When he puts money on the line, the trader quickly finds out about the strengths and weaknesses of the mind that he or she brings to trading.
The trader’s shortcomings in performance show up as hesitation, self-doubt, nervousness, over-trading, or impulse trading.
The Mind that You Bring to Trading
Let’s learn from this trader’s journey into understanding the self by following him as he begins to wake up and realize that he has to build the mind with which he trades.
Like many people training to become traders, he had been successful in a career before trading.
“Naturally, I thought the discipline and confidence that served me so well as a crew member flying the plane would also serve me in trading.
Developing the Inner Team
“What I have discovered, though, is that within each of us are the attributes required to build a high performance team.
Fortunately, within all of us (as this trader describes) are powerful inherent, indwelling resources that can be developed into a high performance state of mind.
A New Understanding of the Mind
First, the emotionally intelligent trader discovers that his mind is more nuanced and complicated than he initially thought.
In the undeveloped mind of a trader struggling to become consistently profitable, the dominant “board members” are destructive in nature, while other less-dominant “board members” are fearful that change will result in losing what they have.
By developing emotional regulation skills to calm the body and mind, mindfulness can then be used to open the door of the mind and examine both your thought life and the beliefs that drive your trading.
Taking Charge of the Mind
In the same way that there are destructive elements of the self – there are constructive, empowering parts of the self.
In waking up the Observer of the Mind through Mindfulness, the trader discovers powerful constructive elements of the self. He discovers inherent indwelling resources that have been waiting for him to wake up and develop.
In the same way that a trader experiences the fear of the Orphan or the judgment of the Inner Critic at moments of uncertainty, an awake trader also (by being human) has potential access to the discipline of the Ruler, the courage of the Warrior, the self-soothing of the Caregiver, and the impartiality of the Sage.
This is important.
The Mind is Developed, Not Found
If left to its own devices, the mind will drift in the historical adaptation to which it was born.
Learning to develop the Observer of the coming and going of thought in the mind, recognizing that we are not our thoughts, allows you to de-construct the old committee of the mind showing up in your trading as self-limiting beliefs – and to rebuild it into a mind for consistent profitability in trading.