How to know if you’re ready to speak with people

Are you afraid of accidentally insulting someone? Looking like an idiot? Maybe you think you need to wait a while longer and study a bit more before you feel ready to talk to someone in another language.

The excuses are endless. Unfortunately for you, I don’t tolerate excuses.

The truth is, in your first year, or two, or three, you might never feel ready to go have a conversation with a native speaker.

I didn’t feel ready to move to Mexico. I didn’t feel READY to get married in Spanish. I didn’t feel READY to have a wife who spoke almost no English. But I just did it anyway.

Honestly it doesn’t matter whether you FEEL ready for anything. Ready is a bullshit concept. It limits your potential. It keeps you from failure. Ready is just a way to protect your fragile ego.

But that fear isn’t even rational. People are happy to help you. If they speak two languages they know exactly how you’re feeling, and if they’re monolingual, they’re impressed that you can do something they can’t. Maybe once in a while you’ll come across someone who’s having a bad day. It’s not that common, though.

The only advice that works is this: Just go. Dive in.

You can’t learn how to swim without jumping in the pool.

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