Improve English Speaking and Communication Skills with GRIT

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Learn how having grit can help you become a better language learner. Namely, harnessing the power of grit can improve your confidence in English and boost your communication skills. What is grit? It combines courage, perseverance, achievement-oriented conscientiousness, endurance, and resilience. Do you have grit?

Hello, advanced English learners. Welcome back. So today I'm going to share with you how grit, G R I T, how grit can help you improve your English language and communication skills. If you're ready, let's get into it.

All right, so in order for me to define grit, I'm actually gonna walk you through the five characteristics of grit and how those five characteristics can help you improve your English language and communication skills.

Okay, so the first one is perseverance. Perseverance is an amazing quality to have. Think of it this way. We have a great expression in English. , which is when the going gets tough, the tough get going. So when the going gets tough means when the situation is difficult, when there's a challenge that you're facing, when there's an obstacle that you are seeking to overcome, you as a tough person, you are going to find a way to keep on keeping on. Have you ever heard of that expression? Keep on keeping on. So it's that idea as well. You just keep going. You don't give up, you persevere. 

You get going, when the going gets tough. That is perseverance.

So in the context of English language learning, I want you to stick to it. You might feel my pronunciation isn't getting any better, or My listening comprehension isn't where it needs to be, or My grammar is not what I want it to be. You can go on and on and complain as much as you want about not feeling like there's progress happen.

But let me tell you this, if you are being consistent and you are putting in the work and you are showing up, the progress is going to happen. Progress isn't linear. It doesn't happen steady with a climb, right? There's some ups and downs, and even when there's down periods, there's actually growth happening.

Because when you have a bigger perspective on it, you're actually making progress, even if you feel like that progress has stymied or has slowed. But the only way this is going to happen is if you stick with it, if you persevere. So the other component to this is that I really want you to find what your most challenging skill is.

So if it's speaking, if it's listening, if it's reading, if it's writing, if you wanna work on accent reduction, if you wanna work on intonation, if you wanna work on your nonverbals in the American culture context, whatever it might be, find what you are struggling with the most and go after that first.

A lot of times when we feel like there's so many things we need to keep track of and improve, and we feel like one of the skills is not as good as the other skills, we won't go after that hard skill first. We'll get good at the ones we're already good at and the one that we're not that great at is gonna fall by the wayside.

And if we're not paying attention to that skill and we're not developing it and we're not persevering, then there's no way it's going to improve. So that's something to keep in mind. That's the first one. Perseverance. Keep sticking to your goals, keep persevering and go after the hard ones first.

The second characteristic is endurance, and this is goal related, so you really want to be keeping your long term goals in mind. Don't think short term, [00:04:00] think long term. So if your goal ultimately is to get a job in the US , then what is it that you have to do to be able to do that? You might not be in the US currently.

You might be somewhere else, you might still be in university, or you might still be in high school, or you might still be in a program that you're doing, a certification program, but you wanna have that goal in mind of, okay, entering the workforce, being in the US or another English speaking country, if that's your goal.

And thinking about a cost-benefit analysis long term. So not thinking about your day to day goals as much. Those are important too, but in the context of grit and language learning, you want the long term goals to be at the forefront.

So if that means you need to write out your goals, put them on a post-it, put them on a poster, put them on your desktop background or your phone screen and look at that and have that be a constant reminder to you do that. Remember your why. Let's say that goal of yours is to be in the US and find a job in the us Why? Figure out what the why is. Maybe that's not actually what you want. Maybe you want a really great English speaking job, but in your home country, or maybe you want to be an artist whose clients are mostly an English speaking country so that you can practice your English that way and interact with people that way.

Whatever it is, figure out your why. That's the fire that keeps burning, right? That's what is going to keep you going. That's gonna allow you to persevere. Remember the first one, and keep to your long term goals. Becuase if you have that long term goal in mind, you're gonna do whatever it is in your power to keep that fire burning and really thinking about it.

