Finding your authentic voice

Hi, my name is Jessica Escobedo. I a senior at CSUF, and I currently pursuing to become a SLP. I am also currently taking a Fluency class, which had a guest speaker who talked about stuttering, in his introduction and conversation he really emphasized on building confidence and being able to find your authentic voice or your true voice. My question is, when did you realize that shift in perspective when you wanted to gain confidence and embrace your true voice?

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Finding your authentic voice — 3 Comments

  1. Hi Jessica. In my case, I realized a shift in my opinion (and it was not overnight, it took me few months) when I saw stuttering being talked about very casually during self-help group meetings that I have attended. Such an open conversation about stuttering, without shush’s and aaahh’s and regrets, led me to realize that it was completely OK to stutter. I hope this makes sense.

  2. I was able to find my authentic voice when I was finally sick and tired of living my life as a fraud. I had allowed stuttering, and fear of stuttering, to really hijack my personality. I could see I had drawn the lines between “Fake Pam” and “Real Pam” and it just became too much.

    I wanted to be free, open and have the world accept me for who I am. To do that, I had to accept me first. From there, my authentic voice was set free.

    Pam

  3. This is a really important question!

    There have been two important breakthroughs during my stuttering journey, during which I felt I was finding my true authentic voice. In some ways these seem to stem from polar opposites in perspectives, but in other ways the first one helped me indirectly into the second one.

    The first occurred in the mid-1980’s, when I was 30 years old. I attended the Hollins Communications Research Institute in Roanoke, Virginia, to learn the Precision Fluency Shaping Program.
    After three months of daily intensive practicing of these techniques, I achieved what I considered to be a milestone victory at the time. For the first time in my life, I was totally fluent in all situations!
    Now I knew that fluency was within my grasp, and I had the power to achieve consistent fluency.
    I could finally express myself consistently in the fluent voice I had always dreamed of!

    This consistent fluency lasted quite a few months, but eventually collapsed. For years I took refresher after refresher, and always managed to bring consistent fluency back into my life. But it always collapsed eventually.
    What I realized that maintaining my fluency – for me – required really intensive work, not only in daily formal practice (of an hour or more), but also careful monitoring of techniques in all conversations.
    And I could not maintain this fluency without these intensive efforts.

    Eventually – after many years – I just decided this was too much work, and that the goal of maintaining total consistent fluency of speech just wasn’t worth all those enormous efforts. I realized that there was much more to life than to be obsessed with maintaining fluency of speech.

    And then came the second big breakthrough, which occurred about 20 years ago, when I was in my later 40’s. I again felt like I was finding my true authentic voice.
    It was important for me to realize that achieving total fluency was very possible for me, if I REALLY wanted it badly enough, and if I really thought fluency was essential to a happy life.
    But I came to the realization that it really wasn’t.
    I decided to simply accept myself calmly and peacefully as a person who just happens to stutter.
    I decided to get rid of my obsession to transform myself into a Fluent Person, into someone who always would speak with the greatest of fluency.
    Why indeed was this necessary?
    I could just be who I was, who I am, and who I will continue to be.
    I’m a person who happens to stutter. So what?
    Life became so much happier for me, and so much less stressful, when I finally achieved this realization and acceptance.

    In retrospect it was important to me to understand that fluency was within my grasp if I really wanted it, and if I really wanted to work hard for it.
    And that understanding helped me in my newer journey of acceptance. Yes – I can have it if I REALLY want it. But my life is fine and happy as it is. And that’s perfectly okay with me.

    I now believe that my true authentic voice is based on this realization. This is me, who I am. I can express myself with my own ways of speaking and thinking, unencumbered by an obsession to speak as fluently as other people around me. I am me, not them. And I speak in my own way!