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…
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?
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?
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.