Meet Claire and Chloe Gruenke. They are 13 year old twins. Both of them compete in track for their junior high school in Illinois.
A few months ago, both were in a track meet when Chloe felt something ‘pop’ in her leg and fell down. Trying to complete the race, Chloe tried to get up, but she couldn’t run, let alone walk.
At this time her sister Claire, realizing Chloe was physically unable to complete the race on her own, did something extraordinary.
Instead of calling for help, she put Chloe on her back and kept on running for the finish line. There was no chance either of them was going to come in any place but dead last. Yet Claire ran with her sister on her back.
Right before crossing the finish line, Claire gently let her sister down and told her to cross the line first. Chloe saw the bigger picture, and they crossed at the same time.
This is an amazing example of losing the race, but winning at life. It is also reflective of something which plagues developing traders – dealing with excuses when facing obstacles.
Excuses & Your Trading Mindset
When it comes to trading, what is the most damaging part of the excuses you make? Is it the fact you missed an opportunity pull the trigger on a winning trade? No. Is it that you didn’t fill out your training journal and learned from your trading mistakes? No.
The most damaging part about making excuses when it comes to forex trading, is how they affect your self-image. Every time you make an excuse, and then act upon said excuse, you communicate something which dis-empowers you.
Each excuse you give and act upon sends a message to your self-image of how weak it is, how unable you are to accomplish something, and ultimately where your level of ability is at.
This is incredibly damaging because our self-image is one of the greatest determinants for our performance and level of trading success. With each an every excuse we make, we not only stunt the growth of our self-image, but concurrently shrink it.
Excuses Affecting Performance
We all have the goal to become a successful profitable trader. When we parse out an excuse as the reason why we didn’t do something, we lower our self-confidence, particularly in our ability to follow through. When we don’t follow through (even though we recognize our ability & potential), we experience frustration which affects our performance negatively.
In most cases, excuses are a product of two things;
1) Lack of Proper Motivation
2) Unspecified Goals
If you aren’t properly motivated to trade profitably, or do not know the underlying reasons for your motivations, your unconscious mind & limiting beliefs will subvert your efforts to do the hard things when it comes time.
This lack of completing what you set out to do can often be a reflection of being unmotivated. It is only when your motivation becomes larger than the energy of your excuses, is the moment you start to see forward progress in your efforts and training to accelerate your learning curve.
Also, having unspecified trading goals leaves you with no clear endgame, and thus motivational underpinning to trade successfully.
Easy to Produce
It will always be easier to produce excuses any time we fail to do something or reach our goal. We will always have moments when we are tired, do not feel 100%, lack inspiration, had a bad day trading, don’t have the money, the time, the genes, the experience, and the list goes on…
All of the above can be manufactured in a second and take no effort at all.
Before 6am & -40 degrees F
I cannot say I truly like getting up just before 6am every day. Sometimes it feels great, and sometimes I’m tired as all hell. In those latter moments, it is hard to get up, and quite easy to stay in bed.
Luckily, I’ve had various ‘trainings‘ since I was young (soccer, martial arts, yoga, meditation, forex trading) which conditioned me to ‘just do it‘. Getting up when it was -40F at the age of 11 during a Chicago winter wasn’t fun by any means. But working towards a goal and accomplishing something for my day was 99% of the time far better then doing nothing.
It’s true – getting up that one day wasn’t going to make me a professional trader, martial artist, or soccer player. But each step was both building my skills, while increasing my self-image. Do this enough times and eventually you feel like you can overcome almost any obstacle.
Common Amongst Successful Traders & People
One thing you will notice amongst highly successful traders and people, is when they come up against an excuse, they look for ways to get past them and complete their task. Their long term vision is far more important than their short term discomfort.
They are solution focused, thus constantly turning their minds towards finding an answer. This solution based focus, while being focused on the process helps to improve brain performance and wire your brain for success.
Successful traders and people do not leave much space for excuses to enter. Even when they do surface, they are usually met with discipline, focus and a forward moving momentum excuses usually fold under.
Remember, overcoming is the currency of success. Thus it is very important you are solution focused when facing your challenges, instead of allowing your challenges to transform into excuses.
In 95+% of all situations, you are in control of ‘you’. Hence the underlying reason you haven’t done what was needed, was because of something YOU chose to do (or not to do).
Once you realize how much you are in control, there are fundamentally no more excuses to give as you determine your reality more than any other agent.
Going back to Chloe & Claire, Claire was less worried about winning the race, and more focused on finding a solution.
She communicated to everyone on that track, there are always ways to finish the race. She wouldn’t let any excuse into the situation. She showed us all something great about humanity, of what we could be if we let go of excuses, and directed our minds towards solutions.
Unable to run, Chloe still finished the race, and Claire wouldn’t let it happen otherwise. She had the mentality of ‘No-Obstacle‘, which is one of the most powerful mentalities you can have in trading and life.
Every time you face an obstacle or excuse, but overcome it – you increase your self-confidence and self-image. This is one of the most effective ways to build a successful trading mindset.
Excuses are some of the most damaging things to your mindset and trading success. They reduce your self-image, which must be strong to trade successfully.
By learning to see what excuses are, and discover how much we can actually control them, we give ourselves the potential to transform obstacles into growth, and excuses into determination.
In reality, although there are great mountains like Mt. Everest & K2, the greatest mountain we will ever climb is our own mind, and our own challenges.
For those who can and do scale such mountains, you will find yourself standing atop all those obstacles, limitations, and challenges, which can bring a confidence to last you a lifetime. It is in that moment that you will see the great expanse, and what’s available to you.