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Self image determines successful forex trading psychology

I’m going to tell you a brief story about your central nervous system.
Because as your brain evolved over the last few million years affects your success (or struggles) in trading today.
Then I’m going to talk about EDN, or Experience Dependent Neuroplasticity and how this builds the foundation for creating trading success (or failure) in your brain.
From here I’ll get into the self-image, what this is, and why you keep making the same mistakes.
I’ll expand on this by getting into the comfort zone and how you can expand this to increase your trading performance.

61 thoughts on “Self image determines successful forex trading psychology”

  1. Steve Epperson

    Buenos Dias from New Mexico. Content here is what I have been looking for. My goal is to step out of my comfort zone and put in at least 60 hours of study in the field of trading psychology. Your site will probably satisfy double that requirement. Thanks much.

    1. Buenos dias Steve. Podemos hablar en espanol si preferais…
      I’m glad to hear the content here is what you’ve been looking for, especially on the trading psychology side as we have a ton here.
      And if you ever want to take your trading psychology training to the next level, we have the ATM course which is completely change the way you think, trade and perform. If you think the free content here on trading psychology is good, then the ATM course will blow your mind even further.
      Food for thought.

  2. Very nice indeed.. I loved it.. The graphics, and mainly the materials inside.. What a masterpiece.. Chris do know how to make a masterpiece.. Brilliant… I suddenly feeling some changes right now.. Hope it lasts longer..

    1. Well every now and then, I do get a heavy hitter article out there.
      We are upgrading our content so hopefully it comes through, but glad you liked it.
      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  3. Great piece Chris, thank you.I agree with Graeme. I have to lost real money & after switching to demo (I’ve told myself if I can’t makeit in practise I won’t for real) it hasn’t helped I continue to lose money. You have given me another angle to prevent further self sabotage.

    1. Howdy Guy,
      Nice – we often self-sabotage ourselves more than we realize, and this is almost always done with mindset.
      We have to start there if we want to make a change, so good self-reflection here.
      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  4. David Ogunnubi

    Chris i am very grateful for this publication honestly it’s insightful and eye opening. More grace and wisdom, What i enjoyed more was the way and manner you write it, it was simple and straight to the point,thats lovely. I have answered the question on my own and seen my errors and am going to work on it until i imprint the positive habits and attitudes thanks.

    1. Hello David,
      Much appreciated for the positive comments.
      Also good to hear you went over the questions and started to self-reflect on these as it will pay dividends in your trading psychology and performance.
      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  5. I absolutely love this article. What are your thoughts on positive affirmations and visualisation? Apparently used by many successful athletes but maybe would be successful despite it.. Any chance of a article or a response regarding these topics?

    1. Hello Tom,
      Thanks for liking the article and sharing your positive comments.
      RE: Positive Affirmations
      I actually cover this in the article 2x and talk about why they are ineffective as is.
      RE: Visualization
      Yes, this is a powerful technique – but is often done completely incorrectly.
      We actually cover the how, why and what regarding visualization in our Adv. Traders Mindset Course and how to use it to re-wire your brain for success.
      Hope this helps.
      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  6. I agree with Paul here.
    Chris has been the most influential mentor in my life not only in trading but in most areas of my life. Trading is just the conduit of learning. The impact of Chris’s teachings have great depth and high impact if you really dig in with them.
    Chris thank you for all your hard work! You’re changing my life every day

    1. Hola Gerb,
      I appreciate what you shared, particularly about being a mentor ‘beyond trading’. To have an impact upon one’s trading is awesome, but to further impact their life is the real meat IMO as it affects everything you do.
      Thanks again as this was awesome to hear.
      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  7. Hi Chris, I’m thinking a life and success personal development book by you would be a bestseller…Great article and will be getting my kids to read it.

