Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Q & A # 1 – Overcoming The Fear of Speaking English

Woohoo! I’m kicking off a new edition of Q & A’s! That’s right, for those of you that ask questions about specific things, I’ll be featuring them on a podcast one a weekly basis (might be Wednesday) and answer your questions as fully as possible. Here’s our first question!

Teacher, I would like you to post a video explaining how to overcome fear or how to be confident when it comes to speaking English.

Cristian of Colombia

Brilliant question. Has a degree of self-awareness to it. Everyone in the world wants to know how they can become more confident in their respective fields, more importantly in communication. When it comes to fear, we’ll always have. We can’t banish fear because we’re human beings — when we feel such a thing — our defensive mechanism comes up. The “fight or flight” mode kicks in. But there is a way to handle it by asking yourself these questions.

What’s the worst that can happen?

Honestly, what’s the worst thing that can happen? They might make a mockery of you. It happened to me here in Thailand. I moved to a country not knowing the language, so I’m in the same group as many of you are who are studying the English language. Yes, I was made fun of, restaurants didn’t make my food on purpose, they pointed at me, laughed at me, talked about me behind my back BUT IN MY FACE, but it’s just noise.

Stick to your true values and beliefs and none of that will mean a damn thing.

Afraid of being judged?

I’ve been judged all my life. I’ve been judged because the color of my skin. Yes, if you’re a Spanish speaker and have a heavy accent, a lot of anglo Americans might judge you. If you have a Chinese accent in Australia, you’re probably judged by a lot of Aussies (as videos have shown). But again, where are the insecurities? You. It’s not them. They’re begging for your attention and have an alpha mask on. You, on the other hand, are giving them the attention by seeping down to their level. You will be judged when you’re trying to make the best of yourself…you have to be comfortable being uncomfortable to become a strong communicator in English.

Afraid of failure?

Better make him/her your friend! Failure is one big vitamin to me. I’ve had much more failures than successes and they’ve helped me achieve the unthinkable. It has helped me realize how unbelievable a human being I am. So what, you failed an academic English test. That’s impractical. Can you communicate effectively across cultures? That will be more important in life. Trust me.

Afraid of not being understood? Welcome to the party.

I’ve been misunderstood by my family on countless occasions — and we speak the same language! I’ve been misunderstood by some of my best friends, and that will never change. It’s a part of living and growing. When you’re communicating, people might ask other people what you’re talking about and put you in a more uncomfortable situation. Sucks at first, but what did you really learn from it?

Podcast

Find Yourself & Be Yourself: Remember There Is No One Else On Earth Like You

Sitting beachside and even going about waist deep into water….I was chatting with my befriended Egyptian friends in Male, Maldives.  When we were laughing and joking, I looked around and saw people of all ages smiling or laughing at us….because of what we were talking about.

However, if this was two years ago, I would’ve spoken under my breath so I wouldn’t be heard by other people around me.  Why? I was afraid. I was afraid of being myself.  I was afraid of becoming the man I was set out to be in life because I was afraid of what other people would’ve thought of me.

Dale Carnegie talked in his book about a woman named Edith.  She was sensitive, like most people are; however, she was terrified of dealing with people.  Overweight, avoided friends, nervous, irritable, terrified anytime the doorbell rang at her house.  She became so unhappy that she was heading right for suicide.

So, what changed this woman’s life? A chance remark.

Her mother-in-law said, “No matter the day, I always insisted on them being themselves.”

Yes, just a simple phrase can changed everything.

She literally changed overnight.  She began to study herself.  Figure out her own personality.  She began studying her strong points and learned all about colors and styles so she can wear apparel suitable for her skin.  She started to reach out and made new friends, joined organizations….EVERYTHING! Her motto was, “no matter what happens, always be yourself!”

“You and I have such abilities, so let’s not waste a second worrying because we are not like other people.  You are something new in this world.  Never before, since the beginning of time, has there ever been anybody exactly like you; and never again throughout all ages to come will there ever be anybody exactly like you again.  The science of genetics informs us that you are what you are largely as a result of twenty-four chromosomes contributes by your father and twenty-four contributed by your mother.  There forty-eight chromosomes comprise everything that determines what you inherit.  In each chromosome there may be anywhere from hundreds of genes – with a single gene, in some cases, able to change the whole life of an individual.  We are fearfully and wonderfully made.” – Dale Carnegie

You are something new in this world.  Be glad of it.  Make the most of what nature gave you.  You can sing only what you are.  You can paint only what you are.  You must be what your experiences, your environment, and your heredity have made you.  Cultivate that own little garden of yours.  Play your own instrument in the orchestra of life.

