Blogmas – Demanding too much of oneself

I know it’s late, it’s the 8th of December and I decided I wanted to discipline myself with my blog writing by actually documenting this December, through Blogmas.

I will want to recover the previous 7 days by writing or sharing other insights and I will want to do it next week, because I have some days off. But today, it’s Blogmas No.8 :D. Hello! I want to touch the subject of demanding too much of oneself, or in a way trying to be more than what you should focus on, because there’s so much competition and, if you’re like me, you strive to attain sometimes, the same objectives, that actually, define someone else’s life path. But, because we live in this consuming society and social media is all over, our friends or people we follow make us want to need things and this makes us, sometimes demand too much from ourselves. Or at least, that’s how I feel.

I realised that I am getting inspiration from reading about a diverse range of topics. I am really motivated to write and share all these aspects I find enjoyable, useful, futuristic and engaging, but rarely actually get myself disciplined into jotting down the ideas I want to cover and actually start blogging. This Blogmas I will do this. This should not be taken as a demanding activity I ask of myself, rather, it’s a form of disciplining myself to be blogging and start living what I see at others that I aspire to be like.

I am hoping this would serve as a catalyst for you too, to discipline yourself with one thing only at a time in order to get what you desire.

We usually demand too much of ourselves because we feel we want to be the best, or better than someone else, with whom we compare ourselves. From my own humble existential experience so far, I have gathered in my thoughts cupboard that I tend to compare myself with either a person that I admire or a person that I am jealous of. And, the truth is, a lot of the times, we believe we are better than the person of whom we are jealous, which makes us be in a love-hate relationship with our own goals and with the discipline we know we have to work on to actually be in that spotlight that we so much admire and believe should be ours. Or maybe it’s just me. When I compare myself with someone I admire, I am inspired to share similar content or knowledge to what I see and enjoy, because I am drawn to that. Usually, when I admire someone, it’s because they are at a stage that I am striving to attain and I know it’s not going to be easy, and that person shares views or opinions very similar to mines.

When I compare myself to someone I am jealous of (because they have reached a point in their life that I wanted too, but I feel that person got it way too easy – of course, that’s a misconception – because they do something that I want to do too, but it feels like, that person stole my idea – again, there’s plenty of space under the sun – because the person is suddenly saying, doing or sharing things or stuff I know better than themselves, and I feel they share that for the money, for the trend, and not because that’s something they really believe in) it’s very toxic. I get demotivated to do things because “What’s the point?”, because that information or knowledge or idea was already shared in a quite good format and I, deep down, liked it too, but at the surface, my ego is saying “No, that’s not that good! I would have done it better!” and this idea of “I would have done it better” is extremely poisonous to our souls. We start thinking we are better and more talented than the persons we are jealous of and we believe of ourselves we still have time to do what we wish to work on, yet we never do, because we are subconsciously demotivated by that person’s success or what we believe and perceive as success (as this is experienced differently and uniquely by everyone) and we are actually jealous that they do “just do it” and a lot of the times, this jealousy does emerge from a quality or physical thing that we want very much for ourselves. As an example, a person I am jealous of is a Youtuber, but she is Romanian, and admitting to myself that I am actually jealous is a big thing and the first step in recovery, but I feel that I am actually jealous that she has the courage and the persistence of doing what she wants. I guess I started on the wrong foot because I could have had everything I wanted but I got myself into some trouble with loans and debts when younger and it’s taking me to a point that I had to work whatever (sacrificing my desires and my soul path) just to pay off the debts. Because I was working in a field I had no interest in, I worked a lot and overworked just to pay the bills, this has eventually hurt my motivation and got me to a point that I had no more energy left to actually pursue my passions and this job I had that paid the bills and helped with money budgeting began as a helping hand but it was supposed to be temporary and it became permanent which in turn made me a slave to the lifestyle the job was offering me. This comfort is hard to give up and I suppose it is easy to be jealous of someone that you think they got it easy because they did not have to struggle with something you had to struggle with. It’s a vicious circle. But the thinking pattern is wrong, it’s poisonous, it’s soul crashing. To get out of this, you need to gain perspective or rather, to re-gain it and re-think and re-group yourself from everything you had been through. To actually stop being jealous of that person, you need to forgive yourself for not doing more to reach that destination you think you should have been at by this point in time and not feel jealous of the person that did reach it because they had a different experience. They have other struggles and your own path is unique. So, to stop demanding too much of oneself, I believe, it is important to recognise the pain you hold inside, the poison cocktail made up of regrets, comparisons with the wrong persons, society and family expectations of you, your own erroneous perceptions of your future self, your hate towards your past decisions, your unwillingness to forget yourself which is transforming into perfectionism and this idea, an unconscious idea (just like in Inception, the movie, a small thought) that you do not deserve more because you have not reached those expectations you had of yourself. Maybe this jealousy is actually connected to the fact that you do not feel you deserve more because you have made big mistakes (which may again be a subjective perception) and you need to punish yourself, and because you followed that path which did not lead you to the desired outcome, you do not trust you could make a better decision in the future and you feel jealous that someone, similar to you, has actually managed to forgive themselves for their own mistakes and moved forward.

Maybe we are jealous because we do not think that the person we are jealous of deserves to forgive themselves, because we cannot forgive our own selves and we have this subconscious belief that we need to punish ourselves to deserve something, to be worthwhile of abundance. When someone that we engage with seems to have similar ideas as we have in a certain area that we are interested in and we want to reign it over, but they dare to do it and do not ask for anyone’s permission to do it, we might feel betrayed because “hey, we are the same in a way, why are you not punishing yourself anymore?”, “I still need to punish myself” and “I am not happy you left me here, I now hate you” but, there are times “I still love you” because it’s still a part of us in that person, we resonate with the person we are jealous of, we have common grounds too and we used to be in the same spot, it’s a love-hate relationship with the person we are jealous of, career wise, in my insight, anyway.

Something else, that I feel, is that, when we start doing what we want and what we dream of doing or buying, and we let ourselves experience that which we refrain from because we deep down feel we do not deserve it, we start having this tolerance towards the person we are jealous of, it’s like the jealousy diminishes and we actually go back to the initial relationship we once had with the person, of acceptance and “I vibe with you, I like you now”. So to stop being jealous we have to follow our dreams and wishes and work on something we are passionate about in the midst of the storm. That’s what makes us free of this jealousy.

Whenever I do a little more from that of which I want to accomplish, I feel less jealous of that Youtuber I was giving you the example with. And that happens because I know I am on my own path, and I am happy with my path.

If you are not happy with your path, you will start demanding a lot of yourself to cover for the fact you are not actually at peace with that, which you know you should be doing, but procrastinate because it’s harder to work on something you desire and on something you are passionate about than it is to go work. Self imposed discipline is quite hard to stick to because you do not see instant results, whereas at work, you get paid every month. It’s like a constant cognitive dissonance between what you know you could do and want to, but lack the energy and discipline to focus on tangible aspects that can be altered to divide that energy into activities that take you closer to your destinations and the actual 9-5 work and the other thing that creates this distress is the fact you kind of enjoy your current mood and comfortable lifestyle, generated by this external imposed 9-5 discipline of the work you do. I wish I could say, I know how it is because I had been there, but … I still am.

When I demand a lot of myself, I realise I also demand or expect a lot from the others around me. I expect the same level of excellency I offer. I expect the same level of conscientiousness and seriousness and I most of the times form a level of expectancy higher than the norm and higher than what can potentially be offered. We are human beings prone to mistakes and errors and we all struggle in a way or another. We need to remind ourselves more often that we are doing the best that we can at this moment in time, with the knowledge we have at this particular point in time. We are doing enough. But not enough for our egos. It’s our ego who is jealous, it’s our ego who is demanding. It’s not us.

This December, remember this more often and be more kind to yourself, to actually be kinder to the others. 🙂

The way you describe your work reflects your inner self - how your job is related to your hidden self
Photo By Chris Liu

11 best and inspirational articles about learning languages I found online

“Language is not a genetic gift, it is a social gift. Learning a new language is becoming a member of the club – the community of speakers of that language”- Frank Smith. Now, I do not know who Frank Smith is, but when I found this quote online I truly integrated that. I recently joined a community of foreign language speakers on social media, mostly on Instagram and if before this decision, everything in my feed was more related to fashion, beauty and beautiful pictures, it’s now pretty much language and learning foreign languages content. It is more motivational than I really thought it would be and more fun than I expected it to be. Although I cannot possibly check all new posts, I feel really impressed and pleasantly surprised to report back that social media can make you feel inspired to do stuff than just make you drool on the pictures you see, leaving you feel like you are not accomplishing anything worthwhile in this life. Then I found this one: “The more languages you know, the more you are human” from another person I have no idea who he is, named Tomas Garrigue Masaryk. (note to self – to look those names up)

So these 2 quotes inspired me to search for more content on language learning to get insights, tips, tricks and share them here, but first, apply them myself. Here are some of the most inspirational and educational posts I found online on language learning to motivate you in your actions of foreign language learning.

1.I would like to begin with one short article that discusses some findings regarding how the brain learns a new word. And I quote:

Practising language is important. Every little helps. Just perception – listening – is helpful.

