In this article series I will talk you through the three-part barrier you have to crush in order to reach your fluent potential and become your best self: self-deception.
“Self-deception is a process of denying or rationalizing away the relevance, significance, or importance of opposing evidence and logical argument.”. Self-deception is the art of lying to oneself. It is your mind tricking you into a false sense of reality, with many possible negative consequences as a result.
This first article of the series will aim to tackle the first part of self-deception: your mind being antagonistic toward change.
Because before you can decide to commit yourself to change, you have to realize that change is necessary.
Before you want to become a fluent speaker, you have to realize that you don’t want to be lead around by your stutter anymore.
You have to tell yourself “No more of this”.
But getting yourself to take that first step toward change is all but a simple one.
We have said it before. There are parts of you that don’t want you to change. Your mind wants you to stay in homeostasis. It wants you to remain the same person you’ve always been.
Once you have constructed a certain identity, your mind will hold on to that identity, especially your ego. This holds for both positive and negative identities.
If you identify with being a person who stutters, your mind will do everything in its power to reinforce that identity. To reinforce your belief that you will stutter for the rest of your life and apply all the stereotypes that come along with it.
The reason is simple: we are all lazy. Our instincts that we inherited from our ancestors tell us to preserve as much energy as possible to save it for situations we need it most, to increase our chances of survival.
And you might have seen it coming: change is effortful. Change costs a lot of energy, especially change that needs to happen on a deep level, which is the case for stuttering.
And all these forces that make us believe that change is not necessary will lead to one core thought:
“I don’t need this.”
It appears in every way, shape or form.
“I don’t need to become a fluent speaker, I stutter and that’s just who I am.”, “I don’t need to exercise more and lose weight, society should stop having unrealistic expectations.”, “I don’t need to work on my social skills, I like being by myself anyway.”
You can probably come up with other examples of how the mind rationalizes itself into inaction.
Sure, if you really think that you don’t need to become a fluent speaker, fine with me. I fully support you and stutter on!
But if you choose to not work on it, I don’t want to hear any complaining.
Don’t let your stutter control your life. Don’t be scared of giving a speech. Don’t let it keep you from speaking up and making friends.
My mother always says “If you don’t vote, you don’t have the right to complain about politics.”. It’s the same principle. If you don’t take action, be ready to accept the consequences that come with it.
The beauty of change
“I don’t need this” is one of the most common excuses that is used to convince oneself to stay in his or her comfort zone, and I get sad of the thought of this excuse destroying so much potential, day in day out.
Change is beautiful. Development is beautiful. There is no such thing as discovering who you truly are. And in a way we should be grateful for having a stutter. Because having a stutter and being able to overcome it is one of the greatest tools we can use to work on ourselves and become our best self.
But it is no easy task. It takes honesty. It takes clarity. And it probably takes a lot of pain before you can look at yourself in the mirror and promise yourself ”no more of this”.
For me to decide to work on myself took a lot of pain as well. It took a lot of negative experiences. It took a lot of rejections. It took a lot of hard moments in which depressive thoughts started to take over.
Oh, yes, I had my excuses. “People are assholes.”, “People just don’t understand me.”. But maybe there was something wrong with me. Maybe those people were right. Maybe there was something off about me. Maybe I was pretending to be something I wasn’t. Maybe I was lying to myself, maybe I was deceiving myself…
And I was. So I decided that it was enough. My life took a 180 degree turn.
I want that for you too. I want you to experience the freedom and control over your own life. I want you to be able to get out of life what you want. I want you to develop loving relationships. I want you to be able to share your life by speaking up. I want you to express yourself. I want you to be honest. I want you to crush your stutter.
Honesty is the first piece of the puzzle. Next week I will talk you through the second part of the self-deception barrier: “I don’t want this”. Make sure you don’t miss it by joining our community here.
Much love and appreciation,