In this post, you’ll learn what freedom from stuttering is (there’s a big chance you’re getting it wrong right now). And of course, we’ll cover how you can build your freedom!
I said that there’s a big chance you’re getting freedom from stuttering wrong right now. I’ll put it more straightforward, I’m pretty sure you’re getting it wrong.
Please don’t take it personally, I don’t want to offend you.
You are getting it wrong, I am getting it wrong, we all are getting it wrong.
That’s how stuttering works. It’s the very nature of stuttering. Even when you know what freedom from stuttering is and how it works we are still drawn like metal to the magnet to this “I don’t want to stutter, I want to stutter less, I want to stop stuttering.”
Freedom from stuttering is NOT about NOT STUTTERING.
It’s hard to grasp. You might go wondering, “What? Freedom is not about not stuttering? What is it about then?”
Don’t get misled by the appearance.
In the Free From Stutter Program, for example, we do our speaking practice live in the Free From Stutter Facebook group, and it might seem that we’re working on our fluency. And yes, we get to totally new levels of fluency. You get to a place where stuttering anxiety and tension gradually disappear. I would say even that stuttering itself disappears because without tension and anxiety there’s no stuttering anymore.
In fact, it’s just the opposite of our desire “I don’t want to stutter.”
“How does that work?” you might ask. “I don’t understand!”
Ok, here it goes.
“Ok,” you might say. “But I don’t want to stutter in the first place.”
Yes, I understand.
“So…?” You might ask.
Does this desire not to stutter make you free?
No. It brings all the embarrassment, shame, negative feelings, fears, anxiety, and tension about the speaking interaction. It is the biggest invisible part of stuttering.
This desire usually leads us to hiding stuttering, avoiding speaking interactions, it leads us to more stuttering. It grows stuttering bigger and stronger.
You might say, “No, man. I’m challenging myself, I’m not hiding, I’m not holding back!”
Awesome! Then you’re not affected by stuttering, are you?
If you’re not affected, then why are you watching this video and reading this post?
If you’re here, you are affected by stuttering. Whether you want to admit it or not.
And you are affected largely by this very desire not to stutter and to stop stuttering.
You can lie to me, but not to yourself.
“Ok,” you might say. “I’m affected. Then how can I not be affected by stuttering?”
That’s a great question!
We usually want to get from where we are now right to the destination - where there’s no stuttering. And it doesn’t work, doesn’t happen this way.
We forget about something in between that actually gets us to the destination.
What is there in between? What do you think?
Challenging yourself and desensitizing?
Reading out loud?
Talking to the mirror?
Maybe learning some magic technique?
“Andrey, you’re preaching about some hand stuttering technique…” you might say.
All those are awesome, but we want to see one core key element.
Are you ready?
It's a skill, it's a muscle we can develop.
In our case to create positive speaking experiences.
In the Free From Stutter Program, we don’t calculate the number of cases where I stuttered. Like, “This week I stuttered 20 times, I want to do 15 next week!” “Good job! Let’s do it!”
It doesn’t matter how many times you stuttered.
What matters what you created.
Your routine or assignment.
A phone call.
Asking about something in the store.
You create speaking experiences in all types of interactions. In any situation, you can speak on your terms and enjoy it. You can create.
It’s a feeling that I’m not reacting, responding, running away, escaping from it. It’s feeling that I’m open for it, I’m creating this experience.
And yes, the hand stuttering technique is a great tool for that!
There are many great tools. I believe the hand stuttering technique is the most elegant and effective. But it’s just a tool.
It’s like an airplane. You can look at it and say, “It looks cool, I wish I could fly it” or you could take a bit of training, get inside and fly. Fly wherever you want.
So, the question is,
If you say,
These are all great, but you might be developing some skills or the right attitude towards stuttering or your character, but not quite your freedom from stuttering.
These are all great, but are you creating positive speaking experiences where you speak on your terms and truly enjoy it? Where you’re expressing yourself fully?
That is the question you want to be asking yourself.
If the answer is "no," you want to think about how you can bring it to your life. If you want to get to your freedom.
Creating brings focus from stuttering to this new feeling about speaking interaction that you start to feel. New feeling and inner state of freedom. From negative to positive. From cutting the leaves from this old tree of stuttering to growing a new tree. Where you feel that speaking itself is relaxing, effortless, it’s the way to connect and express yourself. It’s the way to reveal yourself to the world.
"Oh, it’s not possible," you might say.
I want to make it clear one more time. I’m a person who stutters. But I don’t want to stop stuttering. Because I’m free from stuttering. And that’s what I’m wishing for you. And that’s the journey I’m inviting you to.
Thank you so much for reading and watching! I'd love to know how you see the freedom from stuttering. What does it mean for you?
If you are a person who stutters,
and you're not quite satisfied with how you feel at the moment of speaking interaction
I invite you to my free training where I share my view on getting free from stuttering.
And for more interaction,
join the Free From Stutter Facebook group.
Please, don't stay isolated! It's crucial to feel you’re part of the community!
If you have thoughts or observations, anything that comes to your mind - let me know in the comments!
Thank you so much! See you soon!