When I wrote this article, I’ve already managend to check-in my suitcase and to get through security. Y E A H Y ! I feel utterly relieved because I was incredibly nervous that something might go wrong. Now nervousness decreased a lot, I’m happily looking forward to the aeroplane taking off and now I’ve got some time to give you an overview about what my language travel is going to hold ready:
From the 12th to 23rd February I’m going to attend an intensive English course. It’s been created for people who want to learn English quickly because of personal or professional reasons.
I’m going to have 32 lections per week (40 min / lesson) and in the information material it said I have to calculate another eight hours for homework. Attending an intensive course seems to be a bit like a full-time job actually 😀
I’m determined to make the best out of the few days I’ve got to study here. I mean, two weeks isn’t much time to learn a language, is it? So as you can choose special interest courses to focus on particular topics in your studies, I decided to set my focus on grammar and speaking (especially pronunciation), because these are the things I’m struggling with most of all.
(If you’re interested in, you can get more information about the intensive course here.)
After booking the language travel, EF send you your login details, with which you get access to a platform called “My EF”. From that point on it’s going to accompany you throughout your trip and even until some time afterwards.
At “My EF” you find all important information about your trip you’d ever need. If you’ve booked a room at a guest family’s place you’ll find their contact details in there. If you asked EF to book a flight for you, they’re going to publish the flight details there as well.
You also get information about your school, destination and activities you can join.
As soon as the information are available, you can access your personal schedule as well, so you can easily find out, when and where your next class starts.
EF organise a variety of activities. The costs vary as well. During my stay, I could, for instance, play paintball, visit the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Science or join a trip to Salisbury and Stonehenge. I’m seriously thinking about joining the last one. But of course you can also organise activities on your own.
From 11th February (until the 24th) I’m staying at a guest family’s place. As I mentioned before, you can choose between different accommodations, but I decided to stay with a family because it seems to be much more familiar and I love that. I think it’s also a big plus to be surrounded by native speakers even after classes have finished.
I haven’t stayed in a guest family yet, so I’m really excited to finally meet them 🙂 I’ve gotten their contact details (at My EF) last week. They also provided a little text about them, so I know I’m going to stay with a couple, who have a little daughter and it seems that they’re easy-going. They’ve always been rated five stars by other students and that sounds also very promising.
When you live in Germany, you might want to take educational leave for your stay. That way you don’t have to expend your regular holidays. That’s nice, isn’t it? (Click hereand you’ll find further information regarding this topic.)
I just had to make an application for my employer. That was a bit annoying to be honest, because I had to attach a lot of documents. Beside others, I needed a proof that the language course has been proved as an offical educational event by Berlin’s senate chancellery and it took ages to get it! Usually I had to hand in my application for educational leave by not later than six weeks prior to the depature. I did so with any other document they needed for processing my application, but I had to hand in that other proof later. There wasn’t any other solution, because EF need to make an application to get their courses proved themselves. And they couldn’t make their application for their courses taking place the following year, before mid December. They’ve gotten their proofs in January and I finally got mine two weeks prior to my trip per post.
But eventually, everything worked out well; my application had been approved. So it doesn’t really matter how long it took. I guess. But actually it was quite annoying.
I don’t really know what to expect really. I’m really nervous because of all the new situations which lie ahead, but it’s more like being scared of the unknown, though I basically know that I’ll be okay and that I’m going to have a wonderful time here 🙂
Language Travel Journal
I certainly want to focus on my course above all, but I’d love to write a daily journal during my trip. As I don’t know how much time I’ll be able to spend writing, I decided to take at least notes every day, so I’ll be able to write the articles retrospectively when I’m back home, in case I haven’t been able to write and publish them straight away.
If you don’t want to miss anything new you can follow me on Facebook and Instagram. Though, you can subscribe to the blog as well 🙂 And please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’ve got any questions. I’ll do my best to reply to you asap.
I hope you’ll enjoy my little reports and have a wonderful time yourself!
