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STOP doing THIS if you want to speak English fluently

My English is this, My English is that. I don’t speak English fluently enough. I have such a thick accent.

It’s almost 2020 so out with the old, in with the new.

And some of the things you tell yourself are really getting old, right?

They were probably even born OLD 🙂

So let’s make 2020 all about the NEW.

Let’s make a new lease on English and see how you can speak English fluently. But this time, no more judging yourself and others, and especially, don’t sit around waiting for opportunities to knock on your door. Open that door of yours and go out there, out of your comfort zone and actively make opportunities for yourself in English. The road will be bumpy, for sure, but that’s the only way to make it and you CAN make it.

And I’m here to help you let go of the old so you can focus on the NEW.
In this episode, I’m going to share with you 10 things you need to stop doing if you want to reach a breakthrough in the next 12 months.

Once you’re done watching don’t forget to add a comment telling me what you’re willing to let go of, and to download the 30 powerful affirmations I’ve created for you that will help create a daily practice that will get you results.

Download a list of affirmations

TRANSCRIPT

Hey, Hey! Welcome to the In.Fluency Podcast.

I’m Hadar, and this is episode number 5.

How are you doing? I hope you are well. I don’t know when you are listening to this, but I’m recording this at the end of 2019. And, as I’m looking back at the passing year, I have come to realize that I’ve made a lot of changes in my life and in myself. But those changes are not necessarily practical changes, but a lot of mindset shifts about myself, about my abilities, about my, um, my ability to succeed, or to do what I want to do. I mean, there’s a reason why I’m only launching this podcast at the end of 2019, even though I’ve been meaning to do that for years.

So, I had to really transform my way of thinking and the way I talk to myself, and how I think about myself in order to make this happen. And as I reflect on my personal journey and my personal growth, I also think about you. If you are a speaker of English as a second language and you don’t feel confident yet, or you feel like there are some things that hold you back, or you just can’t read your breakthrough.

Or you’re a teacher of English that you are just starting out and you feel like a fraud because your English is not perfect. Or you’re a seasoned teacher, but you have an accent, and you’re afraid of teaching pronunciation because you still have an accent, which is, by the way, a ridiculous reason not to teach, but I’m going to talk about that on a different episode.

But anyway, um, if all of those things hold you back, it’s probably because you have some limiting beliefs that, um, that come across in, in the form of voices that you hear or things that you say to yourself. And sometimes you think of it as facts or as something that is, you know, this is just your reality.

Anyway, I’m going to talk about that in just a sec. But I wanted to just set up the scene and tell you what you’re about to hear. And also, to invite you to download the affirmations that we have created for you to really start 2020 on a positive, empowering note. And that we believe that these affirmations will help you really reach a mental breakthrough, at least. And when you feel capable and you feel confident, then a lot of things that are, that seem impossible right now become possible.

So, I invite you to download those affirmations. It’s completely free, and you can find the link in my show notes. Okay?

So, let’s listen to the episode. It is the audio version of my Accent’s Way Magazine video. I really hope you enjoy it, and I can’t wait to hear what you think.

Hey! It’s Hadar.
Welcome to my channel.

This is the end of 2019 and today we are going to talk about the things that you have to stop doing if you want to reach a breakthrough in English in 2020.

Now, if you happen to watch it not at the end of 2019, this is still relevant if you want to reach a breakthrough in the next 12 months.

Now, you already know all the things that you do need to do in order to improve your fluency and your confidence.

But, what about all those things that you need to stop doing if you really want to reach a breakthrough? And this is exactly what we’re gonna talk about today.

Now, this video is for you whether you’re just a beginner starting to learn English and to communicate in English, or whether you are an advanced speaker and you’re looking to really reach the next level.

Wherever you are at, this is a must watch for you.

The first thing you need to stop doing is – stop judging other people.

As speakers of English as a second language sometimes we find ourselves listening to other speakers of English as a second language, and judging them in our head.

Am I right, or am I right?

So, for example, you may hear someone that makes a mistake, and you were able to pick up on it. And you’re like: ‘oh, they made a mistake’, ‘oh, they sound so funny’, ‘oh, their accent is so thick’.

‘Why do they sound like that?’, ‘they don’t speak English well’, ‘they should have been better by now’.

