There are many studies stating specific percentages of how much of your personality is nature versus how much is nurture. You can spend all day reading endless articles and books on the subject. I personally don’t think any of that matters. While how you were raised and what you were taught growing up shaped your past, it certainly doesn’t have to shape your future. Who you are today is who you decided to be today.
Most people that struggle with stuttering can point to a specific point in time when they first started stuttering. A trauma, such as the untimely passing of a loved one or a life changing event like moving across the country, or changing schools, caused it for them. I don’t really know where mine originated. I witnessed an attempted rape when I was about 4 years old and I just assumed that might have had something to do with it, but who can really say. The point is we all have a story and maybe even something or someone to blame, but focusing on the past won’t get you any closer to a better future.
Every day every one of us wakes up and decides who we are going to be and how we are going to react to the world around us. Most days my reaction to the world around me is rather negative until I get my coffee, but that’s a topic for another day. I honestly try to approach every day with the “glass half full” or to “see the donut, not the hole”, kinda attitude and look for the good side of everything. I think this is the only way to live if you want to continually improve your life. If you grade every day based on the worst thing that happened, every day will either be bad or terrible. You will eventually spiral into a little pile of self-pity.
Here at WSSA we define a “bad stuttering incident” as if a stranger could clearly identify that you have a speech impediment. Honestly, that’s a pretty low bar because most people don’t care a whole lot about how to you talk. They are only listening to what you say. Stop focusing in on your stutter, zoom out a little and look at the whole picture. Start viewing your speech through the “how fluent was I today?” lens instead of the “Oh no I stuttered again” lens.
I see a lot of people struggle with the idea of self-curing because of this mindset. They give themselves a “fail” every time they have a little bobble in their speech, even when no one notices.
So approach every day with a positive attitude and a willingness to give it your all and maybe even fail from time to time, but always be sure to see the donut, not the hole.
We only die once, but we live every day.