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The Fluency Trap (part 2)

Episode #272: Stuttering is one of the most important things you can do – because fluency is a trap.

A friend recently shared with me that she believes acceptance must come first in order to get rid of the fear of stuttering. Only after that can you work on your speech, if you want to. Or work on your self-esteem caused by a lifetime of society’s stigma towards your speech. Or work on your social skills, public speaking, etc. I share my friend’s perspective. Working on eliminating your fear of stuttering first means you will no longer be afraid stuttering and evolve any way you want or just be who you are.

There is no one way. Just… my way that works for me.

In other words, fluency is a trap because it will make you avoid speaking so you can avoid stuttering. You’re going to switch words, avoid talking, and create one avoidance behaviour after another. Thus, one of the first steps you need to take is to be willing to stutter. That is the advice given on this episode by my guest, Larry Stein, author of the book, Free To Speak, which chronicles his stuttering memoirs.

All it takes is one small step out of your comfort zone every time. You cannot become a bodybuilder if you don’t lift a weight. And when you start lifting weights, you don’t start lifting 700 pounds from day one. You have to build it up slowly from a weight you can handle even if it’s 1 pound.

As I’ve said numerous times on my show, “no victory too small!” and “you can still be an effective communicator regardless of stuttering”. And don’t compare yourself to anybody else no matter how fluent they are.

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Published in Podcast archive


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