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Say No to the Naysayer When it comes to Your English
Lindsay: This is an All Ears English Podcast, Episode 239: “Say No to the Naysayer When it comes to Your English.”
Lindsay: Welcome to the All Ears English Podcast, downloaded more than 5 million times. We believe in connection, not perfection. You’ll finally get real Native English conversation with your American hosts, Lindsay McMahon, the ‘English Adventurer’ and Michelle Kaplan, the ‘New York Radio Girl’ coming to you from Boston and New York City, USA.
Michelle: On today’s episode you’ll learn how to develop a bias towards action as an English learner and you’ll learn how Lindsay overcame perfectionism when she started the All Ears English Podcast.
Michelle: Hey, what’s up Lindsay?
Lindsay: Hey Michelle. I’m doing well. How are you?
Michelle: I’m really good, thanks. How’s your week going?
Lindsay: It’s going great and yeah it’s moving along fast as they often do, but I’m feeling good this week and you?
Michelle: Yeah, yeah. Pretty good, pretty good. A little tired already, but trying to, you know, I’m still motivated for the rest of the week.
Lindsay: Well, it’s Thursday, right, so you know, Friday is coming.
Michelle: Almost there.
Lindsay: Almost made it.
Michelle: (Um), yeah, so, well, yeah, I just (uh) today is just a deep thought Thursday, so (um) I wanted to bring this quote that I thought was really cool. It’s (uh) from Teddy Roosevelt actually.
Lindsay: Ooo, I’m excited to hear that quote.
Michelle: Yes, yes, I really love it. It’s going to be really inspiring.
Michelle: So, you wanna (want to) hear it?
Lindsay: Yeah I wanna (want to) hear the quote. Let’s hear it.
Michelle: Okay great. Here we go, “It is not the critic who counts. Not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again.”
Lindsay: Ooo, I like it.
Michelle: Right? I love this quote.
Lindsay: I like it. It makes me think of our listeners.
Michelle: Yeah, yeah. I think so too. What specifically?
Lindsay: So, I think of our listeners as action takers, right.
Michelle: Oh definitely.
Lindsay: So they’re out there taking chances. They’re taking risks every day with their English every day, maybe at their work or maybe just at their lives if their living in the US or in the UK for example, right. And they’re out there, so they’re not the ones sitting back and criticizing others who are trying to speak. They’re the ones who are trying to speak. That’s the kind of listener we have here on All Ears English.
Michelle: Right, right. Absolutely, absolutely. It takes a lot to take on a new language and this actually reminds me of (uh) when we spoke about opportunity, which was episode 235. You can find it on allearsenglish.com/235.
Lindsay: 235, yeah.
Michelle: So, anyway, I mean, yeah it definitely means a lot for our English (uh) learners, for our listeners, I mean, you know, even if something takes time, even things are frustrating and you feel like you can’t do it, you know, it’s better to just go for it I think. (Um), I mean, do you have any personal experience with this?
Lindsay: Yeah, I have some personal experience and I can talk about the way my mind has shifted over the past year. You know, we started the All Ears English Podcast almost exactly a year ago. We started it in November of 2013 and over the past year, I’ve started to change the way I think about (um) performance. Now, I take refuge in the idea of taking action. It’s not about result, right. We say on All Ears English, we say it’s about connection not perfection.
Lindsay: So, taking action for our listeners leads to connection us here at All Ears English, taking action leads to creating art. You know, our art is our podcasts. We create these great episodes and we inspire our listeners four days a week. (Um), uo, yeah, when I started the podcast with Gabby, (um) I was nervous. I was embarrassed. I was scared. I was worried that I was going to make a lot of mistakes and sound really silly behind the microphone. (Um), but then we just started acting for, we just started creating for these episodes four days a week and I put my emphasis on taking action, not on getting embarrassed and getting nervous. And now my mindset is a little bit different regarding, you know, how to become successful.
Michelle: Absolutely, I mean, I think that’s great. I mean, so, what other advice, I mean, would you give to someone who maybe wants to start, like a business, like how you did?
Lindsay: Hmm, yeah I think that in a previous episode this week we talked about taking the next easiest step. Was that allearsenglish.com/238? I think that’s right? I think, Michelle, is that right?
Michelle: Yup, should be. 238.
Lindsay: Take the next easiest step, so if you’re starting a business or if you’re learning a language, what is the next easiest thing you have to do. For a business, you have to figure out what people want in the world, you know with the people that you’re serving. And for English learning, you have to figure out what you need to do with your language. So you need to take that next easiest step and have a bias towards action, right. I really love that phrase. Have you heard that phrase before Michelle?
