121 Excuses

English Learning Obstacles

I reached out to my Instagram followers and asked the question: What are your obstacles to learning English?

In today’s episode, I respond to the main excuses that I saw. 

Just to clarify, I’m also guilty of having all of these excuses too. Everyone’s situation is different, but this is general advice on how you can overcome these issues. I hope it helps!

1. I have no free time

When I hear this, I hear “English is not a priority for me”.

Think about your day and all you do on a daily basis. How much time is ‘wasted time’? (Eg. on Instagram, TV, sitting and staring at the wall!)

Even 5 minutes a day is better than nothing and great to start in order to build a habit of English learning.

Try writing down everything you do in one day, and you might be surprised to see how much time is spent inefficiently or is wasted.

2. I have no one to practise with

This is a common reason not to improve and I think there are things you can do!

Search for websites where you can find language partners and start chatting today!

Watch my video below for more information about this.

3. I keep thinking in my native language

This is totally normal and all language learners go through this. I have two tips to overcome this.

First, there are no shortcuts or hacks to get rid of this. It takes time and immersion. Try to surround yourself with as much English as possible. The more English your brain absorbs, the faster you’ll be able to change the way you think.

Secondly, try to focus on learning collocations (phrases) rather than individual words. This will help you stop translating directly and think like a native speaker instead.

4. I'm too shy

I 100% know how you feel with this one.

It really just takes baby steps each day. Do something continuously to leave your comfort zone and have the mindset that making mistakes is good. Your goal is to make as many mistakes as possible! This will help bring you closer to your goal of fluency.

In my personal opinion, shyness is something we should try to overcome. A handicap. Once we realise it’s not a part of who we are, we can begin to take steps to overcome shyness. 

Success is not how well you did, but the fact that you did it.

5. I'm too lazy

If you feel lazy or you’re lacking in motivation, try to remind yourself why you’re learning English. 

What are your goals in life and how will English help you achieve them?

While thinking of that, don’t forget to make it fun in the present too. Language learning doesn’t have to be a chore. Challenge yourself to make English study as fun as you can! What do you love to do?

Regarding motivation, remember that it will come and go. Try to create a strong habit and routine to fall back on when motivation doesn’t appear.


  • Obstacle / Hurdle – A problem in life you have to overcome to improve and grow
  • Insurmountable – Too big to overcome
  • Surmountable – Something that you can overcome
  • Handicap – A disability

What could you do today to make your future self proud?

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