I alreadymentionedthat I’m going to attend an English intensive course during a language trip to Cambridge, and now that there are only as few as five days left until departure 😨😍😶😁 (emotional roller coaster), I’m really busy organising the last few things for the trip. Only odds end ends really. The main stuff has luckily already been done 😎
I admit I’m an Organisation Addict
Without making plans everything in my life would be utterly messy. I’m such a forgetful, clumsy, chaotic and uncoordinated person, that I’d be lost without my calendar, lists and notes. The same applies to the organisation of my language trip to Cambridge. If you’d like to get a closer look at that matter, maybe because you’re toying with the idea of making a language trip yourself, you should keep reading 😉
1. Why Do You Want to Make a Language Trip?
What’s the reason for your wish to study a language abroad? Do you need it because of professional reasons? Do you think it’s just a great opportunity to go abroad and to improve your language skills at the same time? Are you interested in learning about other cultures? Do you need to prepare for a language exam like IELTS or TOEFL? Or is it a dear personal dream of yours?
It sounds like a trivial question, but it isn’t that unimportant, actually – especially if you’re not completely sure yet. If you’re certain about your motives and wishes, you can choose the perfect course more easily.
2. Don’t Be Too Afraid of Realising It
People tend to be scared of changes and new situations. I bet you know what I mean because of your own experiences.
One of the most common examples is the question whether you take a job offer or whether you better turn it down. Imagine that the job offer is really appealing – your salary would increase dramatically and you’d have a fascinating new assignment, you never dared to even dream of! It would be a major step upwards on the career ladder. But then questions and thoughts start popping up in your mind: “Am I really good enough for that job though?” “What if I fail?” “It’s great that the job is highly paid, but I also have to take over much more responsibility as well.” “Actually, I really like my current job. Why should I change something?”
Then you might turn down a wonderful job offer just because you’re too afraid of changes. And you’ll probably regret it afterwards…
Obviously, the consequences of a decision related to the question whether you may or may not make a language trip isn’t as risky as the example above. But I remember my own decision-making phase very well; my mind was constantly looking for poor excuses to upset my plans. Many people probably won’t have these issues and it’s great if you’re one of these lucky fellows, but I’m quite sure that there also people who are really struggling to find a proper decision.
No matter in which situation you’re currently in – BE BRAVE, FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS AND TOTALLY ROCK THIS! 😎
And remember that there’s a solution to any problem 😊 If you’re worried about the financial aspect, for instance, you could consider a bank loan. (I did so, btw.) If you’re worried about all these new situations which you’d face*, be extra brave and remember that change, personal growth and adventures begin at the end of your comfort zone. 😉
*Just want to add: I can totally relate to that. YOU’RE NOT ALONE!
3. Which Vendor?
Yay, you came to the decision that you really want to make a language trip! HOORAY AND CONGRATULATIONS😁
Next step is to do some research and to find a company which is offering language trips that fit best with your dreams, needs and financial scoop.There are search engines (like Sprachreise Sucheor Sprachreisen.org) with which you can look for different offers from different vendors.
To be honest, I didn’t do much research though. I’ve chosenEF Sprachreisen because I already knew the company because of the online language courses they offer on their website EF English Live. For approximately one and a half year, I took one of their courses (the “Basic Paket” they offer in cooperation with the publishing house PONS) and I was chuffed about it. It was fun and I think it worked very well for me. So as I’ve made great experiences with EF already, I requested some information material via a contact form and left my contact information as well. I’ve gotten a catalogue, and everything in it sounded very promising. So after some conversations on the telephone with a really pleasant consultant, I finally decided to make my language trip with EF 😊
4. Which Course?
After browsing through the catalogue EF had sent me, I quickly came to the decision that I want to book the EF Internship Experience, which, besides a language course, included an internship in my branch (which is libraries). That sounded utterly exciting! But eventually, I had to accept that it’s just too expensive for me and I decided to “only” make a language trip over a period of two weeks.
Most vendors offer a variety of courses with different focuses and customised for different language levels and purposes. EF, for instance, offers these courses, among others:
I think even these are a lot, but there are even more. Click hereto find the full course list.