This suggests that even listening to a podcast such as CoffeeBreak on Spotify or similar ones, will help tremendously in you picking up the language faster. I can relate to this because while growing up I used to watch a lot of Spanish soap operas and when I started really learning Spanish in school, I was able not only to learn it faster but to also have this in the flow perception when learning anything new. It was not something I dreaded, even if it had to do with grammar because I simply loved the language. I was accustomed to it and it was easy to make my learning and language skills progress way faster.

the researcher … thought repetition is the key – but the brain learned best when it was relaxed and not trying to remember anything at all. {…} you remember because you go back to it again and again. {…} the brain has to determine what it is important and what’s not.

This really supports what I was mentioning above with the state of flow I was finding myself whenever I was having my Spanish classes, whenever I was learning on my own or watching something in Spanish. This means if you want to learn a language, you must do it because you really want to learn that target language, not because it is something someone is telling you to do, not because you imposed on yourself to learn a new language or a specific language. You must have a connection with the foreign language you choose to learn. That’s when passion blends with learning and if your attitude towards learning is relaxed, you are more likely to quickly become fluent.

Read more in this article.

2.This article was written by Amy Thompson who is an associate professor of Applied Linguistics at University of South Florida and she studies how learning languages can have cognitive and emotional benefits. 2 key concepts are discussed here: cultural competence and tolerance of ambiguity.

Cultural competence is opening people’s eyes to a way of doing things that;s different to their owns. Tolerance of ambiguity refers to the comfort level a person experiences when dealing with unfamiliar situations.

Analysing cultural stereotypes when learning a new language means also learning a new way of thinking and behaving, much like in this quote: “Learning a foreign language not only reveals how other societies think and feel, what they have experienced and value, and how they express themselves, it also provides a cultural mirror in which we can, more clearly, see our own society.” Chancellor Edward Lee Gorsuch. This chinese proverb says it all: “To learn a new language is to have one more window from which to look at the world.”

The second part of the post deals with the tolerance of ambiguity concept which the author pinpoints as follows:

Someone with a high tolerance of ambiguity finds unfamiliar situations rather exciting than frightening. {…} Conversations in a foreign language will inevitably involve unknown words. {…} Those with a high tolerance of ambiguity would feel comfortable maintaining the conversation despite the unfamiliar words involved.

To read the full article pop on here.

3.Can learning a new language boost your creativity? So, nowadays we see a lot of content, books and highlight put on creativity because as Einstein says it “creativity is intelligence having fun” and it’s more important to be creative than smart, or something along those lines. Learning something new requires our brains to adapt quickly and grab every method out there to get to the outcome desired. This goes the same way with language learning. It has been researched and the result is that learning a foreign language expands our divergent thinking. The author explains this:

At a very basic level, learning a foreign language requires us to construct and negotiate the unique architecture in which it consists. Each new language we learn presents us with new barriers when trying to convey meaning. {…} As your mind generates possibilities in order to negotiate these barriers, it engages in a potent form of divergent thinking – the very thinking that drives creativity.

Of course the method you use to learn the language can interfere in this enhancement of creative power and classic teaching focusing on memorising grammar structures and the focus on giving always the “correct answer” to problem solving is not going to achieve that outcome. The author is quoting Sir Ken Robinson as he is arguing the fact that the educational system has become so obsessed with avoiding mistakes that because of that “we are educating people out of their creative capabilities”.

More of your creativity related questions with regards to learning a foreign language are answered by the author in this blog post.

4.Things bilingual people do. This explores a different version of how bilinguals experience the world around them. It is as funny as it is based on science and research and it’s just something different to read to give you a little bit of inspiration. Marta Krzeminska, language passionate at LinguaLift blog writes about all things connected to language learning and learners. Have a go here.

5.From the same author I would like to also include a little info-graphic which should give you the push to include a little bit of language learning in your daily schedule. I was checking that out because I wanted to see how is the world, if you can say that, taking into account it’s just around 200 people the study was conducted on, incorporates foreign language study in their busy schedules. I am someone that prefers to embrace language learning throughout the day, for few minutes, for pleasure and not as a form of “I must learn this, it’s on my TO DO LIST.” That never worked for me. I have to find it fun and easy and relaxing. More insightful info to look at in the link Language Learning Habits.

6.Are language learning apps really that effective? I was actually asking this myself because the theory you have in mind is that you need a teacher, a classroom and a schedule and constant memorising. It’s not fun, maybe that’s why I postponed so much initiating a new foreign language learning. So, I have discovered a different approach mainly after watching this Youtube video, and then discovered some other polyglot Youtubers who kept mentioning about all these free apps which you can use to learn a language. My first thought was that it’s not sustainable. You need structure, grammar and a clear direction on what you are studying and how you are going to fulfil the learning material to make sure there is results soon and visible. An app would only and can only teach you so much as to words, vocabulary and help you memorise it better or faster. The article explores in my opinion the history of language learning, starting from audiolingualism, getting to the communicative approach and ending with the foreign language learning apps. The authors, all working at the University of Bath as course leaders are Mike Groves, Diana Hopkins and Tom Reid and I could not agree more with their findings related to the fact that the language learning apps can only work as an useful supplement when learning a new language but it is also a great tool to help literacy where that is not possible and give the option to everyone through free apps to learn a language and be able to articulate basics in a foreign language. In my own experience, learning a few minutes every day through the app is making me curious and excited for the next learning experience because I see progress straight away. And that’s because it’s few words. But if you consider the theory by which if you set yourself a goal and you dedicate 1 minute per day to that goal every day, simply because you learn fast and remember for the next day, makes you feel satisfied with yourself and keeps you going. It keeps you motivated and sooner than you realise you will extend the time from 1 minute to 5, and so on, until it truly becomes a habit and a passion, something that you enjoy doing rather than something you dread starting. So, in my opinion language learning apps are amazing, they are of course just a supplement as you could never really become advanced just by using an app, but most likely it helps shape the patterns to learning and it is motivating you towards bigger goals.

More reading on the subject of audiolingualism (the drill where students repeat sentences over and over until they memorise it and recognise it in practice), the communicative approach (which relates to: it’s better to speak broken grammar and good pronunciation than perfect grammar but wrong pronunciation, as in that situation you cannot make yourself understood) and the audio-lingual drilling can be found here. The apps I use for language learning are Drops and LingQ.

7.The mind of the language learner written by Steven Kaufmann (who created also the LingQ app for language learning), the linguist that can speak 17 languages explores in this article how the mind of the reader can be associated with the mind of the language learner by seeing yourself as someone that can learn, that enjoys learning and that is positive about the learning/reading.

8.Storytelling to learn languages. This is written by Luca Lampariello and he is a well known figure in the kingdom of polyglots and his insights and language learning observations are probably where most of the new arrived on the market polyglots get their information or learning tips they share online too. He is explaining this article that stories help us memorise vocabulary and so “It’s not a coincidence that one of the most popular techniques among memory experts is to build a story around what they want to remember.” as he writes. I mean, storytelling does everything that we need to acquire the language: stories are fun, full of vocabulary that has context for the new words, stories teach us how to speak the way the foreigner of that target language expresses himself or herself, configuring the grammar in a cultural immersion and linguistic environment. I also loved this article because Steve Kaufmann’s app LingQ is based on stories and reading and hearing the stories there helps a lot with pronunciation, spelling and both visualisation of the words in context.

I am leaving for the end the best of the articles I found online about language learning and one of them is about the importance of the digital language divide.

9.How does the language you speak shape your experience of the internet? written by Holly Young. This is probably one of the most interesting and inspirational piece of content relating to language learning and foreign languages online. I found reading it like a breath of fresh air in the large ocean of alike foreign language posts and articles found on the internet. It makes you think, it makes you wonder and it makes you want to do something about it. If you are like me, and you do speak a language that is only based in that specific country, you do want to preserve it, you do feel it is important that we keep the culture and not globalise everything because the official language online is English (thus highlighting more English learning than our own culture and native languages, simply because that’s the universal language now). The article explores how countries in which English or any other foreign language learning is a priority puts that city/town/maybe even country to being excluded from information as all information online is in English. Lacking English language skills makes one vulnerable to outdated information and inability to find new information in one’s native language due to lack of translation because everyone assumes that everyone knows or should know English. Here’s my highlights:

Inequalities in the information available for different languages online has implications for who and what gets represented – and by whom. {research based on word searches related to the language spoken pinpoints that 11% of people are multilingual on Twitter and 15% on wikipedia} Multilinguals have the power to be influential whether it is translating and bringing foreign concepts into different language editions on Wikipedia, or moving breaking local news stories to new language communities and different geographies.

Twitter has a particularly high number of Malay, Portuguese and Spanish users also tweeting in English.

The research of Andras Kornai at the paper Digital Language Death claims to present evidence of a massive die – off caused by the digital divide. Will the internet act as a catalyst for the extinction of many of the world’s languages?

Access to internet also offers the opportunity for linguistic empowerment : to document and preserve languages, to share teaching online to encourage new speakers, to translate important information for marginalised groups and to even create virtual communities of speakers where they may struggle to exist offline.

