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Date: 23 Oct 2006
Time: 09:06:43 -0500
Remote Name: 184.108.40.206
You’re right that the reactions of others can have a detrimental effect on our confidence, but as Alan Badmington – one of my fellow conference authors – asked me, why do we give other people the power to affect us in this way? WE should be the ones to determine our own responses to our stuttering – not others. This may be easier said than done, but with practice and by actively pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones on a regular basis, we can help make ourselves immune to the reactions of others. You can do this by regularly doing things that you generally avoid, like making phone calls or approaching people on the street and asking them directions or the time of day. Allow yourself to stutter (particularly difficult for the coverts among us!) so that you can get used to their reactions, and practice not allowing their responses to affect you. Your confidence will become less and less affected by their reaction to your speech, and then you can take this confidence back into the workplace and other situations where you felt your confidence shaken by others’ reaction. Alan should know that this works – he has made a hobby out of pushing his boundaries and getting out of his comfort zone by continually talking to strangers, making phone calls, and giving speeches. Actually, by this point the whole world is his comfort zone! But on one final note, he reminded me of a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt: "No-one can make you feel inferior without your consent". Words to live by!