During my call for the Yoga Teacher Telesumit--you can access a recording here--I advised teachers to stop trying to sound like yoga teachers, and just get better at sounding like themselves.
I was really happy with the content I offered.
Since I also advised yoga teachers to occasionally record their own class, and give it a listen, I decided to take my own advice.
Why is a woman who loves words so much (me) using so many fillers when speaking? Maybe it was just because I was speaking into a telephone, which requires a bit of getting used to?
I asked a trusted friend, "Do I always sound like that? Do I always say "um" so often?"
"You say it a lot."
Who knew? That is not at all how I imagined myself sounding. In my head, I sound far more polished.
I started listening for the "ums" and sure enough--they are easy to hear now that I'm paying attention. The funny thing is that the only time I don't do it is while I'm actually instructing asana. The Anusara certification process is so rigorous, and so effective, that there's not a single extra syllable in my instruction. In the instruction of asana, my language is surgically precise. Good work, Certification Committee!
It's merely all the rest of the time that I "um" all over the place.
But no more! I am coming after that "um" habit. I'm being asked to speak more often, and I want my presentation to reflect the value of what I genuinely have to offer, damn it!
So--every time I'm caught "um"-ing, I owe one push-up.
Please feel free to bust me on it. Do not think for a single moment of letting me off the hook. I shall consider it a favor.
Honing myself to a finer edge is fun. Not only am I going to be "um" free--I'm going be so buff.
What habit could you stand to lose?