On a Facebook stuttering group that I belong to, a member recently asked this question:
"Would you lose a finger to have your stutter removed?"
The answers ranged from "No" to "Depends, whose finger are you talking about?!"
The last one made me laugh - haha.
But jokes apart, questions like these actually have a deep hidden meaning inside of them.
For example, with this question, I think what the member actually wanted to ask was:
"How badly do you want to get rid of your stuttering?"
Not too long ago, a subscriber sent me an email saying that he wanted to commit suicide because he was unable to overcome his stuttering.
Surely, losing a finger is better than losing your life yeah?
I AM JUST KIDDING
Don't quote me on that.
Keep your finger and your life.
Let me help you get started towards a stutter-free speech without having to lose anything. Except some time.
This concept may sound too simple BUT it's the most important thing you can learn to start speaking more fluently. Trust me, if you get THIS, you'll be far head of the curve already.
Now, you might not 'get it' the first time. May be not even the second time. But do this repeatedly every day and at some point the truth will strike out at you. That's when you'll know. You'll get the 'aha' feeling. So keep looking for this 'aha' moment inside of you while you do the below....
What I am talking about is... in one word....
Learn to trust yourself.
"What the heck John! I thought you're gonna give me some secret woodoo magic pill! Don't lecture me about love and trust.. eww!"
That's whachya thinkin 'eh? I thought so.
But hang on with me homie...
Now look, just like your body is fully capable of breathing, blinking and walking on its own, without your instructions...
Your body is also designed to be fully capable of handling SPEAKING.... on it own.
But the problem is that, deep down inside you, you don't trust your body's capability of doing that.
You're tryna out-smart yourself.
Or as the sages say, "You're getting in your own way".
When I heard that the first time, it made no sense to me.
But then I realized how clear and remarkable this truth was. Like it was sitting right there in front of me the whole time and I never saw it.
Here's an example to make this more clear
Imagine yourself driving a car. Do you consciously have to make an effort to remember where the brakes are? Do you have instruct yourself all the time about how to switch from the accelerator to the brakes whenever needed? Do you have to tell yourself how to move the steering wheel while making a turn? You don't do you?
And why is that?
Because you trust your body's capability of handling all that on it's own.
Imagine how difficult and stressful it would be if you had to do all that MANUALLY... with your conscious effort.
Wouldn't that turn driving into a nightmare?
It surely would.
But listen, driving a car is NOTHING compared to SPEAKING.
Speaking is a much more complex phenomena as compared to driving car. While driving, you using 20 maybe 30 different muscles of you body. But while speaking, you're using HUNDREDS of muscles and neurons of you body. There's a whole damn SHOW that takes place inside of your brain when you open your mouth and move your tongue to say a pithy little word.
And yet, we don't TRUST our body to handle that.
We think we can take charge of it and plan what to say and how to say and we plan how to breath and we plan how to focus on the abdominal muscles and plan on how to control the vowels...
And all this planning leads to FAILURE.
Why? Because your conscious mind CANNOT handle this task. It's not meant to. This is job that your body/subconscious is designed to handle.
So get out of your way.
Let your body do the work.
Allow yourself to 'relax' while your subconscious mind takes care of this complex task called 'Speaking'.
Here's another tip to help you make this concept more clear
Look for metaphors. Metaphors that make sense to you. For example Ruth Meade says "Speech is a river". That's a great metaphor. You can't control the flow of river. Let the river of your speech flow and take on it's own course. Let it do its job.
The other metaphor I really like is to think of a car mechanic. I am no good at cars. But that mechanic - he knows his stuff. So when my car breaks down, I just 'outsource' my car fixing to the mechanic - and then I bloddy TRUST the mechanic. I don't poke my nose in his business. He knows how to fix my car. I let him do that.
Similarly, when I'm speaking, I "Outsource my speech" to my subconscious mind. The subconscious mind.... oh it's the best speech mechanic you'll ever find.
So there you go.
Think about this every day. Let this idea sink into your brain day by day. Let this concept embrace you. Trust yourself. Give into it. And like the kids song says....
"Let it go"
- John Isaac