As you may (or may not) know, I’m deeply honored to be the English coach to some very special people. Many of my clients are CEOs or celebrities, and for them, every word counts. If they make a mistake in English, it could have serious (global) consequences.
This means that sometimes, they get nervous.
This means that sometimes, they doubt themselves.
This means that sometimes, they might want to avoid using English.
I get it.
I really get it.
Because I have the same exact feeling.
When I speak Dutch.
You see, I never speak Dutch in public.
Unless I’m on a national talk show, late night TV show, or in the newspaper.
I only use Dutch when millions of people will read it or see me using it live.
That’s why I understand so well what it’s like to be nervous in another language on a global stage.
But I’ve developed a technique for myself that really helps with this, and I’ve been using it with my clients, and the results are fantastic.
It’s called ‘Shut up, Sheila!’ (Or ‘Susan’ or ‘Shirley’, or….any name you choose.)
This is how it works:
1. You give your fear a name. My fear is called Shirley.
2. You acknowledge that she is there.
3. You tell Shirley that you’re going for a drive, and that she can come with you in the car.
4. But she’s sitting in the back seat. YOU are in the driver’s seat.
5. Every time she says ‘You can’t do this’ or ”This is hard’ or ‘You’re not good enough’, you glance over your shoulder, and say ‘SHUT UP, SHIRLEY!!’ and keep driving.
6. You see, every time you look back and give HER attention, you are taking your focus off the road. You are using your energy to look back, not look ahead.
7. So just tell her to shut up, and keep driving. You don’t even have to turn around. Just say ‘SHUT UP SHIRLEY!’ and keep your hands steady on that wheel. You know where to go. Keep moving forward. She is with you, but she’s not going to distract you from where you are going, and how you are going to get there.
I hope this helps you like it’s helped so many of my clients lately!
I did this for myself, sitting on my closet floor, when I was getting dressed for the Jinek show. It made such a difference.
Try it and let me know how it goes!
Buffi (and Shirley, but she can’t really talk right now)