Self-sabotage. Why do we suffer and how to eliminate it.

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by Optionpro007, Oct 18, 2006.

  1. Self-sabotage had never really been something I had thought about until I started trading full time.

    I realize that most people suffer from this ill, if it could be called like this, some to a lesser degree than others but always playing part of our most inner self.

    Self-sabotage can be seen throughout history in people like Hitler, Hussein, Kim Jong Il, but also in people who are "good" in nature like, Lennon, Gandhi, Versace, even Jesus Christ falls under this description.(with all due respect to all religious souls roaming these pages)

    The question I have is "why?". Where does this subconscious self-sabotage mechanism come from? It is innate in nature.

    A few things that are clear is that this malady afflicts good and bad people all over the world. That it can be very subtle, difficult to perceive. That almost all people who have a problem never realize it, and live with it all their lives not understanding why they didn't achieve what they had set out to do.

    I would appreciate having a "meeting" of the minds regarding this topic. I know meditation and religion, keeps us away from hurting ourselves, but why do we suffer from self sabotage in the first place ?

    I think that as traders, it is by far the biggest psychological hurdle to overcome in order to achieve consistant success in this business

    Ideas, comments? Welcome.
  2. ssmegner


    Define "self sabotage" for the purposes of this discussion. And is this any different from the fear/greed scenarios.
  3. dac8555


    i am not sure "self sabatoge" is the correct phrase to describe why most people dont achieve their goals or the problems that people like Hitler had.

    I think everyone is imperfect, but that si different from self sabatoge.

    I think a very small number of people have the mental problems which cause them to want to fail ...if they admit it or not.

    the problem of MOST people is a lack of discipline and focus when it comes to not achieveing goals.
  4. Tums


    tell us your relationship with your mother?
  5. "Don't center on your anxieties, Obi-Wan. Keep your concentration here and now, where it belongs. "

    "Your focus determines your reality. "

    Qui-Gon Jinn, Star Wars episode 1.
  6. minmike


    I know hat you are talking about. I have been having trouble with it too. I take stupid positions at the end of the day and give back what I have made. Just aproblem in teh last 2 months. I need to fix it.
  7. Self sabotage comes from fear. Period. Fear of winning/losing/not being accepted/success/failure/being just like your dad/mom whatever.

    It all boils down to some previous programming that you've learned through thoughts, behaviors or exposure that cemented something in your brain. Now trading is acting against that programming and you sabotage your results because of that programming. This of course assumes you already KNOW how to trade and are simply acting against your system. This does NOT APPLY AT ALL if you don't actually know what to do and are simply 'winging it' hoping for the best in your trading results.

    Lots of books on the subject of trading psychology although, and I mean this sincerely, therapy might be of assistance. Or at least self therapy where you REALLY sit down and attempt to trace back what you learned and WHY it's causing you to act how you act.

    I'm NOT in any way saying 'blame the parents!' or whatever. You're an adult. It's your fault now if you act badly. But if you didn't implant the beliefs somewhere when you were younger, you wouldn't be acting 'improperly' (at least in a trading context) now.

    Get inside your head and REALLY figure out your money blueprint. It will help immeasurably.

    Attempting to be 'self disciplined' alone will fail because you will continue to force yourself to act against your long held (but perhaps unknown) beliefs. Until you figure out and correct the WHY you act some way, 'trying harder' and applying 'self discipline' and 'focus' will never work consistently.

    All of this said, you don't have to completely eliminate fear to thrive in trading, but you'd better get a handle on 'why' so you can recognize it when it flares itself and almost forces you to act improperly.

    Honest to God, before a trade, I say to myself 'Fuck fear - I'll handle it [whatever the trade's results are]'

    That doesn't mean throwing caution to the wind, but it does mean acknowledging that fear exists and might prevent me from acting (my personal trading problem - undertrading)
  8. What about people who self destruct because they have ethics.

    In my case, the first time that I nearly self destructed was when I refused to falsify data for an aircraft that was being developed for the airforce.

    The dirty bastards fired me and it took me 6 weeks to find another job. The good news was that this job was even better than the one that I lost.

    This kind of crap is common place in the aircraft industry and the department of defense and probably alot of other businesses as well. They think that they are immune from prosecution.

    I am waiting for the day that those bums who gave Haliburton a sole source contract for billions of dollars go on trial but I won't hold my breath.

    Sorry if I moved your thread in another direction but I just couldn't help it.
  9. Thanks steve. As for my personal "self-sabotage" issues I have come along way in getting rid of most of my bad behaviors and appreciate your comments.

    But I am looking for the natural reason for self sabotage to exist in humans. You mention it comes from fear....?

    I am referring to self-sabotage that has been passed from generation to generation throughout history.

    Where does fear fit into this ? Is this the fear we had at one point of being eaten alive by an animal when we lived in caves ?

    Don't see the connection.

  10. Self-sabotage in the case of a subcouncious decision of doing, taking or thinking something that is not in the best interest to that person.

    Most people who are mediocre, are mediocre becuase they don't realize that their subconcous keeps them in the same level till they die, be it either economic, spiritual, social, intellectual..etc...

    Most people don't have a clue. And it's sad that we as "intelligent" beings don't get to the bottom of this epidemic, if I could called like that.

    #10     Oct 18, 2006