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5 things I wish I knew about English Fluency when I was 20

When I started teaching English and pronunciation, I thought it was all about teaching and learning pronunciation.
Makes sense, no? A teacher teaches.

Not groundbreaking news as far as I’m concerned.

But as I started getting a few students I realized that I’m becoming 90% teacher, 4% accountant, 4% salesperson, and 2% office manager.

Then teaching took up 80% of my time and 20% went to other aspects in my business and my personal growth, and with every year that went by, I was teaching less and focusing more on a whole bunch of other things that had nothing to do with English.

Things like:

– Productivity
– Marketing
– Copywriting
– Mindset
– Leadership skills
– Well-being
– Management skills
– Time management

I had to learn how to take responsibility for my mistakes, overcome limitations, stay committed (even when it was hard and boring), and develop a thick skin when people felt like they needed to share with me how incompetent I am.

I realized that being successful at what I do was not about how much I teach, but about the person I become.

And every time I felt stuck in my business or my teaching, reaching a breakthrough wasn’t about learning more or teaching more, but about changing something in myself so I could overcome the obstacles I was facing and grow.

You’re probably wondering what this has to do with English. I’ll tell you.

Just like becoming a good English teacher is the best vehicle for me to help people, being fluent is the best vehicle for you to impact people around you and get what you want in life.

Which means that fluency, too, is not achieved by working with the best teachers, speaking English 24/7, downloading the perfect app or discovering the best learning strategies.

It’s about the person you’re becoming.

Have you ever wondered what all those fluent speakers of English have in common? Those who speak English so confidently in meetings and videos – even though English is not their native language?

They probably all share the 5 characteristics that are a must, if you want to shift from speaking a language to owning a language.

TRANSCRIPT

Hey everyone, it’s Hadar. Thank you so much for joining me. Today I’m going to share with you the five ways of being that are the secret to your success in English and in life. Now listen, no one ever talks about these things because it’s not necessarily related to English. But let me tell you this, without these five behaviors, it is going to be impossible for you to reach your goals in English and in anything that you want to achieve in life. I wish I knew these things when I was 20, before I embarked on my English journey.

This is part two of the ‘year in review’ video series, where we reflect back on the past and plan for the future. So, I’m going to share with you these five behaviors now, and then we’re going to set goals for the next 12 months. And it doesn’t matter when you’re watching this video – whether it’s the beginning of the year or the middle of the year – it is always important to reflect back and plan for the future, so you are intentional and you are getting your goals, focusing on the five key behaviors that I’m going to share with you today in this episode.

If you’re new to my channel, then welcome. My name is Hadar. I’m a non-native speaker of English and I am here to help you feel confident, free, and proud when communicating in English. You can also follow me on Instagram at @hadar.accentsway. I hope to connect with you there.

So let’s begin with the five ways of being, or behaviors, that are responsible for your English success and breakthrough. The first one is ‘commitment’. Now, it might seem a little obvious to you, but I want to go a little deeper here, so stay with me.

When you say to yourself, “Okay, I want to do X” or “I want to do Y”, we are more likely to be committed to beginning, but we’re less likely to be committed to finishing. Let me ask you this, how many times have you started something without completing it? We’re all really good at starting things, we get motivated and we get started. We’re committed to making change, but we’re not committed to completing things.

If you don’t complete what you start, you’re less likely to see the results that you’re after. You’re not going to see the impact that it has on your English. So, let’s say, you say to yourself, “Okay. I want to practice every day for 15 minutes.” So you get started. And you start and you do it for the first week and the second week, and the third week. And then the fourth week something happens, and you don’t stick with it, even though you’ve committed to doing it for three months.

Let’s say, you sign up for a program, or a course, and you get started, but you don’t finish it. If you don’t finish something, how will you see the results, right? I mean, it’s always great to start new things – the next shiny object, right? “Oh, this is a good thing for me.” Or “I should do this. I should do that.” And then you keep getting distracted from where you’re at and you keep doing different things because it all looks better than what you’re doing right now.

