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  • Hi guys, Luca here.

  • Today I'm going to explain how the fear of losing face can help you learn a language and how to use two little-known psychological concepts to your advantage.

  • Curious?

  • Then stay with me!

  • Let's say there are three friends who want to learn a new language; for instance, Spanish.

  • Jack, Rebecca, and Kevin all seem really motivated.

  • But when they start, they each set their own goal in a different way.

  • Rebecca takes her journal and writes down her goal.

  • Jack writes it down, but he also publishes a post on Facebook and Twitter to share his goal with other people while Kevin keeps his project to himself.

  • Let's fast-forward and see what happens after the first four weeks.

  • Kevin has decided to quit.

  • He was quite motivated at the beginning, but then life got in the way, and he lost his initial spark.

  • On the other hand, Rebecca and Jack are still on track.

  • They are studying every day, despite the ups and down of their motivation.

  • They both had the temptation to quit a couple of times, but they decided to stick with their goal.

  • Let's figure out why.

  • [Principle #1: The Power of Public Commitment.]

  • When she wrote her goal down, Rebecca made a firm commitment to herself, so quitting would feel like betraying herself.

  • We can see here, in action, what Robert Cialdini calls "the principle of consistency."

  • We all like to be consistent with the things we have previously said or done.

  • So, if we said to ourselves that we are going to learn a language, it's incredibly painful to acknowledge a lack of consistency and quit.

  • This principle is even more powerful when we need to prove to other people that we are consistent.

  • That's the case of Jack, who has not only made a commitment to himself but also to some of his friends, colleagues, and relatives.

  • Jack cannot possibly quit now because of the post he shared on his social media.

  • In other words, Jack does not want to lose face, and he's somehow obliged to continue.

  • In fact, this additional motivation will help Jack go further and stick to his commitment longer than Rebecca, who decided to stop after the first three months.

  • When some of his friends and colleagues ask him how his language-learning challenge is going, Jack does not want to lie and wants to confidently say he has learned a lot of Spanish and he's doing really great.

  • Especially thanks to the wonderful app he's using - MosaLingua, of course.

  • Jokes aside, I'm telling this story to prove (to) you the power of public commitment.

  • This power has been proved by many studies, like the one published in 2013, comparing the results of people who went public about their goal to lose weight and those who did not.

  • The people who posted on Twitter lost more weight.

  • I know that some studies say the exact opposite and recommend that people do not share their goals.

  • They argue that the social gratification of simply sharing our goals could make us feel like we've already accomplished something before we even begin.

  • But honestly, I'm convinced that the principles at play when you share your commitments are more powerful and work for the majority of people.

  • To give you another example, it's exactly what our English teacher Abbe made some weeks ago.

  • She published a video on our YouTube channel to announce she was starting a 30-day challenge to have a basic conversation in Spanish.

  • Thousands of people watched her video, so Abbe could never have quit, and this public engagement helped her to actually achieve her goal.

  • If you don't believe me, watch her conversation with our Spanish teacher Mirari on our channel.

  • So, now it's time to take action:

  • First of all, write down your goal somewhere, in your journal, notepad, or computer, for example.

  • Try to have a measurable and realistic goal, but take it seriously.

  • Then go on your favorite social media and post a message to share your language goal.

  • If you are not a social media person, you can send an email to your friends and colleagues or just announce your intentions whenever you see them.

  • You could even ask if they want to join you, to incorporate another powerful motivation hack:

  • instead of studying by yourself, find a language study partner and support each other during your journey.

  • As Kelly McGonigal says in "The Willpower Instinct," willpower is contagious, so having a study partner can really help.

  • [Principle #2: Loss Aversion.]

  • And finally, in addition to making your commitment public, you could take advantage of another principle, which is called "loss aversion."

  • The website StickK can help you turn this fear of losing something you value into a motivating factor.

  • Go to their website, and add your challenge, and commit to paying a kind of fine every day you do not meet your goal.

  • This way you'll have another powerful motivation to keep your word.

  • And if you do not stick with it, the money you pay goes toward charity, so you'll do something good in any case!

  • If you are serious about learning languages or you already quit once in the past, do yourself a favor and try these techniques out.

  • You'll see that they work really well!

  • That's all for today.

  • Take care!

  • If you learned something new from this video, give it a thumbs up!

  • Then, hit subscribe and turn on your notifications.

  • Have a look around our channel for more hacks and tips.

  • And if you're watching on another social media platform like or follow our page!

  • See you next time!

Hi guys, Luca here.

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How 2 Powerful Psychological Principles Will Help You Learn a Language

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    nao posted on 2021/07/27
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