Oh The Stories We Tell
“Learn Spanish” has been on my list for years now… but all those other To-Do’s crowded it right off the page.
Now that I’m living in the central highlands of Mexico, this desire has risen way up on my list! I really, really, REALLY want to get conversational in this language that I currently am only 2% fluent in (according to my Duolingo app).
Sure, I can order off a menu (most of the vocabulary I picked while here this winter was food!), ask where the bathroom is, and utter a greeting. Sadly, however, I get lost pretty quickly when a native speaker starts talking to me, and when I try to respond I find myself fumbling for the correct Spanish words that I KNOW are lurking somewhere in the recesses of my brain.
The truth is, I could actually get away with NOT learning Spanish here in San Miguel de Allende—where the large ex-pat population means I overhear conversations in English nearly as often as Spanish.
I’ve resolved not to let this take me down lazy lane! I want to be able to comfortably converse with those locals who don’t speak English, after all I’m in THEIR country…
But, the other night I had a big AHA!
Despite my desire to learn this lyrical language, the story I’ve been telling myself and others is definitely not going to get me there very quickly!
“My Spanish is abysmal”
“It’s so hard to to learn a new language when you’re older—my memory is shit.”
“I can never remember the right word when I’m trying to talk to someone.”
“I’m going to have to work really, really hard and put in lots of hours of sweat study if I ever am going to get conversational.”
Umm, these ‘stories’ are so not congruent with what I am wanting to create!
When I say (and think) those things, I’m buying into what everyone else says, and I’m training my brain to believe the opposite of what I desire!
The realization hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks, and in that moment I resolved to start telling some different stories!
That was just a couple of nights ago, and let me tell you, it hasn’t been easy! My mind continues to want to go down those unwanted roads.
This retraining the brain stuff can be tricky! Since it takes far less energy to use the same neural pathways it’s always used, that’s always going to be the default.
Luckily “I’ still get to be in charge.
Here are some of my new stories:
“I’m getting lots of chances to practice and learn.”
“My Spanish is improving every day, and I’m having more and more fun speaking it.”
“I easily remember new words.”
“It feels so good to be able to communicate in Spanish.”
“Lots of people learn new languages in their 50s, 60s, 70s and even beyond.”
How about you?
Are you telling yourself a story that is NOT the way you want things to go?
Our words have incredible power!
“But—it’s true!” You might be whining, as you think about one of your own stories.
It seems like ‘truth’ is what you experience evidence of in the here and now. But these sorts of ‘truth’s are ever-changing. We shape these truths with our words and with our thoughts.
Think of an aspect of your life you’d love to see unfold a little differently. Start with something little.
What new story can you tell about it?
Tell me in the comments below, or over on the Facebook Page!
Meanwhile…. I’m continuing my story that I can be lazy AND learn a language!