Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Building self-confidence to speak confident English

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I'm Emma from mmmEnglish!

I've been meaning to have a little chat with you about

confidence: what it is, how to get more of it.

Because more confidence when you're learning

a language means that you get to use it more

and this has an incredible snowballing effect.

The more that you use it, the more that you learn

and more comfortable you become.

And that allows you to try more things, meet more

people, experience different situations in that language.

Confidence in ourselves is really powerful.

When we believe in ourselves,

we can make things happen.

We can create change

and as soon as we notice that change,

it becomes really empowering. We prove to ourselves

that something's possible and we get inspired by that

and we go out again and we try another time and we go


There are two types of confidence,

the type that everyone else sees

and then there's self-confidence which is

how we feel on the inside.

And they're different but they're very closely connected.

I really believe that confidence is a skill that you can

learn you know. You can create more confidence

in your life.

So today I want to chat about building confidence

within ourselves

to allow us to become more confident

externally, on the outside.

Over the past few years, I've been on my own journey

of building confidence.

I'm still on that journey by the way, but I wanted to share

some of the things that I've learned along the way

and you know, the things that I've tried,

some of the things that have helped me to become

a little bolder and a little braver.

It really wasn't that long ago that I would have

laughed in your face if you told me that I would

own my own online business and that I'd have a

team of people working for me.

I just wouldn't have believed you at all.

And if you had of told me that I'd have

a Youtube channel and I would produce videos

that got sent out to the world every week,

I would be rolling on the floor laughing.

I just would have said "There is no way."

And yet we have this ability to surprise ourselves,

to prove ourselves wrong

and that's what I want you to tap into.

Everything that I'm talking about today is coming from a

female perspective, from my perspective.

But as women, I think we face a unique set of

self-confidence issues about our image,

about being assertive

and about feeling guilty if we put ourselves first.

But finding a way around these feelings, it really is the

key to building more confidence in creating

opportunities for yourself.

Women and men tend to have a different relationship

to confidence.

I think women generally have less confidence

when they're younger.

Women tend to spend a little more time throughout life

building confidence

and maybe that equalises things later on.

But men tend to develop more confidence earlier in life

and maybe as a consequence of that,

they don't work as intensively as women do

throughout their lives to get more confidence.

And this idea, it really resonates with me because I was

reserved and unsure and full of self-doubt when I was

younger, worried of what people would think of me,

you know, worried about my lack of experience.

And I wonder if any of the women watching

or anyone watching,

you know resonates with that. Does that sound familiar?

Does it sound like a story that's similar to yours?

So many of my students tell me

and they tell themselves

that they are shy, that they're introverted

but what I really want to make clear now is that

that may be you right now but it won't always be you.

If you lack the confidence to use English or

the confidence to speak with other people in English,

building more self-confidence is essential

not just to become a better English user but also to

develop and achieve some of those bigger ambitions

that you have for yourself.

Now I really, really wish that this video was called

'Three simple steps to become confident.'

If only it was that simple!

But there are a number of things that you can do to help

build self-confidence

and allow you to become a more confident person.

And we're going to start with mindset.

The way that you think,

the thoughts that you have,

the things that you say to yourself

are completely in your control.

They're one of the only things that are.

We have the ability to be mean and critical of ourselves.

We also have the ability to be kind

and to be supportive of ourselves.

Now let's talk about something that I know

you've said before.

My English is bad.

Sorry for my English...

You say this or you think this to yourself

a lot.

And guess what? You start believing it,

you start accepting it.

And I know it might sound silly

but the messages that we tell ourselves,

they're the ones that tend to stick.

What if you were to say

"My English is a work in progress"


"I know my English isn't perfect,

but I'm improving every day."

And "I'm excited about the progress that I'm making."

See how we just shifted those thoughts?

Shifted them to become a little more positive.

If you catch yourself thinking or saying something

negative about your English, try to stop it,

catch it, spin it a little,

be a little bit more generous to yourself.

So here's the thing,

confidence grows as we become more competent.

Now when you're competent, it means that you have

the skills and the ability

to do something successfully or do it well.

So as you become better at something,

as you become more able to do it,

your confidence grows and that makes sense, right?

Especially when it comes to learning a language.

There is definitely a whole period of time where you just

don't have the skills that you need to communicate

successfully. So how do you become more competent?

Well you start.

You try.

You experience and then you mess up

and then you try it again.

This is exactly how you build competence.

You've got to put in the time, you've got to be

stubborn and persistent.

You have to keep showing up and keep doing it.

This is why I really love doing the Lingoda Marathon.

It helped me to be stubborn and be persistent

with my Spanish because I was like

"Well yeah, I've paid for it so I've

just got to keep doing it. I've got to keep going, right?"

And that helped. Over time I became

more competent and so my confidence grew.

Now I still have a lot of work to do on my Spanish

but I've shown myself what's possible.

When it comes to setting goals for ourselves,

we tend to make them too big or difficult or complicated

and this is really detrimental or really bad for your

or our self-confidence.

