More discipline often doesn't work

Effort: The Best Model for a Trading Coach

What? A trading coach requires effort?

Effective learning comes with effort. It turns out from the advances in neuroscience, that the most effective learning process comes with effort. That’s right, effort. If we work at learning a new skill, the fumbling around, no matter how awkward it feels, provides a better platform for long-term skill development than if we are just shown what to do.

Do you trade someone else’s strategy? It is also fairly obvious that if we try to adopt someone else’s map and model of the world in order to imitate their success, that the adoption of those new behaviors is quite difficult.

So what does this mean in terms of creating the best relationship with a trading coach? The best function of a coach is to set it up so that the student trader can safely and confidently create new behaviors for themselves that feel better in the moment, support their values and get them to their goals.

The coach provides an invitation to your highest self and a master trader’s mindset. By set it up, I don’t mean that the trading mentor will design the path. What I mean is that the mentor will provide a higher level of experience, simulations, thought problems and re-framing challenges that stimulates self­awareness. This experience gives the trader the ability to see, feel and experience each choice clearly in real time. This higher level of awareness will allow the trader to get clear feedback on the impact of their choices and make better and more intentional choices faster and faster.

The trading coach supports self-discovery. This means that a trading coach has the most difficult job of not only knowing what are the best trading behaviors, but also allowing the independent trader to discover the answers for themselves. With this framework, the coach and the trader can work through the trading issues and create the new behaviors one step at a time. These new behaviors support repeatable patterns of more successful trading behaviors.

This process can feel frustrating to the student because we all want easy answers. But these easy answers do not provide the process of creating new neural circuits in our brain that are the foundations of new intentional behaviors that serve us better. Without these new neural connections we tend to lapse back into well-established neural connections that trigger persistent trading errors.

As a result, many of us will select trading mentors that provide the answer to our dreams rather than giving us a chance to do the hard work of working on the problem in a way that is solvable and sustainable.

As parents, teachers, friends and spouses we can also use the same model for those we care about. Especially as men we have a tendency to want to “fix things.” Can we be life mentors for those we care about? Can we set it up so that those around us feel our support and at the same time be allowed the frustration of finding their own path and creating the new neural connections necessary for sustainable behavior?

This approach takes some time to setup and improve. This is a life skill that will pay off, not only in our trading, but in our life with those we care about.

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