From Joe Duffy

Last time we talked about the role of “waiter” versus “trader” and the concept of “paytience” in trading. It is much easier to address and embrace the area of trading psychology for many, because it has moved from the soft science of psychology, to the hard science of neuroscience. The last 5 years we know so much more about how our brain works, and doesn’t work. 

For example our beliefs and habits account for 95% of our actions and reactions in our daily life, and all of these reside in the subconscious mind. What is particularly interesting and pertinent here is that the subconscious mind forms these habits and beliefs based only on what we have experienced first hand. The brain does not form beliefs and habits based on what the conscious mind knows about the larger world view, but hasn’t actually experienced. When you accept and understand this, you can understand how your own subconscious beliefs and habits will be exposed in your trading. 

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Hence, for the large majority of people they make the same psychological errors over and over, because of their subconscious programming. This goes on until different neural responses are programmed, or they give up trading. If you see yourself in this sentence, there is nothing wrong with you— you just need to first understand your brain is not always your friend and that is part of the human condition. The good news is understanding this is 50% of the way to fixing it. 

Your inability to cut a loss for instance, is ABSOLUTELY tied to a subconscious belief you have about one or more of money, perfection, being wrong, admitting a mistake, definitions of success and failure and the list could go on and on. This is some food for thought. Next time we will explore down the path of positive change. For now, your conscious mind needs to understand that your subconscious mind isn’t helping you and get prepared to reprogram it.