- Lori Melnitsky
Did I fail?… Many times over.. From “failure” to confidence:
Stuttering to Confidence: Is Failure a fair word?
Failure: A scary word: What is failure?
Failure is basically lack of success.. Success is a complex word and means various things to different people. Success is overrated in my opinion. How does one learn success without experiencing failure? How do we learn from our past mistakes? Mistakes are part of life and vital to growth. Our children must feel some aspects of “failure” to learn resiliency. Most people agree as parents it is not easy to watch but it must happen. Life is not perfection and quite honestly boring if risks aren’t taken.
Did I fail?
I guess you could say I failed many times over. I did not exceed academically in high school. I was the average student at best. Luckily I had other strengths and went to school under less pressured times.
I “failed” talking many times. I stuttered through a spanish presentation in high school but I did not give up. I felt shame. Oh yes I did feel like a “failure” but I gave another marketing presentation in college anyway. I was scared, had no strong fluency therapy behind me and quite honestly knew nothing about public speaking.
What did I do?
I went away at my own expense for a three week intensive fluency course. I was pretty much guaranteed fluency. I “failed” again. I also lost my first accounting job because I was not really interested in the position. I guess I “failed” again. Then lost my second one because the company split after I was hired and left me behind. The third job clicked but accounting was nt for me.
How did I gain confidence?
Slowly with tremendous support. I never gave up on speech therapy or myself. The more intensive the therapy was the better I became in believing in myself. I went back to school for my masters in speech and learned how to study. I had to do well for my own self worth. I missed my 3.8 GPA to graduate with honors by .5 pts. Ironically I got a B in a stuttering class. I had to accept that perfection would not increase my skills as a therapist. I had passion and grit. I went from an average student to almost straight As. No one supervised me at the age of 27. in school. It was entirely up to me. My first clinical experience was at a school. I almost “failed” at first because I did not have prior speech experience and also was petrified of talking and being found out that I stuttered. I kept pushing until I was able to do it.
What did I do?
I pulled strength from the bottom of my soul. Exercise helped to decrease anxiety. I worked with a mindset coach. I had and still have a wonderful friend, Lisa, who stuttered also and became a speech pathologist. She understood. I was not alone anymore. I joined toastmasters. I kept pushing myself and accepted that I might stutter sometimes. Writing wins in a journal daily was beneficial. It took time.
You can do this. I am here for you..