Okay? So if that's my long term goal, what does my day-to-day look like? If my long term goal is to get a job in the us, then I need to brush up on interview skills. I need to make sure I'm communicating in English well. I need to spice up my resume. I need to spruce up my other types of skills, whatever it is, maybe pronunciation. So really remembering your why is going to help fuel your passion for pursuing that goal long term. Because the goal doesn't really just happen in one go. It doesn't get achieved in one quick try or attempt. It takes time.

Particularly the hefty goals, the large goals, the big life goals. 

That requires incremental progress and you'll get there. You just have to remember to keep those long term goals in mind because it's easy to get caught up in the day to day. Which again, are important too, but in terms of grit, you want those long-term goals somewhere where you can see them at your desk, on your phone, wherever you look every day.

All right. Number three, resilience. This is a big one, so this is about being able to stand back up when you fall down, metaphorically speaking. So being able to look failure in the face and saying, I'm not afraid of you, meaning failure. I'm not afraid of failing. Failing is what's gonna allow me to know what my weaknesses are and level up address those weaknesses, address those areas of improvement and level up.

So this is about having optimism, creativity, confidence. It's okay to fail. If you're not failing, then you're not taking risks. And if you're not taking risks, then you're not growing because you're just in a complacent comfort zone. And growth doesn't happen in the comfort zone. So really keeping that in mind, resilience is what's gonna help you bounce back.

 If you make a mistake, that's okay. Just get back up and try again.

So you might feel like if you make a mistake or if you fail, then that's it. Your goals are out the window. You're not worthy of your goals or whatever other nonsense your inner critic wants to tell you. Don't listen to that voice. Remember your why. Keep those long term goals in mind again. And try to seek out opportunities that are going to force you to be resilient.

Actively, seek those situations where you're challenging yourself. You are going to most likely make a mistake or most likely fail in that attempt. That is okay. That is what builds resilience. Resilience is also a muscle. If we don't practice getting knocked down and then picking ourself back up, then if we get knocked down, we're gonna be in complete shock that we're not gonna know what to do.

Or it might startle us so much and scare us so much into inertia. And if you're inert, you're not doing anything, you don't have that momentum. So I really encourage you to put yourself out there. Make the mistakes, make those pronunciation errors, make those grammar errors, make any kind of language error you can try out vocabulary that you're not sure about. Try out an expression that you're not really sure if it's a right context for, and it's okay to preface it with, Look, I don't know if this is the right expression to use, but here's a shot. I'm gonna try this anyway. You need to build that muscle.

All right. And the second part of that, but it is separate in its own right. It's courage. So having that bravery, having that moment where you say, I'm gonna be confident, even though I'm terrified, , it's that kind of courage that you want, whether it be you deciding to run a meeting, whether it be, you decide to organize a work event, or maybe you have a event coming up and you wanna put together.

Type of colloquium, or maybe you wanna put together a speech or some other event or something that really forces you to get out of your comfort zone. Do you have the courage to do that? And if the answer is yes, then that's good. That's the answer we want. Because it allows you to really start telling yourself that feeling that I have those butterflies in my stomach is par for the course. That is required for me to get out of my comfort zone, to feel those challenges, to rise up to the occasion. If I don't feel those butterflies in my stomach, then I'm not doing something right. So this is what I mean by really going after those moments where you have to rely on your courage.

You have to be brave. For a lot of people that's putting themselves out there in terms of social interaction. That's putting themselves in situations where they're bound to feel social anxiety, where they're nervous to speak to other people, where there might be a situation where they're in the spotlight. Maybe they're in a meeting, maybe they're invited to be a speaker, maybe they're invited to do a Zoom conference, and they're the person who is supposed to be the expert. Finding opportunities like this and moments where you have to rely on that bravery.

All right, and then we have number five conscientiousness. That is a mouthful. Conscientious. Okay.

This is when you have the desire to do your work thoroughly, completely, and well as best you can, and it's achievement oriented. That's the most powerful type of conscientiousness. So achievement oriented means you have a goal in mind. Again, we're talking about our long-term goals that take time. You have that goal in mind, and nothing is going to get in your way of achieving that goal.

