I see the brain as a giant filing cabinet. Oh, what delights are stored, catalogued and hidden in its depths! As we age, we come to expect that some of those "drawers" will be permanently locked and the key hidden away, who knows where?
I have found that my memory has improved. Rather than being distracted by things of little or no importance, my attention now goes to the work or conversations at hand. Similar to the flashing of an alarm clock during a power outage, negative emotions like worry, sadness or fear flashes STRESS!, STRESS!, STRESS! This causes cortical inhibition and describes what happens when a small part of the brain is inhibited in preparation for flight or fight response to the perception of stress.
When stressed, you are more likely to forget where you put the car keys or if you shut off the iron. Information that you know you know may be inaccessible and locked away in the "filing cabinet" of your brain during stressful times. A great stressor for learners is fear - fear of ridicule, of making mistakes or of making yourself look foolish, which then causes more of what you don't want because you are in cortical inhibition.
I haven't used my French for a number of years. Now, regular implementation of stress techniques that enhance cortical functioning, together with Lucie and Louis' support, I feel confident enough to be able to take risks and be okay as I make mistakes while I practice, practice, practice. (practiquer, practiquer, practiquer!)
Un gros merci à vous deux! Un jour, peut-être, j'écrirai un billet en français.
How has fear impacted your learning? What would be different for you if you were able to transform the fear?