I highly recommend talking to a member of staff; no matter whether it’s face to face or on the phone. I know that can be terryfing. I thought so as well, because I hate it to speak to unknown people! #introvertproblems Though, together with a consultant, it’s way easier to choose a course that fits best for you. I had a wonderful contact at the EF bureau in Berlin. The consultant was very pleasant and highly motivated. She really made time for me and she was determined to find a course that’s geared to my needs 😍 (Lucky me!) Eventually, we found it and I was totally happy with the result. It’s going to be an intensive course, yay! 😁 But where? 😶
5. Which Destination?
That was a way more difficult question… I only was certain about the fact that I’d like to go to the UK or Ireland, but it took me ages to decide on the final destination. London? Oxford? Manchester? Cambridge? Brighton? 😶 The consultant I met at the EF bureau Berlin kindly sent me some proposals for a few destinations, which we had shortlisted together. Some places have been kicked out of the decision-making process due to the costs. In the end, I was torn between Oxford and Cambridge. Eventually, I flipped a coin. It showed “tails” – Cambridge.
But of course, there are not only destinations in the UK. As numerous as the range of courses is the diversity of destinations! What do you think New York, Miami Beach, Toronto, Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Brisbane, Singapore and Tokyo? You’ve got the agony of choice 😉
6. In which Period of Time?
There are some points you might want to consider before you set up a period of time.
As well as for holidays, there are also peak and off-peak seasons for language trips. So if you choose a period in the off-peak seasons, you can get the same course for less money.
If you’ve already decided on a destination, it might be a good idea to check the festivals and other events which are going on there during the year. If you’re staying in Oxford, for example, and you’re really into books, you might regret it, if you miss the Oxford Literary Festival at the end of March.
I think it goes without saying that you should check your own calendar as well, so you don’t have to grapple with offended loved ones because you’ve missed your Aunt Irma’s big 76th birthday party 😉
Another important point is about appointments and holiday times at work, especially if you’re thinking about taking educational leave. I chose the period from the 12th to 23rd February, because I knew that there are only a few colleagues of mine who’d like to go on winter holidays. The school holidays, which might affect colleagues with children, will be already over, so the likelihood, that my application for educational leave would be refused due to staff shortage, has been decreased dramatically. I think the personnel manager would murder me if I’d say that I’d like to take educational leave in the middle of summer 😅 So I recommend choosing the period of time carefully if you want to avoid stress. And physical damage 😄
7. Educational Leave
In my humble opinion, educational leave – or “Bildungsurlaub” how it’s called in German – is a great invention. Pity, that so many employees don’t know that it even exists because it allows you to attend courses on up to five days per year during your working time.
I don’t want to get too much into details, but I highly recommend to check, whether it might be possible to take educational leave for your or not. This way you might be able to avoid taking some days off from your precious actual holidays.
Due to the problem that every federal state in Germany has its own educational leave law, you can’t make a universal statement. I recommend checking out this website and selecting the federal state you work in. Then you’ll get information about the terms and regulations which apply to you. If you work in Berlin (like me), you can directly follow this link to get further information.
Unfortunately, I can’t say how it’s handled in other countries, but it’s definitely worth to do some research.
8. Which Accommodation?
Homestay? B&B? Flat? Hotel? School’s residency? Argh, again a lot of different possibilities to choose from! You can’t generally say that one accommodation is better than another. They’re just different. Take your time to decide. You’ll stay your whole trip there, won’t you? So you’d better choose your accommodation carefully 😋
Staying at a guest family’s place is often the cheapest accommodation. It also has the advantage that you’ll learn a lot about the culture and the people living in your destination country at first hand. And you’ll have a lot of opportunities to practice your language skills by speaking and to apply what you’ve learned in school.
If you spare no expenses, you could also think about staying in a hotel or a bed and breakfast or even renting a flat. You definitely have some space just to yourself and especially after a long day at school that might be something nice to look forward to. These accommodations are probably a bit more flexible. You can browse the internet and choose whatever you like best.
I consider school’s residencies being lovely accommodations as well, though you probably should better be a communicative and outgoing person because most likely you’d have to share the place with a bunch of other students. So definitely not my first choice.
How the accommodation situation is organised varies from vendor to vendor. There are some which offer to organise it for you, other ask you to book one yourself.
I’m pretty glad that EF takes care of the accommodation issue, so I don’t have to organise one myself. I just had to choose which kind of accommodation I’d like to book. In case you were wondering, they offer homestay (you can book a single room just for yourself or you can share one with another EF student; in both cases at a guest family’s place) as well as rooms in apartments, hotels, EF residences and on campus.
