Our mother told us that she has always believed that if we wanted to really do something about our stutter, we would.
She was a 100% right.
Our parents never pushed us into doing anything, with the exception of speech therapy when I was a kid an not quitting guitar playing, but that´s alright.
But why did it take 20 years of stuttering before we could say “enough is enough”?
Well, we weren’t ready for it.
Not ready, yet.
But what does ‘being ready’ even mean?
It’s when what you want is so unbelievably compelling that there’s no other option than to get it. You fully commit to becoming more fluent, because you feel the necessity to do so, you completely understand why you have to do it. You have strong reasons and powerful beliefs that dedicate you to doing this.
A lot of people who go to speech therapy are in the opposite state of mind. Not really sure why they´re there. They will tell you that they want to get rid of stuttering, but you can immediately see that their energy and body language does not match the meaning of the words.
Why is this?
They haven’t made the right connection yet to what they want. There is not a clear distinction between what they want to move away from (fear) and where they want to move towards (pleasure).
Obviously they’re tired of stuttering, but the prospect of having to work on their speech is also tiring. Working on your stutter can even produce feelings of fear, because you know you have to get out of your own way and start doing things differently. Change is always scary!
There’s an immediate paradox: becoming fluent and keep stuttering both produce feelings of fear ánd pleasure. No wonder why you’re stalling.
Where to start.
We often get the question: “where should I start?”
You should start by taking a close look at yourself. What is it that you want for yourself?
And an answer like “become a fluent speaker” doesn’t cut it.
Getting rid of stuttering must have more meaning to you. Like being able to fully express yourself, letting people get to know the real you, not being held back anymore, enjoying a life free of worrying about stuttering, creating a bright future for yourself, getting the job you really want.
When Stuart and I decided to overcome our stutter it was because the thought of having to deal with it any longer was just too damn disgusting. We couldn’t handle that thought anymore, we reached a point where we could genuinely say: enough is enough.
Change happens in that instance. Change does not take long, change is immediate. What does take long is the road you have to walk before you’re truly ready to commit to change.
When you’re ready to commit you’re open minded to your limiting beliefs. We too had been told we would stutter forever and should learn to live with it, we too had heard that stuttering is neurologically and that you can’t change the brain so why try? We also have been told that we’re probably born with it and that it was a part of us.
When you’re truly ready you’re willing to question everything you have been doing and thinking up to this point. “Do the beliefs I hold really support me?”, “The things I’m doing, are they working for me or against me?”, “Is there the possibility that my current beliefs are false?”
How many times in human history have our beliefs about something been shown to be false? No one thought of space travel to be possible, at some point in time Europeans thought the earth was flat, and even today medical literature is changing with an ever increasing rate because of all the new discoveries that are happening.
Don’t take the things that you have been told, that you have read for granted.
Ask yourself the questions above too, right now!
After you have done that, there’s something else.
“Fear is a friend who’s misunderstood” (John Mayer – Heart of Life). And that’s super lame corny and all, writing it in a blog, but it is the truth.
Few people appreciate the role fear has in their lives.
If you want to change, use fear in this order:
First: fear leading your life like you’ve done up to this point. Look back on all your experiences, think about your worst ones and then look at the years you have in front of you. Are you really going to live those years the same as you have done in the past?
And then secondly: start seeing fear as your best teacher.
I’d strongly suggest you do this.
You’re missing out when your stutter is holding you back from living. So many great and positive things are happening around you and you’re shutting yourself off from that.
You’re missing out on things!
Personally, the fear of missing out on things is strong in me. I don’t want to, I want to know everything, I want to experience everything. Pretty annoying sometimes, but it helped me tremendously too.
When you convinced yourself of no more of this. Then use fear as your teacher. “Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain.” – Mark Twain. (look at me, quoting everybody today..)
Start with doing the things you fear most!
Because fear is telling you where you have to work on. If you fear walking up to a stranger and asking what time it is, you should do that. Because, honestly, that shouldn’t be something you fear or should it?
If you leave stuttering and all its negative experiences out of the occasion, if you would throw away all your negative and limiting beliefs, if you’d stop your emotional thinking for a moment, there are few situations that should make you feel fear.
Maybe jumping off a high bridge, but certainly not speaking.
Fear is your teacher, and I’m talking fear that arises in social situations. Fear says to you: “hey, hey! Pay attention, there’s something here that isn’t natural and needs your focus! You can fix this and I’m pointing it out to you, I’m here to help!”
We’re all running away from fear and thus we’re all playing the wrong game. It’s not the way to grow, facing your fears is. The most grounded, positive and supportive people you’ll meet are those who have been through hardship and overcame their fears in a healthy way.
You are on your own journey
But it can happen you’re not totally ready for it. Then a blog like this might even feel a little surreal to you. “hah, fear is my friend? LOL.”
But it’s OK. Everybody is on their own journey.
A lot of people need some drastic event before they’re ready to change their life. Their doctor tells them that they have a couple of months to live, and it’s only then that they change course completely and start doing what they’ve always wanted to do. A man who nearly died in a car crash comes to terms with the fact that life can be over before he knows it and makes plans to get more out of his life.
But life already sucked before those tragic events.
And you shouldn’t wait on such a tragic event to finally step up and take action towards the change you crave for.
Ask yourself what it is that you really want.
What is it that you REALLY want?
Not the bullshit answer of: speak fluent.
I know you want to become confident, take responsibility for your own life, step up, don’t miss out, let people hear and see who you really are. You want to be able to fully express yourself. Be respected by people.
You want to take care of your kids, maybe treat your girl or boyfriend who you really love in the best way possible, be there for the ones you love and being able to help them when they need you.
You want to stop shying away from life. Letting others do your dirty work. You want to be able to pick up that phone and saying “Hello, (your name) speaking, who’s this?” with conviction.
You are ready when you’re ready, but don’t use that as an excuse not to think about what you really want out of life, what you really want for you, what you want to be for others and how you can contribute to make life great for yourself and those around you.
It is in your hands.
Use fear of continuing to stutter for the rest of your life as motivation. Dedicate yourself to step up and take action.
Question everything you’re doing whether it’s helping you or holding you back.
You know you’re ready when you start changing.
I hope you already subscribed to our newsletter. If not, make sure you do! We’ll send you a thank-you-email with something special in it as well. Go here!