3 Ways To Improve Confidence
We’re going to discuss 3 ways to improve your confidence in English. Learning a new language and learning to grow confidence in your language skills is a challenge, but remember that it comes with so many rewards! Many learners start learning English with the expectation that grammar will be the biggest challenge, but later they find out that it isn’t! So what’s the biggest challenge to learning English?
Confidence! This is the same challenge that any language-learner has! Whether you’re learning English, or Spanish, or Afrikaans, or Chinese, the lack of confidence is what usually holds most students back from fluency! It’s true! Many learners are often nervous about speaking English to others (especially native speakers) because they’re afraid of making a mistake.
However, even native speakers make mistakes sometimes, and no one laughs at them! There are 3 ways to improve confidence in English that we’ll go over. Watch the video to follow along!
#1 – No Negative Vocabulary
One of the 3 ways to improve confidence is to avoid negative vocabulary! Each word has a negative, neutral, or positive impact on a person’s confidence. The words you tell people, and yourself, can change how they see things and situations! For example: do you see problems as problems, or as challenges? Which word has a more positive sound? If you keep telling yourself that you have problems, then it’s easier to become depressed and not confident enough to solve these “problems”, like learning English!
Try to avoid using negative words. Here are some examples of negative words:
- Problem – ex. I have so many problems.
- Complicated – ex. Learning English is complicated.
Remember that there is always a positive side to situations. Here are some examples of positive words:
- Challenge – ex. I have several challenges
- Puzzle – ex. Learning English is a puzzle
#2 – “Do” Instead of “Try”
Our brains have the ability to actually believe what we tell ourselves, and words can make us believe that we can or can’t do something! Telling yourself that you’re going to try and do something is already telling your brain that you’re not going to be able to do it. Stop telling yourself that!
Remember that no one expects you to be perfect in English, and remember that even native English speakers make mistakes with their English.
Telling yourself that you will speak English is brainwashing your brain into believing that you have the power to speak this language (and you do have this power). It’s a powerful tool that makes a big difference in your level of confidence!
I will try to speak English
I will speak English
Which of these two sounds more positive to you? Just do it!
#3 – Breathe It Out!
Believe it or not, gaining confidence in speaking a foreign language can depend on your body and breathing. Often we use breathing techniques to help relieve stress, but it can also be used to help improve your confidence levels! How is this done?
One way of doing this is to use a technique called “Kiai” (“Ki”= “energy”, and “ai” = “in the moment”), and this can be done anywhere! So, you’re probably wondering how it is done. It’s done by following the steps below. Keep watching the video to follow along!
- Stand up
- Take a deep breath
- Pull your arms back
- Release your breath quickly (throw all of the energy out!)
- Shout “KIAI!”
I find that this technique really gives me extra energy that I need to feel more confident about the challenges I have. The key is to grow confidence, not pressure/stress, in learning English. You will feel less nervous when you make mistakes, and remember: mistakes are good!