Monday, August 10, 2009

Stuttering Jack Blog

I would like to welcome Stuttering Jack to my blog. He has a very powerful and informative blog of his own here:

He made a very interesting point on his blog recently. He said, and I'm paraphrasing, that if you are fluent in one situation, you can be fluent in any situation. You just have to find the state of mind you were in when you were fluent...and duplicate that. If I slaughtered his words, forgive me.

But, it's a wonderful point, isn't it? If I can be fluent in one situation...shouldn't I at least have the capacity to be fluent all the time? What's different in a situation where I have blocks on every other word and situations where I feel completely at ease and can talk for a great length of time with virtually no blocks?

I counsel children. That's my job. And when I am doing my job, I am almost always fluent. In addition, when I stand up in front of a crowd to speak or to do a presentation, fluency is my best friend. I am confident, I am sure of myself and I speak very well. In college, I was known for my ability to do presentations. I always made the best grades and other students always wanted to be in my group projects.

But, damn it to hell, if the phone rings, suddenly, I tense up, my palms sweat and there have been times when I picked up the phone and couldn't even say "hello". I have hung up on people in those situations.

I've walked up to the counter at McDonalds and have ordered things I didn't even want...just because I couldn't say what I wanted. I've walked through doors held open by strangers and didn't say "thank you" because...I couldn't.

Jack says that these things can be treated through cognitive behavioral therapy/training. I know what that is, I was a psych major in college. But, how do I apply this to my own life? What sort of treatment would help me to find that fluent state of mind that I have when I am speaking in front of a crowd? Do I find myself struggling to be fluent at McDonalds because, in my mind I know that the cashier doesn't know me and I think she's secretly judging me before I say anything?

Do I struggled on the phone because I know my voice is the only thing I am presenting to the caller since they can't see my face or what I am wearing?

Would simple positive affirmations repeated over and over in my head daily help me to overcome those stressors?

Jack makes very good points in his blog and I've yet to read all of his entries. I just wish I knew how to translate "good blog entries" into practical steps towards fluency.

Check out his blog, though. It's definitely worth the time.

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