There’s a lot to be said about research, and the variety of supposed ways and home remedies (if there is such a thing) to cure a stammer. It could be said that it’s rare for any to work. Especially those that say you can do it in a class or two. It takes time, and often a lot of it.
Even speech therapy has pros and cons. It can be effective, but only in the long haul.
The trick to shortcutting your speech therapy is not to get too caught up on the breathing exercises and pronunciation tools there to help people to speak fluently.
The root of the problem, and the one that is likely blocking you from your own success story of beating a stammer, is the fact that deep down, you’re beating yourself up.
It’s a psychological nightmare when you’re embroiled in so much fear that it stops you dead in your tracks from speaking your problematic words.
The anxiety takes grasp, and the tools to use are breathing exercises. It’s only a tool though and doesn’t help you speak the words. You need to control your brain to control your mouth and that’s what a lot of speech therapy aids fail to recognise.
The fact that in our younger years, each person that has, or has had, a stammer will be able to account for a time in their life that they felt at their absolute lowest:
1. The time in class when it was your turn to read aloud
2. The time you were to lead a group at a sports event, and you couldn’t pronounce your name to the team
3. The time you got on the bus and couldn’t say where you wanted to go. So you paid the extra to get off at the next stop
We all have times in our lives that we can recall vividly the exact moment, and the feelings we had when our ability to speak failed us. It’s those feelings that we never want to let creep back up and experience again.
To avoid it re-occurring, we seek out safety. We don’t socialise when we don’t have to, and when we do, it’s only with our own small circles of friends.
The instant you meet new people, anxiety levels increase. Suddenly, speaking fluently for two weeks becomes a thing of the past when the brain crashes and you stammer over different words.
Remembering all the tricks of the trade you learned in speech therapy isn’t so easy anymore.
The inner demons crept back to the surface, and you’re haunted with past feelings you don’t want to feel again. Instead, freezing in the moment and trying to think of substitute words.
It’s one of biggest problems for people who stammer because without confronting the fears of speaking, it’s always going to be there.
You need to dig deeper into your subconscious and start to let your defence barriers down a bit. Let the words flow from your mouth and if you do stammer, so what?
It can’t be any worse than ____.
You’ll have your own experience you can use to fill in the blank. The first time something dreadful happens to us, we remember it; sometimes vividly because of the emotional pain.
But if that same scenario happens again you deal with it better because everything that happens to us throughout our lives, whether we know it or not, we use it as a growth point. We learn from it, and we move on.
Moving on is the hardest part, because deep down, you never want to feel like that again. But you won’t anyway, because the first time is the worst. You avoid saying your name, and tell someone you’re called another name. It’s embarrassing, but once you get to know them, you explain to them the reasons why you did what you did. Yes it has hard. Attempting to overcome a stammer has potentially massive rewards and nobody said it was going to be easy.
Next thing you know, you’re being understood, and that person becomes one of your friends you can sit and have a laugh with. Without stammering, because when you make friends, you relax around them.
You need to be able to feel relaxed enough to create those friendships and that’s where to focus your attention towards; lowering your threshold for social anxiety, rather than focusing on finding the latest cure for stammering.
Anxiety is what’s holding you back. You need to know how to brush past that obstacle and then use the tools to speak fluently. There’s a variety of techniques you can use as and when you need them.
With the right mindset, and the right tools at your disposal, you can make your stammer a thing of the past.