Boredom, frustration, a sense of inferiority.
If you’ve ever tried to learn a language, you know these feelings all too well.
You don’t want to feel them…
So you spend an enormous amount of time and energy to try and suppress them.
Why? Because you think they have tremendous power.
The power to destroy your dreams of learning another language and make you never try again.
If you allow yourself to feel their disturbance, you think you will be sucked into a deep well and never come out again.
But is that actually true? Or are your negative emotions just fooling you?
Are You Brave Enough?
You can really blow your emotions out of proportion.
And the voice in your head will certainly not leave an opportunity untouched; that’s the kind of bastard it is.
But in their most essential form, emotions are only bodily sensations. And they can’t harm you.
So why do you always run away from them?
They’re asking for your attention, so why don’t you give it to them?
You see… the only way to lessen their impact and intensity is to actually feel them. Don’t think them, feel them.
Yes, your inner voice will tell you all kinds of stories about the emotions, but those are just brain farts. Your only task is to feel the emotions, the sensations that take place in your body.
You can even set aside a few minutes of silent time for this. Just sit and feel.
Do this whenever you’re bothered by them, and you’ll slowly be dissolving the emotional blockages that are holding you back.
There’s no need to fear them, but there’s a need to feel them.
So be brave, and reap the benefits later.
During Your Study Sessions
Whether you’re sweating above your textbooks or battling with an audio course, there’s no need to push your negative emotions aside.
If you do, you’re only hurting yourself.
You must accept and feel these emotions so that you can continue with your work.
If you don’t, most of your energy is wasted resisting and evading them.
You want to actually spend your energy on learning, right?
By accepting the negative emotions, you free up an enormous amount of energy; you can’t help but significantly improve your study sessions.
In the Real World
When you go out and practice your new language in the real world, a whole new range of negative emotions will fight for your attention.
Humiliation, shame, guilt, and even anger are “friends” that will visit you often.
Don’t reject them, as they will be offended and come back at you even stronger.
Instead, welcome them in.
Make sure you get to know them.
Dare to feel bad about your language learning.
It’s the only way to grow and get better in your new language.
Language Learning Does Not Have to Be Fun
People don’t want boring language learning methods.
They can’t handle it emotionally.
App creators know they have to make their apps entertaining. As cozy as possible, so they don’t disturb their fragile little users.
I’m not against fun in language learning. Some fun must be had every now and then. It also aids memory retention.
So, fun is good. But…
It. Can’t. Always. Be. Fun.
In fact, I’ll bet you that most of the time, language learning isn’t much fun.
So then what?
If you all you’re looking for is a little entertainment, you’ll be better off with a Netflix subscription instead of a language course.
If you start with this fun-first mentality, you’re wasting your time.
It’s just another way to avoid negative emotions.
And if you do that, you’re not going to get far with your new language…
Negative Emotions are the Gateway to Great Achievements
Allowing yourself to feel your emotions may seem like weakness to you.
If so, you couldn’t be more wrong.
It’s the bravest thing in the world.
By feeling your emotions, you confront the fairytales you have about yourself. The stories you tell yourself about the “superhuman” that you are.
But just like any other human, there’s darkness inside of you. And it scares the shit out of you.
But if you keep avoiding it, there will be no personal growth. A year from now, you’ll be in the exact same place mentally, and possibly physically.
Instead, do the opposite… and prosper.
Because the only thing that stands between you and (almost) all that you want to achieve is negative emotions.
Negative emotions are vital; they show you the way.
Unfortunately, our natural reaction is to try to avoid them.
This might work for a little while. Then they come back stronger.
It’s time to stop this emotional avoidance.
Instead of committing this emotional suicide, dare to feel bad about your language learning.
Until next time,
P.S.: A good book about facing your emotions is Letting Go by David Hawkins (RIP). The book talks in detail about how you should feel and accept your emotions. It’s a bit long-winded in some parts, but it’s worth it if you want to know more about this method. Check out the first few chapters.