All of those thoughts that you direct towards other people are dangerous, because that critic in your head criticizing other people is the same critic that will show up when you speak.

When you direct your judgement towards other people that judgment is going to be reflected and projected onto you.

And this judgment is something that is definitely holding us back as we’re trying to communicate clearly and fluently.

So, even if you recognize that someone has just made a mistake, instead of judging them for not being perfect or clear, appreciate them.

Replace judgment with appreciation. And appreciate for what they’re doing, and what they have to say, and what they want to share with you.

Appreciate the fact that they’re communicating with you.
Appreciate the fact that they’re trying.
Appreciate the fact that they are doing their best even if it’s not up to your standards or up to the standards of spoken English, or native speakers.

We are just communicating as people, so replace judgment with appreciation and respect the people around you who speak.

Because when you judge other people that judgment sooner than later will turn around and hit you right up your… bottom.

The second thing you need to stop doing is stop waiting for the right opportunity to come.

A lot of people say to themselves: ‘okay, I will start really improving my English when I get a job offer’. Or ‘I will start really improving my English when I buy that ticket to travel to the US’.

Or ‘I’ll start really improving my English when I need to apply to the university’.

Why wait? The opportunity will come and then you will not be ready.

Stop waiting for a good enough reason to start really focusing on your English, or really working towards improving your English, if you know that this is something that you should achieve at some point.

Because when you wait for the right opportunity it’s already too late.

And let me tell you this: if you’re not ready, it’s very likely that the opportunity will never come.
Opportunities come our way when we are ready for them, when we know we can do it.

Stop waiting for the opportunity to come that will motivate you to start learning English.
Start now.

The third thing you need to stop doing is stop avoiding. Stop avoiding opportunities that do come your way.

Let’s say, a meeting that is supposed to take place in English.

And you’re like ‘I’m not gonna join’, or ‘I’m not gonna speak, because I’m not ready yet’.

Okay. So the opportunity has already come, but instead of you just like jumping into it and speaking as much as you can (even if it’s not perfect), you’re saying to yourself ‘I better not attend cuz I’m not ready’.

Stop thinking like you will be ready one day. You have to start before you’re ready.

And you have to jump on every opportunity that comes your way to speak, and communicate, and advance yourself in English.

When you avoid, that’s when you signal to the world and to yourself that your English is not good enough. And then, you actually don’t have the right opportunities to practice.

Let’s say, there is a meeting, and you need to speak up and say something in English.
And you’re like ‘I’m not gonna do it’.

Or, maybe, there is a big presentation, and someone offers you to present in English.
And you’re like ‘I’m not gonna do it, because I’m not ready yet’.

You have to always start before you ready. Start the sentence before you know how it’s going to end. Or start speaking, say ‘yes’ to presenting, say ‘yes’ to participating, say ‘yes’ to meeting new people. Because you will never feel ready. That’s the truth – we never feel ready.

We are born perfectionists, and we always want to be prepared.
So if the opportunity has already come – take it!

#4 – stop with the ridiculous expectations.
Why are you expecting yourself to speak perfectly – like a native speaker – in English?
And when that doesn’t happen, you feel horrible, and bad, and stupid.

How can you expect yourself to speak like a native speaker, if you are not a native speaker?
I’m not a native speaker, and I don’t expect my English to sound like a native speaker.

And if you constantly expect yourself to perform perfectly, and to speak with no mistakes without getting stuck, I mean, those expectations are crippling, and it causes you to freeze and not take action, or to avoid (we talked about that in #3).

You have to stop with the ridiculous expectations, and accept yourself with mistakes, with getting stuck, as you are.

At least, you are communicating. At least, you’re speaking.

The good news, the more you do that – the better you become.
The more fluent you become – the less mistakes you make, and the less times again stuck.

That’s a magic cycle. But, you have to start with realistic expectations.
Ones that you can actually fulfill and feel accomplished.

#5 – stop procrastinating.
Let’s say, you know that you need to practice. And let’s say, that you’re really motivated about learning English. But you just can’t find the time.

Why? Because it’s not high up on your priority list. Because you are constantly procrastinating your practice, or what you need to do, or when to take action.

So, you say to yourself, ‘I need to improve my English, I’m not waiting for anything. I’m ready to do it. I’m just really really busy’.

It’s not that you’re busy, it’s just that you’re procrastinating learning it, and doing the work that you need to do.

