What Level Of Fluency Do You Want?

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Have you ever tried to learn a new language? I have. Just enough to dabble in it, learn a few words, progress through a level or two in Duolingo or any other language learning app, and that’s about as far as I take it.

I enjoy the novelty of it, but I’m not dedicated enough yet to devote myself to the process of actually learning another language.

About the most fluent I ever got in a foreign language was when I tried learning Indonesian; I got up to a very basic level, but I could read and speak it and understand it to a minor extent. (Mostly that meant I could now read children’s books in Indonesian, which was fun too!)

Did you know there are between 5-10 levels of fluency (depends on which organization is recognizing your efforts) when it comes to learning another language?

Seems most countries break language learning down into about six distinct levels:

  1. beginner
  2. elementary
  3. intermediate
  4. upper intermediate
  5. advanced
  6. proficient

Putting it roughly, to get to a beginning level of fluency is about 100 hours on average. To get to a proficient level is about 1,000 hours or more.

Why do I bring all this up?

Well, language learning takes time. It takes effort. So does becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Have you ever wondered what your fluency level is in conquering your fears?

The more you practice getting out of your comfort zone, trying new things, stretching yourself, challenging yourself – the more you will start to become ‘fluent’/comfortable with the process.

If we define fluency as ‘being second-nature to us as a native user’s own experience’, then extending that same definition to our fears: wouldn’t someone who is fluent in something they were once afraid of, mean they are no longer afraid of it? They are as confident as someone who was never afraid of it at all.

One caveat: give yourself time. Don’t beat yourself up because you started your own anti-bucket list three weeks ago and haven’t conquered your fear of public speaking yet. It can take years to become fluent, whether we are talking about language proficiency or any other skill. That’s what this is: a skill to be mastered. It won’t happen overnight. But it can happen if you keep at it. Little by little. Day by day. Patient consistency in the right things is king.


Feel free to leave a comment below or reach out to me through my Contact page. First, do you speak multiple languages?? If so, you’re a pretty cool and inspiring person in my book! 🙂 Second, what’s your level of fluency when facing your fears? If you have an anti-bucket list, and don’t mind sharing, what specific fear are you working on conquering right now? I’d love to hear from you!


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    3 thoughts on “What Level Of Fluency Do You Want?”

    1. I love how you drew this connection with language!

      I’m intimidated to death of learning a new language, but fluency in conquering fears really speaks to me. I have been in 12-step recovery from addiction for 15 months, and I often hear and use the slogan “Progress, Not Perfection”. We’re always progressing and never perfecting – and we shouldn’t live for perfection that will never come, or we’ll always be disappointed. Instead appreciate every moment of progress, every bar raised – even when we fall backward. We can always choose to move forward again.

      Thanks for this message, Rachael!

      1. Anti-Bucket List

        We can always choose to move forward again.

        Beautifully put, B”H! And kudos to you for working through the recovery process. That’s a threshold step that is life-changing right there! 🙂

        Thanks for stopping by!

    2. Pingback: An Anti-Bucket List Example For You | Anti-Bucket List

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