Beliefs That Sabotage Traders

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Old Mar 1, 2011, 10:35pm   #1
Joined Jan 2010
Beliefs That Sabotage Traders

ďOn the surface executing a simple written trade plan should not be difficult, yet I am not able to do this simple task consistently. What I understand is that this sabotage comes out of self limiting beliefs that I am blind to. Iím not sure what beliefs are driving my performance, how do I find them?Ē remarks a deeply passionate, but troubled, trader.
Biological Bias to Believe in Prediction

The first problem is that trading is in many ways is a very unnatural environment for the brain to negotiate. The brain is constantly attempting to produce certainty in a world that is uncertain in its nature. This bias toward certainty closes down the kind of probability mindset that trading demands. What that looks like in trading is trying to predict what the market will do rather than take advantage of what the market is willing to give you. And the trader experiences fear of loss or exhilaration of winning rather than the ebb and flow of probability.

Belief That the Market is a Dangerous Place

The second piece of this problem is that uncertainty becomes fused to worry and fear. Uncertainty then becomes synonymous with worry and fear. This is a particular wiring that has to be de-constructed and rebuilt so that uncertainty can be dealt with from more empowered emotions and states of mind. It's not going to change just because you say so though. Changing neurally hardwired beliefs is not easy; just ask any dieter or recovering alcoholic. To our ancestors, uncertainty was a bad thing. And our brain evolved to jump to conclusions because any explanation was better than staying in the confusion that uncertainty can cause. To the ancient brain any explanation is better than confusion. This wiring of perception is downright dangerous in trading.

The market does not care if you are present in it. It has no negative or positive intention directed toward you. It simply is. The mindset, or belief, you bring to the market is what opens or closes the range of possibilities that become probable for you.

Belief in the External Validation of the Self

This is confusing assessment of performance with judgment of being. The second part is that in facing your psychological demons, we have a bias to look outside the self to assign blame and responsibility. I actually have traders put a mirror near their screens so they can see themselves and hold themselves responsible for the mindset that is being reflected back at them because emotion state meaning is embodied in the muscles that work the eye.

At the core of poor performance (assuming competency in methodology) are self limiting beliefs rooted in a sense of inadequacy (not good enough), a sense of not mattering (must win to prove myself), a sense of not being worthy (having to prove your value as human by your performance), and of powerlessness. The value of a human being becomes externally validated (trading performance) rather than a reflection of his current skill level.

Skills are something that can be improved and mistakes show you where you need to improve -- rather than being a reflection of the self. But it is both biologically and psychologically easier to deceive ourselves and project blame and responsibility to the outside world. We even develop personas, handles, and other cover ups to mask our deepest fears rather than confront them. The problem is that if they stay hidden, they will continue to sabotage your trading and trading account.

When you are experiencing a fear of loss, a fear of pulling the trigger, a fear of not being right (perfectionism), a fear of loss while in a trade, or are beating yourself up after a loss -- you are experiencing the deeper fear based beliefs outlined above. Your brain's adaptation to them has produced a familiar pattern of belief that has hijacked your thinking.

Trading as Mirror to Self Limiting Beliefs

Trading becomes a mirror to the deepest sense of self. But you do have to develop the courage to confront the inner garbage that has taken up residence in your belief system and rigorously change your beliefs about self. Traders can take many years wandering around in the wilderness before they really begin looking at themselves rigorously and realizing that it is their beliefs that are trading. This is when they come to the motivation to re-invent their beliefs. Most traders come to develop a deeper sense of their spirituality to do this. This is where you move from a sense of self that uses external validation to determine their value (cars, houses, etc) to sense of self that is grounded in a sense of worth beyond their understanding and found inwardly.

A deep sense of their worth as a human being allows a trader to access the discipline, courage, impartiality, and compassion that is part of his human heritage. Moving beyond the need to prove the self by performance to a past relative, culture, or person opens a vast new door in the state of mind that becomes available to the trader. Your beliefs can be molded to take advantage of what the market is willing to give you. Your beliefs move from self limiting to self empowerment.

What does this stir in you concerning your trading and your beliefs?

Rande Howell
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Old Mar 1, 2011, 11:41pm   #2
Joined Jul 2003
Re: Beliefs That Sabotage Traders

Can you post the ind that will negate the effect of all of these beliefs?

No?

Any suggestions you can post on here that will negate these beliefs?

No?

What help can you offer then?
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Old Mar 2, 2011, 1:30pm   #3
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Re: Beliefs That Sabotage Traders

Rande Howell started this thread TheBramble

I'm not sure what an "ind" is, so I don't understand this question.

Through applied mindfulness, you learn that you and your thoughts are not the same. The thoughts become the voice in your mind of your beliefs. To change beliefs you must learn to observe these thoughts. This takes away the power of fear to push you into avoidance. Add to this mix breathing as a way to manage the intensity of the emotion and you can stand up to your psychological demons.
Awakening and nurturing your heroic nature comes next.

