March 18, 2013
The Confidence To Achieve Fluency
It seems quite bizarre to have the word confidence in the title of a stammering therapy blog post when referring as the confidence to achieve something. Why bizarre? Well because the stammer that I had severely impacted and eroded my self-confidence and therefore the sheer fact that I had the confidence to achieve anything, let alone fluency, seems quite strange. In fact as I am writing this I do remember having confidence in a number of different things during the eighteen years that I had the speech impediment, especially in sport.
But sport is of little relevance for this post but something of a much higher importance is why I had a belief and a confidence to achieve total fluency. Where did this belief originate from? It was quite strange really, I had been told on a fairly frequent basis by those who are apparently "in the know", such as speech and language therapists, that there was not a cure for stammering and that I would therefore continue to have a stammer for the rest of my life. But these people had never had a stammer and I just had no respect for them in relation to their understanding and knowledge of stammering. Why therefore should I believe anything they had to say? Some may call this a rather negative attitude to have towards these professionals however I was not willing to accept second best, only fluency was good enough for me.
I was also very much aware that when alone I could say exactly what I wanted to say, without the need to substitute words for example, without any problems whatsoever. I felt comfortable, confident, assured and relaxed - this is what enabled the words to flow smoothly and fluently. I knew therefore that if only I could feel this way all of the time and if I could somehow work out what I did differently, speech wise, when I was not alone that I would then be able to eradicate the stammer once and for all.
I then had to work out the answers to all of the questions that were running around in my head. Questioning this and questioning that. Talk about slow progress but at least progress was being achieved.
I am not saying it was easy to achieve fluency as it certainly was not however I am very happy that I did not accept what those speech therapists told me all of those years ago.