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Are You Sabotaging Yourself?

People come from humble beginnings to achieve wealth, status, or fame. But to get ahead, successful people often had to break conventional rules. This readiness to break the rules is often associated with an affinity toward risk. Although they may achieve success, they may also have a shaky self-image. Sure they achieved a lot, but a voice deep inside their psyche still questions their self-worth or competence. They don't have the birthright and the psychological security that matches their current status in life. They beat the odds and they know it, but they never quite feel secure. Their demons lurk in the back of their mind, ready to take over.

Everyone has his or her talents. Some people are intelligent. Other people are natural born athletes while others have physical attractiveness that turns heads. The identity you form early in life can give you an ego boost when you need it, but may throw you off when you are under pressure. Bill Clinton, for example, described himself as an unattractive dork in his autobiography, "My Life." His early self-image didn't match his later success, and his hidden demon lurked below the surface. His need to validate his attractiveness and desirability led to his downfall.

Many people have insecurities and demons that can come out when they least expect them. If you question your intellectual ability, for example, you may be prone to question your trading decisions while under stress. A voice in the back of your mind may say, "Who do you think you are? You're not smart enough to completely trust your decisions." Your ability to combat these self-statements depends on your life experiences. Some people conquer their demons while other people try to ignore them. If you pretend they are not there, however, they can catch you off guard.

How do demons exert their power? Many demons have a common core. People with hidden insecurities feel that you don't belong and that they're identify can collapse at any minute. In contrast, people who have conquered their demons may feel "natural" in whatever they do. Nothing is a big deal. For example, a person raised in the trading environment is more likely to see trading events as commonplace. Trading is natural. It's no big deal. Trading events are not imbued with emotional significance.

Other people have demons that may impact their trading. What are some popular ones? Consider the imposter demon. Imposters feel they don't belong in the trading profession. They feel that they are just faking it. They assume that they are going to get caught at any minute, so they might as well not take anything seriously. Then there is the gambler demon. Gamblers believe that they are just having fun. They like the risk. They like the rush. It's all about living in the moment and getting high. Some demons aren't as deep seated. Consider the slacker demon. Slackers spent most of their early life blowing off responsibility. They didn't do well in school and ended up a success later in life. Because they spent their early life avoiding structure and discipline, they easily entertain the idea of breaking the rules. They are likely to throw out their trading plan while under stress.

How do you fight your demons? First, gain awareness. Demons only impact you when you are not conscious of them. When you are aware of your secret demons, you can neutralize their power. Second, change your self-talk. When you feel unworthy or uncertain, remind yourself that you are worthy. Remind yourself that your effort will pay off eventually and that you should protect yourself and keep working hard. Don't let your demons sabotage your efforts. Gain awareness of them and fight them. You'll stay profitable in the long run if you do.

 

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Friday, 25 May 2018

Derivative transactions, including futures, are complex and carry a high degree of risk. They are intended for sophisticated investors and are not suitable for everyone. There are numerous other factors related to the markets in general or to the implementation of any specific trading program which cannot be fully accounted for in the preparation of hypothetical performance results, and all of which can adversely affect actual trading results. For more information, see the Risk Disclosure Statement for Futures and Options.