"Oh, I couldn't sleep here, missus. It's too good for the likes of me." -Eliza Doolittle from My Fair Lady
Many of us on futures.io (formerly BMT) struggle with our trading and have trading-related psychological issues. We've read all the books and have applied the exercises, tried hypnosis, EFT (Emotional-Freedom Technique), and on and on for a year or more.
In Trading in the Zone, Mark Douglas says that 40-50% of traders are "Boom and Busters." These traders have equity curves that have a nice steady assent followed by a steep decline. This is the type of trader I am, unfortunately. All the trading checklists, hypnotic tapes, tapping, and books on psychology haven't changed this, no matter how hard I have applied myself.
Somehow, I struggle on. I review, assess, make changes where needed, push forward, and wind up exactly where I started. T. Harv Eker says that we all have financial blueprints and a thermostat set for a certain amount. This is why many lottery winners find themselves in the same financial situation they were before they won after several years have passed.
This weekend, I went to the Parade of Homes in my town. I've never lived in one of those nice homes that you see on tv, the kind where soccer moms live. The ones considered "average." We've always been a blue-collar kind of family. As I walked through the lovely homes, ranging in price from $200,000-$850,000, I felt out of place. Like I could never live in a place like that. Visualization is supposed to be important in changing your life and I have really struggled with this. I can look at nice places, but can't see myself living there, no matter how hard I try.
I do have a job I like and it pays pretty well, so it's not like I'm desperate. But, I would like to improve my standard of living and not have to worry about what happens if I lose my job again. So, I view trading as a second source of income. Thoughts of "I'll never be able to afford that" are always quickly followed by, "But, I can't envision that scenario anyway." Can't picture myself in a nice house (or at least one with a garage and/or basement). Can't picture vacations where we don't have to pinch every penny. Yeah, I'm lucky I have that stuff, but is it so wrong to want to better my lifestyle?
I know I've been rambling. But, I'd like to know if anyone else suffers from this problem. For some reason, I feel that unless I get rid of these so-called limiting beliefs, I'll continue the same pattern forever. I honestly can't envision a life other than the one I have and like Miss Doolittle, feel that anything better is "too good for the likes of me." Anyone else out there feel like this? Anyone out there actually cure that thought process? Not for just a couple weeks or a month like us Boom and Busters. But a true change in thoughts followed by a change in behavior.
The following 4 users say Thank You to tmmaggi for this post:
You have hit the nail on the head here. You are so correct. Unless you change your belief system, you will always get what you have. You believe you can have what you have and you DONT believe you can have more. So you won't. Its that simple.
There are ways to change this of course but it takes discipline like any other worthwhile pursuit. I do concur there are financial thermostats, but you can change the settings on it gradually. Dont shoot for the moon over night, instead make it a stair step. Look at the BHAG....Big Hairy Audacious Goal as the final destination and then stair step your way toward it. Even if you miss the big one, you'll end up with more than you started with.
Finally cut off all negative input. Negative people, books, magazines, tv shows, movies, you name it, if its a drag it will drag you down.
I watch travel shows since I like to travel. I dont watch the news, or anything that is negative. Is it the perfect solution to this? No but without changing your belief system, you'll never change your life.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci
Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
The following 3 users say Thank You to PandaWarrior for this post:
Good advice, I do this too. No news. In fact really no normal TV. Just a few select shows and thats it, stuff that makes me happy and that I enjoy relaxing to. Most of it is old reruns I've seen ten times. Rest of time is spent trading, reading, forum admin, family, or helping other traders.
But eliminating negative input is only half the battle. You also need to focus on the positive within yourself. In every post you make on the forum, every phone call with a friend or family, every conversation, etc. For me, I had to really make a lot of life changes before I could do this. The bottom line is, I had to change my life to make me happy first, then everything else fell into place. And money does not buy happiness, you don't change your life by making more money. There are a lot of people in third world countries that don't have electricity, internet, tv's, etc etc etc, and are far happier than most spoiled Americans, so that should demonstrate my point. They are content with what they have, happy to be alive, happy to have friends and family, happy to do something with their time that they actually enjoy doing.
Due to time constraints, please do not PM me if your question can be resolved or answered on the forum.
Need help? 1) Stop changing things. No new indicators, charts, or methods. Be consistent with what is in front of you first. 2) Start a journal and post to it daily with the trades you made to show your strengths and weaknesses. 3) Set goals for yourself to reach daily. Make them about how you trade, not how much money you make. 4) Accept responsibility for your actions. Stop looking elsewhere to explain away poor performance. 5) Where to start as a trader? Watch this webinar and read this thread for hundreds of questions and answers. 6) Help using the forum? Watch this video to learn general tips on using the site.
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The following 3 users say Thank You to Big Mike for this post:
Oh, I agree. I'm not dissatisfied with my life. But, I would really like a bit more room to spread out and work on projects like my stamp collection and whatever . That just ads to the guilt I feel quite often. So many people are homeless and I'm complaining that I don't have a garage. But more than any of the material stuff I want like more space or vacations, I want trading to provide extra money to invest in my future. I'm only 41, Social Security isn't going to be there and I don't want to be a burden to my younger brother. I just don't see myself still lugging boxes at age 92. My work is fun and pays the bills for now, but I am future oriented.
In my effort to become a better trader, I have tried to change my thinking to eliminate the self-sabotaging. So many books claim you have to think and act as if you already are what you want to be. Well, that's pretty tough. Even though by a vast majority of the world's population, including much of the US, I'm pretty wealthy, even in a blue-collar environment. So, even though I have way more than many, I still feel like riff-raff, particularly in nice areas.
Oh yeah, this is the hardest piece of advice so far!! It's funny that you should mention that because I'm currently reading a book called The Trading Athlete, which I believe was recommended by Jagui (can't quite remember). One of the very first things you're supposed to do is write down your top three trading strengths. Holy smokes! I can't think of any, although I can sure think of a long list of weaknesses. . . After wracking my brain, the only one I can come up with is "perseverance," if you consider that a strength. In fact, I was thinking of starting a thread entitled, "What are your trading strengths?" in an effort to solicit ideas from others.
Thanks, Sharky. I am learning, so I suppose I'll count that as a strength. Definitely not wasting my time or money. Already had a small company, don't want one of those again!! No family to raise, no spouse to torture with my crazy trading ideas. I find learning to trade is easy, learning to change my brain and thinking patterns is exceptionally difficult!!!
The following user says Thank You to tmmaggi for this post:
Fear for the unknown is why you are thinking like that.
It's part of you, and you are who you are partly because of how you are raised. That is how nature works.
There's no easy solution, it's not because you think like a billionaire that you are going to become one. You have to believe in yourself. The problem is it's just so darned hard if you're not born in the lucky sperm club that only the toughest fighters make it. We're hunters, we're just not hunting for animals anymore, we're hunting for money. Not everybody can win, only the ones who are better than the others win. The only reason we win or loose lies within ourselves. You have to face reality.
You think that something material is going to make you happier. Maybe, maybe not.
People would be more happy if they would try to be happy with what they have already. Everybody thinks that they need to buy something to achieve happiness. This is wrong simply because not everybody is ready to fight that hard to achieve it. For these people staying where they are is the best solution. For others fighting is a better solution to achieve happiness.
Best book ever in my library is Nicomachaea from Aristoteles. No self-help crap can even touch this.
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