Lesson Transcript


Becky: Welcome to a special Inner Circle Audio Lesson! I'm Becky and I'll be your host. My co-host today is the founder of Innovative Language... Peter Galante!
Peter: Hi everyone! Peter here.
Becky: In this Inner Circle, we’re talking about one thing that nobody wants to talk about.
Peter: Failure. And not just slightly missing a goal but utter, complete failure.
Becky: You’ll learn how most language learners fail before they even start...
Peter: ...The #1 mistake they all make when they try to bounce back...
Becky: ...And how you can start over despite failing the first time.
Becky: Listeners, welcome back to the Inner Circle.
Peter: Last time, you learned how to boost your motivation...
Becky: ...by creating connections with a language. Such as making friends with a native speaker, watching TV shows and things like that.
Peter: All so you can guarantee your success, get motivated and start learning.
Becky: But... listeners, what if you set your goal and you know what you need to do...
Peter: ...but you never start. Or try to start... and fall off after a few days.
Becky: In other words, what if you completely fail your language learning goal?
Peter: Becky, Tough, tough topic today.
Becky: Yeah, nobody wants to talk about failure.
Peter: Very true. This is an incredibly common problem with beginner learners.
Becky: You set an ambitious goal. You’re excited. You’re finally going to get it done...
Peter: ...and you never start. You fail before you even begin.
Becky: Listeners, this is the topic of this month’s Inner Circle:
Peter: Utter Language Learning Failure and How To Bounce Back.
Becky: In this Inner Circle, you’re going to learn 1) Why people fail at the goals they want so bad...
Peter: ...2) The #1 mistake learners make when they try to bounce back...
Becky: ...And 3) how you can keep going despite completely failing on your first try.
Peter: So, listeners, have you ever signed up for something....
Becky: Or wished you could get on track and finally master your language...
Peter: But you never actually got started?
Becky: Be sure to let us know your experience.
Peter: This actually is very common with gyms too, Becky.
Becky: Oh, I know that one from personal experience. What about you, Peter? Did you utterly fail at something this past month? Perhaps... your Spanish goal!?
Peter: Wow, Becky. You just went right for the kill, didn’t you? I did. I failed my Spanish goal for January.
Becky: What’d you promise us last time? I think it was three minutes of conversation...
Peter: It was three minutes of Spanish conversation, a one page written introduction and I promised I’d find a skype tutor.
Becky: Did you reach at least a minute of Spanish conversation?
Peter: Not even 10 seconds, Becky.
Becky: Peter. I know you don’t like Spanish. And I know you weren’t that interested at the start but it’s a beautiful language. You didn’t find a skype tutor.
Peter: That’s right, Becky. Not even a skype tutor.
Becky: But you knew what you had to do. These are small measurable goals with a deadline.
Peter: That’s right, Becky. When you’re right, you’re right. It was all there. Clear as day. I knew what I had to do.
Becky: So, why’d you fail?
Peter: Listeners, this is where we get into the first point:
Becky: 1. Why learners utterly fail at the language goals they want so bad.
Peter: Or why they fail before they even get started.
Becky: We talked about big, vague goals like “becoming fluent in Japanese” as being sources of failure.
Peter: That’s right. But not even getting started is a bigger reason for failure.
Becky: So why do most people fail before they even start?
Peter: The easy answer is life, Becky. We tend to be too ambitious and put too much on our plates.
Becky: What do you mean?
Peter: Well, for example, I love making lists to get things done. When I first started, every morning I’d make a list of 30 to 40 things that I’d want to get done that day.
Becky: That sounds ambitious, Peter.
Peter: Exactly. And, I only wound up crossing off 4 or 5 things per day. That wasn’t encouraging! Looking at the long list of things I didn’t cross off was actually discouraging.
Becky: ...so 30 or 40 extra things is way too much for a day, right?
Peter: For me, exactly. So I made a change. My average was 4 or 5 things a day, so…
Becky: You made a list of 4 or 5 things. Smart.
Peter: I mean, imagine, if you had a list of 4 or 5 things to do or a list of 30 things. Becky, which list would you like to tackle?
Becky: Definitely the 4 or 5 things.
Peter: This is kind of what happened with my Spanish goal and my learning goal for the month. Even though they may have seemed small, for my routine, I set them too big and too many.
Becky: You couldn't fit it into your schedule?
Peter: I could not. When you can’t get something done, oftentimes, it’s your life telling you there’s no room for that. So listen to what your life has to say.