But here’s the truth: if you keep starting new things, you’re never completing them. And if you’re never completing them, how will you ever be able to see the results? So in the next 12 months, I want to ask you to stay committed to your English success and English journey and your fluency, and commit to finishing more than to starting.

The next one is ‘responsibility’. Now, I’m going to share a little bit of tough love, which means I’m saying things that are not going to be easy to hear, but I’m doing it out of love because I know it’s going to help you. Okay?

Responsibility means that whatever you’re seeing right now in your life, wherever you’re at in your English journey is your responsibility. It’s a result of either your behavior, the actions that you decided to take or not to take, and the way you think about yourself in English. A lot of times I see people telling me all these stories about, you know, “I didn’t have this and they didn’t have that, and this is happening to me and that is happening to me.” And it’s all valid.

And again, I’m recording this at the end of 2020. So this has been a very challenging year in terms of, you know, staying committed and doing the work. But I’m not just talking about this year. I’m talking about in general, when people think about why their English is not where they want it to be.

I hear things like, “My first language makes it impossible”, “I did not learn in school”, “I don’t have a lot of opportunities to practice.” So all of these things, they’re true, but they’re not the reason why you’re not where you want to be. Because if you can see people who share the same experience, yet they were able to reach a fluency and English breakthrough, then it means that it’s not about these facts, it’s about what you decided to do about it.

And whether or not you realize that you have the power to take responsibility and to change those circumstances, or to change how you react to those circumstances or respond to those circumstances. Because if something happens, “Okay, I don’t have a lot of opportunities to speak with people”, and you surrender to it, then you’re not taking responsibility of the situation. And you’re telling yourself, “Okay, there is nothing I can do”.

But if you do something about it – you find people online, you ask your friends to talk to you in English, whatever that is – you are taking responsibility of the situation and creating the right circumstances for you to succeed. That what responsibility means. Responsibility means that if you are afraid to communicate in English, you have to understand that you have limitations and limiting beliefs that are holding you back.

And unless you tackle those limitations, it’s going to be very hard for you to break through. So, if you want a breakthrough, it’s your responsibility to change that mindset so you can finally step into your full power and speak English, and feel as comfortable as you feel in your native language.

The next thing is ‘self-integrity’, which means you do what you say you’re going to do. And while that sounds obvious, ask yourself, how many times have you said, “I’m going to do this. I’m going to do that”, you put it in your calendar, you schedule a meeting, you commit to something, and then you don’t do it. Right? That is self-integrity. Being a person of your word is what you need to be able to commit, to accomplish, and to show responsibility. How do you show responsibility? You make a decision to do something, and you do what you say you’re going to do.

I can tell you from my own personal experience, that I’ve struggled with that for many years. And sometimes, even till today, I say to myself, “Okay, I’m going to do this, this and that today.” And I ended up not doing it, I do other things. Now, I know that these three things are going to help me advance, whether it’s in my business or in my personal life. And if I don’t do those things, I’m hindering my progress. Yet, for some reason, I wouldn’t do these things because other things would be easier for me to do.

And not only that it stopped my progress, it also started chewing on my belief in myself and in my abilities. Why? Because I didn’t have the experience of doing something and seeing it accomplished every single day – the small things and the big things. I started having doubt about my ability to accomplish things.

Because in my head, I’m like, “I don’t even get my three things of the day done. How would I ever get those big things done?” Right? So for you to be able to reach that big goal, you have to be able to reach the small goals every single day. If you say that you’re going to practice for 10 days and you don’t do it, then you believe that you’re not a person of your word, you believe that you’re not going to follow through.

So how would you believe that the big things are possible for you? To go to a job interview in English, right, to present in English, to write a book in English. Whatever that big goal that you have, you have to understand that the small things, the small successes, the small accomplishments is what’s going to get you there. Not just because it’s the steps that you need to reach, it’s because how you see yourself as a person of integrity, and self-integrity.

