What Limits You From Trading Profitably?
I was recently talking with a student in one of my trading courses who is an eager beaver. They definitely have the desire to trade for a living, but I noticed something of a repeating pattern for them. They would constantly not trade the system as is, make modifications to it and adjust the risk parameters.
I have often wondered why a developing student who wants to learn how to trade, but hasn’t made it on their own, make all of these decisions which would hurt their trading.
I am certainly guilty of this in my early days, without a doubt. But like in Archery, I trusted my teacher, and decided to practice the technique he taught me. Originally, this was not the case, but he told me that when I can shoot consistently and the technique is 2nd nature, then I can bring in my own style. Until then, I followed his technique.
But the question has been with me for some time, as to why traders like myself (back in the day), or others would make decisions that obstruct them from the goal they so clearly want – to trade profitably and for a living.
The answer to this mercurial piece of the puzzle came together this past July.
A Weekend of Training
For about 6 weeks this last summer, I was on vacation in the US visiting family and friends. But for one weekend, I was in a training that helped me answer some long lasting questions about trading, for myself and my students as to why some do things which hurt the learning process.
The training was a QRA Level 1 intensive. QRA stands for Quantum Reflex Analysis and it was a weekend where I was pounded with information. QRA is based on Biophysics, particularly on the work by Fritz-Albert Popp, an award winning physicist with hundreds of publications.
QRA is mostly focused on the healing of physical illnesses, but also works on a psychological/emotional level.
Although I remember many things from the weekend, one moment stood out amongst the rest.
The trainer was talking about someone who had cancer that came to see the Doctor and head of the QRA program. They were wanting to get cured of their cancer, but the Doctor kept running into strange ‘blocks‘ in trying to help with the healing process. It dawned on him that the client actually had underlying psychological or limiting beliefs that were interfering with the healing process.
Imagine – someone has cancer and they have tried everything to cure it, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and going through tons of painful treatments and surgeries. They obviously want to live and want to be free from the disease. But the whole time, there was something interfering with the healing process – and it was them the entire time. It turns out they actually had a sub-conscious belief they did not deserve to live, and this program was running in the background the entire time.
Suddenly, the light went on and it all came clear to me – this is what happens to traders who use improper risk management even though they know the math is against them. This is what happens to traders who don’t trade the system, even though they know it makes money. This is what happens when;
-a trader jumps in too early, before they get a signal
-or chases a trend when they know they shouldn’t
-trades out of emotion, trying to get losses back when they have no signal
-adds to a losing trade
-gets over-confident and thinks they ‘got it’ after just a few months
-trades way beyond their position sizing
-takes profit before hitting their target
-doesn’t accept their risk and panics, exiting too early only to watch the trade run to their limit
-fails to pull the trigger when they do get a signal
You know the story, because it has happened to you, just as it has happened to me.
Have you ever wondered, why you make the decisions you do, even though you know they are not helpful to your trading?
Is it your fear that overcomes your clarity? Is it your impatience that overcomes your discipline? Why do you not prepare for your trading day when you know how challenging trading is?
Whatever it is, it is currently in you, in your psyche and wired into your brain, causing you to repeat many of the patterns that has held you back.
You have known this in some way (hopefully), but it is very possible (and likely) you have a program running in the background, which is interfering with you trading successfully and reaching your goals.
You Mean I Don’t Want to Be Successful?
It is actually possible (like the patient), some part of you does not want to trade successfully. It is actually possible, some part of you is afraid of being successful, of being wealthy, of being a disciplined trader, of reaching your goals. If any of these, or many other programs and unconscious beliefs are there, then they will always short circuit your process and efforts to trade profitably.
The good thing is – you can change all this. The brain has an ability to learn new things. It has neuro-plasticity, meaning it can be re-wired with amazing flexibility. You can learn new things at almost any age, you can increase your IQ, you can develop skills regardless of your background and training. Thus, regardless of what patterns and behaviors are inhibiting you, they can be re-written.
I have actually trained in both QRA and ERT (Emotional Repolarization Technique), doing dozens of sessions designed to re-wire my neural connections, to function in a more optimal state, in a whole-brain state, to remove any unconscious programs which would interfere with my trading, along with many other things.
If I could have started my entire trading career over, I would have started with this training from the very beginning. If I could recommend one thing to build a successful trading mentality, for those having psychological issues interfering with your trading, to combine with your learning process while working with a mentor, it would be this.
With all of that being said, I would like to end with two questions;
If you could watch yourself trade, like an observer, what advice would you give yourself?
and the other…
What would you do, study and train in order to trade successfully?
I hope you enjoyed this article, and that it has brought up some intriguing questions for you. Please feel free to share, along with your thoughts on the article.
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