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Two incredibly powerful words: what if...?

I recently watched a video with this title. It wasn't at all connected to learning a language, but I think it is brilliant. Have you ever heard the expression, "dreaming is free"? This is good, but I think that using the "what if...?" strategy is even better. I'll explain, but first, I want you to get a pen and paper. I want you to do an exercise with me, and I don't want you to think, "I'll do it later". Do it now, while you read this post. It takes 5 minutes, and it is so powerful.


What if...?

Over the past 5 weeks, I've been taking you through the "language learning blocks" that I see many of my clients struggle with, and how to overcome them. Perhaps you've noticed that my focus this year has shifted a bit from "teacher" to "coach". That's because yes, grammar is important, and yes, knowing as much vocabulary as possible is great, but what I'm seeing with my adult clients is that the first problem isn't their grammar or their vocabulary, it's their mindset.

In this post I talk about how you CAN learn language at any age, but of course, the learning process is very different for an adult than it is for a child. Children are sponges, and basically just absorb everything they hear, and the approach to teaching them is much different than it is for adults. Adults have a job, a family, and have long since finished school and studying. Adults need an objective, a goal, and a defined "learning period". You don't NEED to take 1-1 or group lessons forever (unless of course, you want to).

This is where mindset comes into play. Your mindset towards your learning will determine your success. Sound woo-woo-y? Perhaps, but it works. I've seen this in my own life, more than once, and I've seen it with my clients who have been able to shift their mindset. So, with no further ado, get your pen and paper ready and answer me this:

What if...(insert your English learning dream here)?

For example, "What if I felt more comfortable speaking English?"

Now, imagine what you would do if that dream were a reality. How would it affect your approach to your job? To your leisure time? To your personal satisfaction? Imagine yourself in that situation, speaking English with that international colleague, that new family member or that specific group of people. Write all of this down.

Put that piece of paper somewhere you can see it. My paper, with my goals for my business, is stuck right above my computer, so I can look at it all day essentially. Put it somewhere where you will see it often, and keep that positive image of yourself speaking English in your head. This is the first step. It isn't magic, but it's the first step to really overcoming all of the blocks I've been talking about over the past few weeks.

If you need some help with this and would like to meet with me, sign up here for a free 15 coaching session, and we'll get your "What if?" all figured out. If you just want to write it down and make it "public", write yours in the comments, I'd love to hear from you!



  • to overcome: to successfully deal with or gain control of something difficult

  • to shift: to move, to change

  • sponge: something that absorbs something (usually liquid)

  • have long since + [verb in the participle form]: this is just a fancy way to say, "it has been a long time since..."

  • woo-woo-y: this isn't a word, but the sense is - something ridiculous or "magical"

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