“Can a man be brave if he is afraid? THAT IS THE ONLY TIME A MAN CAN BE BRAVE…..”
George R.R. Martin, American novelist
Do you fear? Fear of heights, fear of death, fear of being alone, fear of stutter and other types of fear ….. Everyone in this world fears something. Fear is of two types, short term and long term. Fear in the short term is often considered good as it helps in decision making and triggers one’s potential to its apogee. Fear in the long term is dreadful as it coerces a person to succumb to palpitations when an intimidating situation arises. Is fear bad? Absolutely not, in fact FEAR IS A WAY OF DEVELOPING SURVIVAL INSTINCTS. For example, when a deer is chased by a lion, the deer runs faster than usual because of the spike in its adrenaline and most probably the deer wins because it is running for its life, unlike the lion which is running for its prey. FEAR is good as long as one doesn’t dwell in it for a long time.
Does a non-stutterer have stage fright? Of course YES!!
Often we see non-stutterers stumbling, making “AAA” “AHH” “OOO” sounds and repeating same sentences several times on stage. I once asked one of my friends (Non-stutterer) who spoke using a mic on stage, “Did you feel nervous when you spoke?” She said that she was completely nervous and forgot what she had to say and blabbered something else instead of what she had prepared earlier. The funniest part was she did not even remember what she blabbered on the stage.
Fear is one of the common factors that leads to stuttering. When I did MC (Mistress of Ceremony) in my ex-company’s “town hall”, like others I practiced my speech several times but I did not focus on the words, instead I focused on the idea and the crutches that I was going to use. When I entered the stage, I felt my heart exploding in my throat and when I held the mic I was faced with TWO OPTIONS: 1. If I do not do it now, I will forever be a prisoner of my stutter, and 2. If I muster my courage and do it now, then I can forever cherish this victory and lay a foundation to my positive memory bank. Of course, I had FEAR which can be expanded as either Forget Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise, but I chose the latter and in the end I spoke flawlessly like any other non-stutterer.
The only way to overcome fear is by embracing it!! And Coach Lee has given us a much better way to embrace our fear of stuttering by introducing us to the most efficient 13 CRUTCHES. The beauty of crutches is that even when you are shit scared about talking in front of people, you can comfortably use any one of the crutches and beat it. Because a mind can either fear or focus on the crutch, but it can never do both. As long as you choose the latter the success is yours!!