You can’t solve your irrational trading behaviors with your rational mind! When we deviate from our trading plan or our carefully constructed intuitive and discretionary trading processes, we do so not from our neo-cortex, our rational brain, but we do so from a survival part of ourselves.
Thus, when we wake up in the morning and look at yesterday’s trades, and wonder why the hell we traded the way we did, we are evaluating those trading behaviors from our rational mind. But in that moment, when we are making those trades, we are doing so from a survival part of our brain.
At the Mind Muscles Academy, we call these parts of our brains NEMES or neuro meta-structures. These are parts of our brain that are triggered under certain circumstances that produce the trading behaviors that no longer serve us.
This is why no matter how much resolve, willpower and discipline we intend to apply to tomorrow’s trading, in that moment where a survival mechanism is triggered, it hijacks our behaviors and we again create trading behaviors that can be costly.
So the obvious question then becomes, how do we work with that survival part of our brain in order to produce better behaviors that produce consistent results?
At the Mind Muscles Academy, we have a process called the Golden Keys. The first step in this process is “Awareness”. Rather than trying to fight our survival brain and stop its behaviors, we simply become aware of the mechanisms that trigger the NEME and the mechanisms it uses to hijack our brain.
Secondly, we “Accept” that part of ourselves and we make the assumption that it has a positive intent for our lives, even if the outcomes don’t support that conclusion. What this does is it allows us to freely become aware of what is going on internally, accept what is going on internally, and then create the foundation for creating new trading behaviors that will serve us a lot better.
When I am doing live coaching, I will work with the trader while they are trading a live account. We can then catch the exact moment that a NEME is being triggered, learn how it is triggered and learn the mechanisms it uses to hijack the rational part of our brain. What we discover is that this behavior, in the moment, has a positive intent for ourselves.
If there is one word that represents our mission at the Mind Muscles Academy, it is “Rapport.” Rapport with ourselves, rapport with the markets, and rapport with others in our community.
If you want to change persistent trading behaviors that no longer serve you, you can start by developing a conversation which builds rapport with that part that hijacks your brain with the resulting trading behaviors that lose money. Get to know that part of yourself in the same way an anthropologist would get to know the culture and behaviors of a newfound primitive tribe. Come to the conversation with an open heart and curiosity about how this part functions and what its positive intent is for your life.
With this approach, you are working on solving the problem at the source by using the process that creates the problem in the first place.
Please let me know if you have any questions or comments about this post.
A veteran broker and floor trader, Rich went from the "worst trainee trader ever", to building one of the most consistently profitable options trading firms on the Pacific Exchange by training his traders using neuroscience. Rich also holds a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology, a B.A. in Philosophy, and is a graduate of the Gestalt Institute in San Francisco along with Master’s training in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP).
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