9. Flight & Transfer
As well as the accommodation situation, it also varies from vendor to vendor how they handle the matter with booking flights. So You should ask whether the vendor books the flight for you or whether you have to take care of it yourself.
You should also ask how you get from the airport to your accommodation if the latter has been booked via the vendor.
I really appreciate EF’s offer to book the flights for me and to arrange a transfer from the airport to the guest family (and back again); helps me to feel a bit less nervous.
10. The Ambassador Program
I don’t know whether other vendors have similar programs, but if you’re making your language trip with EF, you’ll get the opportunity to become an EF Ambassador. That means that you can earn points for spreading information about EF’s language trips, and there are multiple ways to do so. You can, amongst others, share your experiences under #myef on social media, hand out flyers or you can write about it – on your blog, for instance. Like me.
I decided to join the program because I wanted to write about my language trip anyway. Earning points, which you can trade for rewards (from bags, over cinema tickets and Apple devices, up to 2-weeks-language trips to England or the US), is just a side benefit. Be assured it doesn’t have any influence on my article’s content at all. I always try to consider the stuff I’m writing about from all aspects. I promise that me being an EF ambassador hasn’t changed anything about it 🙂
If you’re curious, you can visit my ambassador page here. In case you’re actually interested in the EF language courses, you can order information material on my page. If you do so, you’d support me with a few points. But please don’t feel obliged to do so! 😊
I HOPE YOU’LL HAVE FUN PLANNING YOUR OWN TRIP 😁
Is there anything I can help you with, feel free to get in touch. I love to get post and I promise to reply as soon as possible 🙂
the last few weeks were really adventurous. I had a lot of appointments and events (such as the Frankfurt Book Fair) and I loved attending them 😀 I really did, but to be honest I’m relieved it is over. Even if I had a great time, as I am an introvert it was eminently exhausting as well…
I hoped that it will be less stressful the next weeks, but I think I might have forgotten to consider the fact that Christmas is coming soon. Only 20 days left!
So I’m absolutely grateful for every single minute I have to myself between appointments and other obligations.
Besides having some quality time with my family, I read a lot and most of the books I recently read were in English, such as “Turtles All The Way Down“ by John Green and “Every Last Word“ by Tamara Ireland Stone. (They were fantastic!) Currently, I’m reading “The Rosie Project“ by Graeme Simsion. Yep, I know… I’m a bit late to follow the hype about the Don Tillman books which occurred when they were first published but do you know this feeling when you’re interested in a story, but it doesn’t seem to be the right time to read it because there are other books you currently feel more attracted to? For me, that was the case with these books. But even if I didn’t read them in those days, I enjoy reading them now all the more 🙂 I’m on page 149 and so far it’s genius and absolutely funny 😀 Have you read it yet?
I’ve also written a lot lately. Even on my blog actually. See, I originally had a really good plan: My next post was supposed to be about extroverts and introverts and another one about my experiences at the book fair. After these two I wanted to show you an app called “Langenscheidt IQ Vokabeltrainer Englisch”, followed by a lot more ideas I still have in mind 🙂 But no matter how much I tried I wasn’t able to overcome my writer’s block in the long term. So I recently started three different topics and didn’t finish even one of them… Hooray procrastination!
And now I’m finally sitting here in my living room, drinking tea (a lovely cup of Earl Grey with milk and sugar) and all I do is writing. Take this writer’s block! Anyway, I decided to upset my plans and celebrate my comeback to creativity by writing about the vocabulary app. So grab a cuppa, take a comfortable seat and here we go 🙂
Thank You, Langenscheidt!
I met the nice Langenscheidt team at their stand at the book fair and I had a lovely conversation with them. We stayed in contact afterwards and the publishing house offered me the opportunity to test the full version of “Langenscheidt IQ Vokabeltrainer Englisch” for free. Thank you very much 🙂
First Things First
Langenscheidt offers a variety of vocabulary trainers. Besides English, they’re also available in French, Italian, Spanish and Swedish.
With downloading the free version of “Langenscheidt IQ Vokabeltrainer Englisch” you get the opportunity to test the vocabulary trainer with words from the category “Essen und Trinken” (Foods and Drinks).
