It’s not learning vocab, although that’s important.
It’s not learning grammar, although that’s important, too.
It’s not improving your pronunciation, although…blah blah blah.
Your main job in language learning is to tolerate your inner resistance.
You know, that nagging sensation you often experience when learning your new language.
Learning the language is a side effect of accepting your inner resistance.
If you take care of that, learning the language will take care of itself.
Don’t Accept that You’re not Accepting
Stress increases if you stress about stress.
At the very least: you double the stress. But it could be way more than that. (If you stress about the stress about stress, for example.)
If you don’t accept your inner resistance, it may lead you to give up on learning your new language. I think that’s quite obvious.
But sometimes the symptoms are masked:
If all you’re doing is stuff that comes easy to you, you might be avoiding things you should be doing instead.
To not feel your inner resistance you keep going with the same beginner tourist language learning App.
If you tried to learn something new, something more advanced, you’d probably experience the feeling you’re trying to avoid again.
Basically, you tolerate a lack of growth more than your inner fear of learning something challenging.
So you stay in the safe haven.
You’re Not Just Learning a Language
My first attempts at learning a new language were during adolescence.
Thing is: if there’s any group of people specifically that doesn’t tolerate inner resistance it’s teenagers.
So once the novelty were off, I’d always dump my course materials in the trash can with a huge bang.
Pooooowwww…and that was that.
What I didn’t know was that if you’re not used to learning something on your own, you’re not just learning a language.
You’re learning to learn on your own. You get to see who you really are, and how you can improve yourself.
But it all starts with stomaching the inner turmoil you often experience when doing language learning activities.
That’s your most important task as a language learner.
If you can do that, everything else will follow automatically.
A New Point of View
One way to do that, is to re-frame the light stress you feel during language learning.
Where there’s growth, you can’t escape some stress. It’s important to keep that in mind.
So the next time you feel that inner resistance, look at it from a different point of view. See as it as an opportunity to grow, to get better in your new language.
This is a great way to advance in your language learning.
You will improve faster than most people, who mostly look to avoid learning stress.
But this avoidance ensures that they won’t get better, or at least not nearly as fast as they could.
So, I hope you do take care of the most important task in language learning:
Tolerating your inner resistance.