Evolving Questions To Banish Self-Doubt

I talk a lot about self-doubt on this site, because it is plague that affects all learners. Regardless of your confidence in other areas, when it comes to Japanese, self-doubt pops up everywhere. In all the different phases of your journey forward, you repeatedly ask yourself “can I do this?” Then you start to imagine reasons why you can’t. Time, money, level, comfort, and a long list of other things.  The result: you don’t do it. At least not now. Maybe later

Evolving Questions To Banish Self-Doubt

Your focus shouldn’t be on whether you can do it. To remove self-doubt, you need some question evolution.

Can I do this?

Do I want to do this?

How am I going to do it?

How am I going to do this now?

Evolving Questions To Banish Self-Doubt 2

Once you get to the “how now” of self-questioning, every moment you spend on answering this is one step closer to achieving it. “Can I?” is an abrupt halt. Sometimes it is treading backwards. Which direction do you want to be travelling in?

“How now” isn’t always easy, but if that’s all you are thinking about, that’s all that becomes important to you, and that’s what you are going to make happen. You have time to then figure out how to make your “how now” work, and that time spent working on it is all time that is well used. You are less likely to give up. You are more likely to make things happen. And that’s when greatness appears.

Can I watch Japanese TV without English subtitles? Can I handle J-J? Do I have the ability to read manga? Will I be able to have conversations? These questions are gone. How are you going to achieve these? That’s what you need to work on.

How did you evolve the questions of self-doubt?

Are there any special tactics or techniques you employed to get rid of questioning whether you can do something?

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Founder of Jalup. Spends most of his time absorbing and spreading thrilling information about learning Japanese.


Evolving Questions To Banish Self-Doubt — 12 Comments

  1. I don’t think you can ever banish self doubt from your mind. I do however believe that you can become accustomed to it, making it but a small murmur in the back of your mind. Unfortunately the only real cure is time and experience. So just knowing you’ll be able to handle those doubts one day should give you enough of a boost to overcome them today.

    • Maybe not completely, but you can banish it to far regions of your mind where it barely sees the light of day.

      • Agreed. Also individual doubts can be quelched, but new ones will come in their place. But I definitely think you can become close to immune to them.

  2. Ah yes self-doubt. He visits me constantly whenever I am interacting with Japanese. Whispering into my ear negativity. I never had a solution for him other than ignore until now. Ahhh these articles really know how to fix me.

  3. One thing that helped me was seeing all the people in the Line chat using Japanese. I see everyone talking about the same struggles I go through, even the people who are much better than me. The other thing that helps is knowing that there is an entire country of people who speak it effortlessly. It would be pretty silly to assume that I can’t do the same thing.

  4. This is one to bookmark and keep. I just had a Japanese student expressing her self-doubts about English to me. (It goes both directions.) We can use this technique to chart a way forward for her. And I need it in more areas than just Japanese. Thanks.

    • I think often native Japanese studying English have it even worse because of all the pressure to speak good English.

  5. Perfect. My question evolved from “Can I watch this Anime” to “How do I make time to watch this Anime”.

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