We need goals that we can get to. We need to feel

a little bit of success, you know, to help us

keep moving forward.

If your skill level is here

and you attempt to do something up here,

it may be fail.

Well of course, your confidence is going to be shattered

at that point but if you attempt to do something here,

you're much more likely to succeed.

And then you prove to yourself

that you're able to do it.

You're much more likely to come back

and try it again.

That time you'll be going for the next level

and this is how you build self-confidence.

Now this is something we really focus on inside

The Ladies' Project.

If you haven't heard me talk about it before this is

my online community that supports women

who are learning English as a Second Language.

My team and I prepare structured lessons

and conversation topics specifically

to help our members learn vocabulary,

practise the correct pronunciation

and useful grammar structures to help them

have conversations.

This helps them to feel more competent,

more able to participate in the conversations

because they know the language.

So naturally they're creating more and more

self-confidence to participate in group conversations

and their confidence keeps growing each time

they participate.

Some of them even host group conversations

in English, something that they would never have

dreamt of when they first joined The Ladies' Project.

This is evidence of building confidence by building

competence. Any woman can become a more confident

English speaker by following our program

and participating in our conversations

inside The Ladies' Project.

And enrollments are just about to open.

Membership starts from

as little as thirty-five dollars a month

so you can check it out here or follow the link

in the description to find out more.

Preparation is something that you've heard me

talk about before.

I'm a planner.

Being prepared helps you to feel in control

and more competent, more able to do

whatever it is you've been trying to do

whether that's speaking to a native English speaker

or presenting on stage or applying for a job,

whatever it is, when you prepare,

you feel more confident.

When it comes to speaking in English,

this is so relevant.

Most conversations start the same way.

When you meet new people, there are always just a

handful of topics that you talk about:

your job, the weather, where you're from.

It's totally possible to prepare for conversations

in this way and prepare well you know,

practise your answers out loud over and over again

until those words start coming out of you

without you even thinking about it.

You can also practise questions to ask in those

conversations as well and this is just as important

as having answers right? It helps you to be able to

continue the conversation.

Focusing on being fluent in these simple conversation

topics will help to give you more confidence

as you go into them.

Preparation helps you to become more competent

so it helps you to build more confidence

in conversations.

If we're talking about self-confidence and building it,

we really need to talk about posture

and body language.

So we're talking about the way that you sit,

the way that you walk,

the way that you give people your attention,

the expression on your face when you're talking to them,

all of these things are so powerful and it works

in two ways because it affects how you feel

about yourself on the inside

and how others perceive you, what they think about you.

So I want you to try it with me now.

Slump your shoulders forward, hunch down.

Notice how that feels.

Then lift your shoulders, pull them back,

put your head up,

put your chin up,

look straight forward and most importantly,

curl up the corners of your mouth a little,

just into a little smile.

Can you notice how different you feel inside?

How much that affects your mood and the way that you

feel about yourself?

We have so much power to change our perspective,

to change the way that we think about ourselves.

We just need to get into the habit of doing it more

and really,

that's just about being aware, about noticing

when you're looking down or you're slumped in a chair

and simply changing that.

This alone does so much to create more self-confidence

in you and as an added bonus, it helps to make you

appear more confident to the others around you.

So our whole conversation has been around

building self-confidence

and one of the best strategies that I've been using is

to keep a list of things that you've achieved,

things that I'm proud of

and I keep it nearby every day.

And the reason is, we are so quick

to forget our achievements.

We pay so much attention to our failures.

I don't know about you but I always have a to-do list

next to me. I'm constantly looking at it

reminding myself of all of the things

that I haven't done yet,

all the things that I haven't been able to achieve.

This just makes me feel bad and overwhelmed

so I found that keeping this extra list,

this second list of achievements helps me to see

and helps me to remember the progress

that I've been making

and I encourage you to do it too.

Every time you sit down to write out your list of things

that you need to do, take a peek at the other one,

the one that's full of your accomplishments

and full of inspiration to help you keep moving forward.

What I always try to remind myself is that

right now is just one moment in time.

The English speaker that you are right now

doesn't define who you are

or who you're going to be.

If you're committed to growth and development

then this moment is fleeting. It will be gone like that!

I guess what I really want you to

take away from this video

is that dwelling on the mistakes that you're making

is not going to help you but focusing on the new skills

and the new experiences that you're having

will help you to notice this change in yourself.

Notice that self-confidence as it's developing

and it's growing. Just be kinder to yourself.

Recognise that you've got to put in the time,

you've got to put in the hours to become competent

and that this will help you to build self-confidence

and ultimately become a more confident person,

a more confident English speaker.

It's not the easiest thing to do

but there are clear steps that you can take

to help you get there.

Well I really hope that you enjoyed this little chat.

It means a lot to me if you give it a thumbs up

and even more if you share it with your friends and your

colleagues, especially those who really should hear

some of the things that we've been talking about today.

Thank you so much for joining me and as always,

I'll see you next week!

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