What I've learnt from having a stammer

10th February 2023

Ola Idris, sales manager and non-profit founder/CEO, tells us about all the positive ways stammering has helped in his personal and professional life.

Coming to terms with the fact that I stammered was an incredibly trying experience. In the early years, I remember feeling embarrassed and frustrated at not being able to express what I wanted to say. It felt like a wall was preventing me from making myself understood.

I quickly discovered that my stammer served me in unexpected ways. I learned how to find alternative methods of communication, such as writing and other non-verbal techniques to express my thoughts and understanding. Through this process, I became more confident in my ability to express myself in a variety of different ways.

…stammering has been an incredible teacher in how to navigate life…

Additionally, I developed an understanding of the importance of taking time with difficult conversations to — something which has served me well since. My stammer has also helped me become more patient in both my words and actions. Rather than being frustrated by it, I learnt to take a pause when feeling overwhelmed and allow time for the words or ideas that were on the tip of my tongue to come out — even if it took longer than others.

This newfound patience not only helped with my speech but was also transferable into other aspects of my personal and professional life. My stammer has also taught me resilience, which has helped me in my career as a sales manager for a global commodity insights company. Whenever I felt like giving up during a challenging conversation or situation where I felt overwhelmed by the stammering, I found strength in persevering no matter what came up against me. It has allowed me to empathise with those who are facing similar struggles; having seen them first-hand, I can now be a better source of support for anyone who may need it.

Overall, while initially daunting and intimidating, stammering has been an incredible teacher in how to navigate life with patience and resilience — traits which have served me well time and time again.

Two women in running outfits holding flags and looking at the camera
Tayo & Bhupinder
A speaker on stage at STAMMAFest 2023

Become a member

It's free

Join the movement to change how people understand and react to stammering.

Sign up

Campaign. Fundraise. Connect. Meet. Vote. Talk.