Validation and self protection

One of my favourite articles in the blogosphere this month is this short piece from Brett Steenbarger’s Traderfeed blog, where he discusses the danger of using trading to fulfil other emotional needs, including validation:

“Money is the rationale for trading, but it is not the only motivation. Traders also trade to make themselves feel good, to validate themselves, to avoid a 9-5 job, and so much more.

This is truly the source of most problems with “trading discipline”: what we need to do to make money conflicts with the other needs that we impose upon trading.

If we bring a host of unmet emotional needs to the perfect trading method, we will inevitably sabotage that method. A rich and fulfilling life outside of trading might just be the best trading strategy of all.”

I have added ’seeking validation vs making money’ to my road map as I suffered from this problem in addition to my other gremlins. It wasn’t as destructive as the addiction problem, but I did find that the more I traded the more I asked of trading, to my detriment.

I am aware I have been guilty of so many wrongs and it is shameful because I came to trading with a clear head. To protect against future relapses – and they will come – I have transferred roughly two-thirds of my capital from my trading account to my bank account. This should act as a kind of extreme stop-loss or fail-safe mechanism in case I get repossessed by destructive trading impulses.

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2 responses to “Validation and self protection

  1. Caravaggio, I just checked out the Lime.com meditation rooms. Thanks for the links. I like them all–very calming.

    Psychologically you are aware that the gremlins can be lurking. So your reducing your trading account makes sense. Makes sense also that you post your weekly percentage gains after expense deduction.

  2. No problem Michelle, I’m glad you like the meditation rooms. Personally, I am really surprised at how useful they are in encouraging calm but concentrated thought before I start trading.

    Also I suppose I am lucky that I am trading the forex market because it is one of the few markets where I can reduce the capital in my account but still trade with all important high-leverage.

    all the best

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