Make Room For The Stuttering

There Is No Perfect

Posted on: April 28, 2015

I read a post on a stuttering forum about a woman who has been asked to record a training video for her job.

She was asked to make this promotional video because she is good at her job and has a great attitude.

She posted that she really wanted to make the video but is afraid of “messing up” since her speech has been “really bad” lately. She said she wouldn’t want to do the video and have it turn out less than perfect.

Several people replied, encouraging her to take the chance and do it. Several other people wished her good luck and that they hoped she has good speech on the day of the recording.

I replied as well, encouraging her to do it and to be happy with her efforts no matter how her speech is on that given day. I said that imperfect people will probably be encouraged by seeing someone who isn’t perfect either.

None of us are perfect. Perfect doesn’t exist. Especially when it comes to the speech of people who stutter.

It has taken me a long time to believe this, for I grew up under the burden of trying to be a perfectionist in order to compensate for my speech. I thought if I was perfect at everything else, my stuttered speech wouldn’t be noticed and judged.

I was afraid of the judgement. If I didn’t sound perfect, I feared people would judge me negatively. Some did, as evidenced by the teasing and mimicking I tolerated growing up. Hell, I’ve been teased and mocked as an adult.

But I’ve slowly learned to shed the drive to be perfect. I think I am in recovery.

We can use all the tools and techniques we have to shape our speech into fluent speech. But if we stutter, we’re going to stutter. That’s all there is to it.

I hope the woman asked to do the video does it and stutters well. She doesn’t have to be perfect.

There is no perfect.

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3 Responses to "There Is No Perfect"

I agree — one of the first things that came to my mind as I was reading was that I feel that when so many individuals are raised in an environment (schools) where they are continually assessed and judged, it’s no wonder they fear imperfection. To top it off, so much of what they are being judged on is not something they choose to pursue. It breaks my heart…I think that allowing yourself to be vulnerable can be so empowering to you and to others and should be encouraged and celebrated…

Thanks Dori for the thoughtful reply. Fear of judgment has always been as issue for me. It was what contributed to me hiding my stuttering for so many years, which was so unhealthy and stifling. I agree – allowing ourselves to be vulnerable connects us to others and we all need to be connected.

I especially love your last comment Pam where you say I hope the woman does the video and she stutters well. That is so empowering too and a really important message for all people who stutter – that we don’t have to be fluent, we can stutter well and be ourselves and not try to be someone we are not, we can be perfectly imperfect!

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© Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering, 2009 - 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Same protection applies to the podcasts linked to this blog, "Women Who Stutter: Our Stories" and "He Stutters: She Asks Him." Please give credit to owner/author Pamela A Mertz 2016.