In this episode, I talk about the power of the words we speak to ourselves about ourselves and our languages. Beginning my language learning journey, I held core beliefs about what that journey would look like and about myself as a language learner. Such things as, "I'm too old," "Language learning is difficult and time-consuming," and "I'm not gifted at languages" were at the center of all my beliefs about language learning and what it meant for me. I often found that the words I spoke -- both out loud and in my head -- upheld these beliefs, and confirmation bias had me focusing on things that seemed to affirm them.
Learning to pay attention to these words was the first step I took to halting this destructive pattern. I learned how to pay attention to how I feel in a language moment, which is often a signal that negative thoughts are swirling around my head. Next, I gave this callous voice a name, allowing myself to disassociate from the pessimism and self-doubt and look at things from a more realistic and constructive perspective. Finally, finding positive, believable words to replace the negative ones was something I knew I needed to practice in order to move forward with a growth mindset.