How to Stop Stuttering Secrets
If someone told you that one day you could be virtually free of stuttering or stammering, would you believe it? What if they told you that you already knew the secrets to how to stop stuttering? What would say then? Well, if you had asked me before my late twenties I would have not believed it.
Depending on how long someone stutters, and how many different therapists and stuttering treatment programs they have tried, they may be very cynical about the possibility of overcoming stuttering. Guess what? I understand this and that’s why I want to be totally up front and honest in these next several articles. I’m going to tell you the truth and not pull any punches about how to stop stuttering and how to start speaking more smoothly and fluently. Some of the things I share with you will be very encouraging, while others may be a bit frustrating and discouraging AT FIRST. We all know that the truth can be hard to take sometimes, however, I think you’ll appreciate it more.
My name is Michael Williams and I stuttered for my entire childhood, and well into adulthood. Certainly there were times when I stuttered less and times when I could barely speak without stuttering. I know how it feels to be afraid to raise my hand in school or at work. I know how it feels to have to arrange my entire life around avoiding situations where I might stutter. While I fought to not let this control my life, the pressure of having to struggle with this was exhausting to say the least. Eventually, it came to a point where I realized that I could not be truly satisfied, fulfilled and as productive as I could if I continued to let stuttering limit me.
It wasn’t until it became clear to me that stuttering, or what I call, situational stuttering (this is where one does not stutter 100% of the time, but only in certain situations) was actually a behavior or temporary condition. It was not “who” I was, it was what I did. It was also a condition that I experienced depending a variety of different factors, like stress, confidence, self-esteem, thoughts, attitudes, emotions, health, environment and more. Now I can hear some of you saying, “Well isn’t stuttering genetic?” And, “How can you prove that it’s not a permanent condition?” Well, I do believe that it may be genetic and it a few rare cases, permanent. However, in my case I chose to believe that it was not permanent and that I could actually do something about it. Later experience and research would bare this out.
So now I’m going to share with you the very first secret of how to stop stuttering I discovered that you and I already know.
Secret #1. Speaking fluently and smoothly is a learned behavior. Barring severe brain damage, and even in some of those instances, the human brain does have the capacity to make new connections, create new memories and learn new information. The brain can also redirect or reorganize itself so that a damaged area is bypassed so that a non-damaged area can pick up the slack.
No matter your age or years stuttering, you have the capacity to learn new behaviors and new skills. Speaking is a behavior and a skill. Therefore, if you can learn new behaviors and new skills, then you can learn to speak fluently and smoothly. The only questions are, how and how long? Friends, let this piece of information give you hope, encouragement and inspiration. Let this empower you because, it’s absolutely true. You can learn to speak more fluently and smoothly if you just learn how and practice those techniques or strategies for as long as it may take. I have used this same philosophy to learn to not only speak more fluently, but also to learn Spanish (which I’m still learning, been kind of lazy with it), how to build websites, shoot video, record audio, do graphics and many other things. Guess what? You’ve used this way of thinking as well to learn to read, write, drive, ride a bike, type, speak multiple languages and many other things as well. Why not apply it to speaking?
In the next article I’ll share with you a second secret that you already know. Until then, be encouraged!