All about feeling stupid when you’re not, aka ‘Why I Asked For Breasts in the Supermarket’

I know what it’s like to feel smart.
Because I am.
I know what it’s like to be separated from your friends at age 8 because you are 1 of 3 kids in your school who have been chosen to go to the ‘gifted’ program.
Which basically meant, instead of chasing boys around the playground, I now had to collect leaves and write Haiku poems.
It sucked.
I’ve won awards for my intelligence and creativity.
My IQ is sky-high, the researchers say.

Big deal.
I also know what it’s like to feel so stupid.
So small.
Like an idiot.
To muster up all your courage to finally dare to say something, and then immediately regret it because you think you said it wrong or could say it better.

When you speak another language, you have to start from scratch. To build up communication from zero.
To doubt, hesitate, make mistakes, and keep on trying.
It’s so hard.
This is what happened to me in Dutch (and in French, Spanish, Japanese, Czech and Hebrew, but my Dutch story is the funniest.)

This is my story.
I had gathered up all my courage to go to the grocery store for the first time. Alone. In the Netherlands.
My boyfriend had always gone with me but I’m an Independent Woman, and I needed to take this bold, scary, first step on my OWN.
So. I sat for half an hour with my dictionary and carefully wrote out my shopping list, double and triple checking everything.
I cycled to the supermarket with my heart beating so fast.
I looked around to see if anyone was looking at me funny, because I was saying words out loud, walking in circles, examining every product, looking for pictures, etc.
And guess what?
I found everything.
Except for one thing.
And that was the dishwashing brush.
In Dutch, that’s called an ‘afwasborstel’.
However, I had written down ‘afwasborsten’.
‘Borstel’ is brush.
‘Borsten’ is breasts.

I was confused. I could not find the ‘afwasborsten’ anywhere!
I finally got up all my courage to ask the 17-year old boy, in my best Dutch:
‘Pardon, meneer, maar waar zijn de borsten? Ik kan de borsten niet vinden. Dank u.’
(‘Excuse me, sir, but where are the breasts? I cannot find the breasts. Thank you.’)

He stared at me.
I freaked out. Did he not understand me?
So I said it again.
He still stared at me.
But now he was LAUGHING AT ME.
I wanted to crawl up in a corner and hide behind the freezer section right then and there.
I knew I had done something wrong, but I didn’t know what.
He finally showed me what I was looking for and was kind enough to show me the correct spelling.

I died on the inside that day.
It took me 3 months to get the courage to go back to that supermarket again.

So I know so well how stupid and small you might feel in English. I’ve been there, and it sucks.
You’re smart.
You get shit done in your own language.
But English? Not so much.

Wouldn’t it be great to feel great about your English?
To not have to worry about the vocabulary, pronunciation, or grammar?
To understand it so well you can then get on with your life and focus on other things for a change?
To believe in yourself again when it comes to communication?

Well, I’m here to help.
I designed my English Confidence Boo(s)tcamp  for people like you.
You’re not alone.
So many people have asked me if they were ‘good enough’ to join my events.
They doubted themselves so much they didn’t dare to sign up.
In this Masterclass, we start from the ground up.
Baby steps.
We will cover a lot of material, but in my famous rock and roll, fun way, and eliminate your fears in English.
I’d love it if you joined us.
Early Bird Discount ends December 31.

All you need to do is take one first step  and sign up.
And then I’ll show you just how far we can go!
(Really far.)

Can’t wait to see you! 
Leave your grocery list at home. 🙂

X Buffi

Take one small step today and thank yourself later.
You’re smart. So invest in yourself!
It’s time to get CONFIDENT in English! 

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