Friends, during the last few days, I have received not only mails, letters, Whatsapp messages, comments on Utube, but people have also expressed in my programs that they have developed a complex because they are weak in English. Common complaints are that they hesitate in meeting people, because they fail to convey their thoughts and ideas to others as they are non-conversant in English. Some parents avoid attending Parent-Teacher meetings at their child’s school, and even hesitate to interact with parents of other children.
I conduct a program called Excellence Gurukul, which is based on personal and business success. We have this program in different places, like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata. Many entrepreneurs participate in this program. In one of this program, we had a batch of industrialists. During the training, they were asked to mention three things that frustrate them the most, and which create a complex in them. When I read their sheets, 6-7 people out of 25 had mentioned that English was their weak point. Because they were non-conversant in the language, they could not address their AGM meetings; they had to seek help from their staff to answer e-mails; they needed assistance at meetings and conferences; somebody had to even assist them on foreign trips. Lakhs and crores of Indians are suffering because they do not know English.
Today, I want to give you two strict and straight-forward messages. Firstly, there is nothing to be ashamed if you do not know English. Language does not make so much of a difference, what counts more is your self-confidence. For instance, a person belonging to Madhya Pradesh and travelling in southern India, can express himself to a taxi driver or hotel staff, despite the fact that he does not know telagu, kannad or malyalam.
So, language is not that big a barrier. What you must essentially possess is self-confidence, the courage to face people and to convey your views. If you have the capacity to move out of your comfort zone and overcome all hurdles that come in your way, then language is a very secondary issue. You will come across leaders and industrialists who do not have a good hold on English, yet they are leaders of the masses, eminent industrialists, famous corporates or great artists. What I wish to emphasize is that if you excel in your particular field, then your knowledge of a language becomes irrelevant.
For instance, if you are a good doctor, then people are not concerned whether you know English or not. What matters is that you must excel professionally.
My earnest advice is that you must never hesitate in bringing forth your views. Always be ready to express your viewpoint, even if you are not fluent in a language; because if there is substance in what you speak, then language takes a back foot. Another thing that I would like to share with you is that, there are only 2-3 trainers in India who work on body language. I am fortunate to be one of them. We deal with big entrepreneurs, corporate bodies and train them in business body language.
During these sessions, we explain them what message each body movement can convey. For example, placing the palm of your hand on the left or right side of your face, keeping your hand over your eyes or mouth, the way you sit on a chair; all these gestures send across certain messages to the other person. We counsel the participants that verbal language holds only 35% importance in your interactions with others; some researches claim a little more than 35%, but in no case does it exceed 40%. So, the remaining 60, 65 or 70% importance of your conduct depends on your body language, your expressions, your gestures and your posture. If your body language reveals your confidence, the expressions of your face change according to the subject; then your verbal language plays only a trivial role. So, even if you are weak in your language, it must never create a hindrance in the path of your success.
The participants in my program are leading industrialists, and very eminent people of society. On close interrogation, they revealed their secrets. Some had been bearing the pain of inferiority complex for as many as 20 to 30 years; because of this they had lost hundreds of golden opportunities to stand up in the crowd and come in the limelight. They felt utterly sorry for having avoided so many opportunities.
On probing them further, I realized that they felt dejected and depressed, every single day. They were indeed paying a very heavy cost for this weakness. If the hurt is so huge, I suggested that they must learn the language. One of the participants immediately reacted that it would be shameful to do so, being at such a senior position and designation. Then I had to give them various options how to go about it, in order to learn English.
I told them they can easily avail home tuitions, even if they have to pay twice or thrice as much. Better still, they can make groups and call the tutor home, by turns. If they feel ashamed, they can request their teacher to keep these tuitions a secret.
Where there is a will, there is a way. In this advanced age of technology, you have easy access to everything. You will find hundreds and thousands of apps on your smartphone, I phone or android phone which teach you English. These apps will guide you how to learn English using various methods; by way of speaking, by reading, by typing, by learning new words, making sentences, learning grammar or writing compositions. The choice is entirely yours how you wish to proceed.
There is help scattered everywhere. You can read the English newspaper, books, novels or watch movies to improve upon your language. If you search on YouTube,
you will find thousands of videos to teach English. When you have so many avenues to learn, like YouTube, Apps, books, newspaper, coaching etc., but you still feel disheartened, then who is to be held responsible. Certainly, nobody else, but you yourself are responsible.
It is similar to a case that water is kept next to you, on the dining table or in the kitchen, but you are dying of thirst. Who is responsible, if you are not drinking water?
In this so called ailment of inferiority complex, you yourself are the doctor. You have to diagnose it, and treat it. So, without any further delay and making any more excuses, start working on yourself today itself and from this very moment. Do not dilly - dally or procrastinate.
Instead of bearing the agony of this inferior feeling lifelong, attack it immediately and free yourself from its burden, once and for all. Otherwise, this problem will keep on increasing and become all the more deep rooted. As a result, you will begin to avoid attending parent-teacher meetings at your child’s school. You will hesitate in meeting your child’s teachers, and parents of their friends. The feeling of dejection will bother you to the extent that you will begin to get enclosed in your own shell. Another good idea would be to take the help of your own children in learning English, just like you take their help in operating your mobile phone. If they teach you to pronounce and use 25 new words each day, then you will learn 750 words at the end of a month. While practicing to speak, you will also learn to speak several lines correctly. This little knowledge of English vocabulary will suffice in making you social and interacting with people. You need not learn too much, because you are not aiming to be a professor, or conducting a course in English.
You can therefore, find a solution to your weakness, within a short duration of just 15 days to one month, and that too, at such a minimal cost. Just an hour of practice each day can put an end to your problem, and pull you out of your inferiority complex.
Henceforth, remember this message.