"I'm not very good at languages"

"I'm not very good at languages"


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The other day, someone asked me whether I’d ever make a video about how to learn languages. I replied with ‘nah probably not, I’m not very good at languages’.

I then stopped and thought about what I’d just said.

I’m not very good at languages.

What a load of nonsense. Learning languages isn’t that hard, I just haven’t tried hard enough at them. I’m pretty sure if I did, I could learn whatever language I wanted, and be pretty good at it.

But the recording in my head played back the limiting belief that ‘I’m not very good at languages’.

I wonder how many such limiting beliefs we have about ourselves that probably aren’t true. “I’m not good at maths”, “I can’t draw”, “I can’t sing” - these are phrases we hear (or even use) all the time. And yet, the majority can probably be rephrased as “I haven’t actively worked at improving my singing yet” or “I haven’t put deliberate practice into drawing yet”.

This simple cognitive rephrasing of limiting beliefs is the first step along the path from “I can’t” to “Why can’t I”, and has the potential to change the game for our self-confidence.

This post originally appeared as part of my email newsletter that I send out every Sunday. Click here to check out the previous issues and maybe subscribe :)

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