My new Book 'A Stuttering Revolution'
Author Paul Gaskin tells us the story behind his new book 'A Stuttering Revolution: Don’t fix your stutter, fix your life', out now. Readers can purchase it for 99p for today only.
This Monday, 27th November, I'm publishing a self-help book for people who stutter. Why have I written it? Here's my story.
When I was a child my parents tried everything possible to 'fix' me and my stutter. I love them for that. It must have been very worrying as they believed there was something wrong with their son. But you and I both know we're OK. We're not broken. We just happen to stutter!
Having a stutter has sometimes felt all consuming, especially when I was younger. From waking up in the morning it was all I ever thought about. Who would I speak to? What would they say? What would I say? Would I get a block? Would I get that clicking sound? The worst. What if I'm asked my name? It was exhausting and I hadn't even had breakfast yet. I always dreaded the first day of school or college. Class registration was my biggest nightmare!
At 17, I started a four-year apprenticeship at BAE Systems. People in the factory mainly came from Bolton, Wigan, Manchester and surrounding towns. I was unaware that people from those areas typically don't like anybody from Liverpool. When they found out I was a scouser and stuttered, my life at work became brutal. People would come from all over the factory to call me names, taunt me and just have a go. To them I was fair game. Sometimes it even got physical! I had to get tough very quickly just to survive. It sounds harsh but It's just how it was back then.
A life-changing tipping point
At 17 I decided to stop all treatment trying to fix me and my stutter. I knew I wanted more from my life. I refused to let my stutter hold me back (or from being a scouser, ha!). I just didn't know how to get what I wanted.
I proved to myself that I didn’t have to be fluent to live the life I really wanted. That’s why I want a stuttering revolution.
In my early 20s I read a book called 'The 4%'. It said that if you want a better life, you need a plan. I wanted more than I had. I had a young family, it was financially tough and I wanted to find a job that I really loved. Learning from that book, I created a simple plan of what I wanted to achieve for the next five years including a better job, more money, a company car, holidays abroad and a bigger house. I hit every goal.
'The 4%' ignited a passion to read and learn as much as I could to develop myself. That passion helped me have a very successful career working in multiple industries, with over 70 nationalities across 40 countries, living in India, Hong Kong and Dubai. I loved being a senior global HR leader, working in a big corporation with CEOs and their teams. I still stutter today. However I proved to myself that I didn't have to be fluent to live the life I really wanted. That's why I want a stuttering revolution.
Thriving with a stutter
I'm on a mission to convince the estimated 70 million adults around the world that you don't have to be fluent to live the life you really want. Your stutter is part of you, not all of you! Therefore I urge you to focus on all the other great parts of you. Focus on what you're already good at, what you're passionate about, what you want from your life and to find and succeed in the job you really love. As you develop those other parts of yourself, your confidence will grow and the size and importance you might put on your stutter will diminish. It will get smaller and smaller. The other parts of you will thrive. This is the purpose I wanted to get across in my book. I want it to help people create, live and love the life they really want. That's the stuttering revolution.
I did a TEDx talk which encapsulates my passion for changing the way we think about ourselves and our stutter, and it's a preview of some of the big messages in the book.
I'm also working with the fabulous Kirsten Howells, STAMMA's Services Director, and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development CIPD to help HR professionals and managers understand what they can do to make life in work more inclusive and supportive for people who stutter.
Published by Practical Inspiration Publishing, the book is out now to buy on all formats. You can buy the book on Kindle for just 99p. Hurry, though, this offer lasts until Tuesday 28th November.