{the Endangered languages project} Is there a danger however that instead, new users, influenced by the volume of content in more dominant languages, will abandon their mother tongues online?

research suggests that speakers of smaller languages online will often opt to use the internet in a larger language, even if they don’t speak it well.

10.The only post you’ll ever need to learn a language in record time by Tim Ferris. I am not even going to dive into this one. This is what you will learn from reading it:

How to speak your target language today.
How to reach fluency and exceed it within a few months.
How to pass yourself off as a native speaker. And finally, how to tackle multiple languages to become a “polyglot”—all within a few years, perhaps as little as 1-2.

11.And finally, the last inspirational resource I discovered online about foreign language learning is contained in a series of articles written by Kevin Morehouse, named Language News from Around the World. As the title suggests, it’s like a newsletter with everything fresh. The blog has not been updated in a while but still, scrolling through older versions, I could still find great language learning content and more news around foreign languages.

To end, I will include some inspirational quotes that I really find motivating to help you initiate this foreign language learning habit. I trust it will be of use to you!

“Language reflects the soul of the people.” Paul Schibler
“The spirit of a language is most clearly expressed in its untranslatable words.” Baroness Marie ‘Freifrau’ von Ebner-Eschenbach
“With each language, you learn to free yourself from your trapped spirit.” Friedrich Ruckert

“With foreign words on our tongue comes also the foreign spirit into our world.” Carl Theodor Korner

Why should you learn a (new) foreign language?

Apart from the obvious, for the sake of it, (nah, just kidding!) because you love that specific language, because you like the culture and because it looks good on your resume, (if you actually can speak it fluently), I have other reasons behind why you should learn another or (if this is the first time you are learning a new language) A foreign language.

We live in a multicultural world. And we see more and more that more people with different cultural backgrounds move from one country to another. They do that to obtain a better life, career and improve their social status and when that happens, you inevitably are forced to learn the language of the country you move in. The people that move countries to study for short or long term also have this need and some have the desire to learn the language of the host country. There is lots of travellers, digital nomads and entrepreneurs that set their businesses up in other countries. All these people come with their own language and the people living in that country are interested in their culture too, they are interested in their language too and in everything surrounding the mystery of coming into one’s country.

It’s not just the people that come to live, work or study into another country that are interested in learning a new language or THAT language, it’s also the people that already represent the country that have an interest in the language of the immigrants. It’s a cultural exchange as much as it is a language exchange. It is not as much seen in the UK from what I hear from people, not many are interested in learning another language, but there are still new foreign language learners through the ones that do not decide to leave their country and emigrate, and they are interested in knowing the basics to better cope with immigrants and to visit other countries. Common languages in Europe for people to study are English, French, Spanish, German, Dutch, Italian.

Why do we even learn languages in school? There are many reasons behind this. Even if you think, it’s not something interesting or useful, you are actually wrong. If there is something worthwhile your time and effort in school, it’s foreign languages. What does learning foreign languages mean and why do we have to have it in the curriculum? Why? Well:

-To open our possibilities for work, first in our own countries, because businesses are collaborative with other countries and so, countries need to prepare its population for other companies or investors taking over, improving the life of its citizens with maybe better jobs, better wages, better conditions. You may think that the first reason behind the opening of our horizons would be to have this possibility to go abroad and make it easy for people living in a new country, but it is not. The first reason is to adapt to the local economy changing and adapting to a global multicultural economy. If all nations are to thrive, better multicultural communication must occur. That can happen if we speak each others languages, understand each others cultures and adapt to it. Speaking to someone in their own native language not only makes them more open to us (whether as an individual or a business) but also respectful of the idea that we are trying and we are interested. Because we care (if we think in this example, we are the immigrants – and think about yourself, if you meet a foreigner who can speak your language, you are more prone to respect that person). The same way for someone coming in the host country. Secondly, the reason learning a new foreign language can enhance our work options, is through the common aspect of moving to work and live in that particular country we are learning the language of. Learning each others nations languages means the nations can exchange people, human resources and business options for better profits. In the end, we are all thinking about a better more sustainable financial life.

-To improve the brain’s functions and memory because learning a new language it’s not just about language, it’s about memory and learning in general. The brain needs constant stimuli to grow more synapses, to help with memory and to enhance efficiency, productivity and prevent neuro-degenerative diseases that appear in life usually if the brain is not trained. Just as we train our bodies, we need to train our brains too. It’s a muscle, and you may have heard that by now so many times. In research, bilinguals have been shown to have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer disease than monolinguals. This suggests that learning another language does for your mind what exercise does for your body, enabling you to retain your language skills into old age.

-To communicate with other people and understand different cultures, thus helping people to become more tolerant, more understanding, better equipped to deal with future global challenges. I have heard many polyglots speaking about the impact their language skills and foreign language learning has had on their ability to cope with cultural differences and people in general. From my own experience, I can say the same thing. You become more tolerant, less judgemental and more understanding, more compassionate. This can only do good for us in life and improve not only our life quality with people, but these people’s lives with us. The way they interact with us is also a struggle for them, not just for us. The cultural background plays a fundamental role in perceiving and reacting to other people’s communication to us. That cultural background is reflected in the language that we all speak. The way we speak in our native language usually shows something about how our brains work, how we think, how we act, how we were thought to live. Every culture has that. Everyone’s language is important because it is impregnated in their behaviour, in their attitude in life, in their work life and in their daily experiences. So, if we all collectively are bilinguals rather than monolinguals, we will make the world a better place, simply because we will all understand each other much better, maybe not (as that may be impossible) globally or in a specific language, but at an emotional level. We develop our emotional intelligence when we are bilinguals. Imagine how much of an understanding and more meaningful human relations we can all have, if we are polyglots. And you do not need to speak another language at a proficiency level. And to be a polyglot, you do not need to know 10 languages. If it’s 3 languages already that you speak, you are a polyglot.

From my own experience, especially because I work in a call centre environment for a financial institution and I get to speak with people from all walks of life and with multicultural backgrounds, I can say, that I relate differently to people whose languages I know, compared to people whose languages I know nothing about. And what do I mean by that? Well, I have noticed that I am much helpful and enjoy interacting to people who are native speakers of French, Spanish, Italian rather than let’s say Indians or Chinese or Polish. Stereotypes also play a huge role, and when you really cannot understand people over the phone and their accent really cannot make you understanding of their situation (because a lot of the times, you think, if I live here just like you, why can’t you properly learn English too?) you tend to act or behave, think and respond like a monolingual rather than a bilingual. And it is a strange thing. I am not saying this happens solely with the examples given above, those are just examples and by no means I wish to say that I am finding it difficult to communicate with people from India, China or Poland. It’s an example, just as it would be if I said Javanese (yes, with V, there’s no spelling error there), Malay or Bulgarian. I am referring to languages to which I was not exposed and was not exposed to understanding their culture or lifestyle, therefore their language seems unimportant. And them not being able to speak it, makes them less able to be seen as important. And that’s where the trouble is.

We think that if someone does not speak our language (or the common language used to communicate, example here English) that person won’t be able to understand us, we won’t be able to understand them, because we do not know their native language, and (since they immigrated here) we need to distance ourselves from that person because we cannot communicate and we do not want to make it hard on ourselves to try to understand. It takes a lot of effort to understand someone else. To listen. That effort is something that our brains are not used to. Our brains are hard wired to learn familiarity and to react to familiarity in a way of by default type, with less processing thought, with little effort. Effort requires energy from our part, which when dealing with something unfamiliar, like in this case, a foreigner who is trying to articulate something in English, we do not want to deal with this. They should change THEIR attitude and learn it better, if they moved here, right? (common misjudgement) That’s what we have all felt at some point in time. THEY should make the effort. Not us. Well, that’s what will change when you become bilingual or study to turn yourself into a polyglot. YOU WILL CHANGE THAT IGNORANT ATTITUDE TOWARDS PEOPLE. And if we could all try this, we would be in a much happier place. Tolerance is not just about sexual orientation and gender issues. Tolerance is as per definition the ability or willingness to accept and embrace the existence of opinions or behaviour that one dislikes or disagrees with. It’s understanding that we are all different and we are all good enough and worthy EQUALLY.

In my own experience, I have become tolerant because I knew more languages, but I also improved and enlarged my tolerance because I became interested in even more languages. I purchased myself this wonderful book named Babel, written by Gaston Dorren, a true polyglot that speaks Dutch, Limburgish, English, German and Spanish and reads French, Afrikaans, Frisian, Portuguese, Italian, Catalan, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Luxembourgish and Esperanto and while writing Babel he attempted learning Vietnamese. Now, 2 of those languages, I was not aware they existed, until I read about him! So, there’s so many things we are not aware of and the fact that we are not open to new things, because they are not familiar to us, makes us intolerant. This book, Babel takes you through an exploration of the world through 20 most spoken languages on the Globe. That’s the book that opened my eyes more to the language of Asia mostly. When you read about its history, the people and the language itself, you make comparisons with your own language and you integrate that into an understanding which makes you more compassionate and you are better prepared to not only understand someone from that culture at a human interaction level, but their point of view, their English topic which would a lot of the times be representing the way they think and speak in their language, and that’s just fascinating to me. Remember this quote every time you struggle with someone, and I think of it each time I find it difficult to understand someone, especially over the phone:

“Never make fun of someone who speaks broken English. It means they know another language.” H.Jackson Brown

I also think of myself when I speak to someone else. When you are a polyglot, and you are working in a country that is not that used to learning and speaking another language, you are seen as quite smart. Of course, I think of myself as smart, but you are seen as smart and sometimes a little bit different than if you spoke broken English. When your English is good you are appreciated but you are also gloriously making other people jealous of you and their behaviour towards you is a little bit mean sometimes. They do attempt to see if you really understand what they have meant towards you with their words or actions, or attitude. and when I experience that, I immediately think if I may act like that with other people whose background I do not relate to or are not that aware of. Being a polyglot and learning another or a new foreign language makes you very attentive to other people, sensible to their sayings to you, sensitive and perceptive of all subtle communication. You truly not just hear, you listen and understand the meaning behind their words much, much more.