Start doing the work, or start your English practice first thing in the morning.
It can be by reading out loud a paragraph, or scheduling a quick call with someone in English.

But you gotta do it, and you have to stop procrastinating. Because when we do, other things get in the way, and then we really don’t have time.

So, you’ve got to make it a priority. And you have to schedule it in a way that all the urgent stuff don’t get in your way and prevent you from actually doing the work that you had planned to do.

Stop. Stop. Stop with a negative self-talk.

We already talked about the judgment you may have towards other people. But that judgment, of course, exists inside of you.
That inner critic that raises his or her dirty little head every time you start speaking English.

Did you just say that? That sounds funny. You have such a thick accent.
Oh my god, they’re gonna think you’re stupid. You’re simply not good enough.

All those sentences that you hear in your head that stop you from communicating confidently, and freely, and with joy.

Why do you need to feel anxious about speaking up your thoughts? You don’t.
So, you can handle those negative thoughts.

Now, I have talked a lot about speaking English with confidence, and about limiting beliefs on my channel.
And I’m gonna link to all those videos in the description below.

But, I want you to, now, just recognize those negative thoughts and sentences that come up every time you try to communicate, and flip them around.

So, instead of dwelling in this negative self-talk, turn each sentence into something positive and empowering.

For example, you speak with a thick accent. You can turn it into -> ‘I communicate clearly in English’.
You sound stupid -> I’m a great speaker, and people love talking to me.
You make mistakes -> I’m smart, and I’m confident, and I know what I’m saying.

Whatever works for you, whatever motivates you – a positive sentence that, every time that negative thought comes up, will replace it.

Now, I actually prepared for you a list with affirmations to help you speak English with confidence every time that negative self-talk is starting. Okay?

So, this is actually going to help you stop with a negative self-talk. You can download it by clicking the link right below, or clicking one of the links here.

Stop consuming too much content.
A lot of learners are trapped in this feeling, like they just don’t know enough, and they need to know more, and more, and more.

But knowledge without application of that knowledge is lost. You can’t do anything with it. The more you learn without putting it to practice, the more you’ll feel incompetent.

Like, you have no idea why English doesn’t work for you. Because we tend to forget things.

So, you may have clarity, but clarity without putting it to action is meaningless. It’s not going to help you speak better, or speak confidently, or speak fluently. All those things that you want to feel when you communicate in English.

And a lot of times we’re just sucked into watching more and more videos on YouTube, or listening to podcasts, or reading more books. Feeling like this is what’s going to make us speak better, and speak fluently.

But the honest truth is that it’s not. Consuming more and more content without putting it to practice is just yet another form of procrastination.

It would benefit you so much more that in a single week you’ll learn only one thing. And spend the rest of the days just implementing that one thing, every single day, let’s say, for 30 minutes each day – then to spend an hour a day learning different things, new things.

You won’t remember it, and it will just make you feel overwhelmed, and incapable.
Instead of like learning one thing and then implementing it, and applying it, and then it will stick with you.

It is so much easier to learn things and to consume content, because it doesn’t require you to put yourself out there. It doesn’t require you to actually show up. And it’s very safe because you can’t make mistakes when you’re watching a video. Right?

And we want to stay safe, but staying in a safety place, staying in your comfort zone is not the way to reach a breakthrough. We only reach a breakthrough when we get out of the comfort zone, and we are in our growth zone. That’s how you reach a breakthrough.

So, if you’re serious about pushing yourself forward, stop consuming content – start applying what you’ve already learned and what you already know.

#8 – stop making native speakers your North Star.

Let me explain. A lot of times non-native speakers prefer to only speak with native speakers. And that is a reference that they’re actually progressing and practicing well.

Practicing with non-native speakers, or fellow speakers of English as a second language is as good as speaking with an actual native speaker. In fact, I find it that it’s sometimes a lot more freeing and easier to communicate with non-native speakers.

So that’s one thing. Another thing: if you’re pursuing a teacher, and your teacher is not a native speaker, that does not mean that they’re bad teachers.
English teachers who’re non-native speakers have an insight that native speakers don’t. So don’t disregard it, and don’t dismiss them just because they are not native speakers.

Being a native speaker is not quality assurance. Find the teacher, find the conversation that you enjoy connecting with. And it doesn’t matter if there are native speakers or non-native speakers.