If you find it helpful, you can purchase the full version. It contains 800 words and idioms from eight topics and a variety of functions such as games for interactive training, a recording function or the possibility to add your own words.
The app is available for both Android andiOSand I can totally agree with Langenscheidt who are recommending their vocabulary trainer primarily to people who are beginners (CEFR level A1/A2 and below).
Tiny hint: If you’re one of the lucky owners of a “Langenscheidt IQ” language courseand already registered in the “Lern-Manager” (learn manager) you can unlock the full version for free.
When I first opened the app (at this point I was using the free version), two thoughts were flashing through my mind:
I really like these colourful little pictures, but the background colour is too dark for my liking.
Actually, I don’t consider myself being particularly superficial, but I realised that colours and pictures have a huge impact on the way I can remember vocabulary because I’m a visual learner. That’s why I prefer bright, friendly and motivating colours. I’m sorry, but black doesn’t fall into these categories.
But for sure the content is way more important to me than the appearance. And when I first read the app description in the app store I got so excited 😀 I’ve had noticed that Langenscheidt wrote that the app is most suitable for beginners. So I thought it’s likely that I’m already familiar with most of the vocabulary. And I was right. But as there are features like “Meine Wörter” (My Words) with which you’ve got the possibility to add your own words (plus a matching picture), I thoughtthe app might be quite useful for advanced learners like me as well.
The Free Version
As I mentioned before, you get free access to the vocabulary category “Essen und Trinken” (Food And Drinks) after downloading the app. That way you’ve got the possibility of getting familiar with the functionality of the vocabulary trainer by testing two games. Hereby you can figure out whether the app agrees with your needs and wishes or not. Based on the experiences you’ve just made you can decide if you want to unlock new content and functions by purchase.
With the free version, you can test “Match it!” and “Buzzer”.
My Experiences With The Full Version
After purchasing the app I had access to the complete vocabularyand all other games and features. And if you call to mind that the app was designed for beginners, I think 800 words and idioms are something you can work with for a while, don’t you?
I also like Langenscheidt’s visual attempt. I know I said I don’t like the dark background – actually, that didn’t change at all 😉 – but I rather mean the connection between words and pictures. You can recall vocabulary more easily if you can connect them with a special picture or feeling. That’s just how our brain works. (I’m currently reading about this topic so I might continue that thought in another post later on. Feel free to remind me if you’re interested in it 🙂 )
I tried all the games “Langenscheidt IQ Vokabeltrainer Englisch” has to offer and I’m a big fan of the general idea of using interactive learning because it’s funny and if you enjoy the task you’re doing you’re more motivated to keep going 🙂 So I think it’s great that Langenscheidt followed this attempt in the app.
I enjoyed playing “Letter Puzzle”, “Match It!” and “Buzzer” and I really consider them being helpful when it comes to remembering words more easily (especially because of the pictures which were used), but there were also some things which I don’t like about them. Just to give you an insight into it:
In “Match it!”, for instance, you can only find the matching picture to the English word, which appears at the bottom of the app. Especially because the pictures aren’t always self-explaining, it would be great to see the German translation, too.
Unfortunately, I also developed a quite strained relationship to the features “Wortliste” (Word list) and “Meine Wörter” (My words) much to my regret.
Instead of the list view, I’d prefer traditional flashcards, because in my humble opinion flashcards are clearer and make it easier to learn the vocabulary. The list view in “Wortliste” seemed a bit overloaded for me, though it is great that the app keeps examples ready to show how to use a particular word in a sentence.
Besides this, I was really looking forward to the recording feature, but it seems that there is a problem because it doesn’t work at all on my iPhone (iOs 11.2) 🙁 I’m hugely disappointed because I think it’s a lovely idea to offer the possibility to listen to the words spoken by a native speaker with the correct pronunciation. And also the feature to record your own voice, so you can compare it with the native’s recording, is brilliant.
Again, it’s a great attemptto offer a function that allows you to add own words. After reading the app description, “Meine Wörter” (My Words) was the feature I was most looking forward to trying, but sadly it didn’t work the way I think it’s supposed to work.