    1. Hola Paul,
      Already thinking the book thing as well, so glad to hear you think the same.
      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  8. Chris obviously my 2nd comment was a bit of an exageration..! ๐Ÿ™‚ I was not asking for such a point per point justification. As you say it could also have been that the ones about specific trading examples (or specific “trading psychology”, which in my opinion are very much synonyms since trading is a lot about psychology) take longer to reply hence you took more time for those ones. Anyway thanks for the answers to all comments to your article. Best, Anthony

    1. Howdy Anthony,
      Yes, some questions require much longer answers or thought out responses than me thanking people for their comments. Your’s was one of the former, but hopefully I’ve answered your question in good detail.
      And yes, we most certainly agree that trading, trading psychology and mindset cannot be separated.
      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  9. Thanks for the article Chris!
    My best winning streaks have been around 4-5 trades. Though I consider my best streaks to be in the context of winning weeks. I have several times had great months only to lose all the gains in the following month in a landslide of losses.
    I have noticed that I have had those feelings following the winning month where I hear my mind saying “ya but you’ll probably lose it all now, cause that’s what tends to happen.”
    I have noticed the benefits of the learnings and meditation in the ATM course. Reading the article helped to bring the spot light to me where the roots of my challenges are and why my progress in areas is held back.
    Last night I was actually starting to come around to the idea of cultivating my self image as I was waxing my car which I rarely do and had this feeling like “I like how this looks! – This suits me! – I need to do more things to show myself that and feel like this!”
    As always, thank you for being our guide and mentor. I’ve learned more about myself on this trading journey through you than anywhere before.

  10. Thank you Chris for sharing this invaluable article! Let our mantra be “Consistency in the mind is consistency in trading.”
    Looking forward for the ATM2 course! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hello Ayaforex,
      I like that mantra – and yes, I cannot wait for the ATM2 to come out soon.
      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  11. Hello Chris,
    The article is really insightful as there is some additional information to the ATM course ,and by the way this is one of the things I really like about you as my teacher,which is each and every time I learn something of value(about trading,training,mindset etc.)from you,nomatter if it is from the APA,ATM courses or the free area of your website.I also really like the layout as it makes it visual friendly and easier to digest.
    Another great one ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hello Ivan,
      Yes, there is a lot of additional information in this article that wasn’t in the ATM course (which was by design).
      Also good to hear you are learning things of value about mindset + trading + training from any/all of the courses.
      Much Appreciated – Chris

  12. Hey Chris,
    Great article as always! And chalk up another positive comment for the design… ๐Ÿ™‚
    Ironically I feel like my self-image regarding trading is fairly good, considering I’ve only been trading for about a year. Habits, attitudes, and beliefs are fairly consistent and positive. But when I answered question #3 “What have you told yourself it is ‘not like you’ to do?”, my first answer was “It’s not like me to be able to recognize setups”. Wow!
    I’ve been spending time re-watching the PA course videos to get the setups cemented in my brain, but perhaps it’s simply a matter of concentrating and mastering one setup, and make it “like me” to be able to recognize that setup consistently. Building the self-image of a consistently profitable trader is likely done one brick at a time.
    Thanks for putting the time in to provide us with great reading material!

    1. Hola El G,
      It is good you feel you have a positive mindset. Also very keen of you to have the self-reflection about not being able to recognize setups. That should be a focal point on what you work on now.
      And yes, you’ll definitely have to build up the self-image in those areas you mentioned, so good awareness here.
      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  13. Hi Chris, I personally experience a big contradiction daily. The least constructive aspect of myself is not being constant unless there is an external force obliging me to be constant. For example: university and graduation. For me it was a life or death situation not score the highest. It was a feeling. And before going automatically into that mindset I had to experience the frustration of feeling some kind of mediocrity because of my total lack of commitment. It was a punch in the face: โ€œwhy have I been behaving so low in the last few years? I am not like that at all, I donโ€™t like me nowโ€. It really worked. I really changed from the same moment. It was pure commitment with instantaneous black and white reversal and great results.
    I don’t know how it works for you but the statement you wrote:
    โ€œIf your brain has a dissonant feeling from your heart, no change will happen because you won’t believe itโ€
    Is the core of what I experience daily (I would say constantly). Since I have been for almost 5 years in a situation without any โ€œrevelation momentโ€ as mentioned above I ended up doing stuff because I share the same passion for self-improvement that you have but I would say without the real boost: a theater course, studying math and chemistry from the open universities course such as MIT (they are great btw, you can have such a remarkable education for free โ€“ is totally amazing) and recently just started martial art (I am 31). After 8 month I did quit with theater. Because I was not really feeling the thing. So I ended up thinking: โ€œI have been forcing myself out of my comfort zone, but how much do I have to do it? Because i do it constantly.
    Where is the limit when you understand if 8 months is lack of commitment or if your heart and brain are out of tune? How do you relate this with your intuitive feeling and thinking? Do you think every time you say โ€œI donโ€™t wanna do that is because of your comfort zone or because maybe you do not really care about doing it?
    Hope I was able to send you what I meant as a contraddiction

