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Learning Dutch: crunch point

Three months in to learning Dutch, I stalled.

I’d come a fair distance and now I was stuck. I lost momentum and put it off.  Looking back, I think I lost my direction.

Now, I’m used to teaching myself stuff and figuring things out: reading books and online how-tos, observing others, copying, and otherwise asking people for bits of input. Doing this demands a sustained effort, a sustained focus and some structure too. And I didn’t know the full scope of what I was aiming to learn. I was getting frustrated with not moving forward with my Dutch.

Given my context, that was not really a surprise. I’d been setting up home in a new country, setting up a new business (and getting to grips with the legal and tax requirements – all in Dutch), and building up my network, as well as teaching myself Dutch. And it was this “as well as” that finally got me. Doing all of this, at the same time, was too much. I dearly wanted to be able to hand over the structuring and scaffolding of my Dutch learning to somebody else.

Around that time, I was introduced to a coach and we met for lunch in the gezellig CoachHuis in The Hague. As well as talking shop on coaching, training, niche-finding, mindfulness, meditation, and coaching technical folks, we talked about Dutch. A Dutch woman herself, she was clear on the importance of the language for working with both English-speaking and native Dutch clients.

You know the feeling when something just clicks into place? It happened there.

I realised, more deeply than I’d realised before, that learning Dutch was not a choice. I had to do it. It was a rock solid sense. There was simply no arguing with it, no argument to be had.

I gave myself a few days to sit with my new-found realisation, then took the plunge. With just 10 days to go before the course started, I booked in for a Brainwash.

What decisions have clicked clearly into place for you recently?

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