There are not a lot of things that I am confident I will never say in Turkish but “I learned Turkish” is going to be one. As I have considered this there are two reasons why:
- There is always more to learn– There more I speak with other people and about topics I am less confident the more I feel I need to learn. Recently I toured a tape factory my friend worked at and learned all kinds of industrial and business terms I had not been familiar with. While the day before I met with a friend for tea and we ended up discussing philosophy and religion and was doing all I could to learn all the new words. These two topics are about as opposite as they come and both taught me more about the language. Additionally I met a guy who lived in Istanbul for years and he is reading a children’s book about a sea adventure and is learning all kinds of new nautical terms. The book was written for 4th
- I have Imposter’s Syndrome– This is the other reason and might be main reason. Imposter’s syndrome is the idea you don’t deserve the success that you have achieved. The syndrome gets its name from the fact that you are always waiting to be showed an imposter in an area of expertise or success. (Here is a link to a podcast with a couple guys discussing it or the wiki if you don’t have time or like podcasts). Every time I am speaking Turkish I am always waiting for the moment that it’s reveled that I can’t really speak Turkish. I feel like I am going to suddenly respond and the person I am speaking to will realize that I am don’t understand what they are saying at all.
So I could fight this feeling or I could try and use it, How? Easy.
Use that impending sense of doom and fear of failure push you to learn more. While this might not feel very good it is certainly better than feeling confident and becoming complacent. It is the flipside that you need to avoid and fight against. You need to fight the fear that would keep you from trying to progress and try new things. In fact that is good advice in general.