Michelle: Yes, I have. What is a bias?
Lindsay: Good question. So, what’s a bias? So, for our listeners, a bias is like a tendency, it means that you tend to think in a certain way or to act in a certain way. So if I say I have a bias towards action, it means I usually act instead of think.
Michelle: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm. Oh that’s great and I mean, and I think it’s so great that you say a bias towards action because like we talk about often you know, it’s easy to just lose sight of your goal when you just sit and think and think and think. Sometimes you just have to do it, right.
Lindsay: Just do it.
Michelle: Haha, just do it. That’s a famous one.
Lindsay: Hahaha, it’s Nike right?
Michelle: (Uh), yeah, that’s Nike. But yeah, I mean, I think it’s good and I think that this quote really can ring true with our listeners because, you know, just go for it. Don’t just sit there and wait for, you know, for something to happen, you know. It’s not going to just come easy. Yes, things are hard just like the quote says, but it will make you stronger to be able to do this and just you know even like we say, you know, if you start something small that’s better than if you just sit there and think about oh when I speak English, right. Just speak. Just do it. Just learn.
Lindsay: Absolutely, and I also want to highlight the part about this quote about the critic because I know that with a lot of our listeners Michelle, maybe, I don’t know, maybe you’ve heard about this from students, but a big issue is that often students are (um) afraid to speak English with people from their own country because they feel really embarrassed, (um) having someone who speaks their native language hear them speak English.
Michelle: I mean, that makes a lot of sense.
Lindsay: Yeah, and… I’m sorry go ahead.
Michelle: No, no, no. Yeah, I mean, it’s easy to be scared of someone criticizing you, right. And it’s very easy to criticize, right.
Lindsay: Oh, it’s so easy to criticize.
Michelle: Yeah, but these, so, maybe when someone criticizes you, you kind of, you give them the power. Don’t give someone else this power, you know. You’re the one that’s trying. You’re the one who’s doing your best and that’s what matters, you know, not perfection.
Lindsay: Yeah, exactly, not perfection, connection not perfection. And that’s why maybe, when you’re thinking of choosing an English class, you know, maybe you don’t need to go to that English school in your home country where you’re learning with all these people from your home country, right. You’re sitting in a classroom, right, and people are kind of laughing at you or making jokes if you make a mistake. Maybe you need to learn, for example, just with a native tutor, the two of you.
Lindsay: Right, sorry.
Michelle: No, sorry. You want to be in a supportive environment, right, for learning a language or for learning something new in general. You need people who are going to build you up, not knock you down right. So, you don’t want these critics around you. It’s not helpful and it’s not important really because are natural in anything and especially learning a language. So, what use is it for, for there to be a critic you know.
Lindsay: Yeah, exactly. You are sticking your neck out, right. I love that idiom. We imagine a turtle, right, sticking his neck out of the shell.
Lindsay: You’re sticking your neck out and you are trying something new. Learning a language is one of the hardest things ever, in life to do, and you don’t need someone who’s not trying, right. That’s the point. The critic is often not in the ring, is not trying, is not taking those risks. That’s why often the critic is often a weak person.
Michelle: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, so maintain your own power, you know, over what you’re doing, over your goals.
Lindsay: Yeah, I love that idea. Of, you know, step into your power and hold your power as your own. Don’t let anyone take it away from you and redefine power as action taking.
Lindsay: Not getting it right, not perfection, right.
Michelle: Absolutely, no. I think this is great. I mean, I think this has been a really interesting topic, a really great deep thoughts Thursday. (Um), I really enjoyed this quote and I’m glad that, you know, we can find so many things to apply it to for our listeners’ language learning and also it was really great to learn about you Lindsay and starting All Ears English because I find it to be very inspiring and I look forward to more.
Lindsay: Aww, thanks Michelle. This has been great. Have a good one.
Michelle: Thank you, you too.
Lindsay: How many hours do you waste memorizing your dictionary, vocabulary lists or reading your textbook? Well you don’t need those things, all you need is the 100 most common phrases in English and you can get them now for free in an eBook. Go to allearsenglish.com/100 now to download your free eBook. See you there.
Lindsay: If you believe in connection, not perfection and you wanna (want to) put your ears into English more often, please subscribe to our podcast in iTunes on your computer or on your smartphone. And hey, if you liked today’s show please let us know with a review in iTunes. Thanks so much for listening and see you next time.
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