So, I really want you to reflect on that. And I really want you to think about all the things that you say that you’re going to do and you don’t do it. Remember that if you say that you’re going to do it, it means that it’s important, so do it. Because it’s important and imperative for your success. But more importantly, this behavior creates the possibility of things happening in your life. Because you’ll start trusting yourself and you’ll see that you’re doing the things that you say you’re going to do. And that makes it even more reasonable and more possible to accomplish the big things, as well as the small things.

The next one is ‘consistency’. Consistency is the idea that you make English and English practice a part of your life. It’s not something that you do for three months and then let go of it. It’s not something that you do for a year and then you expect it to be there for you. It’s something that becomes a part of your life.

I always say that English is a lifestyle. It’s not a project that you do. Now, yes, granted, sometimes when you invest a lot of times for many years, at some point you can rest and say, “I’m good.” But if you are unhappy with where you’re at, with your fluency, you have to stop putting deadlines on your English practice or English journey, and understand and embrace the fact that you have to consistently show up for your English and for yourself to be able to see the results that you’re after.

That means that you need to create healthy habits around your practice, healthy habits around speaking. You need to eliminate beliefs that prevent you from doing the work. You need to not let your feelings get into the way of like, “Oh, I don’t feel like practicing today.” No. But you show up and you do it anyway. That is consistency. Because consistency pays off.

It’s the idea of the compound effect. When you’re consistent and you show up and you do the work every single day, no matter what, come rain or come shine, whether it’s in your English or your business or your family or your body, if you work out. If you do it every single day, first of all, you get used to it, it’s just something that you do. It’s like a part of your life. But it creates the compound effect.

You won’t see a huge result from yesterday to today. But if you keep showing up, at some point in the future, you will look back and say, “Oh my goodness, I can’t believe how far I’ve come”, simply by doing the work every single day.

Consistency – showing up every day. Responsibility – taking ownership of your life and your English. Self-integrity – you do what you say you’re going to do. And commitment – commit to finishing and not just to starting; and commit to your journey and to your success. Because otherwise, no one’s going to do that for you.

And that leads me to the last, which is ‘giving yourself grace’. Giving yourself grace is the permission to forgive yourself for your mistakes, for your lack of judgment, for you not being consistent or not being responsible or not being committed. Because while we want all of those things in our lives and we had to incorporate these behaviors to see the things and the results that we want to see in our lives, when we mess up and when we don’t do the work, we have to be able to forgive ourselves. And to understand that every given moment, it’s an opportunity to start over, and to start again. And at some point, you will build that muscle and create those behaviors that will stick with you for the long run.

Because, listen, not everything is black and white, and we are not perfect. So, every now and then we’re not going to do things according to how they’re supposed to be. The question is how you bounce back. If you get hard on yourself and you start beating yourself up and you stop, because “What’s the point anyway?’, then you are just getting in your own way.

But if you give yourself some grace and you say, “Okay, I tried. Did not work as planned. Okay. I forgive myself. Let’s start over” – this is the secret of your success, my friend. It is. To be able to bounce back and to let go of the past, and the mess-ups, and the mistakes. Because if we keep obsessing with our past, what we’ve done, how we did it, we’re going to stay stuck in the past. And you and I are all about the future, and about progressing and moving forward.

So, while we want to stay consistent and we’re responsible for the results that we see in our lives, and we’re committed, and we are self-integral, we should also give ourselves grace if we don’t follow through all the time, all the time.

Okay. So now we’re going to move on to a few questions that I want you to answer to complete your year-end review and planning the next 12 months. And if you haven’t done it, again, the PDF is the same for the previous episode and this episode, because it’s a two-part video series. And answer the following questions.

From the five things that I’ve discussed, what are you going to focus on most in the next 12 months: responsibility, commitment, self-integrity, giving yourself some grace, and consistency. So, write it down if it’s all five or if there’s like one or two things that you want to focus on the most. Because I think it is easier when you focus on one thing. So, write it down. Again, in the PDF you can fill it in inside the form.

