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For Stock, Futures and Forex Traders The Biggest Battle To Succeed Is Within, But Why?

May 17, 2008
You may have heard the statement before; the biggest battles traders will face are within. If there was an explanation as to what these sorts of battles are it's more than likely along the lines of overcoming bad habits, emotional issues, biases, beliefs and so on. But why are these so important to master, and why is it so hard to do so?

I'll address why it is so important first, as a lot of traders believe that trading should not be so difficult in that if one set of rules works for trader A, they should work for trader B.

When a math teacher is attempting to teach a class the 12 times table, some students get it straight away, some take a bit of time, and some can't grasp it at all. Now let's just assume that it is important for children to learn the 12 times table, if some are grasping it straight away and some are not, then is it the method being used to teach it the reason some can't grasp it? Well yes and no.

If it's working for some students then the method is not flawed, but what is missing is that the other students have a different set up, a self image or belief system at the sub conscious level that is not enabling them to grasp it. But it is not the job of the teacher to find out what these sub conscious issues are, otherwise they are no longer just a math teacher.

So if a trading system works for one person and not the other, the reason has far less to do with the system and a lot more to do with what's going on at the sub conscious level. Put simply, you can not make a success of trading if you have a self image or a belief system that is not in line with success.

The two quickest ways to determine what your self image is at the sub conscious level is to one, look at your results, and two, listen to yourself when you talk both out loud and within. Negative talk is negative talk, that's all there is to it. You either have faith in your ability to achieve what you put your mind to, or you allow the world to influence your results in life.

Now being negative is a problem for almost everyone that walks the earth. I'm not going to say otherwise as I'd be lying; but admitting your negative is only half the battle. Overcoming negativity is difficult because we are actually addicted to it. Just saying I'm going to think positively is not as easy as some people make it out to be.

Thoughts, behaviours (which occur with thought) and beliefs (also occurring with thought), whether at the conscious level or the sub conscious have emotions attached to them; some more potent than others but they all have emotions attached.

Our brains way of keeping us alive in our primitive days was to create a chemical rush when experiencing strong emotions such as a dangerous situation, a rush so powerful that the receptors (whose job is to receive the chemicals) in our body would never forget them. Should we face a similar situation, the past memory (and thus thought) is triggered and the brain would be called upon to release the same chemicals, readying our body for action.

However, our receptors will become addicted to a chemical (and thus a thought process) if it receives it at higher than normal levels and on a consistent basis. Can you think of any negative thought processes going on in your mind that have been there since your childhood? My guess is that you most certainly will.

The reason we find it hard to break bad habits which create unsatisfying trading results is because we are addicted to our chemically fed bad habits and poor self image.

So the biggest battle any trader will face is within, but now you know why. You need to step away from the negative and into the world of 'I can!', and at the same time, stop the negative feeds.

Reprogram your mind for success, not failure; there are plenty of tools around that can help you do this, and surround yourself with positive people and traders, not those that will drag you down. It's your choice and always will be if you just allow yourself to make the right choices. As Dirk du Toit once wrote - "The winners and losers are divided not two years down the road or even six months down the road, but from day one."
About the Author
Dean Whittingham created A Traders Universe - Trading System Development in 2005 as a resource site for traders of all levels, with education, courses, brokers, tips, free videos, newsletters, trading systems, simulations and a free 7 step process for building a profitable stock, futures or forex trading system. His coaching program is at Pentagonal Trading System Development
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