    1. Hello Matteo,
      Yes, I’m glad you mentioned these things because I sensed them from the first email you sent me.
      Having dissonant or fragmented feelings between the mind-heart will always cause an inconsistent performance as they are not working together. It will create a fragmented self-image and polarizing beliefs, which will not lead to consistent performance.
      RE: Limit
      I don’t think you have to search for a limit as to when your heart/brain are out of tune. That can be done by looking/feeling inward and becoming more self-aware. But if you look at your performance and commitment across many things, and you see this lack of commitment as a pattern, then I think you have the answer.
      So based on that, what do you think is the remedy from here?
      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  14. Hey Chris. Really amazing article. Not just for traders, but for everyone. This is the kind of stuff that if everyone could grasp it and get behind it would be world changing. Excellent job on taking such a complex subject and making it so accessible. Truly inspirational. Oh yeah I think it’s very pretty too ;).

    1. Hola Dave,
      Hope all is well on the island.
      Glad you found this article helpful not just for traders, but everyone.
      And yes – if everyone could grasp this material, it could/would change their life, so please do share it with others, hopefully they can benefit from it as well.
      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  15. All comments abt article “layout” (which is deemed to improve your trading indeed…) got a reply from Chris. Not so the ones about live trading !.. Ok…

    1. Hello Anthony,
      Hmmm, there seems to be a mis-understanding here. Your comment here is highly inaccurate, so I’m wondering how you are missing this information.
      For example, the 2nd comment by Graeme Little is about trading – I answered his question.
      The next comment by Andrew and my brother is about trading – and I answered it.
      The 2nd comment after by Swami is about trading and mindset – which I answered.
      Int21h – I answered.
      Dave Tromp’s question – answered.
      So there seems to be some mis-understanding an inaccuracies here.
      There are 4 questions I haven’t answered yet, which I’ll be answering today, so you’re not the only one.
      I apologize if your’s was one of them – it’s not like I specifically isolated trading questions and said to myself ‘Oh, I should only answer the ones about layout, and those about trading, I won’t answer‘.
      I’m not sure if you were thinking this, but it couldn’t be farther from the truth – you will notice many of these comments here are from my students, and I’m guessing they can all attest such a thing is not something I’d do.
      But no worries – I’ll be answering all remaining questions this morning, including yours – which ironically, is not about trading specifically per se, but more about mindset…for example – the subconscious or psychological things you experience during a winning streak that cause you to experience and increase in stress – that question is really more about mindset/psychology now vs. trading, isn’t it?
      Regardless, thanks in advance for your patience and I’ll be writing back soon.

  16. A fantastic read as always. I had another mentor impress upon me the importance of self image years ago, though he did not express it quite as elegantly as you have done here. After I started your course I immediately started telling friends, family that I was now a forex trader by profession. Even changed my linkedin profile. I said it so many times I started believing it! I even remember thinking about what kind of car a successful trader would drive … what kind of car do you drive Chris? ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hola James,
      Yes, self-image is something quite crucial to trading performance and success, so good to hear you are focusing on building it.
      I like the mindset you are taking about how you identify yourself as a trader – nicely done here.
      RE: Car I Drive
      I don’t! I live in a big city where walking and cabs are far better than owning a car.
      Although considering I live in Canada, should I ever get one, it would be a Subaru!
      Because in the winters here, you need AWD or 4WD at the least! Always feel bad when I see people trying to get out of their parking spots with 2WD as it takes them forever when the snowpack or ice comes in.
      Should I move to a non-tundra type climate – one with sun and good roads, Maserati or Aston Martin would be the car I’d get.
      My friend has a Mas and always asks me to come by and drive it since he’s gone a lot.
      May have to take him up on that offer ๐Ÿ™‚
      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  17. Wow. What a fantastic article. I love the 90/10 rule. I close out profitable trades ALL THE TIME before they run because I am outside my comfort zone. As a result I have left a lot of money on the table which is extremely frustrating given all the hours and hard work that I have put into trading. I just have to realize that my brain is just trying to ADJUST to what I perceive is an uncomfortable situation and stick with it until it becomes comfortable. Only then will I be profitable. Thank you so much Chris. I will read this every day until I see changes within me and my trading.