If you learn another language or study to understand it, you will also experience a feeling of improved self esteem. You are able to communicate in other language. You are able to work, collaborate or study in a foreign language. You may be bilingual or a polyglot. You are amazing! Trust me, you are to be feared by other professionals, because knowing another language makes you more attractive to potential employers simply because having the foreign language skill you are an asset not just because of the language skill, but because of the meaning it has your knowledge for your attitude and work capacity in general. Tolerance to other cultures, means also the fact that you are more tolerant in general. When you expand one ability, you don’t just expand the ability to be tolerant only with people of other cultures, you expand your ability in general for tolerating new, emerging things that pop in your life. And that may be a schedule at work, a shift, a workload, etc. You are more adaptable. More flexible. When you are thought to be like that, you are believed to be more reliable, you are believed to have perseverance and you are looked at as more open to challenges, which is what every company needs, someone to do the job and not fade down in the face of difficulties. That’s why you need to learn another language.

And with so many and free options these days, there is nothing stopping you. A competitive advantage starts with the capacity – in EVERY SINGLE JOB MARKET – to be able to learn something FAST and be able to ACT ON IT, to go and work with the unfamiliar. Are you ready for that?

Any thoughts?

Thoughts on how I plan to learn multiple languages at the same time – Polyglot 101

First, we need to start with attitude and thinking patterns around learning a foreign language. I would like to start by addressing the perfectionism idea behind learning foreign languages, especially if it comes to learning multiple languages at the same time. There is this need people have to become perfect in their target language, or to be perfect while learning a foreign language or to do it right and hard and with the perfect effort to have perfect results. And that’s because we fear rejection. We fear we are not going to be good enough if we do not do it perfectly. This is going to be even harder to take in if the one you feel you are disappointing is yourself because you have set up incredibly non-achievable goals and objectives.

The reason that may actually be holding you back from learning a new language may be that you fear to be rejected by your own self, your own high expectations when it comes to performing, when it comes to bringing in results, because, hey, I have put this amount of efforts in self sabotage thoughts. If you are a perfectionist, you will feel that if I do not do this perfectly, I will not be good enough and I will lower my self esteem even more. If I am not perfect, I am not good enough, therefore I cannot do this or worse, I do not deserve this.

I do not want for this goal of mine to learn multiple languages at the same time to sound unrealistic for you, because that is not the point. Everyone has specific goals. I am not trying to compensate for the time in which I always wanted to learn a specific language but slowly had given up on that because I was feeling it was not useful. I am simply wanting to learn multiple languages because I know I can do it and because I really like these languages in which I want to gain fluency, at least at a conversational mode. Again, these languages are initially Italian and Portuguese and a little bit later on, Estonian. I also need to perfect my French. So the ones on which I will focus my attention will be initially Italian, Portuguese and French. Again, I do not want to be perfect or achieve mastery. And I know I will probably struggle and want to give up in the first month I decided to do this, but that will only happen strongly, if I set myself an unrealistic goal of mastery around these languages.

I am interested in letting you know that you can learn one language at a time or multiple languages if you want, even though everywhere on the internet I see that people and linguists say you should focus on one language. But that’s only if you wish to be advanced, truly advanced. So, I am sharing here tips and my plans on learning 3 languages (of which 1 I already have the skills and knowledge, but need practice – French, and the other 2 I can understand a little bit of) that I am already a little bit familiar with.

The trouble with perfectionism is that, first of all, it hunts me pretty well, and of course, I am not going to lie, I do wish deep down to gain fast and easy this fluency I am seeking, but, I know that it actually showcases an attitude of “I cannot be satisfied with nothing of what I get to accomplish”, because nothing is ever good enough, nothing is ever perfect, nothing is ever timed right, nothing is ever going to satisfy us. It’s a never ending formula of perform, perform, perform. The key is actually consistency when it comes to anything in life, and especially so when it comes to learning a foreign language, or in my case, with planning on learning multiple languages. There is also the fear of failure. If I do not get to learn this, then I will label myself as a failure, and then people will also see that, because I was not able to do this. But failure is normal. It’s human. As much as I do not like to encounter that, I know it will happen at some point in my journey, I will probably hit hard and who knows, I may come up with a blog post, Why you should not learn or set yourself goals to learn multiple languages at the same time. Which I really hope and will do my best, to not happen. Obviously, this article may make me sound or look perfectionist. Why would anyone need to learn more foreign languages, when you already know the universal one, English and 3 more, on top of that, that you can speak anyway good enough. And since the focus in life is “good enough”, then some people and maybe even myself if I was reading this, would assume that another polyglot has made you believe you need to learn more languages. You are not enough with 4 languages. You need to be perfect.

I do not need to be perfect. I simply like foreign languages. And Italian is thought to be the easiest language to learn. Portuguese is something I am familiar with because I can speak Spanish and these languages have lots of cognates between them, which I believe will make me learning them easier.

But without more rambling, let me tell you how I plan on learning these languages at the same time by pinpointing the second aspect I will take into consideration: Consistency & Persistence.

If there is something that is far more important than setting up the right language learning goals, it’s persistence. Without this, learning will never happen. How can you plan to be consistent though? With the right tools and the good time management.

what makes me feel successful

I do not want to feel like in school, I want this to be fun and for me to want to come to the activity of learning. To achieve this result, I need to have in action specific tools that will assist my progress. That is, sourcing for the best resources out there. Not grammar handbooks. Because I am not going to learn that much if foreign languages was only grammar study.

My tools will be self made tools consisting of: 1000 most common words of Italian, Portuguese and French with pronunciation; learning the most common verbs, learning 2-3 verb tenses to be able to speak of past, present and future activities, learning connecting words to be able to create sentences with proper usage of these connecting words, studying the connecting words, the conjugation and words that I want to know in that specific language (because I want these languages to be a part of my life from now on, and not happen what happened to me with French – no use, unable to speak it fluently), creating connections by listening to specific music in that language, understanding the culture, listening to podcasts in that language and translating the songs that I enjoy the most in all 3 languages, thus creating connections; then understand how people actually speak in that language by searching maybe Youtubers or blogs related to my passions and interests; try to read the news in that target language, consuming thus the culture and art of that specific language as it will create excitement and variety from the memorising stage. I also think using or trying language learning apps could help and I will try to use it to see how it works but I will not rely solely on that.

As my goal is a human interaction in the target language and not a perfect discourse, I believe everyone can, thus, learn a language easy and fast and without much stress or pressure to feel they need to be perfect. It will give space for mistakes, out of which we should be able to learn better after. A polyglot is after all someone that enjoys learning new languages for the sake of that language, culture, country and art with the focus on being able to interact with people, it’s not about becoming a linguist.

The last aspect about planning to learn multiple languages at the same time or any foreign language is connected to having fun. Making it easy for you to maintain persistence and that comes, always, with entertainment. In my case, discovering bloggers, youtubers, people that inspire me, from that country, reading their articles, following them on Instagram, thus listening to their stories, reading in their language what they write, keeping up with books from authors of that country or reading in the target language your favourite book can make it exciting and for me, it offers that feeling of “I cannot wait to be able to do this”. It’s a sense of accomplishment and as an example with my current foreign language, polyglot skills, when I hear people speaking in Spanish or French and they do not know I can understand them, because living in a multicultural city you encounter lots of people from all over the world, the feeling you have when you know what they talk about is like anything else in the world. It feels like, you knowing another language, you have the power to do more, to achieve more, to get along with anything that may come your way. It feels you can overcome any obstacles. That’s how I feel when I am able to speak multiple languages. Plus, you can also move anytime to that country and be able to be in a sense footloose. Free.

Do you have any tips on learning a new language?

How I was made into a Polyglot – 4 Languages

As a polyglot that has become a polyglot while still in school and with proper teacher studies, home works and schedules, it may seem a bit hard for someone to start learning a language by his/her own. Nevertheless, having language studies while you are still in school makes it easier to actually stick to learning it compared to having to learn it without any extrinsic motivation. In high-school, I learned Latin, Spanish, English, French and my native language, Romanian. Thinking about it now, that’s pretty impressive! My Latin skills though have dissipated completely, in part because I have not been able to practice it with anyone, and because it was not a language I was that interested in, in the first place. It was just something I was forced to learn due to my humanistic class type studies.

