Mittwochsblog #54

Mittwochsblog #54

Why I love writing in English

My inner critic speaks no English. So writing in English is my way to trick it.
I found out that it is easier to think new thoughts and act when I use my second language.

Plan in English, act in German.

Most of the books with new or challenging ideas I read in the last couple of years were written in English. Consequently, the coaching program by Barbara Sher that I attended was in English, too. Interestingly it is easier to push me forward in unchartered territory when I use English. For example, I learned that I could talk much easier about my dreams, emotions, and wishes. Of course, it was and is still an effort to start acting, but even this is easier when I prepare in English.

The reason behind it

I thought a lot about the question of what psychological impact might play a role in it. I entertain the idea that my inner critic simply can’t catch up with me when I think, write, and speak in English. It just can’t understand what is going on and therefore is much less active.

Using English also puts a distance between me and my thoughts. And very often, it seems like this distance helps not to get too entangled in demotivating thought patterns or too readily believe everything I think is true.

I’ve talked to other German native speakers about it and got similar feedback. Some things are said easier in English than in German for them, too. For us, English seems to be a clearer structured or somehow less complicated language than German. Our feeling is that you can say things way shorter in English than in German. The more limited number of words makes it also necessary to sometimes simplify or, in other cases, explain something in more detail. Both mechanisms can help to clarify things.

Be someone different

I vividly remember a workshop session in a womens’ retreat in France a couple of years ago. We were invited to speak some rudimentary words in French and mimic the “typically French” attitude as best as possible. It was all about becoming the French Lady who smokes a cigarette very elegantly and says, “Bonjour!” to the approaching man in the way only French Women can say it. It was a bit ridiculous maybe. And we had so much fun. It was like trying on a different personality by speaking one single word in French.

So why not do a coaching session in English? Or write in your journal in English instead of German? Sometimes something as simple as that can gift you with a whole new perspective. It’s worth a try. You have nothing to lose.



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