Create that council table and whoever inspires you, visualize an attribute that he/she has that you would like to inherit.  Want to become funnier? Hang around funnier people.  Want to gain confidence? Start doing the things you’re terrified of doing.  Become the best version of yourself so both I, and the rest of the world, can celebrate your achievement!

Podcast

Controlling Inner Feelings + Different Types of Negative Thoughts

One of my students asked me yesterday about how to destroy these destructive thoughts, and of course, it all comes down to habit.

Research has shown that people talk to themselves about 50,000 times a day.  Yes, this includes you – who are reading this.  Unfortunately, 80% of that comes from negative self-talk such as they don’t like me, I’m never going to finish this, they’re going to beat us, I can’t run this time, I can’t do the last push-up, I can’t finish on time, he’s going to fire me.

We know that these thoughts have the most powerful effect on us.  For instance, this happened to me yesterday evening whereas I literally switched vibrations for gratitude into something of malice.  It was dark, gloomy, and it felt like there was no way out.  I felt like a spec in the universe and then I had to hurry and ask myself, “whoa! What’s wrong? What am I feeling at the moment? What made me feel this way?”

These negative thoughts actually control our behavior.  It makes us stutter, spill things, forget our lines on stage, feel anxious, scared – and to the most extreme….can kill us, such as what depressive thoughts have done to the most famous people in the years.

If we can take another example from the lie-detector test….yes, the polygraph that was virtually on every 90’s American show, humiliating individuals if they had lied about the simplest things, to cheating.  How does this this machine detect a lie?

  • Heart rate
  • Blood pressure
  • Breathing rate
  • Muscle tension
  • Sweating hands

With these detections, it shows the physiological changes that occur when you’re lying.  Every cell in your body is affected by every thought you have.

Different Types of Negative Thoughts

Focusing on the negative.

People who simply always focus on the minute bad when there’s so much good.  Jack Canfield conducted a training session for high school teachers and most of the teachers just focused on the negative.  If 30 kids understood an answer but 4 didn’t, they would focus on the 4 who didn’t get it and would feel bad, rather than focusing on the other 30 who did get it and feel good.

Catastrophic Predicting

“I’m scared to fly because I think the plane is going to crash!”

Kind of like the stupidity of Murphy’s Law? Thinking of the worst possible scenario in your mind and then act as if it were a certainty?  This is happening to me currently because I’m scared to fly Malaysia Airlines from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur because of what happened 3 years ago.

Mind-Reading?

Seriously, can you read minds? Are you a psychic? I’m not.  So, this kills me overtime because just by someone’s facial expression, I automatically assume that they’re a racist.  DOH! You know when you’re mind-reading when you’re thinking thoughts such as He’s mad at me, she doesn’t like me, he’s going to say no, he’s going to fire me.

Remember, unless you’re a psychic, you can’t read anyone else’s mind.  You don’t even know what they’re really thinking at less you check it out.

Guilt-Tripping

Should, must, ought to, or have to.  All modal verbs that create an internal resistant to actually doing it.  Don’t SHOULD yourself.

Transforming Your Inner Critic Into Your Inner Coach

Instead, let me teach you an extremely powerful exercise for retraining that inner critic to teach you to tell you the truth.

Let’s look at it this way, we always respond to situations in anger, right? But what about the steps leading afterwards? We often forget about that.  Let me show you some examples.

Imagine your child or someone who you care about who’s young…runs in the street and almost gets hit by a car.

Initial Reaction – Anger: I am mad at you for running in the street without looking to see if any cars were coming!

What about the fear? Requests? Love? Let’s go through this again.

Anger: I am mad at you for running in the street without looking to see if any cars were coming!

Fear: I am afraid you’ll get badly hurt or killed.

Requests: I want you to pay more attention when you are playing near the street.  Stop and look both ways before you walk or run out into the street.

Love: I love you so much.  I don’t know what I would do without you.  You are so precious to me.  I want you to be safe and healthy.  You deserve to have lots of fun and stay safe so you can continue to enjoy life to its fullest.  Do you understand?

That’s more like it.  What a different message!  You also need to train that inner critic to talk the same way.

Write down a list of things which you would talk to yourself out loud.  Just imagine their being a clone in front of you. Here are some things that a typical list might look like.

  • You don’t exercise enough.
  • You’re getting fatter.
  • You’re drinking too much.
  • You’re lazy.  Why don’t you finish the things you start?
  • You need to watch less television and go to bed earlier.