As you can see in the gallery above, adding words proved to be difficult, because it’s hard to identify in which row you’re supposed to type in the English and in which the German term; the row label is unreadable, you’ve got to guess.
Additionally, I wasn’t able to add a picture to a word. No matter whether I tried to take a picture or whether I tried to add it from my photo albums, the app crashed. But it’s designed for words being connected with pictures because otherwise, you can only see white symbols on the list. (As you can also see in the gallery above.)
Before you can finally learn your own added words, you’ve got to click on the matching picture (given that you’ve been able to add some) and then on “Wort ansehen” (show word), only then you get the English term and its German translation.
It would be fantastic if you could learn your added words in the games as well, but unfortunately, that isn’t possible. Neither can you add whole sentences, because they’re too long.
I think Langenscheidt developed a lovely interactive training, which fits with the desires and needs of people who don’t have much prior knowledge of the English language or any at all and who just got started improving their English.
The games are a fun way to learn vocabulary and they help to stay motivated. The visual attempt helps to remember words more easily. I really like this concept 🙂
That’s the reason why I hoped the app might be useful for advanced learners as well, especially when I read about the function “Meine Wörter” and the recording feature; turned out I was mistaken. The general idea of these functions is great, but much to my regret the implementation hasn’t been able to convince me entirely given the fact that they didn’t work properly. Pity!
And I think that’s the sticking point. The app’s focus lies in the vocabulary already provided by Langenscheidt. “Meine Wörter” is only an additional service. Nevertheless, it’s written in the app description that you get access to these functions when you purchase the full version for € 10.00, what I think is much money. And it’s quite frustrating actually if it turns out that you can’t use them properly, even if you’ve paid. (Especially if the only reason why you purchased the app was that you were interested in these particular features.)
I’m sorry, as I am rather an advanced learner (kinda proud to be able to write that actually 😀 ), and due to the fact I already tested a lot of different apps, software and other methods to learn vocabulary, I’m probably quite difficult to please. (And it’s perhaps not helpful that I’m a hardcore perfectionist with super high expectations, is it? 😉 ) But even if the app doesn’t work for me, nonetheless it might be working for you.
Don’t get me wrong, I like the app, but I’d only recommend it to total beginners and I also think there’s still room for improvement 😉 Well, two years have passed since the last update, so it’s actually time for a new one, isn’t it? We’ll see, maybe we’re lucky 😀 )
What’s your way learning vocabulary? Let me know, I’m really curious 🙂 Take care, everyone!
Remember when I told you in my last post that “Perfectionism is the enemy of communication”? Yeah… I’m currently quite struggling with that statement 😅 Don’t get me wrong, I’m still convinced that it’s absolutely true. And that’s exactly the point I’m struggling with…
As much as I love to write, as difficult it is for me to find the right words to express my thoughts. It’s a bit like all things I want to say are stuck in my head and I’ve got to “unstuck” them before I’m able to write them down in an useful way. Kind of a big ball of wibbly-wobbly 😉 stuff up there in my mind…
And as soon as I’ve written a paragraph, I’m rereading it. And that might be a failure. Because when I do so, I always start thinking something like: “Huh, yeah, that’s okay. But I’m not really sure if these sentences make really clear what I want to say. There must be a way to express it in an even better way.” And here we go 🙄
That Leads Directly to Perfectionism
That’s it. Over and over again: Writing. Overthinking. Editing. Overthinking. Editing. Overthinking. Adding something. Overthinking. Editing. Overthinking. Writer’s block. Overthinking. Editing. Overthinking. Adding something. Overthinking. Editing. Overthinking. And with a lot of luck there might come the point, when I finally call a text “finished”. So there it is: a perfect example for perfectionism.
And yes: It’s definitely as strength-sapping, time-consuming and frustrating as it sounds.
