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11 Take-Aways from “The King’s Speech”

December 27, 2010

11 Take-Aways from The King’s Speech

I recently saw the movie The King’s Speech. It’s about King George VI of England and his challenge of overcoming severe stammering, a problem he developed as a young child. (He was the father of the Queen Elizabeth II and inherited the throne unexpectedly when nearly 41 years old, after his brother, Edward VIII, abdicated.) George’s stammer embarrassed and humiliated him and he went to therapist after therapist to resolve it. For years, as the Duke of York, he stumbled though public appearances and formal events with his speech impediment a constant handicap and undercutting his knowledge and credibility.

Finally, his wife discovered an unconventional speech therapist and urged George to give it one more try. This therapist pushed the Duke and challenged his assumptions and beliefs about his stammering. He got him to believe it was possible to transcend the problem and guided him in taking a disciplined approach.

Here are my “take-aways” from the story: Success is often dependent on our willingness to . . .

  • Believe we can do it while remembering that believing is a key to success but far from sufficient.
  • Practice frequently and be dedicated to doing the hard work necessary to improve. Practice leads to breakthroughs – both big and incremental. It should not be underestimated.
  • Take risks for overcoming our handicaps or weaknesses, even if they lead to embarrassing setbacks. That’s how we learn, build confidence and skill, and improve.
  • Turn self-defeating messages around and focus on the positive. Sometimes we are our own worst enemy and we trap ourselves in negative thinking.
  • Shift our paradigm and pursue an entirely different or unconventional approach when other methods don’t work.
  • To be open to unconventional methods and ideas even if they seems counterintuitive. Sometimes that’s the best way out of a rut.
  • Have the unconditional support, encouragement and belief of others, especially those close to us who are willing to stand by our side though our ups and downs.
  • Trust those we retain to help us and for them to interact with us at eye level. True coaches and teachers have our best interests in mind when they push us and challenge our thinking, efforts, and assumptions. They want to stretch us and will take us beyond our comfort zone. They want us to succeed. They are on our side.
  • Transcend our problems by finding the rhythm that works for us and fits who we really are.
  • Relax our mind. Sometimes we concentrate too much which may interfere with our ability to make progress.
  • Celebrate our successes, both big and small, even if only to ourselves.

Think about what may be holding you back from achieving your potential, overcoming personal challenges, or achieving a goal. Consider whether any of these “take-aways” can help in making breakthroughs.

Steve Weitzenkorn

Our book, Find Fulfill Flourish, is now available! Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times calls it “an inspirational tour de force” Click here to purchase it. Click here for an overview and here for a free sample chapter. Book readers also receive FREE access to all premium exercises and content on our website.

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Copyright © 2011, F3 Forum LLC. All rights reserved.

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Steve Weitzenkorn, Ph.D., is a learning innovator, organizational advisor, experienced facilitator, and lead author of Find-Fulfill-Flourish: Discover Your Purpose with LifePath GPS – a book, website, and workshop series focused on guiding people toward more meaningful and fulfilling lives.

Copyright © 2010 F3 Forum, LLC. All rights reserved.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 29, 2010 10:55 am

    I have heard such amazing things about this movie and I’m looking forward even more to seeing it after reading your post. One of the most important take aways I see is to take the risk of discovering what is really holding you back. I often wonder if facing our own honesty is not harder then facing others?

    • December 29, 2010 11:45 am

      Hi Bonnie,

      I think you make a great point. I hope you enjoy the movie.

      Thanks for all your insights on our posts. I really enjoy hearing from you.

      My best for a wonderful New Year. I hope it is all you would like it to be.


  2. January 18, 2011 6:03 pm

    .Recently I was asked how do I handle a crisis. This was a very interesting question because it had never been posed to me yet I knew exactly how I handle a crisis since I had just lived through one. I answered right away and I wanted to share with you some positive things about a crisis..Positive? Yes positive..The first positive thing I can think of is that a crisis situation doesnt sneak up on you after weeks of being in it. You dont one day wake up and say You know what? I think Im in a crisis. Crisis are very easy to detect. They happen and they immeditely rock your foundation. They knock your equilibrium off. For example youre driving home and upon turning into your subdivision you see black smoke in the sky. You realize theres a fire somewhere until you pull up close to your drive way and you realize its your house. THAT is a crisis. You determine that your family is safe and you go into planning how to get through the crisis with your spouse or the insurance company or whoever your support group is..The second positive thing I can think about a crisis is that they dont last long. Thank God for that. We humans certainly couldnt function in crisis mode for too long before shutting down..Can a crisis be shocking? Yes. Can it cripple you? Yes. This is why its important to debrief with your EAP or family therapist or primary care physician and continue to talk about it until it makes sense to you and you can compartmentalize it correctly within your emotional file cabinet. .Often what some call a crisis is a very big problem but far from a crisis. Still it deserves attention so you can function properly. Anxiety panic attacks insomnia and irritability are signs that you should seek help. How you react to situations in your life is very important. Your reactions decisions will either have positive consequences or negative ones. Especially the decisions you make while in crisis mode…..

    • January 18, 2011 7:02 pm


      Thanks so much for sharing your incredible insights with us. Crises present big challenges and responding positively and finding the good that can come from them is extremely healthy. Your comment really brings that to light. I have believe personal fulfillment and success in life, however it may be defined by each person, largely hinges on how one rebounds from bad breaks (both big and small) and builds on good ones. You eloquently make those points.

      If you would be interested in writing a guest blog on this subject, please let me know. We’d be glad to post it.

      My best,

  3. March 30, 2011 8:33 pm

    My husband and I just saw the movie tonight. Wonderful and inspiring story.

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