Photo credit @danielcgold

So, me coming up with tips and tricks and plans on how you can start learning a new language on your own, may not look very useful. However, I want to pinpoint the fact that I have maintained the level of all the other foreign languages and I can use them to have conversations, understand people speaking to me and reading in that particular language. I have maintained my polyglot skills because I have always been interested in being able to speak to and understand other people’s languages. My mom sent me to learn French initially in school, then after 2 years she decided I should do English and from the 5th grade onward until I graduated high school I had learned English and French at advanced levels. 2 more languages were added at the age of 14, 15 respective and that was Latin (5 years of study) and Spanish (4 years of study). It may look strange that I cannot speak Latin or understand it now even though I had been exposed to it more time than Spanish, and probably that stems from the fact that I love Spanish. Ever since I was 9 or 10 I was exposed to Spanish soap operas and that has hugely impacted my potential in Spanish learning and the fact that I was able to pick it up so quickly. I also loved so much speaking it at that time. I still do.

Photo credit: @danielcgold

This is just a little background of how I started with Languages. Basically, my mom wanted to give me a good start in life. She knew best. As all moms do. Now, while I was in school, of course learning foreign languages was quite academic and a lot of memorising had to take place in order for me to learn. It’s good it happened at an early age, because it helped a lot with my overall learning and memory skills. The main difference I would say for learning a language with teachers versus as a DIY is that you know you have to do the homework, learn and keep track of it. You cannot not go ahead with it. If you’re on your own, you need discipline. A lot of it.

Photo credit: @noemiphotography

I am not ashamed to say that I enjoy watching soap operas in Spanish and Portuguese (Brazilian version though) and because I watched a lot of that during my university studies, I had fallen in love with Brazilian. I was learning the language just by watching, hearing and memorising the words and their meanings from the subtitles. It was easy because it has a lot in common with Spanish. So in the summer of 2011 I had started a journey of exactly 2 months to learn Portuguese. I slowly but steadily had given up on it because other priorities have come up and because I was starting to lose my focus and my goal. 2 years before that, I had a crush on Japanese and only lasted for 1 month because everyone around me was telling me that it is useless to learn it and I should focus, instead on something I am passionate about which at that moment in time was Japanese, on things that really matter, such as my driver license (which I successfully failed) or my master’s degree. With Portuguese, I started feeling the same way, why should I learn a language that no company is actually in need of in my town? Why waste my time on this when I can pursue something that can bring me more monetary opportunities? Well, and this is future Georgyana to past Georgyana, because if there’s something you enjoy and feel attracted towards, you must follow it. I have made several mistakes like that one over the years. I could have spoken now around 8 or 9 languages if I had went away with MY hobbies and passions.

I was made into a polyglot but I could have been a better one had I kept my mind attached to my dreams. Now, when I want to learn more languages, I find everyone else around me is way ahead me. I have no time! But future Georgyana always highlights to present Georgyana that “That’s simply not true”.

And it certainly does not mean you cannot start learning a foreign language at whatever age you are now, even if it’s only the first foreign language you are going to learn, it is still not too late and it will definitely be much easier than you think it will be hard. I am in a way in the same position as you, I was made a polyglot, I was put into this and I believe it is a wonderful skill and a very helpful one too.

So, now that we have established we are on the same boat, let me tell you my plans on learning more languages, multiple languages at the same time and how to plan your learning so that you won’t feel as if you have to go to school, because we all know, we all did not want to go to school.

Photo credit: @unsplash

The main thing I noticed about me in learning languages is that being exposed to hearing it and to visual subtitles helped A LOT. That’s how I started with English, then with Spanish and Portuguese. By the way, I understand Portuguese a little bit, and also Italian (not sure how, but I think it is because of the similarities between the other foreign languages I know and my native one, Romanian) but would not be fluent in conversation. This means or this is what I believe it means, learning languages is going to be easy and fast if you get yourself exposed to it – be it, film, music, YouTube and even podcasts in the target language. That’s how I plan to become a polyglot.

I would not say at this point in time, I am interested in gaining mastery, because I think that comes with time and with focused interest in one language at a time, rather, I am interested in conversational, every day life and fluency: being able to speak, understand and have a nice good vocabulary, with basic grammar. I think that when you start learning something, whether that’s a new hobby, skill, activity or foreign language, you need to set a goal, an objective, a SMART goal. Specific, measurable, attainable, time framed. I would like to be able to speak fluently Italian, Portuguese by the end of 2019. I have another goal of refreshing my French fluency at the same level, as currently I have to think about words and I am quite slow in expressing myself, since it was not a language I have used in the last 6 years at least. Also, I would like to know the basics of Estonian. I am fluent in Spanish and I want to maintain this level and maybe improve on some vocabulary. Probably a lot of goals and too little time. But I am not looking to speak perfectly, I want to be able to understand and if I get to speak to people in the same way I am now able to understand and speak in Spanish, I would be extremely satisfied with myself.

Would you like to become a Polyglot or extend your foreign language skills?

What foreign languages would you like to learn?

The characteristics of the work you obtain and the way you describe it reflects your inner self

Journaling about how I feel I am, about what I like about my job and about what I wish in the working that I do, has made me realize very important aspects about myself and mirroring the information with my husband, have discovered that this, what I am about to blog about, really makes sense. Indeed, I got this insight that the way I describe the work that I do, with its goods and bad, describes me spooky well. I have also come to the realization and have come to terms to what is actually its significance when we say or we are told by leaders and inspirational speakers etc that we should forget what society is telling us, we should ignore what people tell us we cannot do and we can do. I know truly, deeply have figured it out.

The way you describe your work reflects your inner self - how your job is related to your hidden self
Photo By – Natalia Figueredo

This is how it works:

I have come to the conclusion that many times, I want to be or become someone or do something due to expectations I believe of myself to have and to be my own, when the fact is they were imprinted by something I would have seen online, or offline in real life to people that are so happy with their lives, careers and so on and who make feel everyone listening to them that they have discovered, understood and aligned to their path. This alignment and flow in these people’s life is something so powerful that it is impossible for everyone else not experiencing it to not be inspired, maybe jealous, curious and secretly wishing to have their life, while taking as much in as possible from their speech, attitudes, behaviors, clothing, ideas and even desires to do or become someone meaningful or worthy or admired or to become that “word” which is on everyone’s lips nowadays – successful.

The way you describe your work reflects your inner self
Photo by Jon Tyson

I believe that what we really are attracted to these successful people is their total happiness and perfection in life (wealth, health and family) which is intrinsic to EVERYONE and that we all wrongly believe that the energy and bliss they are experiencing is something we could experience too if we follow our desires. But our desires are not really our desires. They are made up from the energy, passion, vibration and inspiration we feel energized by when we listen to these people. Instead of taking in the courage to listen to our inner beings and confront what actually makes us happy (which most of the times is in contradiction to what we think we want because it was imprinted by society) we believe that we are going to feel that freedom, independence and happiness, free of any burden of unwanted responsibilities if we follow their path. Their path is presented to us with such an energy that is contagious and it’s getting confused to our own path. We want the same life too. We admire successful people, we may chase them on Instagram, we may acutely read them or watch them or listen to what they have to say and we breathe their story instead of taking in their energy and passion for their path and not the path itself. This happens because society is made in such a way that our minds are confused to what actually is success.

The way you describe your work reflects your inner self - how your job is related to your hidden self
Photo by Jon Tyson

While growing up we are tamed into perfect believers that if we work hard enough and if we follow the rules of other successful people we will be happy. Parents tell children, “how are you going to pay bills with this? (whether is painting, games, literature, fashion, anything that contradicts your parent’s vision of success which they encountered in their imprinted life)” or “if you do not learn this now, you won’t be able to get a job and what are you going to do then?” (instead of focusing on what they do best now and enhance their strengths) or “this is nice and you are good at it, but you need to do this still, it’s more practical” (implying that if we do not do certain jobs, we are not going to live, which our brains cannot conceive because we are hardwired for survival, so any notes on that, and we forget our passions, we go cozy and comfortable, we go safe.) So safe, that when we hear successful people talk about their struggles, our brains instead of understanding that it is about following our unique passions, about going wild and not domesticated, we go into a society friendly mode by which we comply even more with life and what other people say – work hard, study this and that, make your way into the business; started from the bottom, now we’re here vibe isn’t about following someone else’s dreams or ways of getting into this “success”ful trend, is about finding your / our own distinct talents and using them. It’s about following our intuition with what we like and want to study or work in, it’s about working harder on persevering with our dreams as this is SO MUCH HARDER than working harder on a safe job. It’s so HARD to maintain yourself accountable for your dreams and passions and talents and how you grow into an expert in that. It is extremely difficult to follow the path of rejection from everyone telling you “you are wrong”, “you will lose all your money”, “I do not believe in this working for you”, “you should just keep this as a hobby rather” and everyone turning your back at you because they are afraid YOU are confronting their lack of courage to go for their path and destiny. It’s easy to close your eyes and pretend that it does not exist. As a comparison, it’s easier to think food is just food to eat and fill my body than truly going deep and understanding food is medicine and that all disease comes from poor eating habits and lack of interest in learning that, because this too, has to do with the same thing – lack of courage. We are cowards because we know it’s actually hard to fight against our selves and our imprinted expectations, wishes and hopes and ideas of success.

