Resources: Notes on Life and Language in the United States

Tip #3: Three Ways to Overcome English-learning Perfectionism

Posted by Lindsay McMahon on Thu, Dec 26, 2013 @ 11:50 AM

perfectionism for English learnersDo you suffer from perfectionism?

Would you rather stay quiet and not say anything to avoid making an English mistake in front of a native speaker or in a business meeting at work?

If you are a perfectionist and it's holding you back from becoming a confident English speaker, then today's tip is for you!



3 Ways to Overcome your Perfectionism


  • Expect to make mistakes: If you aren't making mistakes, then you aren't taking enough chances and you won't really accomplish anything in life or with your English. Mistakes are good! Shift your mindset regarding mistakes. When you go out to a party where you will have to speak English, tell yourself that you will make mistakes and that that's ok.


  • Develop an English-speaking personality: Creat an alter-ego. Be someone different when you speak English. Play a game with yourself. Pretend that the English-speaking you is much more outgoing, funny, risk-taking, and carefree than the "real you" actually is. When you start speaking English, slip on your new personality and make the change. This can be quite freeing if you try it. I have done it with my Spanish and it works well.


  • Practice speaking as much as you can: You must speak as much as possible to overcome perfectionism. Take every opportunity that you can find to practice. Get a language exchange, volunteer in English, get a job or an internship in English, live with an American host family in the US. There are so many ways to do it, but the most important thing is to speak as much as you can.



Are you ready to start 2014 and work toward your English goals? Click on the link below to take a free trial session of our English conversation program!



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Photo credits: LWY, Cappellmeister

Topics: Advice for English Students, How to Learn English

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