Monday, April 26, 2010

A sudden block

Today morning I was very fluent while talking over the phone with 2 complete strangers in detail. And I was gaining tremendous confidence. My beliefs, perceptions, attitude was very positive. And then it was this guy who asked me a question. I knew him. And then I had this sudden block where I struggled. I immediately wanted to run away and hide. After block, my mind was like why did I block? What happened now? I thought that I had found the solution to fluency. Now what happened? Why did I block again? And then there was a sudden shift in my beliefs, attitude, perception, feeling. I started to become more hesitant, my speaking rate was fast, I was more agitated. I desperately craved for fluency. I didn't want to again get into that phase of blocking.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Thoughts and fluency

These past few days, I had been very busy with my exams so didn't get chance to think about speech or stuttering or fluency. And so I didn't stutter as much, or if I did I didn't care about it as much. So overall feeling good about my speech. Interesting.
Today, I wanted to call AOL teacher and ask her about the Cleveland trip. At first, I wanted to avoid talking and use email which I did, but she didn't responded. Then I had no option but to call her. I didn't want to look stupid. I didn't want to stutter on the very first word over the phone. So I was glad that she didn't answer but I decided to leave her a voicemail. I was glad and felt good about the fact that I didn't block in the first few words. And then I had this major block on one word and felt that she wouldn't take me seriously because I block. I felt she wouldn't respond to me because I don't deserve to be called back.
Then I had to call a stranger who had left me a voicemail yesterday. I tried my best to be calm and say the first few words right. To my surprise, I stuttered and didn't feel good about speaking. I didn't want to struggle. What opinions he would have of me? I wanted to finish the conversation as fast as I can so I was looking for short-cuts. I didn't care about his needs. My only concern was not to block when I was speaking with him. Despite having made attempts not to think about it, I was still not able to leave this concern of blocking from my mind and focus on fluency.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Interview today

Today morning I had the interview and I seemed to have prepared a little last night, focusing more on the content of the talk rather than how I say it. I even wrote it down on a piece of paper to make sure that my thoughts progress in a smooth flow. So today I went visualizing positive self-talk and affirmation. I even tried to recall the times when I had been fluent and in control of myself. So then it was time and i entered the interview room. For the first 10-15 minutes I was calm and composed and seemed to be pretty fluent. And then I stumbled in between which further increased it and then i began to struggle a little here and there. I wanted the interview to just end at that time. Maybe i stumbled more later on because I wasn't sure what to say. Or maybe I wasn't genuine. OR maybe I wanted to hide any more blocking so I purposely chose words and phrases where I won't stutter. I was holding back and didn't feel comfortable blocking. I felt maybe interviewers wouldn't understand what I'm saying. And so I felt that pressure to speak fluently and in a perfect manner.
I know I'm pretty busy these next few days but I can still play observer role and thinking more about positive speaking situations and feelings of confidence, control and calmness before, during and after speaking .

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Exam time and fluency

Today I had been very busy studying for my exam tomorrow so I didn't get any chance to work on my speech. I also didn't meditate or read any self-help book today. So today my speech was a little disfluent and I noticed that I was talking at a very rapid pace. Maybe it was due to the exam stress and it showed in my speech. When I wasn't relaxed and state of my mind was in anxious and panic mode. Maybe it was my default behavior that showed up in high-stress situation. Tomorrow I also have a short presentation. Even though I don't feel worried about it, I feel that I could be more fluent if I focus a little on positive thoughts and emotions.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Speaking Ladder

Today, I felt as if I was getting back to my old patterns related to stuttering, the only difference was that I had positive emotions and feelings and intentions were right. So this means that even if I have a stuttery day, I can still monitor the way I feel towards myself and the way others perceive me. I feel I got back to my old habits because they were better attuned to my system and it would take constant effort and focus on my part in ensuring that new neural pathways of fluency dictate my mindset at all times.
It is useful to think of the speaking ladder. Start with an easy situation first, gain confidence and use it to go on to a little challenging situation and so on. This would also activate the neural pathway of fluency and make my mind think that I'm fluent.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Today's Presentation

Wow! Today's presentation went great. I stuttered a few times in between but I was mostly fluent and in control. Even few people told me afterwards that they liked the presentation. I now realize the importance of mind. How changing thoughts and feeling and deceiving the mind is actually possible and then the end result is fluency. I am really not my mind. It is something else. It craves each moment. Now the question is how to reprogram my mind so it continuously think positive thoughts no matter what happens. And I believe that it is possible to program my mind where it thinks mostly of positive thoughts and have positive emotions. It was truly an achievement today. What a shift from yesterday when I couldn't speak even one word to the time when stuttering is out of my mind. What mysterious thing is this mind? Well, my journey has only begun. I have a long way to go. But I'm surely taking the right path now. I make a promise now that I won't ever lose trust in myself and faith in this higher power.

Mind and Fluency

I was having a little stuttery phase yesterday and felt a lot of fear. And then I read again Linda Rounds book. She talked about mind and how we are separate from our mind. And she pointed out it is important to run our minds rather than let mind to run us. So I tried it out and it worked. I noticed at that time that my beliefs were that I would stutter even if I talk one sentence. And my feeling was negative and that of frustration. And my tendency was to avoid speaking. So I thought about the times when I were fluent. Maybe times when I was in New York doing AIS therapy or when I gave my one particular toastmasters speech when I was extremely fluent. And then I shifted my focus on feeling to think about the moment when I felt great. Absolutely great. Maybe it was when i was enjoying dancing. And then I focused on that feeling for some time. And then I focused on the times when my intentions were to speak and not avoid at any costs. Putting all this focus brought a sudden shift in my emotions, attitude and mood. And then I happened to talk to someone for a minute because they asked me something. I was mostly fluent talking with them. I kept this memory of fluency and then answered a phone call from a friend and said hello thinking that I have been just fluent. And then I spoke with him keeping in mind that I said hello and first few words without stumbling. Like this, I kept on going. And then it was time for me to rehearse the presentation in front of my group. To my surprise, I was mostly fluent. And then I kept this memory, and rehearsed again and now I was even more fluent and confident. And then suddenly, I felt good about giving the presentation. Now my presentation is in 20 minutes and instead of feeling nervous, I'm feeling excited and thrilled.