The way you describe your work reflects your inner self - how your job is related to your hidden self
Photo by Jon Tyson

Success is unique to everyone. And it is a perception. Perceptions are not the same as reality. Perception is subjective and it has to do a lot with your environment and your imprints and your unique being. Perception is not reality. Therefore, the way we perceive success does not mean the emotions we would feel if we would attain that success we see in others, would be real. As one of my Uni teachers said, “Behind every emotion, there is another emotion.” Perception is illusion. Success is an illusion of something we make up in our own heads highly influenced by peers, society, energies we perceive and wrongly translate into happiness. Energies we feel are the vibration of the “successful” person that is doing what he/she likes, has positive and beautiful results and shares it with the world. This sharing makes him/her happy. This happiness translates into that energy we perceive. We perceive their vibration which was able to be materialized into a concrete form and they have made something tangible. That thing which is tangible that we define as success is the inner self fulfilling its destiny he/she set up way before they were born. They had the courage to follow their intuition despite everyone else being against them not obeying the rules.

We are all intuitive. We all feel things. Even though they are perceptions, and they are subjective, they belong to us and there’s a reason we feel it. To follow it. 

The way you describe your work reflects your inner self - how your job is related to your hidden self
Photo by Jon Tyson

This is another insight I gained while journaling – I do enjoy working, but I need to put in the work that I want to do and feel in the flow with. If I am forced (and we all force ourselves to go against what we feel inside we should be doing, by following what other people are telling us we should do to be happy, since everyone else is happy doing the same thing) to work something I do not want to work (even though I may be successful in that and maybe quite reach a good status) then I develop certain negative emotions and feelings inside such as anxiety, stress and lack of contentment for my life, I do not feel fulfilled rather depleted of energy and consumed by responsibilities I dread and wish would not have to be accountable for. These emotions generated by the job I work are what I actually despise when I say “I do not like my job”. It’s not the job itself. It’s how it makes me feel. The way my job makes me feel means that I need to gather even more energy to cope with processing it. Which is not something I want to do. I want to keep my energy for myself, for what I truly want to work. For what really makes me happy. I want to keep that energy for activities that will generate emotions which I do like and enjoy feeling – such as tranquility, gratefulness, bliss, peace, inspiration, self esteem and other inner unique emotions which make me happy. If I feel more the negative emotions generated by how I perceive my job, it does not mean I cannot feel the positives one generated when I am out from the office and doing what I enjoy, it simply means I have to spend more time in the negative and less in the positive and it requires more energy taken from the positive to actually process the negative and be able to get back in balance for the next day. If you have ever felt drained at the end of a working day, you know what I mean. That feeling means you need to sleep to regain your energy and positive attitude to problem solving at work. It’s not that I dislike problem solving. I dislike the activity I have to do to use problem solving. I want to use that in an activity that I enjoy being challenged. If that makes sense.

The way you describe your work reflects your inner self - how your job is related to your hidden self
Photo by Emma Matthews

So, next, based on the above, I want to tackle the following:

The reason we look for something else when we obtain a job that we do not resonate with and we say “Oh, I would wish to have a job in which … this and that” or “How awesome would it be, if …” is because we are our jobs and we do not really like ourselves, we do not really accept our weaknesses or vulnerabilities and there’s plenty of stuff we need to change and we don’t. Our jobs are an environment that generates bad energy and negative vibes and that’s because deep down that’s how we really are. The way you describe your job is how you react. As an example, I describe my job as stressful, annoying, boring, full of hassle, too much responsibility, too serious, very secretive in a way and procedural, process driven, analytical, high service levels and too many demands. Well, guess what, I am very serious (I take my responsibilities very seriously), I am analytical, very attentive to details and that makes me easily drained, I have lots of responsibilities that I wish could be shared in terms of finance management, I can be very annoying as I want things to be made my way because I am extremely cautious and precaution and safety are my top strength qualities and traits, I am not very adventurous and prefer the safe road, step by step approach which is something demanded at my job and I can be very anxious and stressed if I do not get things done quickly enough and with quality (because I am very serious and conscientious) and that’s how I realized why I am my job. And why would I or we even go for a job that is something about ourselves that we do not like and wish to overcome?

The way you describe your work reflects your inner self - how your job is related to your hidden self
Photo By Emma Matthews

Because everything in the universe is ENERGY. We attract what we are. We are our jobs. We are our environments. Because we attract them through how we breathe, think, speak and act. We have attracted the jobs we have which we would like to change. Because we are attracting what we are, what we truly want is the opposite. And we desire and look up for the opposite because we search for balance and harmony. Harmony and balance can be achieve if there is a minus and a plus. That’s when we are whole. We have everything we need to survive, to grow further and enrich other people’s lives like “successful” people do. When we want to have a different thing than what we have, it’s because we are searching to fulfill ourselves. We cannot be whole by only being one thing we are. We need it all. That’s why we are searching for our purposes, we follow goals and passions and hobbies to release energy that balances and harmonizes ourselves. We need our jobs as we have it. But we also need to follow our intuitions. Because our intuition has the purpose to take us on the path that will actually create this harmony and will actually take us where we are supposed to be, to become “successful.” 

The way you describe your work reflects your inner self - how your job is related to your hidden self
Photo by Jon Tyson

I also believe that our intuition is like the fragments of bread that Hansel and Gretel left behind themselves to find their way back home while wandering in the woods. We have chosen this job we have now, way before we were born, we are predestined and we have chosen to leave our intuition to guide us in life to make sure we fulfill our destinies (and become humanly “successful” through our passions and energies and teachings we get from that to pass on) and then come back home – to God.

The way you describe your work reflects your inner self - how your job is related to your hidden self
Photo by Jon Tyson

I have lots of Youtubers and bloggers that I aspire to, that inspire me and that I love their flow and think to myself, “how can I have that life too, that easy, peaceful and wealthy life”? I see and perceive and feel their energies – they have already tuned into their intuitions and follow their path and are on their way to their destinies. I think when we admire someone and are inspired by their achievements in life we actually admire their found energy in fulfilling their destiny and listening to their intuition, and being who they ARE already, not who they WILL BECOME. We feel (because our intuitions really are special) that they follow their path and will go back to God happy to have finished their own assigned missions. We feel their accountability towards their destiny. We want to do that too, but we believe we need to do what they are doing to reach the same level of happiness, contentment and fulfillment, just because that’s what we see at the surface and what we perceive. And that’s when intuition plays in and when we need to follow. But we don’t, we trust more the other people and what society says we should do to have achievements. And that’s why I believe I now understand when we read about “why we should set aside what society tells us to do, and not do it”.

The way you describe your work reflects your inner self - how your job is related to your hidden self
Photo by Clark Tibbs

I have listened to myself. I have listened and discovered that what I admire at successful people is an internalized expectation of myself set by the society to achieve something worthwhile to become admired and lovable and a model for other peers. I do not need to have a specific position to be happy and I do not need to have specific knowledge in specific fields of operation to be accepted by society, to be admired by others and to be employed or get a job. I do not need to dress in a certain way to feel beautiful or to be seen as beautiful. I do not need to do SO MUCH to be allowed x, y and z things/stuff/activities/treats etc.

You do not need to do so much and hassle so much to be allowed to just be happy as you are, with what you know and with what you do, you do not need to do so much to be allowed to have x, y and z in life. Follow your intuition because it will take you where you need to be and it will make you become who you are supposed to become, the person you predestined yourself to become and forget about what society tells you.

The way you describe your work reflects your inner self - how your job is related to your hidden self
Photo by Emma Matthews

I also discovered that who I am is not the same to whom I want to become or whom I would like to be like because what I would like to become might very well be given by my false illusion about my expectation that I need to be and become in a certain way since that’s how I have seen someone I admired that is happy and I made a wrong assumption (again, subjective perception) that that person’s life flow is in total alignment with their environment so then I need that environment too, to fulfill myself too and so, I believe I need to become someone alike that successful person by putting effort into creating an environment like them, maybe creating a blog, a youtube channel, a podcast etc. But that does not mean it will make me fulfill my destiny or it’ll fill me inside with contentment and happiness and harmony.

The way you describe your work reflects your inner self - how your job is related to your hidden self
Photo by Jon Tyson

My core value and strength is based on safety and extreme precaution and caution. In everything that I am and I do, I am cautious and rarely take risks (unless I can go ahead with the consequences of losing something because I am not really losing). This type of cautiousness and safety that I create around me and that I breathe and I am is comforting to me because I know I can rely on myself since I am very serious, responsible and accountable and this is achieving me independence because I am practical, down to earth and determined in employing a step by step approach to problem solving and being so reliable has its benefits in society because society functions on these core values of doing things as you are told, obeying, not taking adventurous steps or not following the guidelines. It’s how I gained my independence. My money. Therefore my way of being safe in the world actually gives me independence and that is creating my freedom. That’s why I enjoy things to go in a certain way and I like to be cautious, I pay attention to details, I make sure things I organized and systemic and everything is in order. Because otherwise, it would threaten my status quo of freedom. And freedom brings me tranquility and peace and harmony. It’s very twisted and complex, but that’s the human mind and it may be hard to swallow this information. But this is what I believe.

