I am tired of failure
Hi guys, I am a straight As student in grade 11th, famous around the campus, respected by fellows and praised by teachers. I'm pretty successful. But I have a disability. I cannot speak in public, I begin to stutter. Not every time, only when a teacher has asked me a question or to present something. All in all, when I am under observation. I have tried almost all the exercises of breathing and saying to yourself that you can do it and etc, it doesn't help. I have lost countless opportunities because of this since my 5th grade, this is when it started. I don't know what is this. I'm not shy, I have like danced in front of the whole school 3 times and won in 2 of them. I'm disillusioned. I mean I can't do anything else. People say speak more and more, but I can't, its humiliating! I don't know what to do? I fear this my destroy my dreams and life.
Do you realize that most people have a fear of pubic speaking - more than the fear of dying?
It's a common feeling. Many famous people suffer from stage fright, some great ones stopped performing: Barbara Streisand and Carole King, for two.
You excel in so many ways. Don't feel you have to be a performer too!
But if this is something you want to change: they say practice is the way to break this fear. Start out by speaking in front of just a few people. Then increase your audience until you can de-sensitize the fear of public speaking.
I had a fear of speaking, also. It started in the 11th grade when a stressful event happened in this class, and then the teacher said, "Now, let read outloud, in order, going down the rows."
Oh, this was the worst thing for me, right after a stressful event in this same class. This was combination stress.
So when it got my turn to read, I couldn't even breath, much less read. I started reading, and I could only get out about 2 words before I was out of breath, and would have to stop, swallow, breath a few times, then try to get out two more words.
After that, I was no good at reading in class or anywhere else. It carried over to adulthood, until I met a guy who had the same problem. He heard of a club called Toastmasters, where they work with members on public speaking. I didn't know what they could do to help me, but they did.
What they did was, first they didn't let me speak for the first couple of meetings. Then about the third meeting, they would let you speak, and your topic was yourself, the person you know best. And all you had to do was sstnd up and say your name, and you could sit back down. An escape hatch.
That is, if you stood up, and got scared, you could give your name and sit back down. With that escape hatch, you weren't as scared, because you could sit down anytime you wanted. So what happened was, I stood up, I gave my name, and before I know it, I rambling on about myself, and, more important, I'm public speaking for the first time since I was in the 11th grade.
That confidence allowed me to get over that and realize that I could speak in public. I don't know if they have Toastmaster for juniors or not. But if you could find a group, maybe your family, maybe a group at school, I don't know, where you could practice that stradegy, maybe that would help.
Maybe stand up in front of your family, having let them know you're trying to get over a problem, tell them you just want to tell your name, and tell about yourself if you felt like it.
If all you gave was your name, maybe next meal or so, tell them you might want to talk about yourself a little bit. Repeat that at the next meal if that topic is good for you. At the next meal, tell them you want to talk about your vacation last year, or some such topic.
And see if that's helping you.
Thankyou so much for your responses. But the thing is this is a fear and I'm sure it will go away with practice. But where do I practice? In class, its humiliating, in public, I'm scrutinized and in home, I'm fine. And I further wanted to add how I feel when I get this rush and then I stutter. Firstly I'm scared, my heart is beating really hard,I start sweating, I blush, breathing accelerates, I researched this, this is an adrenaline rush. I just cannot stop it from happening and then I get stuck. Hope this helps you people to diagnose this issue, its pretty confusing with lack of confidence factor.
In some ways I can relate, not completely, but in some way, I don't really have trouble speaking, more, I go completely red when tasked with speaking to people Im not 100% comfortable with, it sucks but I just have deal with it, yeah, I know, not the best advice ever but the way I handle it is that I just kinda make fun of myself for it, I embrace the fact I have that flaw and I laugh about it, I know one day it'll pass but the only way to do that is to not just accept the fact I have a flaw, but also put myself in these situations which would turn my face into a tomato, because I can get used to it and eventually, it'll just disappear. Sorry if this isn't what you wanted to hear but I wish you luck and hopefully you'll overcome your problem.
I know how you feel. I have same fear, but I am also trying my best to reduce it.
You could do what I do, to reduce the fear and nervousness.
1)Start small. Speak in front of the mirror flawlessly and look at yourself, how you look while speaking.
2)Then start speaking in front of your parents. Ask them to point out your flaws.
3)Then speak in front of your close friends, and do the same.
You will gradually see the difference. Try and try and you will be free from your fear.