I just want to write about stuff which flashes through my mind; anything I consider worth writing about. Just for fun. On a regular basis. It would be a big fat plus if I’d be able to improve my writing skills that way, as well. (And it would be even cooler, if there would be someone, somewhere, drinking a cuppa, reading my articles and consider them helpful and entertaining. I’d really love that. ❤)
Of course it is absolutely demotivating, if you’re writing for hours and hours, but you don’t get any sense of achievement. Certainly I’m happy when I’m able to finally hit the “publish button”, but as I spent so much time on writing an article, there isn’t much energy left to enjoy one of these great “YES-I-DID-IT!”-feelings; it’s rather a relief than anything else. (Just for fun, here some stats: I edited this article 13 times so far and spent seven hours writing. 95% of the first version’s paragraphs are completely gone. Okay, I admit: might be possible that I’m some kind of hardcore perfectionist 😅)
Being a perfectionist means that you have high standards. You always want to do a great job and you work very hard and they achieve very hard to achieve their goals. And that’s nothing bad, is it? That’s even a quite admirably character trait. But there is only a unbelievably slim line between the positive and negative aspects of perfectionism, so you’ve got to be careful. Very careful.
Don’t Let Perfectionism Get You Down!
Based on own experiences, perfectionism can have quite adverse impact on someone’s life. And that’s the case, as soon as it keeps you from achieving your goals (publishing new blog posts on a weekly basis or being able to make the deadline for work projects, for instance). Or if it makes you feel bad.
Perfectionists tend to struggle with making mistakes. They consider it as something really bad instead of seeing it as an opportunity for improvement. If they did something wrong or if they weren’t able to fulfil someone else’s or their own expectations, they often feel as if they have failed completely. Unfortunately, perfectionism can even make you feel pressured, anxious, upset, frustrated, sad, exhausted or even depressed. Perfectionist also often suffer from low self-esteem. (I’m also very familiar with these negative feelings and emotions.
Overcoming perfectionism can be really hard. (I know what I’m talking about.) But there are different approaches and strategies you might want to try, if you feel addressed.
I’m trying to give everyday life some sort of structure. I’ll set up concrete time slots for each task I’d like to accomplish. If I’m not able to achieve it, I try to be happy, anyway. Eventually, I didn’t have more time on hand and I definitely did my best. (Certainly, it doesn’t work every time (at lese not yet), but I consider it quite helpful, anyway.) I try to set up realistic goals, which I can achieve easily. For example I tidy up at least 10 minutes each day. I set an alarm, so I know when I’m allowed or forced to stop working. But it’s certainly more difficult to follow this plan when I’m in a middle of a task I really love to work on; writing an article, for instance (I definitely need to figure out how much time would be appropriate to spend on each post 😶 So if you’re a blogger yourself, please let me know how much time you plan. I’d love to get some advice. Thanks in advance! ☺)
I also found some relaxation strategies to calm me down and to get my mind free: I drink a cuppa (A cup of tea solves everything!), get lost in a good book 📚 , go out for a walk 🌳, take some deep breaths, meditate a bit, try to get aware of the moment I’m currently experiencing, talk to loved ones ☎ (doesn’t matter if it’s face to face or on the phone), cuddle my cat, treat myself to some pieces of chocolate 🍫 , listen to music 🎶 or dance very badly (the latter is definitely a realistic assessment and not based on low self-esteem 😂) Or I do all of these things.
It doesn’t matter which strategy you follow, the important part is that it helps you.
Though, back to the quote I mentioned at the beginning 😄
If you’re a perfectionist and learning a new language, it will probably happen that you’ll set up goals impossibly to reach. For example: “I want to master English like a native speaker within a period of six months.” How should you be able to reach a goal like this beside a fulltime job and a family? So you’re going to feel pressured, and because of the few moments of feeling successful, you’ll probably feel discouraged and depressed instead.
Some people, myself included, are so anxious about making mistakes that they avoid situations which hold a high risk to fail. Relating to improving language skills, that involves especially avoiding writing texts (and publishing them) and actually speak. But if you’re too anxious about doing so, there is – unfortunately – no possibility to improve.
Try to realise that learning a language, especially if you just got started, is in a way primarily based on making mistakes. But that’s actually okay. You’ll learn from it and you’ll get better over time 🙂 Promise!
Are We In The Same Team?
Anyone else here who’d love the ability to turn off your mind for a couple of hours? 😅 (If hours aren’t available, I would also take minutes. I’m not hard to please.) Or who also suffers from perfectionism? Hey, how about a support group? We could produce even matching sweater 😂
But honestly: Take care of yourself and remember: Don’t let perfectionism (or anything else) get you down.