Speed Reading Tips&Tricks #2: The Mistake (Almost) Every Beginner Is Making And How To Avoid It

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”, Albert Einstein. Being a trainer and coach for speed reading for a couple of years now, I’ve noticed ONE recurrent Mistake that most people do when they start Speed Reading. This Mistake is causing people struggle so much that eventually many drop it all out.

 Let’s get to the roots of it. How was this Mistake born? Who are her parents, her friends? To discover all that, I will tell you the story of Dave, a 7 year old boy who just started school.

Dave’s Story-Slow Reading vs Speed Reading

Remember Dave? He is the hero in this first post from the Speed Reading Tips&Tricks series. Dave’s learned his ABC-es in nursery school and now he’s on the way to start putting it all together to read.

In the beginning, the teacher asks him to read out loud, to pronounce the words so she makes sure he’s reading correctly.

The first commands are: “Read SLOWLY and OUT LOUD”. Then after he’s learned how to read decently the teacher asks him to drop the out loud part; but Dave continues to pronounce the words, moving his lips, even if you can’t hear him, he’s whispering.

Then the tasks increase in complexity and there is a new command added: “Read slowly, so you can MEMORIZE the information”. Dave’s brain is wired to doing one thing at a time. When the teacher asks him to read slowly and to memorize everything, his brain is confused: what am I supposed to do? Read? Or memorize?

Thus Dave gets from an early age the belief that “I have to read slowly, pronounce the words in my head so I can memorize everything”.

So years later,when Dave is an adult and he finds out about Speed Reading, a conflict is born inside his mind.

On one side there is Speed Reading who claims something that sounds like a paradox “the faster you read, the more you understand, and the easier it is to retain the information”, and on the other side there is his old belief, that he’s had all his life: “you have to read slowly”.

Speed reader vs Slow Reader :)
Speed reader vs Slow Reader 🙂

Dave is puzzled. He is torn between his desire to learn more, to keep up with the stack of books that pile up next to his bed, the reports for work, the hundreds of emails that he has to go through every day and his old limiting belief.

All his life he believed that the slower you read the more you understand and memorize. It’s a huge conflict that goes on in his mind, and that is disturbing.

So What Can Dave Do?

#1. Become aware of his old, limiting belief, that school implanted in his mind.

#2. Understand that asking your brain to do 3 things in the same time it’s counterproductive. And that there are basically 3 different processes that occur while learning through written text:

1. Reading 2. Memorizing 3. Learning

Mixing them up like it happens in school is what most beginners in Speed Reading do. And that’s the Mistake I’ve told you about.

In my trainings and coaching sessions on Speed Reading I explain thoroughly what are the differences and how to avoid this Mistake in order to get great and lasting results in your Speed Reading quest.

Let’s Sum It Up:

#1. The #1 Mistake that gets in our way to Speed Reading has it’s roots in our first experiences with reading. More precisely when the teacher told us “Read slowly, out loud, to memorize everything”. Because of our tender age when that happened, we ended up having this idea as a deep rooted, unconscious belief.

#2. To get over it we need to become aware of the inner conflict that arises when we first attempt to learn to Speed Read.

#3. We need to learn the differences between Reading, Memorizing and Learning and stop asking our brain to do them all at once.

Liked this article? Share it with your friends. Have questions, comments? Drop them in the comments bellow.

With all my love,


P.S. thank you for reading until the end, you are awesome! 🙂

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