The way you describe your work reflects your inner self - how your job is related to your hidden self
Photo by Fineas Anton

My inner hidden anxiety is how I am for real but cannot accept that as it makes me react quickly and jump to conclusions and then regret my actions because that’s the main thing anxiety does – makes you want to react quickly to STOP the anxiety. And how would I do that if not by reacting too quickly to RELEASE THAT NEGATIVE ENERGY and EMOTION. But doing so there are consequences. That quick reaction is risky. I do not like risky. So it’s like a vicious circle. The only way to break it is to maintain my precautions. And how do I do that? Follow what society says it’s good for you. So my inner self attracts my future job/work environment. Because we are the way we describe our jobs. To balance that inside, we hide our true self with masks. My mask is a face of calm and peace and rationale and long time processing thinking patterns in the midst of a devastating emotional inner hidden (sometimes even from myself) turmoil. And that mask keeps me on balance. So, I search and aspire to a job that is alike my mask. I need a job of which activities and tasks I can speak are not stressing me and that inspire tranquility and great harmony. I dream of working in a harmonious positive (or how I perceive it) work environment to balance out that true hidden self of anxiety, stress and high demands. I look for peaceful working environments as self defense mechanism. But I always end up in jobs similar to my inner being, because I have not come to fully accept myself yet (having just discovered it, I first need to internalize that and understand it) and I attract what I am. Living with our selves for such long time, we have also started to love ourselves and all our craziness and it is difficult to free oneself of that which we know characterizes us. In a way, I do enjoy challenging working environments, competitive tasks and activities and high demands because I like to prove myself I can do that and also that, and that too and so on. This attitude is linked to what we were told while growing up “if you do this and that, you get this and that”. This means that we have been imprinted with this idea that we need to do more and more and we need to achieve more and more to obtain more and more and TO DESERVE ALL THAT WE WANT. But no one has ever told us when it was enough. Because it is enough. You are enough. 

I believe this is why it’s important to listen to our intuition. Our intuition is the only one telling us “that’s enough!”, “you are enough”. Enough of that.

I am not who I want to be like or who I want to become.

I am not who I think of myself to be. I am not who I think I am.

I am who I will be if I trust my intuition now and follow what it’s whispering to me. My intuition will take me where I need to be and it will guide me to whom I will become.

The way you describe your work reflects your inner self - how your job is related to your hidden self
Photo By Chris Liu

Sometimes, my intuition yells at me, and I silence it. Or some days, I do listen but then I remind myself who I think I want to become not knowing I AM already and I simply need to follow the predestined steps I set for myself, before I was even born. I know who I am. Do not doubt your intuition. I have left my intuition as a gift to me in this life to use. I call myself to use it to reach my destination and my destiny. To reach myself.

You are not who you want to be like or who you want to become. You are not who you think of yourself to be. You are not who you think you are. 

You are who you will be if you trust your intuition now and you follow what’s whispering to you. Your intuition will take you where you need to be and it will guide you to become who you are to become. 

The way you describe your work reflects your inner self - how your job is related to your hidden self
Photo by Emma Matthews

As a conclusion, your perception of your job reflects your inner self and you struggle to fight that by putting on a mask in opposition to how that perception makes you experience life or makes you feel emotions or feelings you do not wish to. Your mask is made up of emotions that generate positive vibes, feelings and mostly ENERGY that balances out your POWERFUL INNER TRUE SELF. We are searching for harmony to balance the inner self and the desired self. Harmony can be achieved by following our intuitions. Step by step.

Reflect on the way you describe your job. How are you, really? 

freestocks your job reflects your inner self

 

 

 

 

 

What’s obvious to you, may be amazing to others

This idea pretty much connects to the fact that we all have something we are great at or maybe just good enough and we do not trust ourselves enough to “release” it as a product, to market it as a service or to share it online/offline.

I know I am the kind of person that likes its “creations” to be close to perfect before sending it out to the world, although I have to say, I am trying to get out of this “perfectionism box”. Things do not need to be perfect before you do something. My blog is actually a great proof for that. And, well, it’s another proof that, you need planning and careful strategic thinking and actions before you can have hopes of earnings out of it. But even so, expressing yourself, expressing your gift, your talents, your hobbies, your passions not only will make you feel better but will fuel you with more energy. More passion. More action.

So, reading this “What’s obvious to you, may be amazing to others” really opened up my eyes. And I have posed myself this question:

What is it that it’s obvious to me, that may be amazing to others? 

I have some answers. But they are to be kept for myself, for the moment. I am sure you have some answers for yourself too.

This post is actually coming to light because I did not know how else to share a blog post I found extremely helpful, meaningful and enjoyable on one of my favourite platforms to read and share stories, medium.com.

The article is called “The 5 amazing exercises to elevate your creative thinking powers“.

Please find it linked below and get prepared to train your creativity!

LINK 

markus spiske photography

 

What is Positive Psychology?

Positive Psychology is a form of therapy developed by Nossrat Peseschkian in Germany in 1968. The author discovered that using stories and fairy-tales as well as examples of other cultures, the patient is more prone to becoming capable of broadening his perspectives over his own problems, issues and conflicts and he can look at himself as well as to others from different angles, enabling the patient to treat his conflicting thoughts, ideas and situations. Dr. Peseschkian is responsible for the idea which states that if there are certain diseases and conflicts within a family and they are transmitted within the family (persons/society) then the family itself (person/society) has the capacity to cope with that specific problem or conflict. In other words, the patient can become his own therapist.

what is positive psychology psychotherapy therapy healing

Positive Psychology is based on a positive image of the human being, which pinpoints the fact that the human being was gifted with 4 types of capacities: physical, mental (psychological), social and spiritual. All diseases and all disorders are being interpreted in a new, more positive way, by using in its interpretation stories, quotes, fairy tales and examples from other cultures. The patient is being encouraged to play an active role in his own healing. Positive psychology believes that the human being is a whole made up of 4 parts: body, mind, emotions and spirit. The therapeutic process purpose is to help the client/patient to develop his innate capacities to find his balance in the daily activities. The patient is being encouraged to become a therapist for his family and for his closest ones in the sense that if he understands himself, he is able and better equipped to help his close ones, either by guiding them or sharing his experiences. Positive psychology uses methods from other disciplines too in order to make the patient’s adjustments processes to flow.

Positive psychology / therapy must be distinguished from the positive psychology practised by Dr Martin Seligman, whose books and insights into the field of psychology is very profound too, however different.

jason-leung-what is positive psychology psychotherapy therapy healing
Photo Credit – Jason Leung

“Defnition of ‘Positive’
According to Martin Seligman and his positive psychotherapy / positive psychological interventions, “positive” denotes a constructive initiative in intention or attitude, showing optimism and confidence, a good affirmative, or constructive quality or attributes. Here the word “positive” focuses on the resource side: well-being; strengths and virtues; etc. that enable individuals, communities and organisations to thrive.
Whereas, Positive Psychotherapy (according to the definitions of Nossrat Peseschkian)
defines “positive” in an etymological way. “Positive” from its Latin meaning comes from
“positum” – the things set in front of you in terms of the factual thing, the ‘whole’ thing. Here,it means the combination of good and bad things, strengthening and weakening aspects, etc. Therefore, “positive” here does not focus exclusively on the resource side: the resource side just completes the picture.
Psycho-therapeutic interventions keep in mind both aspects: problem solving; and also
sources of strength, coping and well-being. Te ‘holistic’ meaning of “positive” contains:
positive in concept of men; positive in believing in undeveloped capabilities; positive in
functions and meaning of the symptoms; and positive in solution-orientated processes”

You can read more about the history of positive psychotherapy and positive psychology approaches in this document.

what is positive psychology psychotherapy therapy healing

What is Brainspotting?

