When you decide to tackle your stuttering, it is usually a big emotional commitment. You may be a person who has spent many years struggling with stuttering, but now is the time to make serious changes.

These changes can include doing tasks aimed at increasing your confidence, working on your self-image, raising your self-esteem, and changing your outlook on the world.

A lot of these activities you plan to do may be completely new to you.

You may not have pushed yourself into a difficult speaking situation at college, or work before. You might not have been very sociable on evenings out with friends or family previously.

Doing something you previously found difficult can be exciting and nerve-racking at the same time. It's even frightening. But you build up the courage to get out there. You do the challenging activity.

However, when the going gets tough you might begin to hesitate. You find it too hard and you stop going to your class, group or meeting. You begin to skip doing your breathing exercises. You find any excuse not to do it.

A great way to deal with this type of avoidance behavior is to firstly take a moment, and reflect on what you have already done. You have taken the first big step! Now, it's time to persist a little. And then persist some more.

Even better is to look at it as a skill .

Let's use public speaking as an example. For those who do not know, public speaking is learning to get up in front of audiences and giving speeches and presentations, something which most 'fluent' people find difficult, you do not even have to be a person who stutters!

If you're trying it out for the first time, the chances of you becoming a professional evening speaker right away are slim. You will most likely go to a public speaking meeting, and watch the other speakers talking away in front of everyone. If you're really brave, you might get up and speak. Good for you!

In the meeting you could give a brief speech about yourself. This may provide you with the courage to attend another meeting, and so on. The more you keep attending meetings and speaking, the more your communication and interpersonal skills will improve. You will get better at it.

Sure, there may be times when you have to get up 2 or 3 times during a meeting and speak. You might not want to do it. But you still get up and do it, because you're learning a skill. Developing skills takes time. It's just the way it is with skills.

Next time you want to try something that will help you with stuttering, see if you can look at it that you're developing a skill. This way, if the going gets tough you will be motivated to keep going, because you know that getting better at new things takes time and practice. But the rewards for persisting will be far greater!