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The Self-Deception Series: “I don’t want this.” (2 of 3)

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. 

In the first part of the series I talked about the first step in crushing the self-deception barrier: being honest to yourself. If you haven’t read it yet I would strongly recommend to do so before you move on. Click here for part one.

The second step

Once you can be honest to yourself and realize that change is the way to go, other success barriers will cross your path. This second article of the series will aim to tackle the second part of self-deception: putting your intentions into actions.

Once you have decided that you want to become a fluent speaker, it’s time to take action. Saying that you want to change is one thing, acting on it is another. Even though you’ve set your sights on change, your mind might still try to stop it.

The comfort zone

Your mind will try to keep you from change in the form of fear and anxiety. Most of those anxieties arise when you perceive a potential action as being outside of your comfort zone. You’re not used to doing it and therefore you’re not sure what’s going to happen. What follows is your mind perceiving that situation as dangerous.

A common example. When you want to become more confident and relaxed in social situations, you have to show yourself that those situations aren’t scary. One way of doing that is to talk to strangers and prove to yourself that those situations pose no threat.

You’ve been honest to yourself and set a new goal. You’re out on the streets, ready to dive into the unknown and talk to strangers, asking for directions or complimenting them on their outfit.

All these people walking past you and you feel the tension rising. You’re becoming nervous and your breathing becomes shallow. “What if they dont like me?”, “What if they will laugh at me?”, “What if they don’t have time to speak to me?”.

It’s a trap

This is where it gets tricky. You start questioning yourself. “Is this really what I want?”. To answer that question you listen to your thoughts and feelings, potentially negative ones.

Your mind comes up with thousands of excuses. Your body is tensed. Nervous, insecure and scared. Your conclusion is as destructive as “I don’t need this.”:

“I don’t want this.”

“I dont feel like doing this so I guess I don’t want it.”

Wrong!

Nonsense. Lies. Self-deception. Do you remember when you were sitting on your couch or lying in your bed and you decided that you want to overcome your stutter? That you don’t want to be controlled by your stutter any longer?

Indeed. You do want it. And you want it badly.

Deceitful fears

Those fears just make it seem like you don’t. But you know better. You know that this is the right course of action. You know that this will get you closer to your goals. You know that this will crush your stutter.

In the face of fear you have to realize what you’re doing it for. Being true to yourself and having the courage to break through those fears.

Courage, Hille wrote a whole article about it, is the second piece of the puzzle. Once you’ve been honest to yourself and set a new goal, you need to act on it. Having faith in yourself that you will pull through and carry out the action successfully. Doing what you know is right while ignoring the social pressure that is put upon you.

Courage is pushing through despite all the tension because you know what’s best. It’s staying calm and collected with your goal in mind. Fighting your anxieties and trying to supress them will not help you. You have to be mindful and accepting toward them. It’s all part of the game.

Shaky knees

I remember when I talked to a stranger on the streets for the first time. I will never forget that feeling. I texted Hille and some friends of mine. I’ve been thinking about it for months and I finally did it. My legs kept shaking for 15 minutes after the conversation.

It set me free. I felt like I owned the streets. I realized that I’m able to do anything at anytime I want. My stutter didn’t control me anymore.

All it took was a little honesty and courage. And I know you can do it too. Don’t wait for the right moment where you dont feel anxious. Because that moment will not come. Those fears will be there. And that’s totally fine. But every time you choose to not do something because you’re scared, you will reinforce those fears and they will control you more and more. Don’t choose fear, choose growth.

Honesty was the first piece. Courage is the second. The third and last piece to crush the self-deception barrier and rise to your full potential will be revealed next time.

May the courage be with you and your stutter be crushed,

Sjoerd

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