How to feel successful in Spanish

learning strategies Apr 22, 2021

If you have ever tried to learn another language, whether it is Spanish or any other, you will have almost certainly felt frustration with your learning at some point.

We normally start the journey with energy, enthusiasm and are ready to give it a go... But as we keep going, the task ahead seems overwhelming, almost impossible at times. 

We know where we’d like to be and we know where we are. And as we step towards it, that point seems to keep moving away and so the “gap” feels unbridgeable.

This happens to every learner, from beginner to the most advanced. 

But, why is that? 🤔

Simple. We place the focus on the end destination. 

In my case, at one point I had set the bar way too high, it was “sounding completely native in English”! Not only an unrealistic goal, but probably impossible from a physiological point of view too! 

Basically, the perfect way to feel permanently demoralised and set myself up for failure... 

And the learner that finally gives up is the one that sees that gap, feels too much pain and concludes that it’s impossible, that they are not naturally good at languages.

But the truth is that there is no end because we can always learn more, we can always improve. And no matter what level we’re at, we can feel trapped in this way of thinking.

The good news is that there are strategies to turn the situation around. Here are 3 very powerful ones: 

1. Change of focus

For example, in my case, of course I want to keep improving my pronunciation. But instead of wanting to “sound completely native” now I aim for “as close to native as possible”, the focus being on one step at a time, rather than how far I am to sounding more native.

So, I ask my children to tell me when I am saying something in English that can be confused with something else. For example, my “rise” sounds more like “rice”! I can pronounce the words correctly in isolation, but at full speed is much harder. Still work in progress, but one step at a time :) 

2. Look back

Think about how far you have come. Celebrate it and celebrate the path that you are on.

Because as we start making progress, naturally and without realising, we want more and our goals keep evolving. That’s why it can become disheartening to feel that you are never arriving. But when you look back, see how far you’ve come and are excited about the journey ahead, it’s not daunting anymore!

3. Enjoy the journey

The best language learners that I have come across are the ones that have learned to be okay with this. They know that as they keep going and prioritise enjoying the process, their language skills will improve. They know there’ll be always more to learn, but that’s okay. 

Tony Robbins has a great quote that goes “happily achieve instead of achieve to be happy.”

Enjoy the distance between where you are now and where you would like to be with your Spanish and enjoy pushing that rock up the hill. 

And remember that “energy flows where attention goes”. If your attention is on the difficulty, on how long you’ve got to go, you will be demoralised and ready to give up at the next hurdle. However, if your attention is on how far you’ve come and how you’re continuing to work on “bridging the gap”, you’ll feel energised, proud, successful and willing to keep going.

Happy learning,


Want to get inspired on how to take action with your Spanish?

Subscribe and join our community!


50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.