Becky: Wow. Usually people say that if you fail, you deserve it. You’ve made the choice to fail. You’re responsible for failure. Things like that.
Peter: You’re very positive today.
Becky: Just saying what people told me.
Peter: It’s a very common black and white mentality. And it’s a little funny, I used to think like that too.
Becky: Really?
Peter: Definitely. It definitely sounds good. But with it, comes pride. Because if you fail...
Becky: ...you justify it to yourself that you deserved it and you’re not meant to learn language...
Peter: ...and you quit and you never try again. Also a common reason for failing and quitting.
Becky: So, how would you bounce back knowing you’ve completely failed on the first try?
Peter: Well, before we get into that, let’s get into the second point.
Becky: The #1 mistake learners make when they try to bounce back.
Peter: So, here’s a question for you Becky.
Becky: Yes?
Peter: If you set a goal to speak 3 minutes of language by January and you miss it, how do you make up for that?
Becky: Hmm, I think I would double up. So, I’d aim for 6 minutes in February to make up for it.
Peter: Why is that?
Becky: I think of school. When you miss homework, it piles up and you have to do MORE work to catch up.
Peter: Right.
Becky: Also, I think it’s pride, like you said. Because I failed the first time, I feel motivated to make up for it and come back stronger the second time.
Peter: Great reasons, Becky. And REALLY bad things to do to your goals.
Becky: Wait, really?
Peter: Think about it. If you couldn’t do a 3 minute goal last month. If you failed the first time...
Becky: Hmm, I probably wouldn’t be able to reach 3 minutes this month.
Peter: Right. So, DOUBLING it to 6 minutes makes the task that much more impossible.
Becky: Yeah, yeah, that makes a lot of sense.
Peter: You have to listen to your life. If you didn’t get 3 minutes done in a month, you’re not going to get 6 minutes done. Becky, this is the #1 mistake language learners when they try to bounce back.
Becky: They try do all the work from last month and this month - in one shot.
Peter: Listeners, you’re less likely to reach a bigger goal if you failed at a smaller goal.
Becky: Alright, so giving yourself more work to make up for a failed language goal is bad idea, right?
Peter: Exactly.
Becky: So, how should our listeners bounce back? How are you bouncing back?
Peter: Which brings us to our 3rd point. And Becky, you’re going to love this.
Becky: 3) How you can keep going despite completely failing on your first try.
Peter: Okay, so we covered utter failure.
Becky: Failing before you even get started.
2:11 Peter: And we know that increasing your workload is a recipe for more failure.
Becky: Listeners, here’s how you bounce back.
Peter: Remember, if you completely failed your monthly goal like i did...
Becky: ...it means your life is telling you that there’s no room for that goal.
Peter: But does it mean that you’re not meant to learn a language? No.
Becky: So, what do you do?
Peter: Listeners, you scale your goal down.
Becky: Or in other words, aim for a much easier goal. Why?
Peter: The easier it is to get done, the more likely you’ll get it done and the more likely it is to fit into your current lifestyle.
Becky: Like your example with your to-do lists?
Peter: That’s right. That list of 30 or 40 things didn’t work. So, I started dividing them down to 4-5 items a day. And believe it or not, I’d finish most of those tasks.
Becky: Ah, I see.
Peter: And when you reach that smaller goal....
Becky: ...Listeners, your motivation go will up. You’ll feel better...
Peter: ...and you can use that motivation to make more progress and catch up later...
Becky: ...instead of punishing yourself for a failed goal and failing again by adding more work.
Peter: Remember, if you completely fail your first goal, aim for a much smaller goal.
Becky: Is that what you’re doing for your next goal Peter?
Peter: You got it Becky. Since I failed, completely and utterly failed, my February goal of 3 minutes of conversation... this month, I’ll be aiming for 1 minute of Spanish conversation.
Becky: And how about the 1-page introduction and the Skype tutor?
Peter: The 1-page introduction will be scaled down to 1 paragraph... and the tutor, there’s really no excuse for that. I still have to find one. So I will find one first.
Becky: Alright, sounds great!
Peter: Listeners, have you ever completely failed a goal or a New Year’s Resolution?
Becky: And were you able to bounce back?
Peter: And if not, what do you think stopped you?
Becky: Be sure to let us know.
Peter: Email us at inner dot circle at innovative language dot com


Becky: Well, that’s going to do it for this special Inner Circle lesson!
Peter: Bye everyone!
Becky: Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time.