Write a list and after completing it, practice communicating the same information using the four-step process.

Podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/11814036

 

 

Napoleon Hill – The Slavery of Debt

Paying for something you can’t afford.  Ring a bell? You dig into your wallet and pullout that flashy master card, which has “debt-ridden” all over it.  You slide that card or insert it into the machine – little do you know what you’ve just done.

Debt, which is a merciless master, is a fatal enemy of the savings habit.

Poverty, alone, is sufficient to kill off ambition, destroy self-confidence and destroy hope. If we look at it from a realistic perspective, imagine a man.  His name is Joe and he makes $12,000 a year.  His wife, on the other hand, has terrible spending habits and lives a $20,000 year lifestyle.  Therefore, the poor fellow is about $8,000 dollars in debt a year. He has two girls and one boy who wants to go to college, but now that’s impossible because of the father’s debts.  The result makes the entire family miserable.

It’s a terrible thing to go through life like a prisoner in chains, bound down like you’re in solitary confinement.  The accumulation of debts is a habit.  It starts in a small way and grows into enormous proportions slowly over time.

Most men and women develop that notorious habit of spending and unfortunately they never come to their senses in time to save themselves, because spending is like quicksand.  It’s slow, but once it grabs hold of your legs, you have no way out.  You sink deeper and deeper until you’re way in over your head before suffocating.  Good metaphor, ey?

The Fear of Poverty is one of the most destructive of the six basic fears I’ve mentioned in my previous podcasts because it destroys self-confidence, ambition, and sinks you straight into oblivion.  On top of that, this particular fear can attract The Fear of Ill Health, and then that can attract The Fear of Old Age.  Before you know it, your hair is full of grey by the age of 40.  Does any of this ring a bell for you guys? Here, I’ll throw in a story how attaching identity to money is the absolute worst thing you can do.

A young man worked for National Bank of New York City long ago.  Because he had that destructive habit of spending, the debtors/creditors would follow him around like a rat nipping at your heels to embarrass and humiliate him.  Kind of like in America where the debtors start calling your job? It gets worse.  They followed him from city-to-city when he was trying to just escape them until he had accumulated enough money to pay off his indebtedness.  Sure enough, they found him again…..and one cold night he leaped off one of the top building on Broadway straight to his demise.

Debt had claimed another victim.

Podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/11794402

Napoleon Hill – The Habit of Saving

Saving money is only a matter of habit.  So, we need to have a brief analysis of the Law of Habit.

Through repetition, any act indulged in a few times becomes a habit, and the mind appears to be nothing more than a mass of motivating forces catering to that habit.

When you have any thought fixed in the mind, a habit is formed and impels action.  For example, think about your daily route to work everyday or some place you frequently visit.  You had to implement the idea in mind that you had or have to go to this place based on obligation everyday; just as we brush our teeth, take a shower, comb our hair, and even and most destructively – turn on the news.

Millions of people go through life in poverty because they made destructive use of the Law of Habit.  Not understanding the Law of Habit or the Law of Attraction….you will remain in poverty  and not even realize what you’re attracting into your life.

Fix in your mind the thought that your ability is limited to a given earning capacity and you will never earn more than that.  The law will set up in your mind the definite limitation you’re calling into existence.  Your subconscious will accept that limitation and then you’ll feel yourself slipping.

How can you get ride of this?

First, through the law of Definite Chief Aim, set up, in your mind, and accurate and definite description of that which you want; including the amount of money you intend to earn.

Your subconscious mind takes over this picture which you have created and uses it as a blueprint, destroying the other blueprints that probably control your perception of money.

You can then start charting, mapping, and holding your thoughts and actions into practical plans for attaining the object of your Chief Aim, or purpose.  Through the Law of Habit you keep the object fixed in your mind and it permanently becomes implanted there.

This practice alone will destroy the poverty consciousness and set up, in its place, a prosperity consciousness.

Podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/11785866

The Ramble of Positivity: Episode 6 – Start Asking The Right Questions

This past week was yet another character building week for me.  After conversations erupted whereas people did not see eye-to-eye with me, I found out my true self-worth and went on a journey of asking questions.  Seeing how much value I can bring to other peoples’ lives….and boy, did I find some great answers.

Seeing how one could be so empathic, compassionate, and in support of my career plan, I knew I was, and always have been in good hands.

On top of that, I got four smiles (yes, I counted them) from just passerbys throughout the week.  That’s a record total for living here in Thailand.  One could say, “wow, that’s bad.” In my case, it’s astronomically amazing.  Let’s see how many I can collect this week.

