Sooner or later, when you are learning to speed read, you are likely to reach a stage where your speed seems to have peaked and stays the same. You are still a way off your target speed. Learning plateaus are horrible and it can feel as if they will last forever. However, that’s when you can learn the most.
I had lots of them. In the early stages, things got better as soon as I shifted from thinking, ‘Am I doing this right?’ to a more relaxed, ‘What the heck, let’s just see what happens when I try this!’
How you think about what you are doing is critical to your success. One book that I found really helpful was ‘The Inner Game of Tennis’, by W. Timothy Gallwey. I don’t play tennis and you don’t need to play to benefit from reading the book. The advice can be adapted to other skills. Gallwey explains the psychological approach of quieting the mind and being in the moment and allowing things to happen. All of these are essential to learning any skill, including speed reading.
Asking questions can kick-start the learning process. I started with the obvious: Why aren’t I progressing? Learning plateaus prompt us to check the circumstances around what we are currently doing. My next questions were: Have I the best information and advice available? Who are the best role models to emulate? What do they do that I am not doing? As I said earlier, these plateaus are a great time for real learning.
Once I started playing with technique and trying new things, my speed started to improve by fits and starts. I felt encouraged. Eventually, I reached my target speed and I began to plan my next goal.
My advice to you if you are ‘stuck’ is to play with technique. Try things out. Have fun. Laugh if it goes wrong and check what went wrong, adjust and try again. With time, you will succeed, as I did.