So… in the most recent post on this blog, I reviewed my Danish progress so far in January. I identified that I need to do more research on the upcoming Danish exam, and that I wanted to be more consistent with the content on this blog.
I then went to look at the details on the exam that I’d like to sit. I could see that there are two sections – writing and speaking. And then I just froze up. I felt my heart pounding in my chest and that I was being overwhelmed by a tremendous sense of pressure.
This has been such a sticking point that it’s almost stopped me from continuing this blog. There were a couple of other stories that I could have published about some observations about Danish language or culture, but I really wanted to address these reflections I’ve been having as a language learner.
A question that I kept on coming back and asking myself is: what is more important: being a “polyglot” or being a good learner? And I think that being a good learner and embracing struggles and setbacks is really important. At this stage of my language learning journey, the experience is more valuable than the end result.
What I’ve realised about myself is that I really don’t want to be wrong or make a mistake. Yet at the same time, I want to be able to do everything myself and fix all my language learning problems. To say the least, these are hardly the most complimentary set of thought patterns! The great news is that I’m now able to reflect and change my thinking to something which is a lot more productive.
I’ve also had to deal with this sense of overwhelm, and in the process I’ve stumbled across the famous productivity book “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” by David Allen. The whole process of systemically prioritising and scheduling tasks has been something I’ve never been able to really grasp. The really big distinction here is learning to trust myself that I’ll be disciplined and organised enough in order to achieve the bigger plans I want to do so badly.
So, with all of that in mind, the other thing that I’ve come to realise is that there isn’t a massive rush to learn Danish! I’ve recently been granted the right reside here, and I plan on staying here for good. In the grand scheme of it all, whether it takes me 3 months, 3 years, or even longer to learn Danish… it’s not really that much of a big deal.
I am still doing something towards learning Danish every day, and today I even started the process of enrolling in my local language school and also checked out some Danish books from my local library. I’ll keep this blog updated about how I get on with the language learning (hopefully with a more regular posting schedule!).