"The words we attach to our experience become our experience."
… Anthony Robbins
The following are extracts taken from email Q&A with traders (taken at random from my email archives).
I love trading and keep on working hard, striving to become a better trader each day.
I am constantly working on my weaknesses but they are now finally in a minority of sessions.
I took 2 months off and took a step back from the charts. I was able to identify several very big problems with my "process", and since then I've addressed the concrete problems and am constantly working on the less tangible issues. The first half of 2013 was incredibly painful, but taking that step back was like a breath of fresh air. I came back to the screen in June, and since then I've doubled what I made in 2012. More importantly, I am much (much!) happier with my process, especially with regard to my journaling and daily review. I'm still working on it, but the idea of process > outcome has become a central theme – I've even printed it out and posted it on the door to my office and on the wall above my main monitor. I ran through the psych and emotional cap exercises in your YTC ebook, and the evolution of my answers have been very instructive as I look through the past 2 years in general and the last 10 months in particular.
What do you notice that is common amongst all these statements?
For me, they are all positive and empowering. These traders are taking personal responsibility for their own growth and development. They are actively working on themselves – expanding their knowledge, building their skill levels and adopting a positive growth mindset.
Let's compare the above statements to these extracts from other email:
i just wish i could find a simple method to do over and over which is successful. so far, no luck. 🙁
I am not greedy – I just want to execute the perfect trade everytime and let rest take care of itself.
i need signals
Why do I always feel lost when I look at the chart?
I don't care that you disagree. It's clear to me that the broker screwed me over.
THE OWNER OF THE SITE IS VERY ARROGANCE AND I DON'T LIKE THIS SH##;
Well, apart from the last one which I just find amusing (I guess that comes from my arrogance), what are the common elements in these statements?
For me, they are all negative and limiting. These traders take no responsibility for their current circumstances or results. Blame is always placed upon others. And they seek simple Holy Grail solutions rather than accept that trading is a skill-based and performance-based activity.
Successful traders acknowledge that success or failure is up to them; that success is a result of applying themselves to a long-term process of learning and development.
Unsuccessful traders are looking for success outside of themselves, in the form of a system or method or guru. They get stuck in the frustration of their current circumstances, with no recognition of the fact that the future is yet to be written and remains solely within their hands.
So the question for you to consider today is, "What are your beliefs about your progress to date and the potential for you to grow and develop as a trader into the future?"
Are your beliefs positive and supported by a growth mindset?
Or are they negative and suffering from a fixed mindset?
There is great value in examining your thoughts and feelings, as they will provide a clue to your current belief systems.
Consider this exercise:
For a whole month, pause to document your thoughts and feelings at key timings during each trading session – just before the open, as price approaches setup areas, upon triggering entry, upon closing each trade, and of course post-session.
At the end of the month, review the results to look for common themes. These will quite possibly reflect your underlying beliefs about your progress so far as a trader and your ability to achieve your ultimate goals.
If your current belief system is not one which supports further growth and development, then you have some work to do. Take the themes you've identified and rephrase each into it's opposite – something positive and process based (rather than outcome based), which reinforces the ideas of growth and development over time. Use this new statement as an affirmation, with regular daily exposure over coming months aiming to replace the old limiting belief with the newer more empowering belief.
As Anthony Robbins says above, "The words we attach to our experience become our experience."
Do all you can to ensure the words you attach to your trading experience are ones that actually help you achieve positive growth and development.