Of all of the lies my traders tell themselves, the one that shows up the most frequently is “I don’t think I can do this”.
Even though I can see with complete clarity that they have everything they need to become an exceptional trader, their own self doubt steps in the way and barricades their door to success.
It’s excruciating. I can see with certainty the delight and freedom that awaits them… but they can’t quite see it themselves. And it’s a terrifying place to be. Longing, but terrified.
And I know what it’s like…
You can imagine the thrill that comes from executing your trading plan with professional precision.
You can taste how sweet it will feel to finally stand up to that demanding boss, because you have an income on the side.
You know that you’ll win the praise and gratitude of your family as you become who you were really meant to be… but the self-doubt clings to your gut, and puts a quiver in your voice.
And you know you’re the one that’s intended to step up and claim the trading world as your own, until… you hear the whiny pathetic voice of your inner creep –
“What makes you think you can do this?”
(If you think this might be your issue, you can download my free Special Report on this topic by clicking here.)
But you see – I can sense that you’re waiting for your chance to get called into the spotlight. And yes, it takes a risk to step up. However, ask any exception trader. The only time they changed was when the pain of not doing so became too great. Their calling could no longer be ignored.
Hardly any obstacle is sufficient to deter someone who refuses to be deterred by it.
Apparently the famous novelist – Charles Bukowski used to offer some sage advice to writers who asked him for his opinion on their pieces. He told each and every one of them that they were pathetic writers, and that they would never have a future in the industry, no matter how skilled they were, and no matter what how carefully crafted their piece. He felt that this was the kind option, because if that young writer was reliant on Bukowski for his support and opinion, they would never have the guts to make it big, using the power of words.
Sometimes I think Chris Tate, my business partner, is a bit like this. He is a gruff mongrel on the outside, but he’s focused on drawing out your very best performance, so that your eventual results might just delight you.
As a trader, the brutal truth is that you only get paid for your results. There is no time and a half, or over-time rates. We live in a results economy, not a time economy, like people who have ‘jobs’.
One of the key problems that new traders used to face is that they confused their skill with the luck of having entered the market during an extraordinarily powerful bull market. All ships are lifted by a rising tide.
Most new traders are incapable of acknowledging that they know very little about the markets. With the markets jumping around the place like a teenager at a dance party, now is not the time to just ‘give it a whirl’ and ‘dive right in’. It’s thinking like this that will see your hard saved dollars wash away.
Especially now, as traders we need to develop task-oriented behaviour. We won’t get rewarded just because we’re throwing money into the markets. Only the strong are excelling in today’s markets.
So, it’s time for a bit of self analysis. Which of these three trader traps have you fallen into lately?
1) You’re not accountable
Many traders con themselves by doing busy work, instead of profit work. If it’s not going to contribute directly to your bottom line – do you really need to be doing it? Find someone you’re accountable to who will hold you to the consequences of phaffing around.
If you have got a friend who is in the same boat where they’re looking for a mate to hold them accountable, you’re in a great position. Get them to name a goal that they want to achieve by a certain date, and then diarise when to follow up and check up on their progress. You can do the same where you tell your friend your goal. Voila! You’re both instantly accountable, and you’re both more likely to move ahead with your goals than if you hadn’t have mentioned your aims.
2) You have no vision
I’ve been running our Mentor Program since the year 2000, and in all of that time, I’ve learned some unique lessons. The best traders from our Mentor Program can see, smell and taste what they want out of the markets. The more accurately you can see your future, the closer it will become.
Lazy traders may not be lazy people. It’s just that they haven’t formed a unique, vivid and juicy image of their future which draws them off the couch.
3) You don’t take smart risks
Effective traders are willing to get out of their comfort zones and try new things. I know it might be scary to go into the unknown, but to have more in life, you must take smart risks. Look at the down side as well as the upside, and decide if you can live with both.
One of the risks you’ll have to evaluate is to work out whether you should invest in the markets yourself, or whether you’ll need to use someone else’s services. There’s no one right answer. It’s up to the individual to decide based on the time they have available and the skills they bring to the table.
It’s easy to get discouraged when you feel alone in this trading world. I want to leave you with some final thoughts that I feel might touch your heart, and help you sense that we’re all in this together.
I see you.
I see your focus, and I can picture what this will mean for your trading future.
I see your trading scars, and I know that some of them came close to breaking your heart.
I see your hope for the future, and I’m in awe of your potential.
I see your struggle, and I know that, like a bird pecking out of an egg, the struggle will make you strong.
I see your choices, and I recognise how you are honouring your vision.
I see your joy as you courageously take one more step and learn a bit more about the markets.
I see your deep desire to do more, be more and have more.
I see a trader.
I see you.
About the author
Louise Bedford (www.tradinggame.com.au) is a full-time private trader and author of several best-selling books, including The Secret of Candlestick Charting, Charting Secrets and Trading Secrets. Get the results you deserve. Grab her free Special Report called ‘How Much is Your Self Talk Costing You’, by clicking here.