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Trading Psychology - Doubt

May 21, 2008
I want to talk about a common theme that's in many of the email questions I get through my website.

Many people have bought a trading system, or a couple of books, or attended a seminar, and just not achieved the success they thought they'd get. These people are now trapped in a constant cycle of doubt.

They're frustrated. They're not sure where to start, or how to get back on track towards success. In fact, many of them are not even sure if they want to be a trader.

Their self-talk is incredibly negative, and full of doubt.

Is that perhaps you as well?

Well, let me set things straight, and provide a small insight that may help you break through that doubt.

Trading is hard. Trading is very hard. It is probably the most difficult venture many of you will undertake in your lifetime. Do not believe the hype that is put forward by so many of the marketers whose only goal is to sell you yet another curve-fitted trading system. When they show you how easy it is - run away.

Trading is hard.

If you don't believe me, go and buy another of their systems and try to trade it profitably. Cruise the forums for a couple more years and try to find success. Then come back to this article.

Trading is hard. You have many lessons to learn, and it takes a lot longer than most of us expect. It's not enough to just develop a positive expectancy system (and believe me when I say that is hard). You need to also learn the lessons of risk management, money management, and overcoming the many challenges of a negative trading psychology.

It's natural that at times we will start to doubt ourselves and our ability to trade. We doubt our ability to meet this challenge.

It is at this time that I remind myself of a powerful message that I first heard from a business strategist Jay Abraham, absolutely brilliant man, you may have heard of him if you're involved at all in business.

Do not ask yourself, "Am I worthy of this challenge?"

That is the wrong question.

Instead, ask yourself, "Is trading a challenge worthy of me?"

Your life is so precious, and your time is too short to be wasted on small meaningless challenges.

Your life should not be wasted on hour-long commutes to and from a job you despise. Your time should not be wasted in activities and challenges that don't excite you at the very depths of your soul.

There are so many opportunities in this life. Find the greatest challenge, the one that is calling you, that excites you. The challenge that you don't consider work, and that you'd happily spend 24 hours a day working on if you could.

Find the challenge that is worthy of your precious life. Find the challenge that is worthy of your time on this earth.

If it's not trading, that's fine. Forget about your doubt and move on. This is not your challenge anyway.

If it is trading, welcome to the team. Let's push on. The best antidote for doubt is action. Continue forward with system development, or working towards effective risk management, money management, or mastery of your trading psychology. You don't have to master it all today. You just have to do something a little better today than you did it yesterday. Small advances! Baby steps! Just take action and keep moving forward.

Remember, as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.

Hang in there.

And as Theodore Roosevelt said, "It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

Hang in there. If you want this bad enough, you can do it. Never quit. Keep taking action.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs
About the Author
Would you like to learn more about how I trade the forex and equity index markets? Check out the articles, videos and trading resources on my website right now at www.YourTradingCoach.com
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