Day 43: Do Something You Fear.
While approaching people and advertising my stuttering is a fearful in it’s own right, I really wanted to this project to be an opportunity to take on those A+, prime, top of the heap feared situations. More so, I wanted to do things I had always wanted to but had avoided due to insecurity, fear of stuttering, judgment or whatever the excuse may be.
At this point in my project, what I’m beginning to find is a significant change in perspective as it pertains to my speech and how I judge success and failure. I’ve learned, in absolute terms, is that the only way I can fail is if I don’t try. No matter how fluent or how well I keep eye contact or how my listener responds, success is inevitable as long as I take the chance. This shift in personal evaluation has been very positive and more empowering than I thought possible.
On Day 43, Friday March 15th I decided to take on one of my super fears and something I’d always wanted to do: Call into sports talk radio.
I have long been a huge Detroit sports fan, always with an opinion about our pro sport teams (usually negative Re: Detroit Lions) or Michigan State sports (fairly positive). However, I had never even considered calling in and voicing my thoughts. Today was going to be different.
Like I had said earlier, I had always really wanted to call in to our sports talk station, but had never considered it. Some of the reasons include:
· Too much time pressure.
· Importance of perfect fluency.
· Hosts would be far too critical.
· Just not worth it.
Today my reason for calling was:
· I wanted to.
I dialed in to one of the most influential Detroit stations this morning with, what I thought, was a pretty good take on why Pavel Datsyuk should be traded. I introduced myself to the call screener, told him where I was from and that I was a person who stuttered. I proceeded to give my opinion on the issue and the screener responded “Thanks Cameron, we’ll pass on your thoughts, appreciate the call”, and he hung up.
So, a couple takeaways:
1. After all that, I wasn’t put on the air because I stuttered, I wasn’t put on because my content either wasn’t strong enough or had already been suggested. Notice that content was never a previous concern.
2. I didn’t make it on the show, so one might say I failed. However, that couldn’t be father from the truth.
3. The adrenaline rush I had from dialing the number alone was incredible. It makes me want to do more things like this.
4. I survived.
It’s wild to think back and think of all the situations I had avoided or stressed about due solely to stuttering. However, there are so many instances when it isn’t even close to a factor. I urge you take think about something you fear, something you’ve always wanted to do and take it on. Focus on the content of the interaction and the purpose of the action rather than whether or not you’ll stutter.
Regardless, if you do it, you succeed. Go for it.