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Are you scared of failure?

Updated: Aug 6, 2022

This was me on stage in March doing my first ever gig!

I’ve played the piano for a long time but never thought that I would join a band and perform live. However, after being persuaded to go along to one band practice I was hooked. I realised that making music with other people is a lot more fun than playing alone.

I guess before that first band practise I was scared of failure, of making a fool of myself. Now that I'm older and wiser I no longer seem to worry as much about what other people think. Besides, surely it's better to have a go at something even if it isn't perfect?

Some language learners seem to have this fear of failure, preferring not to speak at all in case they get something wrong. This is probably the thing that holds most people back, but it shouldn't. Nobody expects perfection, except possibly you. It's ok to make mistakes, it's all part of the learning process.

Set realistic expectations

We can do things to reduce the number of mistakes though. Before the concert I practised a lot and listened to feedback from my bandmates. I focused on the things that I found difficult and practised those as much as I could. At the same time, I set myself realistic expectations about the first gig. I knew the most important thing was for the band and the audience to have fun as that would keep us motivated for the next gig.

Learning a language is similar to this. So here are a few tips that I often share with my students:

  • Practise regularly

  • Listen to feedback

  • Learn from your mistakes

  • Set realistic expectations

  • Learn with other people

Do you want to feel more confident when using English? If so, contact us for a trial lesson. Or how about reading more about the factors that help language learners to be successful? Simply click on this blog post.


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