The Paradox of Stammering/Stuttering

The Paradox of Stammering/Stuttering

James Earl Jones once remarked, “One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can’t utter.”

“Stammering is a condition characterized by stoppages and disruptions in fluency which interrupt smooth flow and timing of speech. These stoppages may take the form of repetitions of sounds, syllables or words, or of prolongations of sounds so that words seem to be stretched out, and can involve silent blocking of the airflow of speech when no sound is heard.” ( Enderby, 1996)

Individuals suffering from this disability (Stuttering) know precisely what they want to say but are unable to articulate it. Stuttering and stammering are synonymous.

Stammering could easily become a persistent problem without timely intervention, and we shall look into some of these preventive mechanisms to combat stammering. There are a couple of practices that can reduce it to a manageable level. Talking slowly can help control the stutter. Reaching out to a supportive network and practicing speech therapy all have a positive impact. In addition to this, practicing breathing exercises infinitely increases the chances of a more fluent conversation. But, and it’s a resounding but, it’s important to address the importance of building up robust self-esteem. As mentioned earlier, there is no known cure for stammering. In a society that is obsessed with perfection, life can be unbearably brutal for a person with a disability. It’s highly unconventional to meet a person who is suffering from a disability and yet radiate a certain level of confidence. That’s an oxymoron. Yet, that’s precisely the objective of this article.

Let me illustrate. Nick Vujicic, the author of “Life without Limits” was born without arms and legs. He is the founder of the nonprofit organization, “Life without limbs”. A surfer, writer, motivational speaker, and a globe trotter, Nick didn’t have it easy. He participates in almost all of the activities that normal people do. Yes, the usage of the word “normal” was deliberate as this society is quick to demarcate individuals in categories that are safe and accepted.

Emily Blunt, Tiger Woods and Julia Roberts all have something in common. They all suffered a debilitating speech disorder and despite the insurmountable difficulties achieved a level of success almost incomprehensible. During the course of my research on critical illnesses and their preventive mechanisms, a critical and often overlooked fact is the resilience of the human spirit, which has a definitive role in the ultimate outcome.

A person who exhibits confidence whilst suffering from a speech disorder is a paradox. But, it’s not uncommon. And in the pursuit of an egalitarian society, an unreserved acceptance must be practiced. This point is eloquently expressed by

During a recent session with one of my clients for Stammering / Stuttering, I first identified the desired state he wants to be in and also the present state. All behavior including stuttering is state dependent. That’s why you would find some people stammer more under stress and fear than other situations. Working at an unconscious level reorganizes the input data and recreates the map the person is living in. As John Grinder Co-Creator of NLP puts it,” You see the world through your map of the world”, which might be limited due to filters installed from previous experience or exposures. As a Coach, my role is to help the client’s unconscious mind to see other choices which are hidden.

In short, experience creates a memory and creates a pattern of response. When you live this experience over and over again, this pattern transforms into habits including Phobias.

Some of the NLP Techniques like Swish Pattern with a lot of stacking of anchors for confidence, positivity, and focus can be very helpful for scores of other behaviors that are undesirable like Stuttering, Nail-biting, snoozing, etc.

Sajid Ahamed is Grinder approved NLP Trainer in India and the Middle East. He has been running NLP Practitioner Courses in India and the Middle East. He has been coaching Clients for effective parenting skills and Enhancing Emotional intelligence. You can book a free session with him using the below link.