Who needs a BFF when you’ve got FBB?
Back in the good ol’ days, I took a very logical approach to choosing a college major. The decision process went like this:
- I like French.
- I like biology.
- Therefore, I’ll double-major in French and Biology.
Wha….??? (In my defense, I ask you to remember that I was just 17 years old at the time.)
Now, a few years later, I find myself an author, speaker, and consultant whose main areas of interest and expertise are mindset and marketing.
Obviously a straight-line path from Point A to Point B, right?
Okay, not so much, but I realized today that my ongoing interests in French and biology do have implications for my current business activities – and the success I have with those activities. Here are some of the learning opportunities they presented to me.
I intend to make a long-delayed trip to France next year, and I don’t want my rusty French to cause me to stand around like a deer in the headlights when I land at Charles De Gaulle Airport. So I’ve started listening to a native French YouTuber, who has a channel called “Dirty Biology.” Not only does this enable me to start getting my ears and brain all limbered up well before my arrival in France; it also appeals to my inner biology nerd.
What sort of groundwork do you need to start laying now so that you have a solid foundation to stand on when you’re ready to kick it into high gear?
Give your brain a varied diet.
A healthy and creative brain is one of your greatest business assets. And while professional development in your field is obviously essential, it’s not the only way to keep your brain nourished.
Listening to that Frenchman enables me to step away – from blogging, or e-book promotion, or developing an affiliate marketing platform – to do something completely different. It relaxes me, gives me some necessary distance if I’ve run into an obstacle I’m struggling to get around, and gets different parts of my brain working.
It’s like the advice you hear from fitness experts: Switch up your training routine so you don’t get bored or overwork some muscles at the expense of others.
Give yourself permission to not “get it” all at once; even be willing to approach a situation as a complete novice.
While I’m not, fortunately, a novice when it comes to speaking and understanding French, I’m a long way from fluent. That means that, when I started listening to this YouTuber, I caught about one in every 20 words. (I felt better about that when I realized that he speaks faster than I can read the French sub-titles. Can you say “highly caffeinated”?)
So I accepted from the very beginning that I’m not going to be able magically to understand every word I hear. Indeed, my current goal is not so much to comprehend all the content as it is to simply accustom my ears and brain to a foreign language.
This approach does away with self-imposed stress and performance anxiety, and I find that having this (atypical – for me) laid-back attitude is working well: I’m not struggling and straining, but I am up to understanding about one word in every ten now. Woohoo!
What are some situations where you’re acting as if you “should” become proficient in the first week of a new activity? How’s that working for you? How can you go easier on yourself without wimping out of taking the steps you need to grow?
Do you have a sneaking suspicion that you’re making life harder than it needs to be because of some punitive, negative self-talk? If so, I have a free resource that will show you how to start turning that around.
To get a copy, just email me with “I want to get out of my own way!” in the subject line, and I’ll send it right to you.
And in the meantime, en avant!This entry was posted in goals.