What it takes to really just ‘sit down and learn a language’.

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The first time I ever told someone that I owned my own business, they naturally asked me: What do you do?

In response, I simply said “I coach English as a second language to people online and I’m building a course that will be able to help people learn ANY language”.

To which the person asking replied “That is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Do you know how you learn a language? You sit down, and you just fucking do it, that’s how.”

In the moment, a couple of emotions flashed by me:

  1. My pride was a bit hurt. I didn’t think being a language coach was stupid but I couldn’t doubt that this was the reaction I feared when telling people about my business, and the fact that this was the FIRST person I told and I already got this kind of feedback… yep, that sucked.
  2. I know how in demand coaches are. I have seen many people seek out coaches, I myself had also sought out coaches to help me navigate new things, so just because he wasn’t my ideal customer, didn’t mean there wasn’t someone out there who needed what I had to offer.
  3. You did it. You told someone confidently what you are doing, in real life! You are making this a reality.

After this experience, I thought a lot about the words ‘just sit down and do it’, and in fact, I actually did decide to put this into practice when I started learning Spanish. For me, it truly was a matter of just sitting down and doing it. 

So what does it take to just sit down and learn a language? In my opinion it takes 5 things:

  1. Clarity on the language you want to learn and the goals you have to get there.
  2. Energy and time to make it a reality. You have to practice daily and that’s a commitment.
  3. Necessity that you create for yourself and stick to through self discipline.
  4. Increased productivity in your daily life so that you can indeed make time for this commitment instead of making excuses, and get more done in the time that you set aside for yourself.
  5. The courage to say: I am going to start something new, and it’s going to be hard but I’m going to do it anyway. I don’t feel ready but I know that’s normal, and I know I’m going to fail but I’d rather fail 1,000 times than never try. 

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