Your Game Plan is Useless Without Knowledge
In this "information-is-power" age, you need knowledge and skill to succeed at any goal. There is a tremendous amount of Fundamental and Technical minutia involved in successful equity, futures and currency trading. However, getting that knowledge can be a daunting task. Also, your attitude regarding your internal stories about your ability to learn and assimilate knowledge can be either helpful or harmful to the process. Often, you become your own worst enemy due to those internal stories. For instance, you determine what you need to learn and to do; then you play the story in your head about how difficult it's going to be, or how you "flubbed" it up the last time you tried it. This type of internal story is called a "negative feedback loop." In many cases, a negative feedback loop can disrupt and dislodge your ability to learn and stay on the learning course.
Negative feedback loops most often are established in childhood and built upon the negative messages you received from authority figures, family and peers regarding your performance or worthiness. These negative loops go off like recorded messages that have been playing and replaying in your thoughts since very early ages — phrases like, "You can't do that," "You'll never make it," "You dummy," “You'll never amount to anything,” and other types of abuse. Statements like these are hurtful even as an adult, and may have left you with low self-esteem, a poor self-image and, in some cases, self-hatred. If you've swallowed these labels whole, they can't be digested. They remain stuck, deep in the psyche, leaving you frozen at that point in your childhood development with the same logic and reasoning abilities of a child at that age. Consequently, you react automatically when the stifled part of your personality is activated by events – like a bad trade - pushing the button on your recorder. However, with self-knowledge and learning how to successfully handle the circumstantial triggers when they surface, your self-image is lifted and the process of breaking the old negative loops has begun. As an example, most people wouldn't try to run a marathon without the appropriate preparation; it's a foolish thing to attempt. If you really want to do it, you will greatly increase the probability of success if you build up to it by running a little at a time, maybe a half-mile at first, then a mile, 3 miles, 5, then 10, 20, and so on. You also gain knowledge of how to train, and learn the importance of good nutrition. In other words, small steps build small but ever-increasing capacity and self-confidence while expanding strength and know-how. With each new item learned, and with each win in a trading demo account, this activity serves to support the effort to take that next small step and fuels the desire to take another.
A famous 1968 psychological study entitled, "Pygmalion in the Classroom" by Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson, was done with two sets of children, one labeled "gifted" and the other labeled "slow" (only for purposes of the study). Those labeled as gifted were told that their potential was unlimited; those labeled as slow were left to their own devices. As you might imagine, even though the labeling was completely arbitrary, the 'gifted' children excelled, while the 'slow' children lived down to the expectations. Success breeds success, no matter how small, and breaks negative loops with positive achievements.