Also, you may want to stop focusing on trying to speak like a native, or sound like a native. Because that takes us back to having ridiculous expectations.
It’s not that it’s impossible, but it’s just that ‘why?’. I mean, you need to sound truly like yourself, like who you are.

What is the sound of a native speaker anyway? There are so many dialects in English.
There is American English, and British English, and Australian English.

And within British English, or American English there’s so many different dialects anyway. And sounds, and voices… I mean, there is no one quality of voice, or one accent that you want or may want to imitate.

So that idea, or ideal, of the native speaker needs to be shattered a bit if you really want to reach your breakthrough in 2020.

Because I don’t think it’s necessarily pushing you forward. It might just be holding you back.

Stop with the lists, the scripts, and the books. Stop passive learning of English.
If you want to practice you have to focus more on speaking, and reading out loud, and hearing your voice.

Rather than consuming English – reading books, watching videos.

So, you can do something very simple as reading out loud, or reading something and then talking about it to yourself. Or just, like, finding opportunities to speak with other people as many as opportunities as possible.

But focus more on active English rather than passive English. Because that’s the only way to improve your spoken English.

When you read, when you watch television – it’s great for comprehension. But if your focus is to become fluent and reach a breakthrough in the next 12 months, then it’s definitely all about speaking English as much as possible.

Just turn passive opportunities into active opportunities, and you will see that it has immediate impact on your fluency.

The last thing that you need to stop doing if you want to reach a breakthrough is stop comparing yourself to others.

You might have seen that or felt that: you watched a video of someone on Facebook, or on YouTube, or on Instagram, and you’re like “Oh, my god, their English is so great. I am so much worse than them. I’ll never be able to sound like them”.

Stop comparing yourself to others – it doesn’t advance you.
Other people have other issues, you don’t know what their issues are. And everything looks great on social media. So, of course, they’re gonna take the perfect take, and make it look like they just woke up and spoke like that.

Like, you don’t see the behind the scenes of every video that they make. You don’t know what they’ve been through, what they have done, and maybe they’re just simply there because they started a little earlier than you.

They’re simply further down the road than you, but you are just about to get there, as well.
And again, turn that judgement into appreciation, whether it’s towards other people or whether it’s towards yourself.

And, if someone makes you feel bad about yourself, stop following them. Stop listening to them.
Do only things that lift you up, that motivate you, and that make you feel good about yourself.

You’ve got to give yourself more grace, and you have to acknowledge the work that you’ve already done, and be proud of it.

Okay, that’s it. Now, I want to hear from you: what is the one thing that you’re going to stop doing, as of now, in order to reach a breakthrough in the next 12 months?

Let me know in the comments below. And if other things come to mind – things that you are going to stop doing, and you’re gonna make it a non-negotiable (that means that you’re gonna stop doing them and that’s it) – let us know in the comments below, as well.

Also, don’t forget that I have prepared for you a list of affirmations. A list of positive sentences that will help you speak English with more confidence and joy.

You can download them and then just pick a few. You can add your own, and use them every time you feel insecure or less confident in your English.

Thank you so much!
Have a beautiful beautiful week. Have a beautiful year, and I will see you next week in the next video.

The InFluency Podcast
The InFluency Podcast
5. 10 Things You Should Stop Doing if you Want to Speak English Fluently
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18 Responses

  1. Thanks Hadar,

    Yes, you are right, you highlighted our fears but the main thing is, how should I stop procrastinating. This is a question.

    Regards

  2. Great Article , the content is really engaging . I am personally an English teacher but we can understand there is so much uniqueness in how everyone presents the information.

    This will help every beginner, intermediate and Advanced user to gain great insights on learning.

  3. Hello Hadar
    Love the 10 advices that I have to avoid doing .
    I really want to improve my English language and need to beliave that I can do it.
    I will be with you in 2020.
    Thank you.

  4. Hello Hadar,
    I have a question. Which is correct in a sentence when speaking of someone, “that” or “who” ? Eg : ( 1) The boy that climbed the tree. ( 2) The boy who climbed the tree.
    Thank you,
    Lynda.

  5. Hi,
    I really appreciate this video and I learned many things. I don’t have much to write. In my learning I’m so passive than active so I wanna try to be more active, to speak all the time so that to get better result.