    1. Hola Jules from NZ,
      Yeah the 90/10 rule is a big one to learn as most don’t ever discover it.
      And yes, many people close out trades that are profitable all the time, while leaving massive amounts on the table (which they need). The fact you tied this into your comfort zone is a good thing, and that your trading brain is just trying to adjust – so all good self reflections here.
      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

    1. Hola DT,
      I like your wish list ๐Ÿ™‚
      All kidding aside, the ATM course has been bad-ass with overwhelming response. V2 is only going to be bigger and better, so looking forward to seeing you there soon.
      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  18. This is truly an awesome article. Good looking and very nice content! This article would be good to include somewhere in your Advanced Mindset Course (which I have attended to).

    1. Lots of comments on how good looking the article is!
      Thanks Dario about the article content as we put a ton into it with tons of juicy info, so am glad you liked it.
      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  19. Another on-point article. I struggled in my trading for over 15 years before I started to devote myself to the study (and now application of) psychological issues. I’ve survived some dark times, and now have the unshakable belief that I know and can do what I must to succeed in trading. Even though I now try to help beginning traders to avoid the mistakes I’ve made, I think we must all suffer before we are able to begin to change for the better. I wonder if there has ever been a successful long-term trader who didn’t have to really struggle before they learned what they needed to succeed…

    1. Hola Dennis,
      Glad you liked the article and found it on point. The fact that you are now dedicating time to focusing on the mindset is a key step to take.
      Also having an unshakable belief in yourself is a really important thing to build, not just for trading, but life as well.
      Some good comments so thanks for sharing.
      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  20. Oh my, this looks really really nice….As an inside member I can say that this lay out is symbolic or a representation of the content of your courses. Abundant, slick, informational and inspirational.
    The ending is superb. Questions that get you thinking. Great read. And great lay out.

    1. Ha – more comments on the layout…will pass them on to my designer.
      But glad you found the ending superb and the article a good read
      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  21. Hi Chris, great article.
    Yeah recognized myself in the “great winning streak that ends badly”… Oddly enough I have noticed that 100% is a big number for me… whenever I hit that number, things start to go sour sooner rather than later… I have started to think this is something in my subconscious rather than just bad luck or overconfidence. Actually, when I hit those streaks (with reasonable risk per trade) I have noticed I get much more stressed than with reasonable losses (“comfort zone”??)… I used to think I had a rather high self-esteem but now am thinking it could all have just been a shield…
    How long does your course take to show results (on the brain, thus on the actions)? As with everything in psychology, I am expecting a “it depends”, but any time frame would be helpful. Best.

    1. Hello Anthony,
      If you recognized how the ‘winning streak that ends badly’ pertains to you, then that is a good start, especially if you are connecting the dots and tying it to your mindset & psychology.
      However it is not something that is a part of your ‘subconscious’ but your ‘unconscious’, which is something we address and clarify in the ATM course.
      The fact that your stress levels increased when you hit the high end of the winning streak is telling of a few things; 1) how your self image defines success and trading performance, and 2) where your comfort zone really ends.
      It is certainly possible this feeling of ‘high self-esteem’ was a shield, which is some good self-reflective sentiments there.
      RE: Your Question of ‘How Long’
      There is no way for me to answer that. How could I if I barely know anything about you except these two comments you’ve made?
      If someone walked into your martial arts dojo, made two comments, then asked ‘how long till I will be a black belt’, would you be able to answer that question? Would you really feel it to be appropriate? I’m guessing not.
      The brain can change in as little as 21 days with the right exercises. So ‘technically’ that is one answer – however I have no idea whether you’d apply the techniques correctly, do them at all, maintain the discipline, etc.
      So yes, in 21 days your neural structure could be different, how much? No idea…no way for me to measure and quantify that (yet).
      I think the best testimonial I’ve gotten about the ATM Course is the following;
      “I’ve learned more in the last few weeks about what it takes to be successful in trading and life than I have in the last 28 years.”
      Food for thought, and I hope this answers your questions.
      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  22. Great article thanks so much! . I’ll be referring back to this one for some time I’m sure.

