Dealing with self-sabotage
|May 22nd, 2013, 09:28 PM||#1 (permalink)|
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Dealing with self-sabotage
One issue that I see repeat itself over and over again in members trading journals is self-sabotage.
Dr. Brett Steenbarger wrote about this a lot, but here is a particular article:
I wanted to start this thread to try and actively discuss this topic and help those who are experiencing it. Many who do experience this are completely unaware of it (perhaps most in fact).
For those who are aware of it, and are actively working on dealing with self sabotage, what have you found to be useful? Are there any particular exercises or discipline routines that have helped? Any particular books?
Many years ago I went through this process myself and I have since learned to control it. Some of the changes I made personally include:
- No longer placing blame on myself for a trade. Taking responsibility is crucial, but blaming yourself -- at least in my eyes -- is different, and it is that difference that is important.
- No bad mouthing or talking down about myself or about a trade. This includes "if you want to be profitable, do the opposite of me" type of phrasing. It also includes "I always enter at the worst possible time" and etc. What you want to do instead is fully recognize these events, but not to do it in a such a critical way that you feel like an idiot when making mistakes in your trades. Instead you just need to acknowledge the mistake in a level headed, clear and concise manner, without bringing overly colorful language into it which is unhelpful.
- Setting myself up for success instead of failure. This seems a no brainer, but in fact most people do the opposite. They have completely unrealistic expectations about trading. They lack the skills or experience necessary to properly identify good from bad when it comes to methodologies, risk management, etc. For less experienced traders in this position, you simply need to first and foremost acknowledge that you know very little, instead of trying to convince yourself that you have a proven edge or a winning methodology (when chances are, you really don't). Once you have modified your goals to make it easier to succeed, rather than fail, you will slowly start to recognize things about yourself and your method that you can then go explore and spend more time refining, instead of the backwards approach all too many seem to take which is to assume they have a winning strategy after they've looked at a chart with a bunch of indicators on it for a few hours.
There is much more naturally, but I don't want this thread to be about me. Instead, I want to facilitate an exchange of ideas with members.
What about you?