Forget therapy. Ignore meditation. Move aside past life regression hypnosis. If you really want to get to know what mental skeletons are lurking in the closets of your subconscious, just try trading the markets.

Whether you’re aware of it or not, the lure of self-sabotage is a siren song that we’ve all heard at some point in our life before. With trading this could come in many guises; you’ve thoroughly back tested and are trying to stick to a strategy or a market but, at every little hiccup, that little voice of doubt creeps in, telling you “this isn’t working, try something different” or “I’ve never traded silver before, let’s try it on that’. Now, within reason, there’s nothing wrong with experimenting or trying out a new method but when you are jumping ship after every little setback it’s more likely that following your fleeting impulses is actively stopping you from achieving your desired aims.

So How Do We Stop Self-Sabotage?

The most important way in which we can combat any tendencies to self-sabotage is primarily through self-awareness and reflection. This is all about considering our intentions and identifying the habits that are holding us back.

It’s easy to go through life floating on the surface of emotions rather than delving deeper but, as with most things in the world, you get out of life what you put into it. The process of becoming “self-aware” is integral in allowing you to identify self-destructive and self-sabotaging patterns but it is not the whole story. What’s the point of being aware of one’s own flaws if you can’t do anything about them, right?

Once you’ve identified these problematic behaviours, you’ll start to see the patterns they form that may undermine your success. This could impact anything from your personal life all the way through to your professional career and now, even your success in trading with consistent profits. You may notice your tendency to deflect or avoid intense or stressful situations. You may notice your tendency to procrastinate and delay completing an important task until the very last minute. Perhaps you notice your tendency towards overthinking leaving you paralyzed by indecision. The dreaded analysis paralysis. With a little reflection it’s easy to see how these tendencies are affecting the way you trade and throwing you off-course.

Although this doesn’t necessarily mean that these started from a negative place. Quite often, these self-sabotaging behaviours began as a way for your subconscious to try to safeguard you against something. Avoiding a situation, or the completion of a task, is a sure-fire way to avoid confronting the potential for failure. Excessive thinking and agonizing over every eventuality of a situation is often born from an overabundance of caution. If you can’t do something perfectly then why do it at all, right?

While these habit-forming behaviours could almost be seen as understandable when framed this way it doesn’t change the fact that they can and will get in the way of your success if left unchecked. As with everything in life, the solution is to strike the right balance. A balance between your fear and your potential. Or, to frame this in trading terms, the balance between your risk and reward.



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