Many modern experts propose that a lot of the nerves associated with the modern world can be ascribed to the notion in western culture that our freedoms and liberties should be the basis of success: If you’re a hard worker, you will succeed. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Things like socio-economic issues and the power structures that surround us can influence where you start in life and where you will ultimately finish. Working hard and not getting the success you want raises stress levels and can weigh on nerves.
Is there a way to reduce anxiety while at the same time increase career success?
Learning a new language can greatly reduce your stress and give you a valuable tool for your career. Bi and multilingual candidates are highly desired in almost every field. In addition to the obvious benefit, being able to communicate in more languages, there are also a number of other benefits that can come from your studies. With a caring teacher and an inquisitive nature, you can see where your level of easy lies.
Levels of Ease
The idea of levels of ease has been researched quite a bit recently. It is the generally accepted theory that when people drive themselves to past their level of ease they move to a level of expansion. This can be uncomfortable but being open to new experiences will help you to grow and become a more well-rounded person. Then, if you find yourself in a new situation with comparable issues to overcome you can be confident of your ability to tackle the issue.
However, it’s not enough to just put yourself in uncomfortable positions. It can be a shocking endeavor and can set you up for failure if not done in a way that promotes individual advancement. You can only grow and learn when these endeavors are attainable and lend themselves to accomplishing goals. This is exactly what learning a new language is all about.
Giving a speech in English is a terrifying prospect to many people, let alone in a language you don’t speak natively, but most every language class you will find will make you do it, and usually regularly. So, it’s important to consider the type, of course, you want to take. By traveling to a new country that doesn’t have English as the primary language, you develop your language skills but also gives you more confidence in your ability and inspires you to try new things and move from a level of ease to a level of expansion. This might be unsettling at first, but you will learn so much, gain valuable skills, and get to experience a new culture. Having fun while you learn will help you retain new information and give achievable challenges.
It can be especially helpful if you travel, or at least learn, as part of a group. Then all participants will be learning at the same time and leaving their ease levels at a similar pace. Having like-minded people around you who are also learning and being pushed to try new things will make the experience fun and exciting. Also, each person will use different strategies to achieve their goals, so if something isn’t working for you, you will have a ready source from which to pull new ideas.
If you want to get any kind of certificate or grade to prove your skill with a new language, you will most certainly have to take a test. It is stressful to have to prove yourself to your peers and authority figures, like a teacher or exam proctor – which leads to feelings of anxiety and being judged. If you have solid memories of real experiences from which to pull, it can make test time feel much less stressful.
But all this leaves out one important factor: What if you’re shy? Those of us who aren’t social butterflies will have problems with the method above, but don’t worry! You can still learn how to speak Spanish. By rehearsing with yourself, practicing one-on-one, recording yourself and using conversational crutches you can still learn one of the most valuable languages to employers. You will still need to speak to other people and push your levels of ease, but these methods are much more friendly to introverts who may be much too uncomfortable to just go out amongst strangers in a foreign country.
Anxiety comes from an abundance of nervous energy. Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, you need to find a way to use up that energy and use it in a productive way. You could spend it at a busy nightclub in a foreign city, or in your pj’s with a friend over the internet. As long as you transform that energy into something that is productive, it doesn’t matter if you’re going out or staying in.
So much more than a new language
When you develop skills in a new language you set yourself up for success in your career, in stress management, and emotional intelligence. You will grow as a human being and be ready to take on the world head-on. You place yourself in a situation to get a great job and understand more about the world and the wide variety of people who inhabit it. Whether you want to take a group tour of Italy or learn Spanish in the quiet of your own home, it’s a great way to improve yourself as a person.