actually doing the work that you had planned to do.
Stop. Stop. Stop with a negative self-talk.
We already talked about the judgment you may have towards other people. But that judgment, of course, exists inside of you.
That inner critic that raises his or her dirty little head every time you start speaking English.
Did you just say that? That sounds funny. You have such a thick accent.
Oh my god, they’re gonna think you’re stupid. You’re simply not good enough.
All those sentences that you hear in your head that stop you from communicating confidently, and freely, and with joy.
Why do you need to feel anxious about speaking up your thoughts? You don’t.
So, you can handle those negative thoughts.
Now, I have talked a lot about speaking English with confidence, and about limiting beliefs on my channel.
And I’m gonna link to all those videos in the description below.
But, I want you to, now, just recognize those negative thoughts and sentences that come up every time you try to communicate, and flip them around.
So, instead of dwelling in this negative self-talk, turn each sentence into something positive and empowering.
For example, you speak with a thick accent. You can turn it into -> ‘I communicate clearly in English’.
You sound stupid -> I’m a great speaker, and people love talking to me.
You make mistakes -> I’m smart, and I’m confident, and I know what I’m saying.
Whatever works for you, whatever motivates you – a positive sentence that, every time that negative thought comes up, will replace it.
Now, I actually prepared for you a list with affirmations to help you speak English with confidence every time that negative self-talk is starting. Okay?
So, this is actually going to help you stop with a negative self-talk. You can download it by clicking the link right below, or clicking one of the links here.
Stop consuming too much content.
A lot of learners are trapped in this feeling, like they just don’t know enough, and they need to know more, and more, and more.
But knowledge without application of that knowledge is lost. You can’t do anything with it. The more you learn without putting it to practice, the more you’ll feel incompetent.
Like, you have no idea why English doesn’t work for you. Because we tend to forget things.
So, you may have clarity, but clarity without putting it to action is meaningless. It’s not going to help you speak better, or speak confidently, or speak fluently. All those things that you want to feel when you communicate in English.
And a lot of times we’re just sucked into watching more and more videos on YouTube, or listening to podcasts, or reading more books. Feeling like this is what’s going to make us speak better, and speak fluently.
But the honest truth is that it’s not. Consuming more and more content without putting it to practice is just yet another form of procrastination.
It would benefit you so much more that in a single week you’ll learn only one thing. And spend the rest of the days just implementing that one thing, every single day, let’s say, for 30 minutes each day – then to spend an hour a day learning different things, new things.
You won’t remember it, and it will just make you feel overwhelmed, and incapable.
Instead of like learning one thing and then implementing it, and applying it, and then it will stick with you.
It is so much easier to learn things and to consume content, because it doesn’t require you to put yourself out there. It doesn’t require you to actually show up. And it’s very safe because you can’t make mistakes when you’re watching a video. Right?
And we want to stay safe, but staying in a safety place, staying in your comfort zone is not the way to reach a breakthrough. We only reach a breakthrough when we get out of the comfort zone, and we are in our growth zone. That’s how you reach a breakthrough.
So, if you’re serious about pushing yourself forward, stop consuming content – start applying what you’ve already learned and what you already know.
#8 – stop making native speakers your North Star.
Let me explain. A lot of times non-native speakers prefer to only speak with native speakers. And that is a reference that they’re actually progressing and practicing well.
Practicing with non-native speakers, or fellow speakers of English as a second language is as good as speaking with an actual native speaker. In fact, I find it that it’s sometimes a lot more freeing and easier to communicate with non-native speakers.
So that’s one thing. Another thing: if you’re pursuing a teacher, and your teacher is not a native speaker, that does not mean that they’re bad teachers.
English teachers who’re non-native speakers have an insight that native speakers don’t. So don’t disregard it, and don’t dismiss them just because they are not native speakers.
Being a native speaker is not quality assurance. Find the teacher, find the conversation that you enjoy connecting with. And it doesn’t matter if there are native speakers or non-native speakers.
Also, you may want to stop focusing on trying to speak like a native, or sound like a native. Because that takes us back to having ridiculous expectations.
It’s not that it’s impossible, but it’s just that ‘why?’. I mean, you need to sound truly like yourself, like who you are.
What is the sound of a native speaker anyway? There are so many dialects in English.
There is American English, and British English, and Australian English.
And within British English, or American English there’s so many different dialects anyway. And sounds, and voices… I mean, there is no one quality of voice, or one accent that you want or may want to imitate.
So that idea, or ideal, of the native speaker needs to be shattered a bit if you really want to reach your breakthrough in 2020.
Because I don’t think it’s necessarily pushing you forward. It might just be holding you back.
Stop with the lists, the scripts, and the books. Stop passive learning of English.
If you want to practice you have to focus more on speaking, and reading out loud, and hearing your voice.
Rather than consuming English – reading books, watching videos.
So, you can do something very simple as reading out loud, or reading something and then talking about it to yourself. Or just, like, finding opportunities to speak with other people as many as opportunities as possible.
But focus more on active English rather than passive English. Because that’s the only way to improve your spoken English.
When you read, when you watch television – it’s great for comprehension. But if your focus is to become fluent and reach a breakthrough in the next 12 months, then it’s definitely all about speaking English as much as possible.
Just turn passive opportunities into active opportunities, and you will see that it has immediate impact on your fluency.
The last thing that you need to stop doing if you want to reach a breakthrough is stop comparing yourself to others.
You might have seen that or felt that: you watched a video of someone on Facebook, or on YouTube, or on Instagram, and you’re like “Oh, my god, their English is so great. I am so much worse than them. I’ll never be able to sound like them”.
Stop comparing yourself to others – it doesn’t advance you.
Other people have other issues, you don’t know what their issues are. And everything looks great on social media. So, of course, they’re gonna take the perfect take, and make it look like they just woke up and spoke like that.
Like, you don’t see the behind the scenes of every video that they make. You don’t know what they’ve been through, what they have done, and maybe they’re just simply there because they started a little earlier than you.
They’re simply further down the road than you, but you are just about to get there, as well.
And again, turn that judgement into appreciation, whether it’s towards other people or whether it’s towards yourself.
And, if someone makes you feel bad about yourself, stop following them. Stop listening to them.
Do only things that lift you up, that motivate you, and that make you feel good about yourself.
You’ve got to give yourself more grace, and you have to acknowledge the work that you’ve already done, and be proud of it.
Okay, that’s it. Now, I want to hear from you: what is the one thing that you’re going to stop doing, as of now, in order to reach a breakthrough in the next 12 months?
Let me know in the comments below. And if other things come to mind – things that you are going to stop doing, and you’re gonna make it a non-negotiable (that means that you’re gonna stop doing them and that’s it) – let us know in the comments below, as well.
Also, don’t forget that I have prepared for you a list of affirmations. A list of positive sentences that will help you speak English with more confidence and joy.
You can download them and then just pick a few. You can add your own, and use them every time you feel insecure or less confident in your English.
Thank you so much!
Have a beautiful beautiful week. Have a beautiful year, and I will see you next week in the next video.