  6. Thanks a lot for giving me suggestion to stop judging other and comparing yourself with other it’s really a great tip I enjoyed and learned many things from your videos and I hope you will help me to learn step by step in future also. With lot of love. Moina

  7. I seriously look up to you so much your English is great for a non native speaker wow But anyways my goals to stop doing this year are to:
    -stop procrastination – this is a huge one for me , I need to do more and stop waiting for the “right” time
    -i need to stop comparing myself to others- also a very huge one for me
    -need to stop being negative about my English and be more active with it and less passive like you said in the video , I need to practice a lot and not just say BUT DO, ACTIONS
    -I need to stop judging others with an accent to make myself feel better about my accent , this is a must
    -I need to stop being scared of taking the lead in conversations, instead of holding back my thoughts in fear of sounding bad I need to speak up and practice it even if I make mistakes !

  8. As of today’s date, I will stop jorging other people, especially those whose native language isn’t English.

    I will also stop consuming too many vocabularies in a day because it’s not helping me at all.

  9. Hi Hadra
    It is very fascinating lecture and I hope that most of the lecture I obsorbed and understand fully. The first thing that I stoped would be to compare myself to others. The second thing that I will practice is to be active and don’t wait the opportunity. Those points I will leave behind and be ready on 2020 to go breakthrough for my English fluency.
    Thanks and happy new year.

  10. Hi,

    Your videos are so encouraging that give me an extra power for going ahead. To be honest, I hesitated to ennroll “another” English course. Yes, as many of us, I see the English language trought the lens of my languages, Catalan and Spanish. Now I realize how important is to let them go and focus on the music of the language. Yes, you have that magic ability to make me listen to the notes instead of focusing on the letters and content.
    My wish is to stop learning English by the means of watching videos and reading books. As you said, focusing on content doesnt help you to feel confident. I really want to overcome that feeling of being overwhelming.
    Well, my first aim will be to do more active learning, reading aloud and recording my voice, no matter if I feel or sound weird.
    And my second goal is stop procrstinating and stop my self-talk which heads me right to the content. I’ll give the chance to enjoy the improvements of my pronunciation, either they was small steps.

    Thank you for you engagement and your passion

    Tomàs

  11. I tried to learn English a lot last year. I know I am better than one year ago but I need to work on my self-confidence. I will stop procrastinating and try to be more active. and also I will try to stop doing all these things that you mentioned. I always judged myself even though I tried to avoid this.
    I must stop high expectations to myself and I try to keep forward even one step each day.
    I know, being an efficient member of this community is related to my language and this is my highest goal in 2020 which lead me to follow my dream.

    Thanks a lot, dear Hedar for being here and Happy new year to you and your family

  12. Hadar, you are such amazing an inspiring mentor. Thanks a lot for what you have dedicated of your effort and your time. God Bless.
    Hany.

  13. Hi,
    I think that I’ll do more active learning than passive one in the next following months.
    Thanks Hadar.

  14. Hello Hadar

    First of all happy new year,,, I just found what you said very useful to me . I like the way you teach it’s very clear I can understand your accent very well dear, as well as Others like native and non native speakers . Also I am able to read English perfectly and I am not too bad at writing I believe. Nevertheless sometimes when I speak I stuck with it which makes me lose my confidence . I committed myself to do my best to stop doing these 10 things you mentioned in 2020.

    I really really appreciate your hard work sweety

    Thank you.

  15. I simply love the way you teach Hadar.

    I do Voice Overs and I am trying to get the “neutral American English accent” my pronunciation is pretty good, but how can I reach that “commercial” and/or “announcer neutral” accent, please help! What would you recommend me to practice with?

    Love and happiness for you and all your loved ones for this 2020 my forbidden love Hadar!

  16. Waw, you are so great and inspiring. I loved every bit of the video and thanks for sharing. Your invaluable the support will go a long way in helping me, much appreciated. May the good God continue to bless you with good health and happiness to that you will continue to upload more useful videos for us. Stay bless.

    I will stop procrastinating and be an active speaker. You have highlighted most of my fears and problems in public speaking. You are a Genius. I will stop judging myself and push our the negative thoughts that do bother me whenever I try to speak English. I always hold myself back in communications. I will start practising. thanks for everything my dear.

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