Hey there! This is TOP episode 101. You Stress Because Your Care
My name’s Ola and I am an English teacher. My goal is to help you start speaking English with confidence and get rid of speaking barriers. I believe it is achievable for you and it’s time you started speaking English fearlessly! Go to my website for full transcripts and worksheets to each episode. Happy learning!
Hello hello, welcome to today’s episode. I’m glad you’re here because you are on your way to fluency, ain’t that great? I know that English and speaking English in particular can be stressful. Now worries, we’ll figure it all out today. We will discuss the stress paradox. Since you have hit play and you’re here now, I know you struggle with stress associated with speaking English. That’s awesome! I’m not a psychopath, stay with me and find out why you should be glad you have this stress.
What’s today’s plan? Well let’s see. First I’ll tell you about one of my favourite TED talks which has inspired me to change my own personal approach to stress and also to record this particular episode for you.
Next, we’ll ask ourselves why some people have no worries when it comes to speaking English and no self-consciousness around mistakes. Then we’ll find out where your stress originates. Where does it come from? What to do with all this anxiety, fear and stress, how to address those issues? We will also quickly look at the myth that stress kills and deteriorates our health and life in general.
First of all I would like to make it clear that what inspired me to prepare this episode was one of the best TED speeches on the planet. It was given by Kelly McGonigal and the title is ‘How To Make Stress Your Friend’. In that speech Kelly McGonigal did not refer to languages, it’s just something that I’ve come up with after listening to her. In fact I’ve tuned in to that TED many times because I sent this video to many students and discussed the topic with them. Suddenly something occurred to me. I reckon everyone should find out about that research done by this psychologist and implement the findings in their own lives. It can virtually save lives. The link to that TED conference is in the show notes at teacherola.com/101. By the way, have you noticed that the best ted speeches ever are given by women?
Brene Brown, Amy Cuddy, Susan Cain, these are my all time favourite talks which had a great impact on my life.
The second thing I’d like you to understand is that in today’s episode I want to focus your attention on only one kind of stress. Stress connected with learning a language. Learning English, and most specifically speaking English. Stress connected with speaking English. Have you ever asked yourself why so many people around you don’t stress when it comes to speaking a foreign language? How come they don’t panic, they don’t see their own mistakes? It looks as if their life motto was YOLO. They have like zero worries, zero anxiety and oh so many errors! How come they are not stressed? Well, the answer is now the key. Listen. They don’t care. Speaking English, well, communicating fluently is not in their scope of interest. They don’t see value in that, it’s not meaningful for them.
You might be stressed because you’ve been learning English for ages and still, oh my God you still make the same old mistakes. You might be stressed because you are worried that nobody will understand you and you hate feeling embarrassed. You might be stressed because you’ve bought 10 books on english vocab, idioms, grammar, sentence translations and you have no time to hardly open any of them. What is for sure is that you stress because you care. There is a contrast between what you have, what you see, what you experience and what you need, what you strive for, what you desire. Let me say it again, there is a contrast between what you have and what you desire. The contrast causes you to feel anxiety and stress. But at the same time this same stress is the ultimate evidence that the better version of you, of your English, of your speaking skills does exist. Isn’t that logical?
The desire to speak English fearlessly, fluently, easily causes you to notice the fact that you don’t have it. That gives you stress. Isn’t it logical that this feeling, this stress is a sign you’re on your way? What to do with all this now? Well, I think you should (do what you want, it’s just my insight) I think you should stop noticing what you’re lacking right now and start focusing more on what you want to achieve.
Fluency, freedom, easiness, calm, confidence, ability, communication, relaxation, connections. What to do? Well accept the fact that you are in progress, you are becoming. Work hard, speak out loud, talk to yourself, I have plenty of episodes on what to do to overcome a blockade and start speaking fearlessly. You can pick and choose. Keep working towards our goal knowing that you have a meaningful life. Meaningful lives are full of worry. We stress because we care. Can you imagine a good life without stress? Things which stress the most are the best things. Family, health, kids, friends, work. Meaningful life is stressful.
Maybe you think now that well, stress kills and everybody knows that its impact on our lives is detrimental. Well well well, this is old rubbish. Go to Kelly McGonigal and learn more about stress and how stress generates resilience. Life without stress is meaningless. All you need to do is use stress to your advantage. It’s not a laughing matter. People die because of stress whereas it should make them stronger and more resilient.
People die, stress is a killer but only if you perceive stress that way. If you approach stress with calm and ease and mindfulness and use it to your advantage it only makes you stronger. It doesn’t deteriorate your body or mind. But, I’m not a psychologist, what I’m presenting here are my insights on the latest research. I also draw inspiration from my own experience. Tell me what your insight on this subject is, I’m dying to know your opinion. Let me know by email or in the comment section at teacherola.com or DM me on Instagram.
Keep in mind that you stress because you care. Your stress, anxiety is your compass, it shows you where the meaning of life, of your life is located, so to speak. Explore it, enjoy it, appreciate it. Appreciate your stress and use it to your advantage. It navigates you to your better self. It really does. I know most of today’s episode sounds like, I don’t know, well cheesy, and cliched. But I’m fine with that. I’m a huge fan of simple truths and worn out, tacky phrases. They represent simple truths. Well, cliche is a cliche for a reason.
My dear friend, did you really think there will be no sentences to repeat? There are! Listen and repeat. Repeat out loud and if you don’t know why go to other episodes, especially those explaining the power of self talk. The link is in the show notes.
I’m glad you’re here because you are on your way to fluency.
Where does it come from?
Suddenly something occurred to me.
It can virtually save lives.
By the way, have you noticed that the best ted speeches ever are given by women?
How come they don’t panic, they don’t see their own mistakes?
Communicating fluently is not in their scope of interest.
They don’t see value in that, it’s not meaningful for them.
What is for sure is that you stress because you care.
There is a contrast between what you have and what you desire.
What to do with all this now?
Work hard, speak out loud, talk to yourself
All you need to do is use stress to your advantage.
Well done! Now, go to your inbox and grab the worksheet in order to test yourself. To challenge yourself. Complete the worksheet with translations. If you aren’t a member of TOPeople download the worksheet at teacherola.com/101 and become one. It’s free.
If you find this episode useful, tell your friends about my podcast, share it with one person. It’ll help me grow and spread the message. This is the only way you can support this podcast.
Thank you so much for listening and I’ll see you next Wednesday! We’re going to discuss the lyrics of one song by the Weeknd and Ariana Grande. Be here next week! Happy learning. Take care! Stay fearless and say it out loud! Bye!