April 23, 2022

Positive Affirmations

Positive Affirmations

Since March of 2020, when the pandemic started, it pushed PWS (people who stutter) out of their comfort zones and into a new world of remote work with Zoom, Skype, and TEAMS communication via webcam & headsets.  I can only speak for myself but I'm sure other stories from PWS are similar.  Before the pandemic, I was great at talking to people face to face.  It took me years to get to that place and in March 2020, it all changed and I began working remotely from home (which was a blessing because I know many did not have that opportunity).  Now I had to adapt to this new normal very quickly.  No more meetings face to face, it's all facilitated by webcam.  Now I'm no stranger to video (just check out my YouTube channel) but there's a great difference between a passion project and your career.  When I hit the record button on my Sony DSLR, I practice my breathing, and then I speak.  In the real world of corporate meetings, training, and presentations, this is my career......a whole other ball of wax.  

With having a stutter, I went down the rabbit hole of can I do this, imposter syndrome, what if I lose my job because I can't communicate through a webcam in a Zoom meeting?  I quickly called a buddy of mine and asked if we could practice on Zoom.  Thankfully he agreed and we practiced many times on Zoom until I felt that I had a grasp on it.  Before any Zoom meeting, training or presentation, I disclose my stutter, "Good morning, my name is Pedro Pena and I have a speech impediment, a stutter.  If at any time, I get hung up on a word, give me 8 hours and hope that word will come out.  If not, help you help me help you because I truly believe that teamwork makes the dream work."  

After I say that ice breaker, I see through the many webcams of the attendees/participants and take the temperature of the room.  If I see them smiling and laughing then I know I'm going to be okay because I educated them, got it out of the way, and now I can focus on what I need to do.  If I stutter, oh well, I'll stop, breathe and carry on. 

During the pandemic, I learned mindful meditation and positive affirmations.  Let me tell you that this has been instrumental in my life in maintaining and not giving in to the chaos in the world.  I began to put post-it notes all over my house and in my studio (behind my house).  

(Sidebar:  You should listen to my podcast because I talk about post-it notes and how they almost got me arrested at a bank! LOL)

By putting positive affirmations all over my home and studio, I began to change my mindset and gain more confidence.  These post-it notes allowed me to control negative feelings that would pop up at inopportune times which lead to frustration and anger.  It improved my overall self-esteem and improved my productivity.  I believe in saying my positive affirmations every day and I've noticed a huge improvement in all facets of my life because of it.