Trading with a low self-esteem

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by fatrat, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. fatrat


    I don't advise it. And stay away from people who make you feel bad.

    I noticed I was being too hard on myself in some cases and really beating myself up instead of acknowledging human error for what it is. We all don't make perfect decisions, both in life and in trading.

    I find it helps me to take little breaks or vacations where I can sit down or relax and say, "It's just not my fault."

    Some people, who're total psychopaths, never blame themselves. Others of us blame ourselves way too much and hurt ourselves psychologically in the process.

    I'm just posting because, for me, self-hate was one of the big variables in improving my performance. The self-hate gets instilled from various sources in your life -- you have to figure out what they are, and learn to manage them.
  2. Who's fault is it then, who takes responsibility for these less than perfect decisions if not the decision maker, you?
  3. cold


    we begin to identify ourselves as only traders

    if we fail, we question our existence, we put so much pressure on ourselves, we forget that we are just human beings, not gods
  4. because we live in the past and the future...if you live in the now and work towards finding inner-peace (the only place it could be found)....then nothing really is that bad...even in the worst of times...peace

    fatrat...a trade dont make or break you...your account size dont make or break make or break you...sometimes you need to take a step back from the rat race and just BE...not what am I going to be, or who i was...JUST "BE"...peace
  5. fatrat


    Well, I'm not saying don't take accountability for it. All I'm saying is don't take TOO much accountability for it -- as in, make it personal. Obviously, there's a fine line in there somewhere.
  6. From

    Reader and trader Don Chase emailed [Brett Steenbarger] with a perceptive observation, noting his belief that trading might just be the most difficult job in the world. He asks:

    How many guys do you know who can accept being wrong?

    How many guys do you know who can be wrong and lose money?

    How many guys do you know who can be wrong. lose money and not feel bad?

    How many guys do you know who can be wrong, lose money, not feel bad and reverse their position?

    How many guys do you know who can be wrong, lose money, not feel bad, and reverse their position quickly?

    Don's point is that trading requires an unusual combination of emotional resilience (the ability to tolerate being wrong) and mental flexibility (the ability to use losses as information and quickly change one's position in the markets).

    Many people have a need to be right. That makes it difficult to quickly accept losses, and it makes it especially difficult to flip one's views. The best traders don't have a need to be right, and in fact they readily admit that there's many times they're wrong.

    There's a different reason why trading might be one of the world's most difficult occupations: the rules of the game are always changing. In most performance activities, from sports to chess, the rules don't change from year to year. Market patterns, however, are continually shifting: trends change, volatility changes, and historical patterns that worked at one time suddenly fail during the next time period (a phenomenon that has recently tripped up several quant funds).

    Because markets are ever-changing, success is never assured. Indeed, it's not at all unusual for very successful traders to re-enter a learning curve when market conditions change radically. It takes a very secure person to be able to accept those returns to the learning curve, and it takes a highly conscientious person to keep losses down when market patterns undergo a major shift.

    Don has a great point. The average person loves job security; trading offers none. The average person loves success; trading invariably ensures periods of loss. The average person wants to be right; plenty of great traders are wrong half the time. Trading can be a tremendous challenge and a highly rewarding activity, but to get to that point, you have to be emotionally wired differently from the average person.
  7. Who's fault is it then, who takes responsibility for these less than perfect decisions if not the decision maker, you?


    The dam broke. Who cares who's responsible. Nothing will be solved in determining who is responsible. We aren't looking for liability.

    The trade works or it doesn't. The system works or it doesn't.
  8. Of course we're looking for liability. Identifying what went wrong is the only way we can attempt to improve, and hopefully avoid repeating the same mistakes again.

    It's not as simple as 'the trade works or it doesn't', there can be any number of reasons why it did or didn't work, it's up to us to find out.
  9. I think it's appropriate to delve into patterns or trends in trading performance. Improvements can possibly be made in that context. However, to delve into every trade that didn't go as expected is to invite the kind of trouble that the OP seems to be talking about. You simply cannot hope to explain away every single loss that you have incurred in such a way as to avoid the possibility of its recurrence in the future. As I read it, the OP was at least in part trying to come to terms with the random element that exists in trading and, therefore, in trading performance.
  10. Theres a distinction between taking responsibility for losses and berating oneself emotionally.
    #10     Mar 3, 2008