Updated: Sep 23, 2020
Does this happen to you—you find yourself looking around—perhaps at native English speakers—and comparing yourself to them because they speak so naturally? It doesn't matter that you are successful in your own right. They feel like a constant reminder that English doesn't always come so naturally to you.
It's like there is a gap between the title that you have (CEO, Founder, Owner, Lead Fill-in-the-Blank, President, you name it...) and how you think a person with this title should speak or interact using the English language. It can be frustrating, in particular for high-achievers.
Can you see yourself in this story? I hope you can't. But it's possible that you might.
"Comparison is the thief of joy." -Theodore Roosevelt
Yes, it can steal our joy, but it can also tell us very valuable information. If you find yourself comparing your English skills to those around you, take a moment to pinpoint exactly what it is about that person's skills that you feel you lack. It's usually just one or two characteristics that you are seeing. Can you define them?
Maybe you like the cool words they use.
Maybe you like how they stress certain words or have a certain rhythm to their voice.
Maybe you like how they always ask great questions.
Maybe it's something else...
But I have found that there is always a beginning and an end to what that other person has that I seem to want. And, almost all skills are learn-able, especially as it relates to language.
Who are you comparing yourself to? What is the one English skill they have that you feel you are lacking? Can you define it? Because if you can, that's the starting point. You can work with that!
But comparing yourself to others with thoughts like, "I'll never speak like that." Or, "Native speakers always speak better than me" is an endless, useless punishment for yourself.
I say, get specific on the one or two skills that you want, create a plan to get from point A to point Z, and give it a try. It's a lot more fun that the comparison game!
If you need help defining the skills you feel you are lacking, I'd love to talk. All of my consultations are free of charge. Sometimes it simply helps to process out all of the ideas you have in your mind with someone who understands language learning and the strong drive you have to reach your highest potential in this world.