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Recognition signs


  • Constant foot to the floor on their “stress accelerator”

  • Borderline workaholic or perfectionist

  • Everything must get 110% effort, no matter how (un)important it is

  • Rapid speech; interrupt others frequently

  • Periods of deep fatigue after all-out effort

Two skills best for Speed Freaks - First, clarify the life goals you value most, and then learn autogenic relaxation to control how you invest energy in those goals.


Root causes - More often than not, Speed Freaks are victims of faulty learning. They have learned, quite correctly, that success requires effort. But, they have turned this around, coming to believe that “As long as I keep on giving 110% effort, sooner or later I’m bound to be successful”. And, when they don’t experience feelings of success or lasting satisfaction, in work or personal life, they simply turn up the heat. They speed even more; drive even harder … expending ever more effort, meaning more stress.


To break this stress-driven cycle of ever-increasing speed, it is obvious that the Speed Freak needs to learn how to slow down … at least some of the time when the speed is counter-productive. They need to gain greater control over their own stress accelerator. But, for most Speed Freaks, just the thought of slowing down is anxiety provoking or even frightening. It certainly isn’t motivating.


Focus for action  - So, to achieve the slow-down-sometimes aim, to gain fuller control over your stress accelerator, a little self-management jujitsu is required. Much research has shown that Speed Freaks become strongly motivated to learn how to relax only when they see how this skill would give them more control, or more of a competitive edge in many business or personal life (e.g. sports) situations.


Therefore, the starting point for most Speed Freaks is to get a more precise handle on “what’s really important”, and on which situations are truly worth all-out effort. By doing this, by clarifying their values and goals, the Speed Freak sorts out which prizes in life are really worth pursuing at full bore. Second, they quickly place a high value on “not sweating the small stuff” … on going slower in those situations, on conserving their energy for what really matters (e.g. for a key meeting; or for time with my kids). And, third, control of the stress accelerator becomes a top priority when they see its value in winding down from a busy schedule so as to be more fully “present”, not preoccupied, in a highly valued situation later in the day.


At this point, Speed Freaks can become the best students of relaxing at will and are ready for one or more relaxation techniques. 


The Speed Freak

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