“Where you look, affects how you feel. If something is bothering you, how you feel about it will literally change on whether you look off to your right or your left. Our eyes and brains are intricately woven together, and vision is the primary way that we, as humans, orient ourselves to our environment. Signals sent from our eyes are deeply processed in the brain. The brain then reflexively and intuitively redirects where we look, moment to moment. The brain is an incredible processing machine that digests and organises everything we experience. Trauma can overwhelm the brain’s processing capacity, leaving behind pieces of trauma, frozen in an unprocessed state. Brainspotting uses our field of vision to find where we are holding these traumas in our brain. Just as the eyes naturally scan the outside environment for information, they can also be used to scan our inside environments – our brains – for information. Brainspotting uses the visual field to turn the “scanner” back on itself and guide the brain to find the lost internal information. By keeping the gaze focused on the specific external spot, we maintain the brain’s focus on the specific internal spot where trauma is stored, in order to promote the deep processing that leads to the trauma’s release and resolution.”

what is brainspotting brain therapy healing trauma
Photo Credit – Stefen Tan

I discovered brainspotting because I was curious about the psychology development courses offered by the British Psychological Society in UK and wanted to register as a psychologist with them. Brainspotting is a new therapy focused on the movement of the eyes and the gaze that stops in a specific point which heals the trauma experiences, releasing the unprocessed thoughts about it or the information received at that point in time, when trauma occurred. I have always been extremely passionate about new therapies and new ways of working within the field of psychology so I looked further into it. Brainspotting was actually discovered and branded, if I can say that, by Dr. David Grand who was working with a client of his using the Natural Flow EMDR therapeutic approach. In this type of therapy the client is guided to uncritically observe, step by step, what they experience, including memories, thoughts, emotions or sensations in their body and EDMR uses left-right eyes movements to stimulate the opposite hemispheres of the brain, back and forth. While working with that, Dr. David Grand observed that there were various and different rapid eye movements when the client would gaze at a specific spot. He used a pointer to direct the clients’ gaze and asked them to tell him how they felt. After trying on the approach with many of his clients, he realised a new therapy must emerge. I then looked into ways of reading more about it, and naturally I bought his book, “Brainspotting, the revolutionary new therapy for rapid and effective change”. Even though the book came to the market in 2013, I was not aware of this new discovery and reading more about it, testing it myself and also taking on an online course, made me want to share this with you. This is a type of therapy that go beyond the mind to gain direct access to the brain. Brainspotting is build on a model where the therapist simultaneously attunes to the client and the client’s brain processes.

what are your colour personality choices preferences likes
Photo Credit – Sam Harris – @hammy.sarris

“Eye positions correlate to our own internal body experience and our psychology is expressed by the deepest parts of our brains and bodies: our reflexes. The brain is the ultimate scanner. monitoring every cell in the body, as well as itself, on a 24/7 basis. Any type of injury is both physical and psychological trauma to the nervous system and so they become inexorably intertwined. The healing process of Brainspotting is a creative one, and it can unleash and expand creativity in artists. Because it works simultaneously with the right brain and the left brain, it both mirrors and integrates the neural art and science. It is exactly like this – where you look affects how you feel.”

I have taken the Brainspotting online course on udemy, and if you want to discover more about this type of therapy, I would highly recommend to get an idea of what it means and try it for yourself with the exercises in this mini-course, because you can also do brainspotting on yourself too. However, the type of brainspotting you can do yourself would need to be focused on work related tasks, creativity, performance and overall well being as deep traumas would require a specialist for guidance and proper brainspotting therapy.

step by step guide to solve a problem using your intuition 2

Whenever I read about brainspotting initially my mind went to the thought that I have no traumas, this is not something I may be interested in, because I am more focused on self care, mindfulness and positive psychology, work psychology etc. However, that was a wrong way of thinking, a misconception. Trauma is often the result of an overwhelming amount of stress that exceeds one’s ability to cope, or integrate the emotions involved with that experience. This means that there are specific stimuli that may stress me and others which may impact your nerves, depending on the subject’s internal responses, adjustments to external situations and experiences. I wrote a bit more about it on medium blog, here.

Do you have an interest in Psychology, Therapy or anything related to Well Being, Self Care and Help and Mindfulness? I would love to know in the comments down below! 

what is brainspotting brain therapy healing trauma
Photo Credit Marco Bianchetti

 

 

How to reprogram your unconscious mind to positively impact your everyday life

By bringing more awareness into our everyday life through conscious concentration we can reprogram our mind, our subconscious and this will help us change our patterns and ultimately our lives. What is conscious concentration? It is the state of mind in which you realise that you are aware of the specific tasks and activities you are doing at the time. It is something like the Power of Now of Echkart Tolle. To work on constructing this conscious now moment in which we are aware of it and of everything that is surrounding us, we have to understand that we have to manifest more observation, paying attention to details, being attentive to what we see, hear, touch, say and do. By paying close attention to each task without dividing our focus into multiple activities occurring simultaneously, we will improve our concentration as we are teaching it where and how much to focus, which means all our concentration goes to a single uni-dimensional task.

how to reprogram your subconscious mind to positively impact you
Photo by Hannah McKernan

When we are trying this power of now exercise, we must include in our daily routines the affirmations meditation. It’s like a mantra. A daily mantra of sayings we tell our mind. This helps our concentration too, as our mind receives specific thought nutrients that it needs to focus on that. In order for us to reprogram our subconscious mind to positively impact our every day life, we need to understand there are 3 ingredients to making up an affirmation or a mantra.

An affirmation has to have the following 3 ingredients: conscious choice of positive words, clear visualisation and corresponding feeling – emotion which is manifested through an energy.

As Tesla said “To find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration”.

Everything is made up of energy that’s vibrating at a specific frequency. If your subconscious is filled with patterns that are vibrating at a certain frequency and if you could go into your subconscious and create a pattern, infuse it with energy that’s vibrating at a certain frequency, you can attract things of a similar nature to it. That’s how your day to day life gets changed.

how to reprogram your subconscious mind to positively impact your dayli life 1 29001914032546473227..jpg
Photo by Hannah Mckernan

So if I go into my subconscious, I repeat an affirmation which has a conscious choice of positive words, clear visualisation, I infuse a feeling into it (what does it feel like) and it starts to vibrate in my subconscious at that frequency, now it attracts anything of a similar vibration or a similar frequency towards it.

Energy doesn’t know to discriminate between what’s good and what’s not good for you. It’s just energy. So anything of a similar frequency gets drawn to you. If you know how your subconscious works and you know how to program it using affirmations with conscious choice of positive words, clear visualisation and a corresponding feeling (feeling being the most important component because it is the actual energy that attracts) then you can bring into your life everything you want.

What does conscious choice of positive words mean? 

It should consists of something that I could compare to the SMART objectives. Specific, measurable, actionable with results in time. Let’s take some examples: I am powerfully creative and I successfully express my creativity through meaningful writing that my audience is telling they enjoy. or I feel blessed with everything that the universe is providing to me and I receive all good from all life opportunities. or Something beautiful is on my way and I know I am attracting good fortune, abundance and blessings for me and my family now. or if you remember my last post? Christie Marie Sheldon had a lovely affirmation when gathering the Light into ourselves and healing our emotional wounds through the saying I clear and transmute my feeling of not good enough/ my feeling of something across all time, dimensions, space and realities. A conscious choice of positive words.

how to reprogram your subconscious mind to positively impact you
Photo by Hannah Mckernan

What does clear visualisation refer to? 

To explain this, I will use the following affirmation: I love apples. When you use “I”, the mind clearly understands it is you who it is referring to, when you use the word “love” again it is a clear word which means nothing but love. But when you use the word “apples” the mind gets confused as it has a lot of things relating to apple: golden apples, gala apples, red apples, etc, itunes, Apple the brand, macbook pro etc. Therefore, clear visualisation is connected to us seeing the image of what we say. Therefore what type of apples do we love? If it’s green, then when you say I love apples, you see a green apple, you imagine it, and your mind instantly gets the point. It will know what you need from it and it will follow your instructions on loving green apples and not red apples, as the command was with “green” through the visualisation process. In our examples, we could imagine something creative expresses physically, such as a piece of art, a viral blog post, a variety of valuable comments appreciating your creative expression and your success which follows that visualised in the form of an award/ a pay rise/ a brand deal/ etc. In the example offered through Christie Marie Sheldon with the Light mantra meditation exercise to heal our chakras (if you had read my blog post) we simply imagine the Light coming into that specific part of the body where we feel those negative emotions and we imagine how it disperse and evaporates all that bad stuff.

What does corresponding feeling – emotion – energy mean? 

This has to do with what does it feel like when you obtain that which you have stated. what does it feel to love green apples? What does it feel to be successful creatively? What does it feel to imagine the Light clearing your blockages? What does it feel to obtain that which you have put into your affirmation? It is a powerful energy that makes you feel blessed. You surely know how you feel or how it would make you feel achieving that affirmation. Energy doesn’t know to discriminate between what’s good and what’s not good for you. It’s just energy. So anything of a similar frequency gets drawn to you. That’s why it is important to infuse our affirmations with the correct positive ENERGY to attract the same level of positive energy.

So if we go into our subconscious, we repeat an affirmation which has a conscious choice of positive words, clear visualisation, we infuse a feeling into it (what does it feel like) and it starts to vibrate in our subconscious at that frequency, now it attracts anything of a similar vibration or a similar frequency towards it. And that’s how you reprogram your subconscious mind to positively impact your daily activities and obviously, in the end, your life and lifestyle.

how to reprogram your subconscious mind to positively impact you
Photo by Marcus Cramer

Photos in which I appear were taken by – Hannah Mckernan – Part of a creative photoshoot – team involved on instagram -Amazing Photography: @hannahmckernanphotography Models – me (through @cathy_cmpr) & @_joelander (freelance) Beautiful Location: @lissanhousecookstown Stunning Dresses: @creativeideasbridal Luxury Headpieces: @gibsonbespoke Simply beautiful Florals: @innocent_chaos Amazing Hair: @ohsobohohair Stunning Natural Make up: @sakdesigns Great Backdrops & styling: @thisoldhome Stationery: @ciarapatrickdesigns Suits: @deegrahamtailormade Cake: @baked_blessings