    1. Hola Steve,
      Yeah there is a lot of meat in this which will take time to digest.
      Good to hear you found it useful.
      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  23. I never got into the positive affirmations thing. I tried it but it never really worked for me. I do take care of focusing more on the now than trying to be in the future or in the past. If I do happen to find myself drifting I just try to sit as one watches the thought and then let it pass for it is all taking place in the now. I would say that your thoughts run congruent with mine. It takes more than just to know a thing it takes putting it into action. Great thoughts; Thanks for sharing.

    1. Yep – positive affirmations do not work and there are several reasons why they don’t work. We teach something completely differently in our ATM Course which does work and is based on neuroscience.
      Focusing on the now is helpful, but its not the only solution, and sometimes we need self-correcting mechanisms to help with that, such as DA’s.
      But glad you liked the article.
      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  24. Insightful article, Chris. I had the self image issue many years back, but addressed it quickly enough. Can relate to your article due to this.
    I (being an Indian), can suggest some yogic pranayama, or slowing down your breathing to 4-5 breaths a minute to bring you into the now.

    1. Glad you found the article insightful.
      I’ve practiced yoga daily for 15 years, and employ some of the pranayama practices in the ATM course.
      So thanks for sharing, and glad you liked the article.
      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  25. This is truly awesome information.. The story about your brother is also very inspiring, especially for me as a soccer player.

    1. Hello Andy,
      Yeah, the team and I put a ton into this article from design to development, then the writing on my end.
      Glad you found the story inspiring – he was amazing to see in his day and truly an inspiration.
      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  26. Haha, great minds think alike. I also scrolled through the whole article enjoying the layout. I totally agree with Apex. Really crisp layout! Not only does it look really good and professional it also makes it easier to read. Am also planning on reading this one before going to sleep. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Two comments on the layout…too funny.
      Glad you liked it…hope you enjoy the article amigo.
      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  27. Buenos Dias Chris, Great article as usual are you still living Mexico it been a long time i hope all is well. i seen the article in my in box i had a read twice.

    1. Buenos Tardes Ismael – como te va?
      Estoy viviendo en Canada ahora. Y ustd?
      Enjoy the article and good to hear from you.
      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  28. It never seems to amaze me Chris how the Universe works. I am a member of your Price Action Course and I couldn’t make it work. I knew it was me, not the course at fault but I didn’t understand why I continued my self-sabotaging behaviour in life and in trading. My experience with trading simply seemed to magnify this 10-fold because trading is all about money and in my life my struggles have always been about money. I am currently embarking on a Sales/Marketing journey and your article is exactly what I needed right this moment if I am to experience any success at all because it too is all about money. I have to say, developing habits around activities outside my comfort zone has definitely been holding me back but now that you have explained what is happening I feel more prepared to show determination to re-create my habit patterns for my future self image and I now have permission to let go of the past and blaming others for the way I think. I need to take responsibility for my own thinking. Thankyou so much Chris and BTW I fully intend to return to trading when I get my head straight. I will definitely be coming back to you for guidance. Do you have a course specifically on redesigning the self-image?

    1. Hola Graeme,
      Very good self-reflection here – how you realize it wasn’t the course or the strategies, but the 6 inches between your ears.
      We often self-sabotage ourselves, particularly in trading and life.
      Any issues around money (and not just about money, but around it) will cause problems with trading.
      Success as well, which is often tied to money.
      And yes, we have to develop habits outside our comfort zone, otherwise no growth happens and the brain experiences no novelty – crucial for growth.
      Definitely time to build a self-image and let go of the past – time to build the success you want right now.
      RE: Course on Self-Image
      Yep – check out my Adv. Traders Mindset Course whereby we have several lessons that focus specifically on this.
      Hope you can join when it re-opens this fall.
      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

  29. Before I can read this, I have to just take a moment to enjoy the sheer beauty of the layout here.
    Really good work and I look forward to reading this tonight. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hola Apex,
      HA – thank my graphic designer for that one. Paid a pretty pound for it, but they nailed it!
      Kind Regards,
      Chris Capre

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