How does the Impostor Syndrome affect us when speaking English as a second language? And why do we feel that even when we do a good job in English – we, in fact, failed and we can’t seem to understand how others haven’t noticed just how bad our English is.
Thinking that our English is a lot worse than what other people perceive it to be makes us feel like impostors.
The Impostor Syndrome is a universal psychological pattern where you may doubt your accomplishments and have this fear of being discovered as a fraud. So even when people think highly of you, your mind basically tells you they’re missing out on something and that sooner or later the “real You” will be revealed and they’ll be disappointed. Do you feel that too sometimes?
About 70% of us suffer from impostor syndrome: you can find it across genders, occupations and races. However, you’d probably find it more in underrepresented or disadvantaged groups, such as immigrants, minorities, people from the lgbtq community, women, people of color, and of course – non-native speakers.
From my experience, as an accent teacher as well as an English learner, it has to do with the way we learned or learn English and how we consume it. We always compare ourselves to native speakers, and it makes us feel we’re not enough when it comes to communicating in English. And on top of that, we constantly hear this saying, “Speak like a native”, which only accentuates the gap between us and them – between how we are expected to perform, and how we really are. Even though we ALL make mistakes. Even native speakers make mistakes!
Also, since our schools usually use conventional methods, you get a strong message that there’s RIGHT and WRONG, and when you’re wrong, you’re criticized for your mistakes (and sometimes even not encouraged to persist), and then you get used to that feeling of being judged.
But you can overcome this self-doubt. Realize that you’re not alone in this and share your experience with others. If you want to find out more, this episode is a must for you. You’ll get to hear about the experience of some of my students and how the Impostor Syndrome held them back in life. And not just my students’ experiences, but mine as well. In this episode, you’ll understand how this syndrome manifests itself when communicating in English, why it happens, and how to deal with it. After listening to my episode, let me know in the comments on my website how the impostor syndrome has affected your life and what you’re going to do about it ? : hadarshemesh.com/influency-podcast/
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Listen to the podcast where I talk about the 13 lessons I’ve learned as a teacher: hadarshemesh.com/podcast/07/
How To Get Over The Fear Of Being Judged By Native English Speakers: https://youtu.be/lEG4jn4Zfj4
Find out more about the Impostor Syndrome:
The Impostor Syndrome, by The School of Life: www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqhUHyVpAwE
What is impostor syndrome and how can you combat it?, by Elizabeth Cox: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQUxL4Jm1Lo
How to Overcome Impostor Syndrome and Stop Feeling Like a Fraud, by Marie Forleo: www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVfG7Q9Twqk
If you want to improve your accent and understand spoken English better, download my free American Accent audio crash course.
You can also download an interactive list of 50 of the most mispronounced words in English and master the pronunciation of those tricky words.