Maria told us that she turned down her dream job because they wanted her to learn a new language. We asked her why she did this. Maria crossed her arms, her smile disappeared from her face, and she looked out of the window. Her voice faltered as she answered the question reluctantly.
She said that she got poor marks in English at school. She told us that, during her Erasmus, her friends laughed at her when she spoke in English or Italian. At first, she said, she didn’t mind.
Maria would love to be able to speak other languages, but it seems impossible to her. She has lost all confidence in her ability to learn a new language. Maria says that she has low self-confidence.
What determines our self-confidence?
Throughout our lives we face many challenges. Some of them we overcome, and others we don’t.
The experiences we have determine our self-confidence. When we manage to do well, and we are given recognition for this, our self-confidence improves. When things don’t turn out as we would have liked, our self-confidence suffers.
The reality is that, as human beings, we can’t control everything that happens to us in life. There are times when we have complete control and things don’t turn out as we had hoped. But just because we don’t get the results we want, it’s not a reason to think that we are worthless or no good; it’s not a reason to get discouraged.
We know that it’s difficult to change our thoughts and perceptions. But we can’t let them define us and rob us of our dreams.
Maria shouldn’t have to feel bad just because she doesn’t think she’s any good at languages. She shouldn’t have to turn down a job she really wanted because she can’t speak any other languages. Nobody should.
How can we improve our confidence?
By learning a language!
Other people appreciate your efforts
Learning a new language means you can meet new people. Your life is enriched by making new friends from other countries who appreciate your efforts to speak their language and learn about their culture. Nobody will judge your level because what’s important is that you’re making an effort to communicate with them. You’re making an effort to learn about new cultures and different ways of seeing life.
You reach goals
Reaching goals gives you confidence and self-assurance. When you set a goal and reach it, you gain confidence and discover new talents you didn’t know you had. Nobody can tell you otherwise because you have solid proof. You’ve reached your goals!
You feel yourself making progress
When you are learning a language, you make progress every day. Some days your progress is slower than others. To begin with, you progress quickly; you can really notice when you move from a basic level to an intermediate level. When you move from an intermediate level to an advanced level, your progress is less noticeable. But what’s important is that you are making progress. And if you’re making progress, you must be doing something right! You’re making progress in your life; you’re closer to reaching your dreams.
Making an effort. Setting goals. Making progress. These are the values that we instil in our video games to learn languages like Ruby Rei. This empathetic approach to teaching means creating whole worlds for players to inhabit and build confidence within.
Maria, everybody – including you – has the right to feel confident. And everybody can learn a new language. So let’s do it! Let’s learn languages and improve our confidence together!
By Jonay Suárez, Head of Marketing at Wibbu.