If you’re reading this, then you will no doubt want to reach a high level of English. But, could there be something that is stopping you from reaching your goals that you are not aware of?
After reading this post, you will be able to recognize if others are holding you back [stopping you from progressing – phrasal verb] and learn what you can do about it.
The Average of 5 People
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn
Our friends, family, and workmates influence us more than we think. The famous quote from Jim Rohn states that we are the average of the five people that we spend most of our time with. Here are some examples:
- If everyone around you eats unhealthily, you will most likely eat bad food too.
- If everyone around you is always complaining and isn’t enjoying life, it will be difficult for you to be carefree and to have fun.
- But, if everyone around you is highly motivated, you are more likely to be motivated too.
As James Clear puts it:
“Most of our behaviors are driven by two things: our environment and our beliefs.
And environment is perhaps the most powerful of those two because in many cases your environment can shape your beliefs. This is especially true when you consider your environment to include the people who surround you”
How We Can Apply This to Learning English
It’s hard to do anything on your own for a long time, especially when progress can’t always be seen. Learning English is a long-term journey; a journey full of different challenges. And it’s even more difficult to do what we need to do over the long-term if others aren’t supporting you.
We only have so much willpower [the ability to control our actions]; we need the support of others and to be in a positive environment to achieve our goals. Think about the people that you spend the most time with:
- Are they driven and motivated?
- Are they supportive of your English learning goals?
- Are they the type of people who can achieve a goal such as learning English?
If not, they could be slowing down your progress without you knowing it. They could be affecting you subconsciously and stopping you from doing the things you need to do to reach English fluency.
This might sound quite depressing, but there is good news..
Spend More Time With Those Who Inspire You
What I don’t suggest is that you leave your family, ditch all your friends, and then only hang around [spend your time with] Richard Branson, Bill Gates, and Barack Obama!
But a great starting point is to hang around with others in person or online who have similar goals and ambitions that you have. For example, I meet up with four other entrepreneurs once a month in my local area, and we chat regularly online too. We all inspire, motivate, and help each other to do the things that we need to do in order to achieve our goals.
I’m also friends with teachers online who are as driven and committed as I am. We inspire each other to keep creating amazing resources for our students and to keep improving as teachers.
Being surrounded by these people has helped me and this website grow tremendously over the past year. And I don’t think that I would be where I am now if I hadn’t taken that step [second conditional].
So, let’s now take a look at what you can do to improve your circle of influence so that you reach your English learning goals.
Over to You
As learning English isn’t something that can be achieved in 3 months, you may hear a lot of negative things from other learners, such as:
- English is so hard.
- I’ll never reach fluency.
- My English is terrible and it’s getting worse. I should give up.
What I suggest you do is to ignore these comments, and don’t spend time with these people (when possible). Instead, connect with others who are going to have a positive influence on your English learning. The effect this will have will be huge, and will make a big difference to the progress you make.
You can do this by:
- Following inspiring people on social media (teachers and language learners) and communicating with them in meaningful ways.
- Join groups with other English learners to discuss your goals and what you are doing to achieve them. Keep the discussion positive, and encourage each other to keep progressing.
- Change the subject when someone talks about your goals in a negative way.
This is a great starting point, and you will soon notice how being around positive people, both teachers and fellow learners, will have a positive effect on your learning.