December 7, 2022

5 beliefs that can stop you from becoming a confident speaker

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been working with a variety of clients from different backgrounds and with different careers. They all came to me with different problems related to language and cultural barriers.

However, I am helping all of the clients with their mindset to some degree.

In fact, for most of my clients, mindset is the number one barrier to achieving the success they deserve in the UK.


Because your beliefs about yourself and your abilities impact how you learn AND how you overcome the language and cultural barriers that you face.

These are the top 5 limiting beliefs I hear from clients. Can you identify with any of them?

1. I wasn’t good in English at school so I’ll never be good

Just because you weren’t getting A grades in English class, doesn’t mean you can’t communicate effectively in English now. Everyone has the potential to learn languages, we just need to find the way that suits us and our lifestyle.  On the other hand, if you always did well in English exams at school, this doesn’t mean you will find communicating in English easy. In fact, the need to be perfect may hold you back from achieving your goals.

2. Grammar mistakes make me look bad

This worry about making mistakes often starts in school. When your proficiency in English is only judged by the number of mistakes you make, no wonder you worry so much about them.  However,  everyone makes mistakes, even native-English speakers!  When you communicate, people are focused on your message; they are NOT analysing your grammar! If you want to say something, say it. Don’t deprive the world of your ideas, just because you’re worried about making a mistake.

3. I need to learn more vocabulary before I (insert activity where you have to speak!

Most people understand more words than they actually use. If you can’t think of words in conversation, this doesn’t mean you have to learn MORE words. You need to ACTIVATE the words you already have by using them. You may feel you need to be better before you start speaking English, but honestly, the best way to learn is by seeking opportunities where you have to speak. You won’t know what you don’t know until you start speaking English.

4. People will judge me negatively if I speak with an accent

The UK is full of people who speak with different regional and international accents; that’s what makes people interesting. If you speak with an international accent, it can be a great conversation starter as 99% of people will want to learn more about you and not judge you. In fact, they will probably feel relieved they have something to talk about that’s not the weather! When you learn to love your accent, you’ll learn to love speaking too.

5. I need to study English more before I use it

If you’ve been studying English for years, more studying is not what you need. You need to USE it. This will help you to build confidence and give you space to make mistakes that will help you learn. If you feel nervous about speaking English more, this is perfectly normal because it is new. The nerves are a sign to just do it!

Have you had any of these thoughts?

This is where working with an English coach can help.

To find out more about the 121 English coaching programmes I offer click here.

You can also book a free, no-obligation trial session to see whether English coaching is the right solution for you.