Thursday, 4 June 2009

Speak!

I was chastised tonight for my reticence to speak Bosnian, by a Bosnian in Bosnian. That I understood it was a telling off says something about the improvement in my language skills. But they have a point. It is the embarrassment of being wrong I need to get over. Perhaps I need someone to get in my face a scream: get over yourself!

Yesterday I was reading ‘It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be’ by Paul Arden*. He extols the freeing power of being wrong. And in this context he’s right. I know it. When it comes to working with ideas I constant encourage others not to fear being wrong, yet perhaps the same fear is stopping me from opening my mouth. I know I’m becoming too comfortable being silent – not needing to explain myself of have my say in a conversation!

When I do try it can all backfire. If nothing else, those moments give Rowan the chance to laugh at my deer-in-the-headlights facial expressions. She is enjoying watching me struggle at something, and I can’t blame her for that!

*And only yesterday did I discover Paul Arden died last year. A sad piece of news, not that I knew him, but his writing has been profoundly inspiring.

2 comments:

Postgate said...

Well said; it's always so difficult to speak out in the new language we are learning. So much easier to listen and nod. The older we are, the harder it is to find ourselves wrong! Hey, ho. No place for pride in this walk!

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

I watch my kids, who couldn't care less about speaking correctly, learn the language so much faster. Like you said - we just have to get over ourselves. Hard though... good luck, sounds as if you are getting there though. I'm so far away from understanding most of what goes around me that I'm impressed you did!