That girl can talk

Today, I conducted a 2-hour program on public speaking for primary school students. There were about 40 of them in attendance. I divided them into 4 groups, which I called families.

In one of the activities, I asked each family to pick an article from an English newspaper. In one of the families, there was this one shy girl who said that she can read in English.

I asked her to read, but she said that she’s not that good at it. She added that she may not be able to understand it all. It’s okay. I only wanted her to try.

From the looks on her face, even the word “try” seems so heavy on her shoulders. I can tell that she is so afraid of making mistakes, even if I tried to reassure her that it’s okay to make mistakes.

After some mild nudges from me, she agreed to read an article out loud. I didn’t even ask her to read the whole article, just the first few paragraphs.

To my surprise, her English is very good! I can safely say that some university students might feel a bit embarrassed if they hear her speak.

That girl can speak. But that’s not the issue. The issue is, in her mind, I think she believes that she can’t speak.

That’s the thing about belief. Even if you can do it, you can convince yourself that you can’t.

I wonder where she developed that belief.