I've got a question for you: do you measure stuttering?
If you don't - you should!
In this post, you'll learn how to do it and it's not about calculating the number of speech impediments. You'll learn how to reduce stuttering in the most efficient and effective way.
Let's go for it!
Maybe you've heard before about this concept depicting stuttering as an iceberg.
And you know what? Stuttering is an iceberg!
If you google for "how much of the iceberg is underwater," you will find that 90 percent of the iceberg's volume and mass is underwater. If you give it a thought you will see that this absolutely applies to stuttering.
Above the water, we see the 10 percent - the visible part, the speech impediments.
Guess what accounts for 90% of stuttering? Hiding it! We don't want to reveal stuttering. Avoidance! We avoid the hard sounds, words and situations. And shame! We feel negative about it, we don't like admitting it, we don't like talking about it. It goes underwater. We ourselves oftentimes don't quite see this invisible part.
The 10% or the 90% or maybe both?
What usually happens, we rush to start working on the 10%, on the visible part - the speech impediments. "Give me the trick, give me a speech exercise, give me the technique! How can I manage the speech impediments?"
That's all great, but if you think mathematically, of course, you can make a much bigger improvement working on the 90%!
And you probably know that I'm a huge fan of bringing security to our speaking. I preach about developing what I call the fundamentals in our speaking - the relaxation, the effortless power, the expression, engaging our body, and eye contact and putting all that on the very physical ground using the hand stuttering technique.
But even though we're building the training speech, we're working on the feeling of being in control when we speak, we get inside our speaking and feel what's going on inside our speaking, I'm the first to say that...
As we're building the training speech, as we're creating new speaking experiences it's who you become and how you feel about revealing yourself - that's what matters!
And ultimately, the freedom from stuttering is not eliminating the speech impediments, yes, we work on it as well and it goes as a byproduct, but freedom from stuttering is a state, it's how you feel at the moment of speaking interaction. And we want to feel great!
You want to feel great about yourself, about the other person, about the interaction. You want to truly enjoy the interaction. You want to be open, active and positive about the interaction.
Once we start measuring fluency we get on the road of hiding more, avoiding more because the easiest way to increase fluency is to hide, escape and avoid.
And you might have situations in your life, I've had those many times, where you're 100% fluent but there is so much anxiety inside you. Your mind and body and your whole being are subconsciously thinking about how to get through it and how to escape it. "Oh thank God, I got through it!"
But that anxiety, that hiding, running away, escaping from it - that is stuttering!
And again, this is just a demonstration that the invisible 90% actually exists. In this particular case, you were fluent, but the stuttering persists. It shows up into that anxiety and it grows and gets stronger even though you were fluent.
So, to start working on this 90% of stuttering...
If you've done something - congratulations! That's a big win. No matter how messy or imperfect you were. If you haven't done it, if you were scared, if you avoided it - put it on the list. That's something you want to do, and you will do someday.
You might go thinking, "Yeah, that's all great but what about the speech impediments?"
You see, let's imagine I'm giving you the best speaking exercises and I'm teaching you the best stuttering technique. Here it is, you have it!
What happens is that you need to go and do it, you need to turn it into action, you need to reveal yourself, you need to open up, and be active and feel positive about yourself.
That is really hard and we find out that using the training speech is even harder than stuttering. Because when you stutter you're trying not to stutter. You're trying to be fluent. There's still a chance to stay "regular." When you're using the training speech you're open, you're different, you're revealing yourself right from the first sound, there is no escaping.
No matter which particular stuttering technique you're using, which method you're applying, which program or therapy you're considering to join, dealing with this 90% of stuttering is the biggest part, the biggest chunk of your journey to freedom from stuttering.
I want to state it again, it's who you become on the way that's what matters. Freedom from stuttering is how you feel at the moment of speaking attraction. And it comes from action, from creating speaking experiences, from getting outside of the comfort zone, of this shell, from going to the wild and being messy, being imperfect and being okay about revealing yourself.
It comes back to being open, active, and positive. It comes back to working on this 90% that's invisible underwater. Let's turn on the light, and let's see this 90%. Let's make it visible! Let's put it in front of us even though it might feel very uncomfortable. Let's work on it!
There's a huge gap between working on our speech at home doing great speaking exercises and feeling the same thing in the real-life interaction.
One of the ways to fill this gap is to start shooting videos, start playing with your speaking and revealing yourself, posting these videos for example in the Free From Stutter Facebook group.
You can go with a short introduction saying your name and wishing something good to the group. I'm giving you a couple of exercises and my suggestions on how you can do it in the link below - "Stuttering and saying your name."
I'm not saying that once you do it your stuttering is gone, no, of course not, but once you start doing that, once you start tackling this invisible underwater 90%, then tackling and dealing with the other 10% becomes a hundred times easier.
I would even say that...
How do you measure stuttering? How do you deal with the invisible 90% of stuttering? Leave a comment! I'd love to know!
If you are a person who stutters and you're not quite satisfied with how you feel at the moment of speaking interaction and if you want to go deeper into what we can do about stuttering I invite you to my free Improve Training - 10 Immediate Steps I challenge you to take right now!
And for more interaction join the Free From Stutter Facebook group. It’s crucial not to stay isolated, it’s vital 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!