Hi my fellow foreigners – tonight is the Halloween night and I think it would be only fair if I gave you a fright! I’m going to use the biggest fear of all foreign English speakers, and I’ll do my best to scare the hell out of you!
So what is this fear I’m so certain will have such an effect on you?
Well… We all fear making mistakes when speaking English, don’t we? We fear it so much that we become very conscious of our speech thus making even more stupid mistakes. It’s a self-perpetuating mental state and personally I’ve gone through these issues countless times in the past and I know how depressing, annoying and scary it is.
Are you ready? So here it goes – a list of 20 things that might possibly happen if you make a mistake when speaking English! You’d better brace yourself because as you’ll see it’s safer not to open your mouth at all than trying to say something in English and face the dire consequences…
1. You could get sacked.
2. You could get a bad grade in college.
3. You could get a heart attack.
4. You could get punched in the face.
5. You could get stuck in a very low-paid job for the rest of your life.
6. You could make a complete fool out of yourself.
7. You could fail at the X factor audition.
8. You could never regain certain person’s trust in professional terms having made a mistake when speaking with them.
9. You could be given something you didn’t ask for in a shop.
10. Everybody will see you blush when making a mistake.
11. You could fail an exam.
12. You friends will shun you.
13. You’ll never set up that business you’ve always dreamt of.
14. You could be refused a social welfare payment.
15. You won’t get a citizenship.
16. You’ll be laughed at!
17. You’ll be told to go and learn proper English.
18. You won’t be able to negotiate a good deal or get a bargain.
19. You won’t get to rent the house you want.
20. Your kids won’t get into the school…
The list could actually go on and on, because there is nothing to stop you imagining things that could possibly go wrong every time you make a small mistake when speaking English.
But here’s the thing – the more you think about possible consequences, the more conscious you become of your mistakes.
Your fear of making mistakes feeds on itself and eventually you’ll reach a state when you’ve become so paranoid about your speech that you won’t be able to speak properly ❗
Does that sound like a good place to be?
I don’t think so. I strongly believe any foreign English speaker wants to be free of any mental inhibition preventing them from speaking fluent English. I also believe that it’s not the actual mistakes that scare you so much. If you could get away with speaking English the way you speak you wouldn’t mind those few mistakes you’d make, would you? As a result you wouldn’t be overly concerned about being grammatically correct and you would be fully involved in the conversation thus making you more fluent without you even realizing it ❗
And by the way, has anybody told you that many of your mistakes won’t even be spotted by native English speakers you communicate with? I know it may sound weird but it’s a fact – when you’re in this state of bad English fluency, you tend to think that others will be so focused on your speech that they’ll spot the tiniest mistake. In real life it’s wrong more often than not, and that’s actually just one of the reasons you shouldn’t be so stressed out about making an odd mistake here and there.
I hope you’ve figured it out by now that I wrote this list of things that could go wrong just to show you how ludicrous it is to assume that making a couple mistakes might have any serious consequences in your personal or professional life.
If your English is fluent and you sell yourself properly when communicating with other English speakers, on 99% occasions those few mistakes won’t have any bearing on your career prospects or social life.
On the finishing note let me tell you this – even if somebody makes assumptions about your level of English based on a mistake you make when stressed out, it’s most likely just an excuse for that person to do so.
I believe that if they really want to make a smart comment about you, they’ll do it regardless of perfection of your spoken English.
If they’re really your friends, they won’t shun you.
You’ll never get sacked just because you made a few mistakes – native English speakers also make mistakes and it’s normal.
You can get a punch in the face even if you speak impeccable English – it won’t be an excuse if you chat up the wrong chick in a bar!
Yes, you can be given the wrong item in the shop – but hey, is it seriously THE WORST THING that could happen to you? All you have to do is to say “Sorry, I actually wanted the other jeans, not these ones!”
A lot depends on your own attitude as well, and you’ll never get a heart attack if you have the right mindset of ignoring your mistakes and getting on with your life!
P.S. Are you ready to get on the fast track to spoken English fluency? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!