Every Monday morning on my podcast I have a “Ramble of Positivity” because I feel I can emanate and radiate with love…by sharing my story and having others do the same thing, too.  There’s always time to be grateful every morning.  There’s always time to write down your grateful list or even go for a walk through nature – counting your blessings. What are you grateful for this morning?

Podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/11697320

Tim Ferris – Uncovering Fear Disguised As Optimism

It’s exactly what Bob Proctor has been saying for over 50 years, too.  That paradigm.  That mental barrier that controls everything about us.  Right when we’re getting ready to make that life-altering decision we say, “ahhhhh, I can go next year.  I’m happy with this car now.  Oh, I can save my money instead.  I can go next weekend.”

Most who avoid quitting their jobs entertain the thought that their course will improve with time or increases in income. This seems valid and is a tempting hallucination when a job is boring or uninspiring instead of pure hell. Pure hell forces action, but anything less can be endured with enough clever rationalization.

That particular afternoon after my nap and going through absolute HELL with a bunch of ignorant specimen and a completely shambolic school, I said, “is money worth it? Is this measly 1000$ USD a month worth it? No.  I quit,”  Three days later, after getting my last salary, I disappeared.

There was no future, no visa, no work permit, endless lies, horrific students, bad-mouthing teachers who spoke Thai behind my back to make a mockery of me…..that breaking point was reached.  Once you do it the first time, it makes it a hell of a lot easier.

Do you really think it will improve or is it wishful thinking and an excuse for inaction?  Did I really think my job situation would improve? If you were confident in improvement, would you really be questioning things so? Generally not. This is fear of the unknown disguised as optimism.

Are you better off than you were one year ago, one month ago, or one week ago?”

Probably not.

Nine to five for your working lifetime of 40–50 years is a long-ass time if the rescue doesn’t come. About 500 months of solid work.
How many do you have to go? It’s probably time to cut your losses.

If you are nervous about making the jump or simply putting it off out of fear of the unknown, here is your antidote.  Write and do not edit—aim for volume. Spend a few minutes on each answer.

Tim Ferris’ Rules

1. Define your nightmare, the absolute worst that could happen if you did what you are considering. What doubt, fears, and “what-ifs” pop up as you consider the big changes you can—or need—to make? Envision them in painstaking detail. Would it be the end of your life? What would be the permanent impact, if any, on a scale of 1–10? Are these things really permanent? How likely do you think it is that they would actually happen?”

2. What steps could you take to repair the damage or get things back on the upswing, even if temporarily? Chances are, it’s easier than you imagine. How could you get things back under control?”

3. What are the outcomes or benefits, both temporary and permanent, of more probable scenarios? Now that you’ve defined the nightmare, what are the more probable or definite positive outcomes, whether internal (confidence, self-esteem, etc.) or external? What would the impact of these more-likely outcomes be on a scale of 1–10? How likely is it that you could produce at least a moderately good outcome? Have less intelligent people done this before and pulled it off?

4. If you were fired from your job today, what would you do to get things under financial control? Imagine this scenario and run through questions 1–3 above. If you quit your job to test other options, how could you later get back on the same career track if you absolutely had to?

5. What are you putting off out of fear? Usually, what we most fear doing is what we most need to do. That phone call, that conversation, whatever the action might be—it is fear of unknown outcomes that prevents us from doing what we need to do. Define the worst case, accept it, and do it. I’ll repeat something you might consider tattooing on your forehead: What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do. As I have heard said, a person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have. Resolve to do one thing every day that you fear. I got into this habit by attempting to contact celebrities and famous businesspeople for advice.”

 

6. What is it costing you—financially, emotionally, and physically—to postpone action? Don’t only evaluate the potential downside of action. It is equally important to measure the atrocious cost of inaction. If you don’t pursue those things that excite you, where will you be in one year, five years, and ten years? How will you feel having allowed circumstance to impose itself upon you and having allowed ten more years of your finite life to pass doing what you know will not fulfill you? If you telescope out 10 years and know with 100% certainty that it is a path of disappointment and regret, and if we define risk as “the likelihood of an irreversible negative outcome,” inaction is the greatest risk of all.

7. What are you waiting for? If you cannot answer this without resorting to the previously rejected concept of good timing, the answer is simple: You’re afraid, just like the rest of the world. Measure the cost of inaction, realize the unlikelihood and repairability of most missteps, and develop the most important habit of those who excel and enjoy doing so: action.

My Podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/10871359