How many times have you thought of working on your speech, and then had little voices in your head that say that you can’t.
These little voices are your limiting beliefs, which convince you that you can’t achieve something. They keep you away from your dreams and within your fears. Some of you will be aware of your limiting beliefs, and some of you have no idea what they look like.
Here are a few examples of limiting beliefs that my clients have shared with me:
- I am too old to change how I sound.
- I have done this type of work before, and tried the exercises on Youtube, did not work!
- I can’t hear the difference between speech sounds. I can’t hear how different I sound.
Do any of them sound familiar to you? Another way limiting beliefs manifest is via physical manifestation. This means your body, and the way you feel carries a message about how you feel about your speech. Eg: Feelings of anxiety when speaking to others, slouching when talking, reduced eye contact, mumbling, low volume, quickly finishing what you are saying. All in a bid, to hope not to be heard by your listener. So that no one asks you to repeat yourself, so that no one gives you that puzzled look, once again..and worse, so that no one makes fun of you.
Limiting beliefs are what they are. They limit your ability to grow and to change. They limit your ability to even try new ideas and concepts.If you are aware of limiting beliefs in your mind, it is time to start working on getting rid of them. If you have no idea what they are, I hope you read something that resonated.
Here are my tips and advice about the above mentioned limiting beliefs:
- I am too old to change how I sound.
When you learn a language, you learn that speech system. Hence when you grow up with one main language, you identify with its speech rules, speech sounds and speech melody. When you start learning another language, the rules from the main first language transfers to the 2nd language. You subconsciously transfer the speech rules. My point is, you are never too old to change or transform the way you sound. Once you learn the different speech rules, you will be on your way to a different sounding speech system! Click here to find out how.
2. I have done this type of work before, and tried the exercises on Youtube, did not work!
Good on you for trying all the exercises on Youtube and working on yourself! Copying and modeling off another person definitely works. But it does matter who you copy. I have worked with clients who get confused with American and English and Australian accents, and have a mixture of different sounds in their speech system! My advice. Pick ONE accent( I would advise Neutral English) and follow it. Refer to BBC, refer to my youtube channel, refer to blog posts etc. Just follow ONE type of accent….and talk to a speech therapist when you need specific individual coaching too!
3.I can’t hear the difference between speech sounds. I can’t hear how different I sound.
Most of my clients tell me this point the first time they see me. I definitely think auditory discrimination is very important in making changes to one’s speech. However, as humans, we get bombarded by many things in the environment, and don’t know where or what to focus on. If you are stuck, I suggest finding a speaker/accent you want to follow. And then write down what they are saying.Say it aloud yourself. Record yourself and listen to both the speaker and you…and you will hear the difference. Pay special attention to : vowel sounds, lengths, as well as consonants that are different. There are 45 sounds in English, so there is a fair bit to listen to, so it is an intimidating task. To make life easier, talk to me, or any speech therapist, and they can assess you and provide you with the sounds to work on:)
Good luck and do comment below with your thoughts!