Have you ever thought stammering can be fun? Not many affected with it have that thought, but they can enjoy challenges. Do you?
Perhaps that’s what’s missing in your life, a little challenge.
What do you do before you tackle anything?
Stammering isn’t something you’re going to get rid of in a hurry. Nor is it like a headache for which a couple of paracetamol will see everything hunky-dory again.
Oh no! No rainbows, unicorns or candy floss pink pills.
This is on you now. No doctor, scientist or neurosurgeon is going to be able to shortcut your journey. Stammering isn’t a disease and there is no cure.
Let me ask you how you’re feeling right now…
If you’re on the number two camp, you’re up for a challenge. If you’re filled with pessimism; feeling there’s not much hope for you to change your speaking patterns, read on anyway because you’ll learn a thing or two about the attitudes of those in the optimistic camp.
Changing your attitude
That right there is a challenge and one that’s going to take a lot of hard work to do. Do it you can though.
5 Ways to Better Your Attitude toward Stammering (And ultimately speak better because of it)
1. Get yourself a support group
If you’ve heard the advice about surround yourself with those you want to emulate then it’s kind of contradictory to sit in a group of people all with the same problem.
Here’s why it helps though. Every single person in those stammering support groups has the same goal as you. You have a commonality, something to bond over and people to support each other on their own personal journeys.
The pessimists aren’t here. They’re wallowing in despair about how dire their speech is. The optimistic ones though, those are in the groups, sharing their strategies, stories, and supporting each other to continue on their journey, especially when the going gets tough.
If you don’t know of any, it’s likely because it’s not something that crops up during conversation at the local store. You’ll find information on UK local support groups, (likely) near you at the British Stammering Association.
2. Who’s your hero?
A lot of kids grow up to follow in the same line of work their parents did. Their parents are the heroes and they continue to follow in their footsteps, hoping to live up to their expectations.
Knowing what’s expected will help you to crystallise your goals. You’ve a few fellow and former stammerers around to choose from – Winston Churchill, Samuel L Jackson, Emily Blunt, and Marilyn Monroe are only some.
It may not even be someone known for stammering. It could be someone you just like listening to their accent and wish that one day, you could speak the same and with the same level of confidence.
Having someone to look up to, be inspired by and try to do proud by them isn’t about emulating their speech. It’s about idolising someone who won’t let obstacles stand in their way. What would they do in your situation?
Try it the next time you’re faced with a challenge. Ask yourself: What would (name) do? What name would you put in there? Answer that and you’ve someone to look up. That’s your hero (Or as close to one as you’re going to get.)
3. Know the exact change you want/need to make
You may think that you want to change how you speak, but that’s a mighty big ask. How about you narrow that a bit?
I want to be able to open my sentences with a full word. Instead of saying “Cos” because I know I’ll stammer on the “be” before it, I want to change my speaking so that I’m saying full words instead of abbreviating.
That sort of clarity is needed, so it will take a bit of self-evaluation to discover all the smaller changes you want to make, which will add up to a big change when their all improved with time, practice, patience and persistence.
4. Get a feel for how that change will affect your life
Are you actually ready for what change will mean to your life? How will your friends react? How will your partner, especially if your partner also has a speech impediment and is content with it? Will they view you differently, or vice versa?
What about your career? Will you stay in your line of work, go back to college/university or start job hopping?
After so many years of battling through life with a stammer, when you do change your speaking patterns, and get a massive confidence boost, what will you do?
5. Believe it
Once you know what you expect your life to be like then believe in it. See it for what it is – a goal. Not just a possibility but the real light at the end of the tunnel.
Believe you’re going to make it and not be hit by a runaway train as you’re trying to reach that light.
Goals are achievable but only when you believe and take the steps to achieve them, which mean actually working hard to change your attitude, including your thoughts, as well as ridding yourself of the negative emotions associated with your speech. It’s a challenge. A push towards you taking a journey deep into your life, and striving to get as much as you can out of life.