Know Thy Enemy: Control the Stammer

Living with a stammer often means waking up every morning getting ready for battle. You just know the day ahead is going to be filled with anxiety, fear and quite possibly some embarrassing moments.

Word fumbling isn’t any fun and while you can spend your entire life trying to control a stammer with many of your efforts being in vain, the only true way to control your stammer is to put yourself into the position of an Army General and analyse your enemy.

There’s no battle plan can be constructed without a thorough assessment of the enemy. Know their habits, their territories, the behaviours and the typical actions.

With your stammer, it’s you who is the enemy. You’re in control of your stammer.

You’ll have heard the saying, “you’re your own worst enemy”. That is so true when it comes to stammering because it’s all about how you perceive yourself.

The majority of those with a stammer who struggle to accept it and fear the perception of others will experience heightened anxiety and quite possibly spend a lot of their time wrapped up in practicing ways to control their speech to mimic fluency.

So much of your actions are directly correlated to your self-esteem and self-confidence. When you can influence those aspects of your mind, you can really take a hard-knocking impact on your stammer and begin to speak with better fluency.

You have to know yourself first.

Know the words you stumble on, the situations that increase your anxiety and the moments that you feel so relaxed that you almost speak with perfection.

They are the moments you want to capture.

Journaling does that!

How to control a stammer

To really understand you, it helps to write things down. Write about yourself, your thoughts, your experiences, emotions and tie them all together.

After a while, you’ll wind up with a written record detailing your good moments and the bad moments. You’ll know the situations that lead you to feeling positive emotions, and the ones that caused you to experience frustration, increased anxiety and therefore, led to an increase in stammering.

The more you understand about your behaviours and reactions to certain situations, the more you can do to influence your behaviour.

The most important behavioural impact you can have is on your thoughts.

Stamp out the negative thoughts and replace them with ones of positivity. This alone will have such a profound impact on your life overall that your stress levels will be lowered.

A day will come when you wake up feeling fully prepared to go into battle that it all happens at a subconscious level. When you speak without fearing how you’ll speak.

Getting to know you on a deep and even intimate level isn’t a strategy for increasing fluency itself, but it is a strategy deployed for life success by people in all walks of life.

Applied to stammering, you’ll often find yourself thinking that certain words are going to cause you to stammer. You avoid them when you think negatively about them. When that negative thinking creeps up; squash it… Kill it instantly by telling yourself “C’mon, you’ve got this.” “You’re gonna nail it.”

Coach your mind, influence your psyche and begin to experience the true feeling of free speech.

You can either go through life with a stammer in control of your mind, or you can take control of your mind to control your stammer. Control your psyche, and you’ll eventually be able to control your stammer.

Focus on self-improvement, self-esteem and self-confidence. Those are the areas that have the best impact when improved, that it affects your stammer positively. Changing speaking behaviours to mimic fluency has nowhere near the same level of success as shaping your mind to influence your behaviours.

It’s not so much about practicing speaking techniques. It’s about practicing positive behaviours and thinking processes that influence how you feel before you speak.

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