Trade2Win has very strict self promotion policies. You can find numberous articles and video interviews about my work.

I hope this helps.

Rande Howell
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Old Mar 2, 2011, 1:41pm   #4
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Re: Beliefs That Sabotage Traders

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rande Howell View Post
Through applied mindfulness, you learn that you and your thoughts are not the same. The thoughts become the voice in your mind of your beliefs. To change beliefs you must learn to observe these thoughts. This takes away the power of fear to push you into avoidance. Add to this mix breathing as a way to manage the intensity of the emotion and you can stand up to your psychological demons.
Awakening and nurturing your heroic nature comes next.
OK. So when I learn that me and my thoughts aren’t the same, and my thoughts are the voice in my mind of my beliefs and by observing them, I change them, what do I change them to? And how do I know these new beliefs can be any better trusted? Shouldn’t I observe these new beliefs too, and in the process, won’t they change to even more new beliefs? How do I stop the endless cycle of observing my beliefs and in the process of so doing, changing them, to new ones, themselves to be observed, and then changed again, by that process? I’m not sure I’d have any room left for fear to enter and to push me into avoidance, unless it was the avoidance of observing my beliefs any further. And how do I know I’d end up, wherever I stopped observing, with beliefs that were any better than the ones I didn’t know I was trying to change in the first place?

Breathing? Are you kidding? I’m hyperventilating doing all this observation and belief changing. Should it be like this? I’m feeling really giddy.

Ah, right, this is why you mention intensity of emotion. I’m feeling that right now. Not sure about psychological demons as I no longer have any belief in their existence, but I’m still observing my beliefs so that could all change shortly.

Before you move on to awakening my heroic nature, can you please just help me get through this? I was feeling OK but confused. Sure the trading was easy and profitable and life was good.

But now, I just want to climb the bell tower and shoot all those senseless, selfish fools and their Muslim ferrets who secretly plot to take everything I have. I never used to feel this way. What should I do?
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Old Mar 2, 2011, 1:46pm   #5
 
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Re: Beliefs That Sabotage Traders

Stop navel gazing and concentrate on the cross hairs.

Why do Americans name their sons, Randy/Rande? Do they introduce themselves to women by saying, "Hey, I'm randy" ?
I've always thought a slightly more subtle approach was more successful.

Richard
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Old Mar 2, 2011, 2:37pm   #6
 
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Re: Beliefs That Sabotage Traders

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rande Howell View Post
[INDENT]
What does this stir in you concerning your trading and your beliefs?
l
That verbosity is self-limiting.

Trading - Keep it simple.
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Old Mar 2, 2011, 5:37pm   #7
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Re: Beliefs That Sabotage Traders

Rande Howell started this thread
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBramble View Post
OK. So when I learn that me and my thoughts arenít the same, and my thoughts are the voice in my mind of my beliefs and by observing them, I change them, what do I change them to? And how do I know these new beliefs can be any better trusted? Shouldnít I observe these new beliefs too, and in the process, wonít they change to even more new beliefs? How do I stop the endless cycle of observing my beliefs and in the process of so doing, changing them, to new ones, themselves to be observed, and then changed again, by that process? Iím not sure Iíd have any room left for fear to enter and to push me into avoidance, unless it was the avoidance of observing my beliefs any further. And how do I know Iíd end up, wherever I stopped observing, with beliefs that were any better than the ones I didnít know I was trying to change in the first place?

Breathing? Are you kidding? Iím hyperventilating doing all this observation and belief changing. Should it be like this? Iím feeling really giddy.

Ah, right, this is why you mention intensity of emotion. Iím feeling that right now. Not sure about psychological demons as I no longer have any belief in their existence, but Iím still observing my beliefs so that could all change shortly.

Before you move on to awakening my heroic nature, can you please just help me get through this? I was feeling OK but confused. Sure the trading was easy and profitable and life was good.

But now, I just want to climb the bell tower and shoot all those senseless, selfish fools and their Muslim ferrets who secretly plot to take everything I have. I never used to feel this way. What should I do?
I'm confused by this response. It is a bit rambling for me to make sense of. I'm not sure of what you are really asking or intending. Could you help me understand a little better? Bullet points might be helpful to help me better understand what you are trying to say to me.

Rande Howell
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Old Mar 2, 2011, 5:46pm   #8
 
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Re: Beliefs That Sabotage Traders

Beliefs That Sabotage Traders - Unquestioning belief in expert advice. Had that good Australian doctor listened to all the experts (published papers and verbal efforts to discredit him) and abandoned his research we would not have a cure for a common cause of ulcers.

Instead we had a man who believed in his results continued his research and become his own guinea pig.

And so it goes.
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