The next question is, in the next 12 months, what would your ideal year look like? Okay. When you visualize it, when you envision your year, when it comes to English – and you can also do it when it comes to your personal life and your profession – what would your ideal year look like? How would you feel? What would you do? Who would you be speaking with? What would you be doing? So, write it down, as if there were no limitations. And really have a clear idea of how you want to feel in particular. Because I truly believe that when we create that possibility in our head, it is more likely to manifest in our lives.

And the final question is, what is your big scary goal for the next 12 months? Which means that what is one thing that you say to yourself, “Ah, this would be a dream come true if I could do it in English!”, when it comes to English. Like a big, scary thing that you think is not possible for you. So I want you to write it down.

Go crazy: I want to become the president; I want to give a TED talk; I want to create my own business and make videos in English. Whatever that is, write it down no matter how scary it is, no matter how, you know, all the negative voices that are in your head saying, “Are you kidding? It’s not possible.” I want you to write it down.

Remember, when you make the impossible possible, even if it’s on a piece of paper, you create the possibility in your brain, and you’re more likely to take positive action towards that goal. And it doesn’t matter if you achieve it or not. That’s not the point. The point is that you are moving in that direction. And that direction is like reaching something that right now feels scary or impossible, but at least it would move you in the right direction and get you better results than what you are seeing right now in your life. And, who knows, that impossible might become possible for you if you stick to the five things that we talked about today.

If you are watching this at the end of 2020, I want to wish you a year of joy and happiness and health and abundance and prosperity. May this be the year where you get to hang out with your family and friends and do the things that you absolutely love. May this year be your breakthrough year in English.

Now, I would love to hear about your progress and your journey. So, first, you can answer the questions that I asked, in the comments. I’m going to share the questions again in the comments. And you can also download the workbook – the year in review workbook. And if you fill it out, take a picture of it, upload to your stories, and share it with me and tag me so I can respond and reshare it in my stories. Or you can send me a DM. You can find me at @hadar.accentsway on Instagram.

Again, I can’t wait to connect with you. Thank you so much for being you and for being here. I am very grateful for that and I do not take it for granted. Have a beautiful, beautiful day, and I’ll see you next week next year in the next video. Bye.

The InFluency Podcast
The InFluency Podcast
92. 5 things I wish I knew about English Fluency when I was 20
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This is Part 2 of the ‘Finally Fluent in 2021’ video series. In Part 1 we talked about how to review the passing year. Watch Part 1 and download the Year-in-Review Workbook here, so you can step into your full English potential in 2021. CLICK HERE to WATCH Part 1 of the Series

May you have a healthy, prosperous, and joyful year.

Love,

Hadar

 

Your year in Review

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7 Responses

  1. Thank you Hadar

    i love your preformance through the wonderful videos, every morning with a cup of hot coffee I listen to you and really enjoy your American diction. you are my Guru for American accent studies. thank you.

    1. Hello,
      This is Karen from Team Shemesh. Thank you for your warm message!
      I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed Hadar’s video. Keep up the good work 🙂
      We wish you all the best with your English journey!
      Karen

  2. Dear Hadar, this has been by far the most motivating video concerning not only the learning of English or the reaching of a breakthrough in English, but it is also applicable to the fulfillment of any thing you want to accomplish in your life. You really gave me and your followers a superb lesson. Thank you so much! I will certainly follow your pieces of advise.
    I hope you are ok with your family.

  3. Dear Hadar ! Thank you for your superb video.
    You are right ! Language learning needs the same attitude patterns as any other Intellectual accomplishment. (For my all – I’m 86 years old – previous achievements, such as MD, PhD, DSc) I needed the same attributes and behavior fragments you described and analyzed in your video. It had been fabulous if you had come back in time those days to help me.
    Happy new year ! Laszlo

  4. As a person who is trying to improve his English, I am beyond grateful to scream from the top of my lungs (metaphorically speaking, you know) that this website has been one of the best discoveries of this challening year that is coming to an end.

    I want to thank you Hadar for your inspiring words, for sharing your blinding light with all of us, but overall, thanks for being simply yourself.

    Gràcies!!! (this means thanks in Catalan).

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