You are not tied up and bogged down with the day to day steps that are gonna have you get to that goal. You are more focused on that long term achievement. You are achievement oriented. You are orienting yourself to achieving that goal no matter what. You know you can achieve that goal, and that is what you're getting after.

You need to make sure you're committing to your goals, and this is why it's important to not have too many goals. Because if you have too many goals, then you're probably not going to be able to give all of them the fullest attention possible. So have just one or two goals at the start, and once you achieve those goals, then move on to the next set of goals.

But you really want to think of it as, okay, I have this goal in mind. I know that there are steps I'm gonna take to get to that goal, but I'm not focused on just, having the best training sessions, best practice sessions with each of those steps that I take. There are some days where I'm not gonna be do doing that.

Great. There are some days where I'm gonna do really well, but my focus is on that main goal. If you do that, then nothing is gonna stop you. That is conscientiousness, that is achievement oriented. So for example, let's say an athlete is an Olympian. They're trying out for the Olympics, they're training for the Olympics.

Their goal is gold to get the gold medal. They are not thinking of anything else. Their one goal is to get gold. Okay? 

They're showing up each day. Each time they train, they are showing up for that gold medal. They are not showing up for the training session. That's not the point. The point is gold, right? That's their goal and that's the point. So for you, if your goal is to interact more with native speakers, then that's what you're gonna focus on.

You're gonna do everything that you can to keep doing well with your communication, to interact intelligibly with first language speakers or native language speakers, and you're not gonna focus on every single interaction you have, some might go really smoothly, some might go really well, while others might not, you're not gonna get bogged down by each and every single one.

If they go well, if they don't, you are going to focus more so on the overarching goal of your interaction skills, your communication, your conversation, are you doing all the things that you need to do? The listening, the turn, taking the small talk, the nonverbal. The confidence. Are you doing all of these things?

And if you are, then your attention is on that goal, whatever that goal is.

And so specifically with language learning, you might actually even have more specific goals in mind. You might say, I want to have natural conversation with first language speakers.

I want to be able to pick out any English language book and understand it. You go to the library, you see all these books. Whatever one you choose, you wanna be able to understand whatever book you choose. Or maybe you have the goal of watching English language movies without subtitles. So find those goals. Think about your goals that matter to you personally and professionally, and then commit to them and keep those goals in mind. Those goals are the gold that you're after.

So those are the five characteristics of grit. All of these combined make up grit, and as you can see, there's a lot that we can draw from when we're talking about improving language and communication skills in English. So if you want to perform better, if you want to keep achieving your goals and maybe even get after those goals that you didn't even think were possible. You need to start building that grit by doing those five things that we talked about, the perseverance, the courage, the resilience, the conscientiousness, and the endurance. All of these combined are going to give you that grit. You are going to have grit that no one can take away from you. And the more you practice these five skills, these characteristics of grit, the more grit you will have. And that can translate into many different aspects of your life, not just English language learning.

All right, advanced English learners. Thank you so much for joining me for this lesson. I hope that you enjoyed it. I hope that you took away some nice pointers from the lesson. Feel free to have a look at the blog post where I outline everything in text format so that you're able to read it and review it and refer to it whenever you'd like.

You can also listen to this as many times as you want, watch it again and again. Share it with your friends. This might be one that you'd refer to periodically or as often as every month to make sure that you're checking in with yourself, you're going after those long term goals, and you're setting those goals for yourself, for your success, for your future enrichment, and upgrading your life ultimately.

 I do hope that you enjoyed it. Also, definitely check out our podcast if you haven't already, and you can leave us a nice review. You can leave up to five stars and share that with friends and family and anyone who's interested in improving their English language skills and communication.

And speaking of communication, I have a separate channel and podcasts and website called Explearning, so definitely check that out if you are interested in going to the next level with your English communication skills and your social skills and public speaking and interviewing. So we have hundreds of lessons there as well, and I would really encourage you to use them both in tandem, so both advanced English and Explearning.

Both advanced English and Explearning together make a very powerful duo. They're a power couple . All right, and I will see you very soon for another advanced English lesson. We'll keep advancing your English together. Until then, keep of the awesome work and I will see you very soon. Bye for now.