The first day of class…
I HATED it.
I used to skip all my classes on the first day of school.
I still remember those incidents like it was yesterday.
First day of class and the teacher walks into class, gives us a short introduction and expects us to stand up and INTRODUCE ourselves ONE BY ONE.
…And that is when you realize that it is “THAT” time again which you’ll go for an emotional roller coaster full of STRESS, FEAR, DOUBT, FRUSTRATION, UNCERTAINTY and a bunch of NEGATIVE THOUGHTS.
You start to count desks to calculate how many classmates are ahead of you before it is YOUR TURN to introduce yourself… and worst of all, you see ALL your friends doing it like A PIECE OF CAKE while enjoying the process.
The first question you ask to yourself is;
“Why am I not able to do such an EASY task like saying MY OWN NAME and introducing myself in 2-3 sentences. WHY! WHY! WHY!”. It FRUSTRATES the hell out of us.
Our negative inner SELF TALK doesn’t stop there and keeps destroying us.
So why do we have problems in those kinds of situations? Why do we fear stuttering in front of others?
Being seen as inadequate and less than others maybe?
In the core of this behavior, there is…
The fear of BEING JUDGED!
We care too much about what others will THINK ABOUT US. Let me tell you a rule of mine when it comes to fear and limiting beliefs.
The only way to dissolve a fear is to FACE that fear, CHALLENGE your LIMITING BELIEFS surrounded by that specific fear and PROVE yourself over and over again that you can get positive real life results even if the fear is there.
That would lead you to start dissolving that fear and eventually get rid of it completely!
In general, this also applies to overcoming one’s stuttering challenge as well. But for the purpose of this article lets go through our specific example:
The fear is; introducing yourself in class.
Here is a step-by-step strategy which I call F.D.S(FEAR DISSOLUTION STRATEGY) that will provide you the solution for our specific case.
Step-1: Keep The Right Mindset
Accept that you have a speech challenge and you are working on it to dissolve your stuttering iceberg. This is a process which you’re improving every single day until you reach your ultimate goal and speak the way you want to speak in any situation under any circumstances.
Try to minimize your tendency to hold back and get lost in limiting beliefs. Your speech is NOT your identity, it is not who you are it is what you do.
Think about the same situation. However, this time imagine that all your classmates and teacher are 2 YEARS OLD and they can’t even think properly.
Would you stutter as much in that case?
I don’t think so. Why?
Because the main reason you stutter in that situation is seeking approval and your FEAR OF BEING JUDGED because of your speech.
You think you will NOT GET APPROVED and be LIKED if you stutter in front of those people.
But in the pretended case you would know that you are superior and you won’t be judged no matter what.
… and of course as a result, the fear and all the negative emotions and thinking which TRIGGER YOUR STUTTERING BEHAVIOR would not be there.
Step-2: Equip Yourself with Effective Tools and Techniques
Be calm, be sure of yourself and use your speaking tools and techniques unapologetically. These could be both mental and physical speaking techniques such as breathing, cycle of speaking, easy or assertive initiation, speaking from chest/head/abs, imagining the words are made of air or water, pausing right before your name, and a zillion more which is available for you.
Step-3: Face the Fear Over and Over Again
Getting only one positive result will not be enough to dissolve that piece of your stuttering iceberg. You simply need to face that fear enough times and get positive real life results until that fear eventually COMPLETELY DISSOLVES and disappears.
Facing a fear when you are equipped with tools, techniques and strategies works even if you don’t get the exact desired results in the initial stages. The more you avoid a fear and all the negative emotions it’ll bring to you, the worse it gets… and the more you face it the weaker the fear and the negative emotions get.
Step-4: Challenge Your Limiting Beliefs and Prove Yourself That You Can Do It
Never avoid this specific speaking situation. In fact CREATE yourself some other similar situations where you’ll be expected to introduce yourself.
Search the internet, find groups which get together periodically, and attend their group meetings. This way you’ll put yourself in that feared situation and introduce yourself in front of a group enough times to dissolve that specific piece of your stuttering iceberg.
I know that it might sound intimidating first, but I strongly believe that the REWARD will well WORTH IT!
One final note…