Don’t be afraid.
“All that ever holds somebody back, I think, is fear. For a minute I had fear. [Then] I went into the [dressing] room and shot my fear in the face…”
Quite a dramatic statement! But it’s true. You have to overcome your fears if you want to succeed at anything in life, and the same applies to learning English. I have taught so many students who were afraid to speak in class. Why were they afraid? Maybe because they didn’t want to make a mistake, or because they were shy, or because they didn’t want to be laughed at. Whatever the reason, their fear held them back. Their English didn’t improve, especially compared to the more talkative people in class. How can you overcome your fear? Only by doing the very thing you were afraid of! I used to be sooo shy. I hated to speak in classes at school. I became an easy target for bullies. I was so concerned with what people thought of me. And now, I’m a teacher! Every day, I stand up in front of people, and talk. It used to be terrifying, but not any more. I’m more confident, I don’t care so much about what people think of me, and I’m more relaxed. How did this happen? I forced myself to to do things that need confidence, like teaching, and do them confidently. People say, ‘practice makes perfect’. Practice may not make you perfect, but it takes away the feeling of fear, until you find there’s nothing left to be afraid of!