Carrying on from last week’s journal post “Who’s to blame?”, I will now discuss shifting our thought process to make change.
To improve your responses you can do one of two things:
- Change your perception of the outcome to see it as positive or at least as not causing pain.
- Change the process to make the outcome positive.
This takes effort on the normal person’s part. It is far easier to blame someone else or just get angry. The more we blame the less responsibility we take for outcomes in our life. The less responsibility we take, the lower the chance of changing our perception of the outcomes or the outcomes themselves. Meaning, we don’t grow and improve.
This cycle of blame is very damaging for performance in anything that we do in life, especially trading. “I was too busy today to check my open positions,” is a blaming justification.
The first step is to take responsibility for all the outcomes in your life. No doubt you have heard the cliché definition of insanity, but it is well worth repeating here: ‘Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.’
When you take responsibility, you create conflict which needs to be resolved in your subconscious. The conflict can either be resolved by opting out of the action that causes the hurt–that is, giving up–or by changing. Changing requires commitment, desire, discipline and effort.
The second step is to create a process to resolve the conflict until it goes away and is not perceived as potentially or actually causing emotional hurt. If you don’t create this process, the conflict will still be resolved by the old technique, relying on your hurt avoidance mechanisms which will avoid, hesitate, deny, rationalise, justify etc. And the cycle of blame will start all over again—you won’t take responsibility; you will continue losing; and you will blame it on someone else.
It doesn’t really matter what happens, its how we take it that counts. Most of the time there are variables at play in our lives that we have absolutely no control over and never will which will cause perceived and real negative outcomes. We can control how we react to these outcomes but we can not control the variables and outcomes themselves.