You've reached an advanced level but there is still so much you can't do.
You were told that once you were advanced, all of your English stresses would disappear. That you would understand everything and never struggle to make yourself understood. That all would be sunshine and roses.
OK, OK. So, you knew it wouldn't be perfect. But you had no idea it would still be this hard!
How is everyone else doing it!? Going into meetings, moving countries, making friends, getting promotions... don't they panic and worry and beat themselves up like you do?
They told you more language would make all this anxiety go away so the problem must be that you simply don't have enough yet...
Better get back to the grammar book, sign up to a new course, and hire another English teacher.
But... but more language doesn't seem to helping. The language in your exam class seems so different to the language you hear outside, and no matter how many new structures you learn, you find they simply disappear as soon as you need to use them.
Let's find a way to get through this.
There'll be a particular area of your life which is harder than all the others.
You've been working in English for the past two years and so much of the day-to-day of your job has become second nature. You hardly even notice that you're using your second language. Except for Tuesday afternoons.
Tuesday afternoons are hell.
This is when your counterparts from all over Europe have their weekly meeting and you have to report on your team's progress. All eyes on you.
It's horrible. No matter how positive you feel about your team and your work, you come out of those meetings convinced that everyone must think you're an idiot.
Why can't you get your point out properly? Why do you always forget the one word you need to remember? And why does your stupid colleague never speak slowly or clearly when she asks you a question, even though she must know how difficult you find it!?
This Tuesday meeting ruins your week. Your husband knows not to ask how work was on a Tuesday, unless he wants to listen to you cry and threaten to quit...again.
And what can you do about it? It's not like you need to learn more vocabulary or practise your speaking - you speak English every other day without a bloody problem!
So, the cycle continues...
Tuesdays are still crap. You keep feeling frustrated. But you tell yourself, "There's nothing to be done."
The truth is that those moments you're struggling most with in English are made up of lots of different elements:
there's the "pre-situation", where your anxiety starts to rise in anticipation of how horrible it's going to be.
there's the situation itself; a moment where you don't understand, or make a mistake, or begin to panic.
and there's the "post-match analysis" where you kick yourself for having been such a mess.
So much (too much, in my opinion) of language teaching focusses on those tiny bits in the middle - but we can make improvements in every part of equation, and you can finally feel like you're moving forward.
The 5-Day Mindset Challenge
Over the next 5 days, this challenge will guide you through a difficult situation of your choice and help you see a completely new way forward.
You will receive:
5 unique meditations to help you see your struggles in English from a new perspective.
A helpful workbook to guide you through the meditations with questions for you to journal and reflect on.
You will leave with:
A clearer understanding of exactly what you find difficult in English
An awareness of the impact your thoughts and body play on your experiences of using English
An action plan for how to make real progress, entirely tailored to your situation and your goals for the future.
The 5-Day Mindset Challenge is completely free!
Simply sign up with your name and email to join!