Show. The. Hell. Up. — For Yourself.
I’ve been living half time in Italy for the last couple of years. You would think my language skills would be MUCH further along than they are. Emphasis on think.
I’m not going to make excuses for why, no need. It’s my fault. I didn’t make it a priority at all. I wanted to speak Italian, but I didn’t put in the work.
About 3 months ago, I decided to get serious. I know how I study and learn best. I knew I needed a couple of set lessons per week with a reliable teacher. I wanted her to be a native Italian speaker, also fluent in English. So I found her, after interviewing five. On Italki.com. A great platform, by the way, for language students to locate teachers.
I have been taking those lessons since June. Feeling super proud of myself. Showing up for lessons and speaking when I went out and about.
Good job, Robyn! Right? Nope. Not a good job at all.
Because If I’m brutally honest, I still wasn’t doing the work. I wasn’t showing up, REALLY showing up.
Sigh. Shit, Robyn.
In my head I was proud of the two lessons per week, and my attendance, and if I didn’t learn, then it wasn’t my fault because “I tried.” I was showing up for the actual lesson, but I wasn’t prepared. I wasn’t independently studying. I didn’t immerse myself. I wasn’t embracing it. My attitude wasn’t one of open learning. It was more of drudgery.
I want this so bad, why doesn’t it just happen?
It doesn’t work like that. Nope. You need to pair wanting with action, with relentless work. THAT is how it happens.
I got called out, big time. Not by myself. By someone that loves me enough to call me on my shit and then deal with my reaction. It went something like this – Indignation. Denial. Then hurt. And settled deep into embarrassment. I was so embarrassed over my half-assyness. He was right. I’m so glad he put in the effort and told me.
Then I decided to redirect all of this in a productive direction. And showed up for mySELF.
I apologized to my teacher for not taking this seriously. I bought the book we work from, so I work in it before lessons. I asked for extra resources to work outside lesson time. I now schedule in daily independent work. I listen to Italian movies and radio. I bought an Italian short story book for my kindle.
As time goes on, I will tweak my plan to make it work for me.
Then, this revelation caused me to look at other aspects of my life where I wasn’t showing up. Where I was using the “I tried” mentality. And you know I found some big holes. Big life stuff. I have been doing things I am proud of, but I’m not where I know I could be. I haven’t been tying the hard, daily, work to bigger goals.
I see clearly where I have been letting myself down. It’s not ok with me. Not anymore.
I tell you this, not because it was fun or comfortable. I didn’t want to. I’m embarrassed! But it’s the truth, and telling you makes me accountable. You’re going to ask me how it’s going and there’s no way I’m going to stand in front of you and give you an excuse. Instead, I’m going to answer:
Molto Bene, Grazie!
Because it will be the truth.
But what about you?
Have you been letting yourself down and not putting in the work? If so, it’s ok. But now it’s time to do something about it. Stop dicking around. Come clean and let’s start something together. I’m all in on my Italian, also on a couple of other big shit items too.
Wanna come with me? I would love the company.