2 Ways to motivate overthinking language learners

by Lee-Anne

This is one area I know I do in everyday life much less learning a new skill – the curse of overthinking. In this post, I’m going to run through some things that have been holding me back from studying/researching my desired language and things that may help you to break your language learning barrier as you break into or continue maintaining your language learning.

Let’s divide this post into four chunks:

  1. Relieving pressure to perform at 100% all the time
  2. Have a language journey outlet

Relieving pressure to perform at 100% all the time

As I am learning to manage a language routine among other things, I am learning that not only is time management important but also being aware of managing my moods/feelings as there will be days I just don’t want to engage in the language which could “set me back a few days”. Then days pass and I feel like I need to catch up because I’m suddenly “behind” in studying or beating myself up because I didn’t do what I said I would do etc etc. The truth of the matter is, my schedule is my schedule and comparing progress only hinders the journey. So, what I am finding that is useful is working on a priority level system: which language do I currently want to work into I current routine given my daily demands? I am studying Chinese, maintaining Korean and starting Spanish from scratch. Chinese has my most investments in it at present with Spanish being a language I dip into throughout the week whereas Korean I perhaps would watch a drama here and there.

Thoughts – how about working out why you are trying to perform so hard, so fast? What would your day look like without the pressure you’ve put on yourself or accustomed yourself to? Also, work out, what’s your preferred method of studying/learning?

Asking these honest questions this has helped me curve the overthinking, competitiveness and helps me just do things without the excess thought baggage later on.

Have a language journey outlet

I am using this blog to create a journey outlet of my language studies, the good, the bad and the terrible. Yours doesn’t have to be online, but even chatting about your language process, taking little tests and keeping a track record of your studies can relieve the stress of thinking ‘hey I gotta do more’ when you’ve already done above already. And let’s not get caught up in how pretty your study setup looks for the ‘Gram when you’ve barely studied anything.

Thoughts: a language journey outlet may help you make sense of what you are doing and how you learn when reflecting over your posts. Of course, you have to think, do you have the time to reflect on top of all the things you’re doing?

Let us know what has worked for you in the comments below!

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