One of the reasons I became a psychologist is because I’m fascinated with personal transformation: people achieving their goals, cultivating self-understanding, overcoming painful experiences and emotions, and uncovering a sense of empowerment and belonging.
When I was young, I wanted to transform from a person who stutters into a person who spoke fluently.
I have made many transformations and changes in my life, but becoming fluent was the one transformation I just couldn’t seem to pull off. Several years ago, I finally came to terms with the fact that it simply wasn’t in the cards.
My next challenge was to see if I could transform the way I felt about my stuttering.
As a psychologist, I do believe it’s possible for a person to adjust the way they think and feel about something.
And as a person who stutters, I can honestly say that accepting my stuttering is something I continue to struggle with on a daily basis. Transformations like these are not like pushing a button or waving a magic wand.
One of the things I try to remember, both in my own life and in my work with others, is that instead of immediately focusing on changing or “fixing” the way a person thinks about something (in this case: stuttering), it is often more helpful to begin with a practice of recognizing one’s thoughts about stuttering as they arise.
This sounds like an easy task – maybe too easy. But cultivating this kind of practice actually requires quite a bit of mindfulness and self-awareness.
What types of thoughts do you notice having about your stuttering? In what types of situations do they arise? Are they helpful? 100 percent accurate? How can you keep track of them? And how do they make you feel?
Share in the comments below.
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
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