It's 2018 and we start thinking about the New Year resolutions and goal setting. Chances are your goal for the year is fluency.
Maybe you write it down. Or maybe you set it as a major goal subconsciously. Over and over again.
But fluency is a bad goal. It's a wrong goal. I'll tell you why. Here are my three best goal setting tips for 2018.
One of the problems with fluency as a goal is that we expect fluency as a result of our improvement efforts. And when it doesn't happen this way we feel like a failure.
And even though we say, "Yeah, I understand, it's a journey, it's not a one-day exercise" but at the same time, since our goal is fluency, we look for fluency, we want fluency, we expect fluency.
But there's no book, no program, no workshop by the end of which we can get fluent. We feel improvement, but then we stutter again and we feel like a failure again.
Our stuttering is an automated pattern and what we should be thinking of is making a step in creating a new speaking pattern. In restoring the inner structure of our speaking.
Playing with a phrase, making a speech, making a real-life phone call. These are concrete and specific steps. These are positive experiences you create that layer by layer build a new speaking pattern.
There are other problems with fluency as a goal. Fluency is an empty term. It's a negative term meaning we don't have speech impediments. But it doesn't say anything about what kind of speaking we want to have. Looking for fluency we look for nothing in particular. It's hard to find something if we don't know what it is.
We often go thinking, "Once I get fluent I'll do, make, start... so and so" but the reality is that we can postpone living our life forever this way.
Moreover, with this approach, it's really hard to get free from stuttering.
When you don't set other goals you don't have any motivation to speak, to grow, to move anywhere. It's easy to lock yourself up saying "I can't." What in fact happens - stuttering jams you into a tiny box. Ruling your world.
Once you set other goals and start moving to them you destroy the very core of the stuttering iceberg - avoidance behaviors.
To reach fluency (ok, to build a new speaking pattern) we need a plan, we think.
And yeah, investment bankers usually have very precise plans for their transactions. They know each step of the way leading them to the result they are after.
But what usually happens to us, we don't have a plan. Or when we start implementing some "plan" we find that it was a wrong one.
My third piece of advice is wake up 10 minutes earlier each morning (and go to bed 10 minutes earlier in the evening) for some practice. Develop your voice, your diaphragm muscles, play with a phrase, make speeches, go live, join Free From Stutter Facebook group, post there, think what you're scared of and start doing that.
It's much more important than having a plan or thinking about a plan. Big plan means heavy burden and oftentimes it means doing nothing.
START. DOING. SOMETHING.
When you have a small step in front of you it's hard to fail. It's easy to accomplish and feel the confidence to move further. That's what I wish to you in 2018!
Leave a comment - would love to know what you think!